Day 142: Assessment, Reflection Lab, & Backwards Problem

AP Physics 1: Assessment

Students took their quiz over angular momentum, and we have now officially finished content. Wooo! 2 class days to spare!

Physics: Reflection Lab

We got out the geo mirrors and some plane mirrors to start exploring reflection. I like to start each optics topic with a lab making qualitative observations. The instructions I gave students today need some work; students had trouble parsing the wording to make meaningful observations.

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Chemistry Essentials: Backwards Problem

As a quick warm-up before taking the limiting reactants quiz, I had students whiteboard what I called a backwards problem. I gave them a reaction and told them what should be the limiting reactant, then had them sketch a particle diagram for a situation showing starting conditions that would lead to the right limiting reactant.

A few kids were feeling stressed out about this quiz, so we also took a few minutes to revisit the reassessment policy, including the fact that I’m putting retakes into our normal assessment process, which helped lower the stakes and let students feel a little calmer about the quiz.

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Day 141: Free Response, Quiz, & Limiting Reactants Lab

AP Physics 1: Free Response

We worked a few released free response problems related to angular momentum. I also set up a couple of angular momentum demos, including a spinning Hoberman sphere. Students seem to be grasping the big ideas, which is good since we only have a few more class days before the AP exam!

 

Physics: Quiz

Students compelted a groupwork reflection, then took their quiz on ray diagrams for shadows and pinholes. I’ve only glanced at their work, but I’m pleased with how the quizzes look.

Chemistry Essentials: Limiting Reactants Lab

Students did a reaction with copper chloride hydrate and aluminum. I had different groups use different quantities so that the limiting reactant varied by group; students were really intrigued by the stark differences in some of the finished reactions. Students did very well using “for every” statements to do stoichiometry when the particle diagrams don’t work. I am glad I introduced the statements yesterday with Pivot; I think starting that skill without having to worry about good lab technique helped it sink in better.

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Day 139: Angular Momentum, Ray Diagrams, & Limiting Reactants

AP Physics 1: Angular Momentum

I am as part of Pivot Interactive’s Chemistry Fellows program.

Students used Pivot Interactives to explore collisions that involve angular momentum. I especially like the activity they have with a marble fired at a wood block since it provides an opportunity to review linear momentum, as well as discover a relationship between torque and angular momentum.

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Physics: Ray Diagrams

Students sketched ray diagrams to explain their observations in Friday’s lab. Students were able to make good connections between their ray diagrams and their observations.

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Chemistry Essentials: Limiting Reactants

Students whiteboarded some limiting reactant problems, emphasizing the particle diagrams that could be used to solve the problems.

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Day 138: Multiple Choice, Pinholes, & More Limiting Reactants

AP Physics 1: Multiple Choice

After a short quiz, we used Plickers to review some multiple choice. There was a lot of good discussion about the problems and some good test-taking strategies also came out of the conversations.

Physics: Pinholes

Students made observations and dew ray diagrams for some pinhole viewers. They had some trouble getting images at first, but, once they got the hang of it, seemed to enjoy the lab. It was a nice, sunny morning, so we went out the back door of my classroom to look at things, but it was also chilly, so most students went back inside when they were drawing ray diagrams.

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Chemistry Essentials: More Limiting Reactants

Students did some limiting reactant problems involving polyatomic ions. All of the problems were ones that could be solved by drawing a particle diagram, and students seem to be embracing those as a problem-solving tool.

Day 137: Lots of Whiteboarding

AP Physics 1: Unbalanced Torque Whiteboarding

We did some mistakes whiteboarding with some torque problems. Students made great connections to what they already know about unbalanced forces, which is making it possible to move quickly through the topic.

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Physics: Ray Diagram Whiteboarding

Students whiteboarded some ray diagrams from yesterday’s shadow lab. They made the connections I wanted them to make and were making sense of how the ray diagrams fit with what they saw.

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Chemistry Essentials: Limiting Reactant Whiteboarding

We did some whiteboarding of limiting reactant problems emphasizing the particle diagrams as a problem-solving tool. I haven’t pushed the diagrams as much this year as in the past, and it showed on a quiz I graded earlier today. Now is time to start rectifying that mistake!

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Day 136: Board Meeting, Shadows, & Limiting Reactants

AP Physics 1: Unbalanced Torque Board Meeting

Students whiteboarded their results from yesterday. They quickly and easily made the connections I was after and the idea of rotational interia seemed to click well.

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Physics: Shadows

I did a quick intro to ray diagrams. I like to clap some chalk dust over the beam from a laser pointer to show the light travels in a straight line. This year, I followed up with clapping chalk dust over a flashlight beam to see the cone of light and motivate drawing multiple rays, which worked very nicely. Students then played with shadows and drew ray diagrams to explain their observations.

Chemistry Essentials: Limiting Reactants

Students worked on some limiting reactant problems. Based on some questions students asked yesterday, we also revisited a reaction we’ve done with magnesium and hydrochloric acid. I set up one flask with indicator and hydrochloric acid to use as a reference. In the other two flasks, I also added magnesium and tasked students with making observations to determine what the limiting reactant was in flasks 2 and 3, which they answered using a CER.

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Day 135: Pivot Angular Acceleration, FCI, & Limiting Reactants

AP Physics 1: Pivot Angular Acceleration

I am as part of Pivot Interactive’s Chemistry Fellows program.

Students used Pivot Interactives to find a relationship between unbalanced torque and angular momentum for several different bicycle wheels. I had them start by setting up a formula they could use to calculate the angular acceleration from the change in angular position and the time. My 2nd hour had a much easier time with this; I think the difference is they worked yesterday’s problems in small groups and quickly connected this task to some of the problems they’d done. My 4th hour had a sub yesterday who was a former physics teacher that decided to go through the problems as a lecture, so I think those students didn’t have as firm a grasp on the calculations.

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Physics: FCI

Students took the Force Concept Inventory as a post-test. We normally give it before moving into simple harmonic motion, so they were a little rusty on thinking with forces, but I’m satisfied with the results.

Chemistry Essentials: Limiting Reactants

Students used nuts, bolts, and washers to start connecting mass to what I’d planned for them to see about limiting reactants yesterday. While both my sections were able to get through today’s activity without trouble, I need to figure out how to adjust for some issues yesterday. My 5th hour is co-taught, so my co-teacher ran the class and the majority of students easily finished yesterday’s activity and had the ideas I wanted them to have at this point. In my 6th hour, the sub decided to go over the answers to the accompanying worksheet as a lecture without projecting the simulation, which my students really struggled to follow. Several students helped themselves to a computer and worked through the activity as intended, and I’m having trouble getting mad at them for defying the sub. I think the activity with the simulation is worth doing, but between demand for the school computers and trying to keep both sections in the same place, I’m not sure how to give my 6th hour time in-class.

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