Day 70: Reflecting on Clickers

Thursday, Jan 11

Physics: Exam review. Students worked on corrections. Had to repeat Archimedes’ principle approximately ten zillion times. The buoyant force is equal to the WEIGHT OF THE WATER DISPLACED. Not the weight of the object. Not the force of the water. Not the water displaced. Not the force the object puts on the water (well, technically…). Not any of the other mash-ups of words about water and force and objects. WEIGHT OF THE WATER DISPLACED. I may need to make a sign.

Honors Physics: The Reflection group went today. They linked to a super cool optics simulation and had the students try to simulate a reflecting telescope. I sure had fun playing with it. One student had the idea to combine reflecting and refracting telescopes so you can get EVEN MORE magnification. I love it when kids invent things that already exist based on a new information they learn in class. Yes! Yes, you can do that! Yaaaay!

AP Physics: First a quiz using a released AP B electrostatics problem. It took them way, way, way longer than I was expecting, which means we need to do a lot more practice problems in class so they get more deft with the calculations. After that we did some Gauss’s Law clicker questions. I really need to find and implement some sort of actual clicker system. I know of plickers and socrative and polleverywhere and so many options of things, I just haven’t picked one and made it happen. New short-term goal. Anyway, the clicker questions really made them confront the fact that they didn’t understand Gauss’s Law when we started. It was great to see their understanding grow as we went through each question and discussed each option and why it was correct or incorrect. I find those sorts of questions extremely valuable, and now I want to see if having honest to goodness clickers of some sort makes it even better.

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