Thursday, June 7
Today I finished working on my second question and popped back in to rejoin my original group to help them catch back up. They got a little behind after I and two other people left unexpectedly. It took me a pack or two to get back into the swing of it, but I was able to get through four folders in less than half an hour, which isn’t bad for changing questions. I’ll pick it up again tomorrow. The whole day was just smooth and trouble free. No Yoga Fights, no errant naps, just getting to work and making it happen with 380 of my closest friends.
After the reading today we were able to pick up our reading shirts for this year. I desperately needed to snag mine, since I’m two shirts short of having enough for this trip. Tomorrow I will wear the reading shirt and go buy a Kansas City shirt so I have something clean to wear home. The front has the same logo and says “by boat… by spacecraft… by frictionless cart…” All of them are vehicles used in different questions from the exam this year.
This evening I am staying in again to get some work done (largely writing) and recharge the introvert energy stores. They aren’t as depleted as they were the last time I stayed in, but hopefully it’ll give me a boost for tomorrow. It’s the last day, and I want to people all day long and enjoy the ending reception since I won’t see a lot of them again for quite a while. I fly out pretty early on Saturday, so Friday will probably be another night with little sleep.
While grading, I am always taking notes when things occur to me that might be useful later, either to me as a teacher or as things to be sure to share with my students. I started typing up a list of them to share, and then it got really, really, really long, so I’m going to start a new series of posts called “AP Physics Insights” where I share stuff I’ve picked up about the exam at the reading and based on my experience of teaching it. I taught B for 6 years, AP 1 for two years, C-Mechanics for 2 years (so far. Once as a full-year and this past year in combination with E&M), and C-E&M for 1 years (yowza, this was a hard year). I’ve got things I’d like to work through in a few different categories. The first category will be meta-testing, or the general non-content knowledge that will be helpful for anyone on any free response problem. It’s been kind of bouncing around in my brain for a long time (you know, somebody should write something that…), but I needed this week to inspire me to get on it.
This series will probably not be interesting to anyone who is not either taking or teaching one of the AP Physics courses, but I hope it will help at least one person who is doing one of them at some point. I’m mulling around a few future topics, too, but nothing set in stone. We’ll see what else catches my fancy to sort through my thinking on. Feel free to make a request! Anyone who disagrees with any of my points (on anything, ever) is very welcome to shoot me a comment or respond to the post and let me know how your interpretations and experiences differ. I am more than willing to re-evaluate my thoughts. These are simply my current conclusions based on evidence I’ve gathered, but I’m quite sure there’s more out there I haven’t seen that could lead to even better insights. That plus a “not affiliated with ETS” is going to go at the top of every one of those posts.