Day 24: Student Pushback

Physics: Had the exam on N2L and N3L. Grading it shows students are really struggling to understand when you use weight and when you use mass, even when the equation given with the question says mass. They want to turn mass into weight everywhere, so many answers are off by a factor of 10. That will need some careful discussion, but for the most part the grades were ok or at least as expected.

Honors Physics: Handed back a big stack of papers and let students get started on corrections while I was there to answer questions. I told them what the exam on Wednesday would be (two goal-less problems that could be described using CVPM, CAPM, BFPM, UBFPM, and MTM) and then reviewed MTM a little bit to give them more experience with IF charts. Somehow a number of students had built them up in their head to be super complicated mystical runes or something and came in really worried about them. I explained them again, showed them the process, went through some examples, and lightbulbs. They were off and running on the practice problems.

AP Physics: Handed back a small stack of papers and let students get started on corrections while I was there to answer questions. They asked a lot more questions than the Honors kids and also pushed back at the points I took off for not showing clear work. One student got really upset at the fact that I did not give him full credit when he got all the right answers, but his work was a muddled mess. I gave him a 90. Apparently I’m a monster. I know today was a rough day for many people with the Las Vegas shooting and other world/local events that are recent, so I didn’t take it personally. I’ll talk to him about it tomorrow and see how he’s doing.

I’m even more sure about the new homework style sheet and point distribution. Current thoughts: 10 pts/problem with 7 pts for clear and organized analytic work/diagrams/charts, 1 pt for symbolic solution, 1 pt for substitute/evaluate with correct answer, and 1 pt for correct units at every place units need to be. I can use their tendency to focus on their grade to incentivize the parts I want and discourage the habit of “do all the work in your head, write down numbers, put in calculator, tack on units at the end”.

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