Day 116: Multiple Choice, Reaction Time, & Conservation of Mass

AP Physics: Multiple Choice

Students took a quiz on rotational kinematics and we fired up Plickers to discuss some multiple choice problems a lot of students got wrong on the final. There were a lot of great conversations and students generally felt very comfortable pointing out errors in their own thinking. There were a few problems that most students got right on their first try today, which was interesting. I asked my students about it, and they said they were feeling pretty mentally fried during their final, especially since it was on the second day of exams, which makes sense.


Physics: Reaction Time

Students dropped rulers to calculate their reaction times. Students were pretty successful at designing an experiment and sketching a velocity vs. time graph for the ruler, but annotating and setting up equations was much more challenging than I’d hoped.  Doing the math with v-t graphs just isn’t sticking for a lot of students this year. I think the problem is a lot of them are not attaching meaning to the variables or numbers, which makes the annotations on the graphs and the formulas we use something to memorize. I need to keep working on supporting my students in using the graphs and other diagrams as tools for meaning-making.


Chemistry Essentials: Conservation of Mass

Students did a chemical reaction in a plastic bag to see the conservation of mass and practice translating between different representations of chemical reactions. Time got a little tight because I was not able to have a balance at every table; next time, I would be better off delaying the lab if another class needs the balances on the same day. Students still got a kick out of the chemical reaction.


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