Day 29: Hopper Poppers

Physics: Energy! A lab that didn’t work! Lab handouts that didn’t exist! It was not an unusual teaching day all things considered. I did a lot of talking and they didn’t get a chance to do hardly any physics, which is my least favorite kind of day. However, we hit the big ideas we needed to hit and had more experience with labs being hilariously awful and not working right. I need to kick the “replace the damn lab equipment” task up a few notches on my To Do list.

Honors Physics: Lab day. I found a hopper popper lab and made it more interesting by having two different types of hopper poppers that I asked them to compare (transparent glitter and opaque marbled colors) to see which one hopped and /or popped better or if they were exactly the same. The plastic feels different, so I wanted to see how that affected their hopper-popper-bility. I think I’ll do the same with the AP kids on Thursday.

AP Physics: First class: Handed back the MC part of the midterm for them to do corrections on for the first fifteen minutes of class before moving back to energy and momentum. They worked individually for a while, occasionally whispering together until I reminded them they were always welcome to work together other than on exams. Then a student immediately grabbed a whiteboard and started teaching the entire rest of the class how to do one of the problems that everyone else missed. I’m 100% ok with this.

I found a few AP B problems that required using both energy and momentum, so we  fooled around with solving those while I introduce a few problem solving techniques. My goal was to show that even though the problems look completely different, they use the exact same problem solving approach. I kinda did both problems at once showing the energy conservation for both and then the momentum conservation for both, which may have been too confusing to keep switching back and forth.

Second class: I got the FR questions graded before this class, so I handed back both pieces of the exam and let them do corrections today. Tomorrow I see this class and not the other because of PSATs, so tomorrow this class will do the AP B problems. I don’t want the two classes to get too far out of sync, and giving them the chance to do corrections and discover their mistakes with me there to answer questions is a great use of class time.

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