Day 45: Walkin’ the plank!!! Arrrrr, matey!

Physics: There was supposed to be an exam today, but I was gone on Friday, which would have been the review day. My colleague stepped in, but his style is so different that it was great for some kids and utterly incomprehensible to others, plus he referenced some activities we didn’t do in favor of more discussion, so there was some confusion. That meant I wasn’t comfortable giving the exam today, even with corrections. My first idea was to give them the option to take the exam tomorrow and review again today, and most students were on board, but enough would have had their scheduled messed up by other tests or other things going on tonight that I didn’t feel comfortable doing that, either. Someone suggested group test, so we’re trying that out. No notes, no books, but they can talk to each other about the questions and write down their own understanding. We’ll see how this goes.

Honors Physics: I got them started on Friday with access to complete solutions and left for the conference. Turns out they don’t know how to learn from looking at solved problems, which now a thing I know. So, we started working through the packet together so I could answer questions about things. We mostly talked about rolling today, and I know I did a poor job of explaining how the part that touches the ground is at rest in that instant, so I need to do some more reading about rolling. I thought I understood it, so I browsed that section quickly in the textbook, but I’m going to go back and read it more carefully. Their homework was to look over what was supposed to be due today and see how much farther they can get now plus finishing a rolling problem we started in class.

AP Physics: Rotational static equilibrium is pretty cool. I like it. I did a basic problem to show them how it’s the same process as linear static equilibrium, but with a torque diagram instead of a FBD, and you have the freedom to choose where you want to put your axis. I gave them the “person walking the plank” problem, and then started the “hanging a sign from a horizontal bar held up by a cable” problem to be finished for homework tomorrow. 45 minute classes are really super short, but I think I got them started well enough that they can figure out the more challenging problems.

The plan this week for AP is to do dynamic equilibrium tomorrow, rotational momentum on Wednesday, and spend Thursday lab time and Friday doing AP Practice Problems to start really bringing multiple topics together in the same question. The two classes are right on track with one another again, finally, this last week of instruction, so it should all even out and be just fine.

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