20121206-154655.jpg60 Today was an assessment. I liked the winter sun streaming in on an answer key and a beaker full of purple pens, ready for students to comment on their work. I am one of the many teachers who started doing this after reading Frank Noschese’s 180 blog last year, in which he described doing this with his students. Thank you, Frank!



Another Extra!

20121205-161542.jpgEXTRA POST! At our first faculty meeting this year, the first East Viking Expeditionary Awards were given out to a few teachers, in the categories of Child Advocacy, Curriculum, Creativity, and Leadership. Every month, these awards get passed on to other teachers, chosen by the previous awardees. So at today’s faculty meeting, I was given the award by an art teacher and a Spanish teacher who were jointly awarded “Creativity” last month. I get to keep the Viking for a month, and the art teacher made the faux Make: cover, which is AWESOME. She does stuff like that. Now I get to choose next month’s creative teacher, who must be from another department.

Fun Problems!

20121205-160322.jpg59 I LOVE these types of problems. We have finally made the transition from massless pulleys to pulleys with rotational inertia. Now we are revisiting Atwood-type problems with this added twist. I could sit and solve these things just to relax. This is the AP class.

Preliminary Graphs


58 So, the data from the videos is not bad! Not everyone has actually managed to collect the data yet, however, as some students have technical difficulties. I’m always amazed when students can’t figure out how to find a file or save a file. I expect by the end of the year my students will have it figured out! I have found that it is important to have all the kids doing individual work for things like this, or only one kid from each group will learn how. One year I had students join my class mid-year who had somehow managed to always get others in their groups to do their work. My kids straightened them right out in terms of using the computers!


Speeding Up

57 We are starting constant acceleration particle model (CAPM) in the conceptual classes, and this is the first time I’m doing CAPM with students who know the difference between balanced forces and unbalanced forces. Another first is doing the paradigm lab using video analysis, so we started with each group making a video to analyze with a different number of bricks creating the slope. I use the apparatus I learned to make from Rex Rice when I took the Modeling Instruction workshop in 1997. It’s a disk made of particle board with a couple of golf tees for an axle. It rolls surprisingly slowly down a ramp made of two pieces of conduit, held at constant separation by two pieces of 1×2 with equidistant holes drilled in it. In the past I’ve had students mark the conduit with dry-erase markers and use stopwatches for timing. I’m hoping for better data this year, as well as teaching the students to use video analysis.



N356 Oops, didn’t post yesterday. Oh well, here is what we did in the conceptual classes. Newtons’ 3rd Law! I love these illustrations by Hewitt. We do these, then move on to identifying the interaction pairs on free-body diagrams.