Day 68: Energy Bar Charts, Momentum Bar Charts, & Density Problems

AP Physics 1: Energy Bar Charts

I introduced students to LOL diagrams and had them start working on some energy bar charts. Things seemed to go very smoothly. I have one section that is very small this tri, and I need to be conscious of how quick I am to jump in when students are stuck or have a question. In a larger class, I have an easier time leaving more space for students to think and discuss with each other since I hear less of the conversation and feel more pressure to move between groups.

Physics: Momentum Bar Charts

Students did some whiteboarding to wrap up momentum bar charts before taking a quiz. In my larger class, I tried representation jeopardy. This hour didn’t like it as much as my small class; students said they would prefer something that is structured more similar to the types of problems that show up on assessments. I’m not overly surprised, since many of my students are still much more comfortable with answer-getting than meaning-making, but I need to keep thinking about how my moves in the classroom place value on each approach to physics and how I can shift what I’m doing to place more explicit value on meaning-making.

Chemistry Essentials: Density Problems

Students worked on a worksheet connecting particle diagrams to density. I gave less instruction than I typically do, which lead to more student-to-student conversation and more student success than I’ve seen on this worksheet before. I get frustrated and push back when someone says “those kids” can’t handle reform-based science instruction, I’m still susceptible to that line of thinking and sometimes over-scaffold. When I give them space, the students I have in Chemistry Essentials can rise to the occasion just as well as the students I get in other courses.


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