Days 85-89: Impulse & Energy Problems

This was our second week of virtual instruction. We are slated to be back in person on Monday.

Physics: Impulse Problems

Students worked on problems using the impulse-momentum theorem. I noticed that a lot of students were struggling to retain new information much more than usual, which made the problems relatively challenging. I’m sure some of it is a lot of students are less focused right now than in the classroom (at least some of them for very good reasons, like helping take care of younger siblings that are also at home), but I it’s also a factor that I didn’t make much effort to encourage student-to-student discussion and I did more providing new information than usual, rather than simply stepping in to put language or standard formulas to things students had already said. I’m not beating myself up for it since those things are difficult online in the best of circumstances, and I was doing it with minimal time to prepare and no prior experience teaching high school online. But it is a good reminder that the time I spend on those things in the classroom is important. While we have done versions of everything we normally do before the impulse quiz, I’ll be taking a few days next week to have some in-person discussions before we assess for the first time.

AP Physics: Conservation of Energy Problems

Right before my school switched to remote instruction, my students started working some problems using conservation of energy. We didn’t get a chance to whiteboard or discuss the problems, so we revisited them this week. My students had some good conversation using Jamboards and a discussion forum and seem to be doing pretty well with conservation of energy problems. I still want to do some in-person whiteboarding before we assess to get a better sense of where students are at since there are a few who’ve shared they are having some of the same trouble focusing I saw in Physics. I’ve got some problems from the AP Physics 1 workbook that I think will be good for this purpose.

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