Day 156: Base Sliding & Synthesis Day

Today is Tartan’s Relay for Life and one of my classes got visited by the infamous purple toilet. Note the Canadian bill donated by one of my students.


AP Physics: Base Sliding

Students are wrapping up data collection and analysis for their final projects. I’ve got two students looking at the physics of sliding into a base to try and answer whether feet first or head first is better. They’re in different hours, so I’m not too worried about the repetition, but they are also looking at some different perspectives. One is looking at angular momentum as the player moves from running to sliding while the other is focusing on the actual slide. Its actually a little too bad they are in separate hours since it could be fun to have them compare notes.

Earth Science: Synthesis Day

I feel like this unit has been pretty disjointed and students are not making connections between volcanoes, mountains, folds, faults, and plate tectonics. I had them work through some conceptual questions today to explicitly draw connections between those ideas, which illuminated some specific areas I need to revise in this unit. For example, one of the questions asked students to determine whether mountains or volcanoes are more likely to have folds, and it came out that a lot of students don’t have a mental model for how a fold forms.

Day 155: Hockey Pucks & Vocab

AP Physics: Hockey Pucks

Students continued to work on their projects today. One of my students is analyzing momentum transfer between a hockey puck and a stick and found a surprising result. He expected the puck to have a fairly constant acceleration while in contact with the stick, but his data shows a big jump in the puck’s acceleration when the blade of the stick starts to flex. The next challenge is to try and figure out why!

Earth Science: Vocab

This class had a sub today, so no photos. There’s been a lot of vocabulary this unit, so I had student work on a short activity to put the vocab into student-friendly language and do some synthesis with the terms. I’ll find out tomorrow how things went.

Day 152: Project & Mountain-Building

AP Physics: Project

Students continued work on their projects. Both of my classes are wrapping up the theory and planning portions of the project, and the different personalities of those classes is incredibly apparent. In my 2nd hour, there was a lot of noise and chaos as students worked through their ideas out load as they typed or wrote. In my 4th hour, you could hear a pin drop as students worked out their ideas independently.

Earth Science: Mountain-Building

Today was one of those days in my earth science class. I’d put together an activity on mountain-building and volcano formation in PhET’s Plate Tectonics simulation that I was pretty excited about. When my students fired up the laptops, only thee out of 35 were able to get the simulation running. Plan B was to demo the activity on the SMARTBoard, but the teacher computer failed to load the simulation with a different error. With half the period gone, I resorted to notes. Our tech guy got the issue fixed, so now I have to decide whether I want to try again, or hold on to the activity for the next time I teach earth science.