Day 105: A Great Message

This was on a door near my office when I got to school today. I thought it was neat, so I took a picture.

This is what it looked like after school.


Day 104: Solving Energy Problems

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Today was the first day of solving problems with energy beyond energy bar charts (meaning, using K=1/2mv^2, etc). Anecdotally, I think that doing energy bar charts first qualitatively, plus starting energy empirically, has significantly increased students understanding of work and energy transfer. Thus problem solving today was a breeze. I should have some data on this in the future.

Another whiteboard below.

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Day 103: A Proud #modphys Moment


This note from a substitute teacher pretty much says it all. The students were whiteboarding energy bar charts while I was gone for a personal day.

Day 102: The Physics Shake

I just couldn’t resist. These videos were taken before school on a voluntary basis because kids thought it would be awesome. Which it is.

Day 101: Finding Kinetic Energy


Today we were comparing the area under the F vs. x graph to the final velocity of carts when they are pulled from rest with a string attached to a force detector mounted on the cart. The data for this turned out really well and clearly indicated that the area was proportional to v^2, and students picked up quickly that the slope appeared to be half the mass. The first class actually independently started looking at the units of the slope (Area of F vs. x over velocity squared, so (N*m)/(m^2/s^2) and saw then with some guidance that the unit mess actually simplifies to kg.

Day 100: More with ramps and Area of F vs x graphs (or, two different ways to do the same thing)


I’m in this weird place right now where both my classes (regular and college level physics) are in approximately the same place, but I trying two different ways to teach the same thing. In regular we went the conceptual route and introduced Energy Pie Charts and types of energy before quantifying the types of energy. In the college class I am attempting to go the empirical route. I will be blogging about this eventually on my ‘regular’ blog. Today in regular we drug carts up a track, starting and ending at rest, and found that the area under the F vs x graph was the same no matter how we got from A to B (so long as we didn’t go backwards). In this class I used this as an introduction to Work, and a reason to transition from pie charts to Bar charts. Tomorrow we whiteboard qualitative bar chart problems.

Day 99: Area vs. change in height


Today in my college physics class we took data to investigate how the area of the force vs. position graph was related to the change in height of a cart on a ramp, when starting and ending at rest. On Monday we will graph and whiteboard the data.