AP Physics 1: Card Sort
Students worked on Kelly O’Shea’s CAPM card sort. First, they did the most basic sort they could using just the graphs. Next, they did a sort using their physics knowledge with just the graphs. Once groups had a physics-y sort they were happy with, I gave them the word cards for a third round. I liked how the progression went and there was a lot of good discussion along the way.
Physics: Vector Addition Diagrams
Students worked through an activity from Casey Rutherford using pipe cleaners to make manipulative vectors and rearrange free-body diagrams into vector addition diagrams. I really like the way this activity drives home that forces can be balanced even if they are not equal, but it is a pain in the neck to get the pipe cleaners nice. I might try to make a version using Brian Frank’s vector manipulatives for next year.
Chemistry Essentials: Rutherford
Students simulated Rutherford’s experiment by rolling a marble towards a set of hidden marbles and tallying how many times they hit something. In the past, I’ve had students calculate the diameter of their target marble, but the math is always kind of a black box. This year, I’m having students do the lab once with big marbles as the target and once with small marbles as the target in the hopes of keeping the focus on the key ideas.