Today I did another round of what Frank suggested after a post on problem solving a month or so ago. I added a twist I really like. First half the groups work on one problem and half the other. I then had all the groups with the same problem get together to discuss it to make sure they knew what they were doing. then I had them pair with a group with the other problem and explain it to them, but nobody could write anything down. Finally I asked students to go work on the problem individually that was not the one they whiteboarded.
I love that this involved lots of conversation as well as a chance for students to try something on their own at the end. Tomorrow we’ll have some work time where I’ll check in with students individually to make sure they were able to solve their second problem on their own.
I started Universal Gravitation today (we do CFPM earlier and then come back to this, I like to spiral concepts when possible and I like revisiting CFPM after energy to address that no work is done by centripetal forces), and this is how I started. I liked it a lot. I was amazed at how entrenched the misconceptions are….students really wanted the force on the sun to be smaller than on the earth.
Today I gave students a group exam that included a ride where two carts split apart. I jokingly added at the end that part of their job was to rename the ride, which some groups took advantage of.
The students above are using my newly acquired projectile launcher to test the range equation. They thought of a very clever way to find where the ball lands; looking for the mark on a colored whiteboard, as shown below.
The students below are trying to do circular motion by direct measuring the tension in the rope.