Day 160: Peer Review & Geologic Time

AP Physics: Peer Review

I put students in random groups and had them share their project so far, then evaluate each other with a rubric. In addition to the feedback, students found it really helpful just to practice talking out loud about their project. A lot of them also got excited hearing about what some classmates they don’t normally interact with are working on and are looking forward to the presentations next week.

Earth Science: Geologic Time

Students made timelines to compare  the relative amounts of time in a 14 year old’s live to the amount of time in the major geologic periods and eras, which seemed to help them wrap their heads around the relative lengths of time much more than the big numbers would. I used a worksheet that already had specific events in the life of a 14 year old they should include, but next time I think I will either stick to just having a set number of years or work on making the events more open-ended since many of them are very cultural.


Day 112: Model Summaries & Peer Review

AP Physics: Model Summaries

Students made model summaries for the rotation version of key models so far. Students seemed to find it useful to remind themselves what tools are available to think about these models. Afterwards, students worked on some goal-less problems to reinforce the importance of starting a problem with what models apply. Students were really pleased when they realized some of the problems worked equally well with energy or with a combination of constant acceleration and forces.

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Physical Science: Peer Review

I had groups pair off to share their presentations and give some feedback. My strong groups made good use of the time and I heard a lot of nice feedback, but my other groups could have used more structure. Next time, I think I will provide students with hard copies of the rubrics to fill out to give them a little more accountability and focus their feedback.

Day 65: Writing Methods & Bouncy Ball Energy

AP Physics: Writing Methods

Today, students started working on a lab practical to predict where a marble will hit the floor when it rolls off the edge of a table. Since my PLC is focusing on experimental design this year, I had each group write a method they could use to consistently release the marble and find its horizontal velocity. Then, I collected a method from each group, shuffled them, and gave each group a method they had to try and follow. In my second section, I told students they should actually find the horizontal velocity, then write the method in a way that the next group should get the same result, which really seemed to help students decide how much detail to include. This also very naturally lead to a lot of groups talking about how big their uncertainty is so they could decide if the group using their method was “close enough.”img_20161214_120111

Physical Science: Bouncy Ball Energy

Students measured the rebound heights as various bouncy balls bounced to look at the energy lost. While students really like the lab (bouncy balls are fun!), they don’t have to do much thinking about energy, even though I added some bar charts and energy questions. Tomorrow, I might pull out the seismic accelerator to have them make some predictions about a stack of bouncy balls in order to get them thinking about energy in these systems a little more.