Day 116: Multiple Choice, Reaction Time, & Conservation of Mass

AP Physics: Multiple Choice

Students took a quiz on rotational kinematics and we fired up Plickers to discuss some multiple choice problems a lot of students got wrong on the final. There were a lot of great conversations and students generally felt very comfortable pointing out errors in their own thinking. There were a few problems that most students got right on their first try today, which was interesting. I asked my students about it, and they said they were feeling pretty mentally fried during their final, especially since it was on the second day of exams, which makes sense.

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Physics: Reaction Time

Students dropped rulers to calculate their reaction times. Students were pretty successful at designing an experiment and sketching a velocity vs. time graph for the ruler, but annotating and setting up equations was much more challenging than I’d hoped.  Doing the math with v-t graphs just isn’t sticking for a lot of students this year. I think the problem is a lot of them are not attaching meaning to the variables or numbers, which makes the annotations on the graphs and the formulas we use something to memorize. I need to keep working on supporting my students in using the graphs and other diagrams as tools for meaning-making.

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Chemistry Essentials: Conservation of Mass

Students did a chemical reaction in a plastic bag to see the conservation of mass and practice translating between different representations of chemical reactions. Time got a little tight because I was not able to have a balance at every table; next time, I would be better off delaying the lab if another class needs the balances on the same day. Students still got a kick out of the chemical reaction.

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