Thursday, Jan 25
Sweet babies and all that is good and holy in the world, I am SO GRATEFUL to be back at my job and done with jury duty. It was the worst group project ever. You don’t get to pick your group, and you don’t even have the comfort that all the people have been sharing a course experience. It was a nightmare. Once I get that written up, I’ll post it as “Day 78”, so things will be out of order. That’s me, rebel. Anyway, I’m back to seeing the shining faces of my amazing students and in a place where I can count on the critical reasoning ability of the adults around me. I weep for our “justice” system.
Physics: Started waves! Eventually! The students asked questions about jury duty for the first 20 minutes, which I allowed, because they were curious and it was a great conversation about how trials work, the importance of jury duty and civic responsibilities, and why taking physics is a really, really good preparation for ever being on a jury or even becoming a lawyer. Being able to effectively make an argument based on evidence is such a key skill. After that, we had 20 minutes of class left, so I played with a telephone cord and talked about waves and introduced them to some vocabulary and ideas about waves.
Honors Physics: We again talked about jury duty, and then there was some project presentations on the use of light behavior to gather data to understand the universe. They handed them in, and now I have a bunch of projects and papers to grade plus a bunch of quizzes and tests. Jury duty is worse than being sick.
AP Physics: Circuit lab! We haven’t done a lab-y lab in a while, and I was unable to begin the topic of circuits with them, so today we used our double period to begin playing with actual circuits. First I did the basic battery+wire+bulb activity to see if they could get the bulb to light. Some could, some couldn’t, as expected, but we went over it so everyone could be successful by the end. Then I gave them lights and scissors to practice stripping while I got the rest of the lab set up. They had time to build whatever circuits they wanted for a while, and there was a lot of cool stuff made. When I asked them to go back to one battery and one bulb so we could learn to use the multimeters, they were very disappointed. I think I need to do the one battery/bulb at the very, very beginning and go through the multimeter training before they get a chance to play. Letting them loose and then bringing them back multiple times was not the best approach it turns out.
I tried something different in the second class where I didn’t let them loose to play until the very end, and they were much more attentive and on board with listening the whole time. Both classes got to about the same place at the same time, so it was only better in terms of flow of attention, but it definitely was better.