Day 17: Sports Equipment to the Face is Universal

Friday, Sept 21

Physics: Review for exam. I tried again on the hunter/monkey problem and utterly failed. It turns out it’s not even on the exam, so I don’t have to feel super guilty about it, although I do feel guilty about wasting review time on something that’s not on the exam. I should have refreshed my memory on it rather than assume it was on there because my colleague spent two entire days going over it with his classes.

I had a long conversation with our learning specialist to day about all the ways we could come up with to improve the curriculum, and we’re both on the same page. Unfortunately we’re fighting literally 40 years of institutional inertia, we were both new last year, and the course has already been planned out literally day by day from now until the end of school. When I do make changes to teach it the way I prefer, my section’s grades are higher than the other sections’ grades, and I get in trouble for us “not aligning”.

I will be so happy when this class disappears as we fully transition to the new integrated science for 9th and 10th grade.

Honors Physics: We de-briefed the lab stations from yesterday and discussed the results. The homework I gave was to read a couple sections of the text about momentum and collisions, so we connected that back to what we’re talking about with respect to pressure and particle speed. My favorite question to ask is how many people have ever been hit in the face with sports equipment. That has consistently gotten nearly every hand in the room up. Talk about universal experiences.

So then I suggest different situations and have them imagine being hit in the face with things of various size and moving at various speeds. We finished up with a conversation about ping pong and how the ball changes speed when hit by a paddle moving toward it or away from it, the same way particles change speed when they hit the wall of a container or piston moving toward them or away from them to explain in physical terms why all the gas relationships make sense.

AP Physics: Reverse of Tuesday. Still free fall and jewel heist labs.

Feedback: Second iteration of the Friday 3-2-1 successfully deployed. Took a much more reasonable time. I’ll check out the results and we’ll discuss in classes on Monday.

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