Physics: Day One and Two

Day One:

Learn everyone’s name…

Marshmallow Challenge (Intro rules, ask if any clarification, 18 minutes, circulate, measure, kudos to winner)

Small Group’s discuss and whiteboard what contributed to success and unsuccess (circulate and re-voice, nudge if necessary)

Whole class discussion… I write at board, re-voice as doing so.

We watch the Marshmallow video, pausing at key times to predict / discuss

Introduce class Motto: “Fail sooner harder”… explain how relates to Marshmallow challenge

Discuss syllabus, especially purpose of standards-based grading–> link to activity and motto

Go over “required” slides… end class with names again.

Day Two:

Start class with names again (foreshadow that someone else in class will have to do names at end of class… sell it up as who is up for challenge)

Hand out ABCD voting cards, explain purpose.

Watch “How to Study in College” Video, pausing to predict / discuss (small groups and whole class). First use of voting cards, so model for them how to use, and give feedback on use.

First Physics: Use PhET Simulation to introduce number line, focus on idea that all semester we will be using the number line idea. Introduce notion of “instantaneous position”… keep this brief (not rushed) and focused on key ideas.

Introduce concepts of position, distance, and displacement (power point)

Clicker questions from PPT (link back to concept of deep processing from video we watched… remind them that my job is to help them deeply process material, but that by end of course they should be better at deeply processing material without me)

Introduce average velocity as a “tool” we can use to investigate ANY motion (PPT)

Give students two data sets in table (one constant, one not constant)–> have students practice using the tool to investigate … brief discussion about using tool, and idea of uniform motion (tool always give same value no matter what interval we use, early, late, large or interval… foreshadow that next week we’ll be studying non-uniform motion in depth).

Example Problem (mile-markers back and forth): introduce annotating word problems, introduce motion maps, introduce good labeling and coordinate systems,

Ask class question, “What are all things a GPS device could tell us about this motion?” — they talk in small groups. Whole class while Brian makes list on board of things said. Add anything missing that I want to calculate. Make a big deal about anything they add that isn’t what physics text talks about (e.g., average speed while moving). Ask question, “Which of these things is immediately obvious because how we’ve drawn a careful diagram?” —> Do those quickly, and point out how important good diagram was in doing this. Carefully work out one’s that are not obvious, like average velocity / average speed. Focus on their verbal interpretations, focus on why average velocity is negative, why average velocity magnitude is less than average speed.

Students get whiteboard problem (a different mile-marker problem) with prompts to copy words, annotate, draw diagram, draw position vs. time graph, and solve for all the things a GPS could solve for. As circulate, monitor for “rushing to solve problem without being careful”, and give specific praise on clarity, collaboration, etc. Decide whether a whole class discussion is needed, keeping in consideration time.

First SBG quiz. Remind them about standards-based grading and purpose of quizzes (information about what you understand and are able to do by you self. We do a lot as a whole class, and a lot with your  group, now it’s time to “fly solo”.)

Lab: Show students buggy, and what they have on table (meter stick, timer) Tell students they have 5 minutes to determine the speed of the buggy, and record their answer at front board. After, discuss a few different strategies (fix distance, measure time… vs fix time and measure distance), and discuss purpose of taking multiple measurements.

Tell them you want to do lab, a different way. Show them the “event” button on the timers. Model for them how you can use the event timer to take a series of measurements. Introduce the stickies to put on the floor to make a coordinate system. New challenge: Start the buggy somewhere not x = 0, take data in order to make a plot of position vs time… Let them go off, making sure they understand how to use event timer, and the purpose of coordinate system. Once wrapping up, tell them we are going to further investigate this graph next week using the average velocity tool, in order to decide whether its uniform motion or not, and to learn how to use excel to make plots, etc.

While students are doing lab, find some time to grade quizzes and immediately hand back. Remind students its their responsibility to keep track of their assessment progress.

End class asking someone to volunteer to try their hand at doing everyone’s name.




3 thoughts on “Physics: Day One and Two

Add yours

    1. 2.5 hours. I have no idea how I did all that. But I am much better at time management now than a year ago. I never could have done all that before. It helps that with lab, we really only take data, so its very little time at all.

  1. Cool. It’s really interesting to “hear the inside of your head” this way. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with that information, except maybe think about when I am/am not this clear, and why. What’s the “how to study” video you use?

    Love your class motto. The one our class came up with after the Marshmallow Challenge was “fail early, fail often.” 🙂

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