Final exams are this week, so all three of my classes are doing some review the next few days.
AP Physics: Model Summaries
I gave each group one of the four models we’ve covered this trimester, and asked them to whiteboard examples of the key representations for their model, including diagrams, graphs (with notations about what has physical meaning), and equations. Once whiteboards were ready, we took a few minutes to do a gallery walk. A really cool surprise was just about every group included some force representations, regardless of which model they were whiteboarding.
Physics: Model Summaries
My physics classes also worked on model summaries, but I used a different structure. First, rather than giving each group a different model, I had the whole class whiteboard the same model, then we did a gallery walk before moving on. Second, to make things a little more concrete, I asked each group to come up with a scenario where the model applied, then to sketch representations and give some written descriptions. I think a lot of students didn’t see as much value in this as I’d hoped; I have a lot of students who have been trying to memorize the diagrams, rather than using them as meaning-making tools, and spending time thinking about the relationships between the diagrams doesn’t contribute to that approach. With a new tri starting next week and most of my students either switching hour or switching teacher, I’ve got a good opportunity to think about how I can re-calibrate my classroom culture towards more meaning-making.
Chemistry Essentials: Quiz Jigsaw
I gave each group an old quiz and asked them to work through it. Once groups started to finish, I asked them to pick the hardest problem or problems and prep a whiteboard with their solutions. The big challenge is I had a lot of students checking out today, which is pretty typical for what I see during finals week with this course; for most of my students, whether or not they pass is more important than their letter grade, and are aware that a final that is 10% of their grade will have little impact on whether they pass. I need to spend some time thinking about final exams that students are more likely to find more intrinsically meaningful.
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