Day 101: Board Meetings & Mistakes Whiteboarding

AP Physics 1: Wave Board Meeting

Students whiteboarded their results from Tuesday’s lab. They pretty quickly made the connection that the slope is the wave speed and saw the relationship I wanted between tension and wave speed. I’d planned to use Pivot Interactives to do some wave superposition basics, but our internet was out district wide for part of the day, so ended up doing some pretty teacher directed stuff with a snakey spring.

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Physics: Pendulum Board Meeting

Students whiteboarded their results for the pendulum lab. I didn’t have any groups decide to linearize on their own, so we had some discussion about the intercept to decide we needed to linearize.

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Chemistry Essentials: Formula Mistakes Whiteboarding

We did some mistakes whiteboarding with Tuesday’s worksheet on formula writing and particle diagrams. A lot of students seemed to be getting the hang of this skill today, which was great.

I’m seeing some students checking out, which is typical for this point in the trimester; I think students see it as set by now whether or not they will pass the course. My co-teacher and I have reduced how many students are in that place by having individual grade conferences with each student, which has been especially important for helping students who aren’t passing to make a plan.

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Day 100: Standing Waves, Pendulums, & Formula Writing

AP Physics 1: Standing Waves

I am a part of the Pivot Interactive’s Chemistry Fellows program.

Students used Pivot Interactives to find a relationship between wavelength and frequency for a standing wave. Students had trouble with some of the vocabulary and with visualizing one wavelength; I usually start with a day of qualitative observations with snakey springs, but skipped that to make up for the week our school was closed. Students were still able to figure out what they needed, it just took a little more coaching than usual.

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Physics: Pendulums

We had some discussion to brainstorm what could impact the period of a pendulum, then students went to work collecting data. There was some good discussion of how much variation was enough to matter when students were working on angle and mass.


Chemistry Essentials: Formula Writing

Students practiced translating between names, formulas, and particle diagrams. We got out some beans to use as manipulatives in simplified Lewis dot diagrams to help make ionic bonding a little more concrete.

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Day 99: Quiz, Projectile Practical, & Quiz

Classes were a little shorter than usual today due to our winter week pep fest.

AP Physics 1: Quiz

Students took their oscillating particle model quiz on springs. The ones I’m grading so far look great, which is nice to see.

Physics: Projectile Practical

Students worked through a practical to predict where a horizontally launched projectile will hit the floor. Once students got a success, I had them predict which way they should move their target for a relatively light marble.

phys proj prac

Chemistry Essentials: Quiz

Students took their quiz on the Bohr model of the atom. Students are starting to feel pretty comfortable reading their periodic tables and anticipating key properties, which bodes well as we move into formula writing.

Day 98: Whiteboarding Galore

AP Physics 1: Oscillating Spring Whiteboarding

Students whiteboarded some problems for a mass on a vibrating spring. They are recognizing the parallels to pendulums and successfully connecting a lot of the ideas I want them to connect.

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Physics: Projectile Whiteboarding

Students whiteboarded some problems for horizontally launched projectiles. A lot of students are making good use of energy to simplify the math on the vertical motion and things seemed to click for a lot of students today.

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Chemistry Essentials: Bohr Model Whiteboarding

Students used the Bohr model of the atom to whiteboard structures for some of the first 20 elements, also bringing in what we figured out yesterday about isotopes. I ask students to predict the two most common isotopes, which requires rounding the average mass both up and down, and a few students had some trouble with rounding to predict isotopes like H-2, but they were able to get there with some support.

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Day 97: Assessment, Problems, & Penny Isotopes

AP Physics 1: Assessment

Students took their pendulum assessment, initially scheduled for last Friday. They’ve been very quick to grade since students did really well.

Physics: Problems

Students worked projectile motion problems. A lot of students needed some coaching to remember how to solve problems from a velocity vs. time graph, which tells me we could stand to do a little more spiraling content in the course, but students were pretty successful overall. There was a great moment where a few students were feeling much more confident than usual who objected when someone at their table tried to get help from me before talking about their question with the rest of the table.

Chemistry Essentials: Penny Isotopes

Students used pennies to represent different isotopes of an atom, comparing the average mass of their whole set to the average mass of each type of penny. Because I distributed the pennies pretty randomly, all of the groups ended up with more post-1982 pennies, but I think it would have driven the point home a little stronger if some groups had more pre-1982 pennies.


Day 96: Lots of Whiteboarding

AP Physics 1: Spring Period Board Meeting

We had a board meeting for the lab on the period of a spring. With all the days we’ve lost due to weather (and the potential for more in the forecast…), I cut it a bit short. My students aren’t in a place where they linearize automatically, but we did have some good conversation about the fact that the intercepts on the period vs. mass graph don’t make sense and students were very quick to come to a consensus that it sure looks like a square root relationship.

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Physics: Projectile Calculations

We revisited last week’s problem about an orange dropped from a tower to transition into projectile calculations. Students got into groups and whiteboarded solving for the time the orange took to fall and its final velocity. In each section, I had one group that opted to use conservation of energy to find the final velocity of the orange, which was a great way to contrast two different approaches. From there, we gave the orange some horizontal velocity to flesh out the calculations. This approach really drove home that students are being asked to remix old skills, not do something new.

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Chemistry Essentials: Bohr Model Whiteboarding

Students did a short worksheet figuring out the Bohr model structure of elements near the beginning of the periodic table. Afterward, students whiteboarded their answers for a gallery walk. I had each group do two elements from the same family to help the pattern in the number of valence electrons pop out.


Day 95: Springs, Graph Jeopardy, & Build an Atom

AP Physics 1: Spring Period

Students collected data to determine what impacts the period of a spring. I always get a kick out of how often I overhear students predicting that the mass won’t matter since it didn’t for a pendulum, only to be surprised.spring.jpg

Physics: Graph Jeopardy

I have this class the first and last hours of the day, which means it was more impacted by last week’s weather than my other classes. I had a quiz on sketching graphs for projectiles today and decided to do some Jeopardy whiteboarding to make sure everyone was in the groove. Each group sketched a pair of velocity vs. time graphs for a projectile, then another group had to come up with a situation that matched the graphs.

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Chemistry Essentials: Build an Atom

Students used PhET’s Build an Atom simulation to explore the Bohr model. This was their first exposure to atomic models in the course, but students were able to pick up on all of the big ideas I wanted by playing with the simulation.

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