Day 36: Dueling Buggies, Bowling Balls, & Properties of Mixtures

AP Physics: Dueling Buggies

We did an abbreviated whiteboard session on Thursday’s problems since students had correct answers and were feeling pretty confident on the material. Afterward, we started working on the dueling buggies lab practical. I had several groups decide to have different people try different approaches, then compare answers as a way to check their work. Tomorrow, we’ll actually crash the buggies.


Physics: Bowling Balls

I started class today by talking a little about why I use Modeling Instruction and the kinds of actions that make a student successful in this type of classroom. Students seemed receptive and the atmosphere in the room was much more positive than it has been in a while. I think moving on to forces was a good call.

Students worked on the bowling ball and mallets lab to start building ideas about forces. I also gave students roles within their groups and explained this was to help them learn how to be a productive member of the group, even when they don’t know the answers. Students were much more consistently engaged than I’ve seen this year and a lot of great conversations were happening in groups.


Chemistry Essentials: Properties of Mixtures

As a demo, I asked students to observe properties of water and ethanol before and after mixing. The whole class discussion got a little rocky because a lot of students had great questions and great observations, but it was tough to keep them from talking over each other (or me). That’s something I need to keep working on with this class, but its a good problem to have.

Afterward, students did something very similar with solid sulfur and iron. Again, there were a lot of great observations. Students seem pretty clear on the idea that a mixture has a combination of properties from both materials.

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