Day 77: CER, Mistakes Game, & Particle Diagrams

AP Physics: CER

Students have been struggling to explain their reasoning effectively, so we took a day to do some TIPERs problems on projectiles and energy using the CER framework. Most groups started with their claim, so I think next time, I will give some time for students to draw and interpret diagrams before I ask them for an answer. Its tempting to see what would happen with a goal-less TIPERs problem.


Physics: Mistakes Game

We played the mistakes game with yesterday’s pie chart problems. This is the first time I’ve done it this trimester, and I was surprised at how many students were very nervous about the prospect of presenting a board with unintentional mistakes, even after some discussion about whether anyone would know whether or a not a mistake was intentional. I need to keep working on building a sense of community and safety in this course.


Chemistry Essentials: Particle Diagrams

I showed students some examples of thermal expansion and had students whiteboard particle diagrams to explain what was happening. A few students made some great connections to the labs we’ve done.



Day 29: Conservation of Momentum, Annotating Graphs, & Temperature vs. Heat

AP Physics: Conservation of Momentum

We had a board meeting on last week’s conservation of momentum lab. As part of their whiteboards, I asked students to write a CER on whether their results made sense and encouraged them to use Newton’s Laws in their thinking. The 1st Law was a much more popular approach than the 3rd Law, but I was pleased at the connections were making.

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Physics: Annotating Graphs

Students started working on some problems to annotate velocity vs. time graphs and write equations for the area. I think this is helping some of my students to make more connections to what the graph actually represents, which will be an important stepping stone to solving problems. I also added some problems that just ask students to sketch and annotate a v-t graph from the kind of written description that would start a problem.

phys anno

Chemistry Essentials: Temperature vs. Heat

We took some notes on heat and temperature, then I asked students to predict whether there would be a larger temperature change when I added a small amount of boiling water or a large amount of warm water to a large beaker of room temperature water. Students seemed to wrap their heads around the difference and were able to explain why the warm water produced a bigger temperature change after the demo.

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Day 22: 3rd Law, Video Physics, & Thermal Expansion

AP Physics: 3rd Law

Students predicted which cart would experience a larger force for several different collisions, then we got out the force sensors and hoop springs to find out. In one of my classes, the computer was acting up, so we relied on the hoop springs and slow motion video. Fortunately, students found the video very convincing and even described watching the hoop springs compress as satisfying.

collision lab f-t graph

Physics: Video Physics

We started constant acceleration today. Students used photogates with a cart on a ramp during the first unit, so I decided to have students analyze hover disks on a ramp using Video Physics.  I’m hoping that some of the features, like seeing the points in the video, will help students connect the representations we’re using to their physical meaning.


Chemistry Essentials: Thermal Expansion

I did a few demos of thermal expansion, and had students complete particle diagrams of each one. Students seem to be getting the big ideas, and I’m seeing students naturally improving how they represent key elements of their particle diagrams as time goes on. One student called me on falling into pretty teacher-centered habits during the whiteboard discussions; I have a tendency to talk to much the first time I teach a lesson, and this is my first time through Chemistry Essentials A, so that’s happening a lot. I need to spend a little more time during my lesson planning making sure I clarify the goal of each discussion and planning out some open-ended questions so I can give students more of the reigns.

chem wb