Day 11: The Feedback Begins

Thursday, Sept 13

Physics: I have my own issues with the Hewitt book, and one of them is the way it teaches free fall as memorize these equations without showing the relationship between how far and how fast. Instead of going by the book’s order, I started with velocity-time graphs and showed them how to find everything they want to know with a knowledge of 1) slope, 2) area of rectangles, and 3) area of triangles. There is no need to get fancy, no need to put numbers into equations you are presented with. Just draw a graph, label the slope (hint: it’s ALWAYS going to be 10 m/s^2 on your free fall v-t graphs. Always), and it all falls right out. I’ll def review that again tomorrow, too, and give them some more practice. The last section of the chapter is free fall with air resistance, so it’ll be a fun job going from constant accel to non-constant accel just after I convinced them how handy graphs can be. Maybe I can do air resistance with graphs for them, too. Hmmm. We’ll see.

Honors Physics: Lab! Well, I say “lab”. Since we’re learning thermal physics and the students asked for real-life applications, the past two labs have been more research and application labs than experimenty labby labs. Last week was sea level rise due to thermal expansion. This week was climate change in general and what evidence we have to support it and what it means. Next week we’re doing gas law stations, so we’ll get into experimenty labby labs soon enough, but I wanted to start with a super firm nudge on the “yes, this stuff matters in real life. A lot. A really big lot” factor.

I got started on my new attempt at feedback over grading, and wowza did that take a long time, but I also got to really dig in deep into what I saw and what could be changed. I’m going to hand them back the quizzes with no marks on them with the feedback and ask them to do corrections by Monday when we review for the exam. I let this timeline get a little too tight, so from now on I’m going to schedule tests further after quizzes so there’s more time.

AP Physics: Quiz! I didn’t make it timed since it’s the very first quiz we’ve had, and even though it was four questions long, it still took some kids super long. That’s ok! The ones who finished early were given a set of practice problems with non-uniform acceleration to get used to that sweet, sweet calculus action, which we’ll hit once more on Monday before diving deeper into forces.

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