Today, I was missing a lot of students from AP Physics and Physics for the AP Lit exam, so I kept those classes pretty low-key.
AP Physics: Final Project
The next few weeks are going to be tricky. About 1/3 of my students took the AP Physics 1 exam yesterday, and the rest won’t be taking it until May 24. I decided to go ahead and start the final project I’d planned, based on ideas from Casey Rutherford and Kelly O’Shea. Students are tasked with picking a scenario and using physics they’ve learned this year to describe what is going on. I pointed students to Rhett Allain’s Dot Physics for inspiration and most students spent today starting to think through potential topics.
Students worked on a worksheet from Paul Hewitt’s Conceptual Physics sketching superpositions of triangular wave pulses. This year, students had a much easier time with the worksheet than I usually see; I think yesterday’s time playing with superposition on snakey springs made a big difference.
Chemistry Essentials: Reaction Types Lab
Students worked through a lab to see each of the reaction types we’ve been working on in action. Students were clearly enjoyed the lab, and it was one of the most on-task days I’ve had with this group. Students made some great observations, but had trouble interpreting what those observations mean. Tomorrow, I want to spend some time making connections between observations and the equation for the reaction. I’ve also been thinking a lot this year about the purpose labs serve in a chemistry course, especially one as conceptual as this, and I think emphasizing the ways our paper and pencil representations explain what students see would be a way to add a lot of value to those labs.