Tuesday, Sept 18
Today is Tacky Tourist Day, so I am wearing a stained tshirt from a festival in my home town, capris, bright flower socks, and sandals. This is all topped off with a big floppy sun hat and a camera with my longest lens around my neck. Really, though, any excuse to wear a tshirt to work Imma gonna take.
Physics: Starting projectile motion. In the last few minutes of yesterday’s class I gave them a small preview so they’d know what the point of the chapter was and what to keep in mind while they are reading. I also gave them five minutes to chat about the reading before giving the quiz. They did more consistently well on this quiz, so I’m definitely going to keep giving them the five minute chat and when there’s time do a look ahead. Today we learned how to find “How far?” and “How high?” for a projectile. I asked them questions to help them connect it back to the previous chapter, which was pretty much taking it back to free fall. They struggled with it quite a bit, so I ended up giving them a fairly structured way to think about it. I’ve tried to move away from algorithms, but giving them a few hints hopefully won’t be detrimental to them.
Honors Physics: Exam!
AP Physics: Lab day!
One of our daily discussion questions today was “Can an object have both uniformly accelerated motion and constant velocity motion at the same time?” They answered yes, obviously, if the acceleration is zero. Truth, kids! But what if acceleration is not zero? Nope, absolutely not, impossible, what are you even saying you crazy lady? Then I threw a ball up and down while walking across the room and EVERY BRAIN EXPLODED.
It worked better to introduce the idea than anything I’ve ever tried before at least in the moment. We’ll see if it sticks.
Big lab: Jewel Heist. I stole this idea on Saturday at PTSOS. We were talking about projectile motion labs, someone mentioned this, and my brain went on a tear. The story is that a jewel liberator freed some very valuable jewels from the penthouse suite of a high-rise, and the alarm went off earlier than expected, so he needed to get rid of them quick. The driver let him know where he was, which way he was going, and how fast he was going, so our very physics-savvy jewel liberator quickly calculated which window he needed to throw them out of and how hard for them to land in the getaway car as it drove past. I’m re-creating this by giving them a constant velocity car and rolling a marble down a ramp and off the table with the goal to be catching the marble in the car. NB: We haven’t covered projectile motion yet, so this will be double extra exciting.
Little Lab: Finding g. I’m trying to make this less of a “confirming that g is 9.8” lab and more of a “try some things to see what gives you the best results for this known quantity considering what we know about human reaction time and other factors that cause error”. It’s an extension of last week’s reaction time lab, only now they have more of a chance to test whether their interventions do what they think or not.