AP Physics 1: Dueling Buggies
Students predicted where two buggies would collide based on their starting points and speeds. It was interesting to see how different sections approached this problem; most of the groups in my 2nd hour used motion maps while almost all of my 4th hour used position vs. time graphs. When my 4th hour discussed the buggy paradigm lab, students brought up the fact that some of the graphs intersected, with one even bringing up that position vs. time graphs can be used to elegantly solve the classic two trains problem.
Physics: Board Meeting
Students wrapped up the buggy lab and we had our board meeting. Before the board meeting, I once again had students do a gallery walk and jot some notes down on their lab sheet, which lead to some really good conversation during the board meeting. The downside is students are using the gallery walk to ask questions I’d normally hope to hear during the whole-class board meeting, like asking about what a group was doing when they collected data that gave a negative slope, but students bringing up those points during the whole-class phase, so it doesn’t feel like a big downside.
Chemistry Essentials: Volume
Today, students found a relationship between the amount of water displaced and a solid’s volume in cubic centimeters to get at the equivalence of milliLiters and cubic centimeters. I haven’t had great results with the Modeling Instruction volume lab, so this year I cut some rods from the metals teacher into short sections so that students only needed to find the volume of cylinders. I like that the lab I did today uses the same version of water displacement they’ll use later on, but the math was a struggle for a lot of students. About half of my groups finished data collection and the other half only got one data point because they were caught up calculating the volume. I need to keep working on how to make this lab accessible to all of my students.