Poster Project

IMG_20130315_142007121 My conceptual classes had to make a poster explaining how to solve projectile problems. The idea was that in the process of creating the posters, they would cement the ideas more firmly in their own minds. We shall see, as they do assessments over the next couple of weeks. I do plan on leaving the posters up while they do in-class assessments.




118 I am reviewing projectile material with my conceptual classes, and for fun I pulled out this old VHS recording of a Paul Hewitt lecture. The first half of the lecture is pretty good, and the kids are happy with how much they understand. We have fun playing along with “ask your neighbor” and “what’s the answer? It starts with ‘t’…” and the kids are amazed that it is a college-level class. Then there is a long bit where he goes on and on about how to impress an attractive young person at a church picnic by determining the height of a cliff from how long it takes a stone to hit the water. At the end, there is another good bit where Hewitt talks about orbits. I wish it were as easy to edit VHS as it is to edit digital video!



IMG_20130307_141642115 The conceptual classes have been doing a pretty good job measuring and calculating, and releasing their ball bearings from the same height on a ramp every time. Some groups are really close to the red line!


Practicum Set-up

IMG_20130304_151816112 I’ve been setting up the projectile practicum. Hit the target, after placing it on the floor! I’m providing a selection of two sizes of ball bearings for students to choose from.IMG_20130304_151919


Challenging others


111 Today (well, Friday March 1) one of my conceptual classes got to make up problems for each other, on projectiles starting at ground level and landing at ground level. They seemed to enjoy this!


Projectile Motion Map

20130226-144356.jpg108 This is another colored-pencil activity I do with my conceptual students. We start with just the vertical motion and then put it together with horizontal motion. Everyone in the class winds up with their own copy made with their own color choices.

I used to do this with transparencies on an overhead projector, having photocopied graph paper (red line graph paper, not blue line graph paper) onto the transparencies. I think maybe I ink-jet-printed a couple of transparencies, too. Those water-soluble markers would then get all over my hands, where they were suddenly no longer water-soluble. (WHY???) Anyway, then after a year or so of using the Promethean ActivBoard, I discovered how to put a grid on a page in a flipchart. Bye-bye transparencies! Now I only get out the overhead projector when I need a bright light source for something.




104 These are a few of our videos for analysis in the conceptual classes. The last clip in the video is in “instant replay” mode. Students will be producing several graphs and answering questions designed to help them connect projectile motion to the balanced force model and the unbalanced force model.




103 Today the conceptual classes had an introduction to projectiles, which consisted of playing catch with a soft foam apple. After playing and noting some different paths that the apple took, we decided on some possible factors that affect that path.IMG_20130219_081436


Off-topic kid

97 Today kids were in a variety of states of progress on the acceleration video analysis. One student who had finished earlier than others was playing this game, Bubble Trouble. (My posting about this will probably result in the game being blocked at school. Playing games on school computers is against the district Acceptable Use Policy.) I took a few videos (and I will probably take some more at home) so when we do projectiles we can do a video analysis to check if the game’s physics matches up with reality physics. So while the student was off-topic, this game may turn out to be useful!