Thanks to WordPress’s new ability to convert Twitter threads into blog posts, I’ve converted last year’s #teach180 thread into the blog post below. (If you’d prefer to read the thread on Twitter, click here.)
Day 2: Hot hot hot! #teach180
Day 3: Determining the height of the flag pole using a mirror and measuring tape. Adapted from http://www.batesville.k12.in.us/physics/APPhyNet/lab/experiments/measurement/Meas_Heights_AP.html #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 4: Kinematics card sort from @kellyoshea https://kellyoshea.blog/2017/11/10/stacks-of-kinematics-curves-as-a-card-sort/ #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 5: Kinematics card sort re-do without the word cards. So impressed with how students grouped the graphs based on acceleration, then matched velocity and position graphs within groups. Whiteboards very helpful! @kellyoshea #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 12: Card sort for graphing relationships. 1st: Simple sort. 2nd: Increasing vs. Decreasing. 3rd: Switch groups and flip over cards you agree with, then re-sort disagree cards. Groups switch back. Which changes do you agree/disagree with? #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 14: Ball Bounce Challenge. "Using your data from yesterday, predict the drop height needed for your ball to rebound up to the level of the hoop. Then you get one chance to test your prediction." #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 15: In AP E&M – (1) using VPython to visualize the electric field around a charged particle and (2) practice with superposition problems. http://www.glowscript.org/#/user/Frank_Noschese/folder/PUBLIC/program/EfieldParticleMI4e #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 25: Lab Conclusion Cheat Sheet for paradigm labs in #modphys. MS Word file: https://1drv.ms/w/s!ApnZRKSJ0lCAgoEd2R-jcwma_CV0ug Feel free to reuse/remix! #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 26: Students had fun with physics games from @UniverseAndMore! "Polarity Shift" to intro electrical potential energy in AP E&M and "Super Ultimate Graphing Challenge" for position-time graph practice in College-Prep Physics: http://theuniverseandmore.com/ #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 28: Tech Troubleshooting. Files that won't print. Network drives that won't save. Videos that Logger Pro thinks only have one frame (despite being able to play the entire video). #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 29: Constant velocity card sort. File here: https://1drv.ms/w/s!ApnZRKSJ0lCAgoEz7_2TvPjZjRfWjg (Graph axes borrowed from @Allthingsphysix) #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 35: Using @brianwfrank's vector manipulatives to learn about motion diagrams. Being able to slide, rotate, flip, and compare vectors is so much better than drawing them, particularly in regards to sensemaking. Great student discussions! #teach180 #iteachphysics
You can find the file for the arrows at @brianwfrank's blog post: https://teachbrianteach.com/2018/08/19/magnetic-vector-manipulatives/ But I modified his file. Removed color fill inside shapes and photocopied into colored paper instead. Added double-headed arrows to acceleration vectors. Will post modified file later.
Day 36: Modified the traditional "up and down the ramp lab" to use cards! Students tried matching position and velocity graphs to the 8 verbal description cards. Then they tested their predictions with motion detectors and fixed any incorrect predictions. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Cards made this lab so much better! Instead of having students just draw their predictions, the cards allowed for richer discussion between students. And instead of having students draw what they see on the LabQuest (which usually has blips), they find the closest matching card.
Here's the file with the cards:
Day 38: Reviewing motion diagrams using @Allthingsphysix's concept builder: https://www.physicsclassroom.com/Concept-Builders/Kinematics/Motion-Diagrams/Interactive #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 40: Is Young's Modulus the same for marshmallows regardless of orientation (isotropic)? Data says…maybe? Also, jumbo marshmallows have smaller YM yet feel stiffer b/c larger cross-sectional area. (Some Ss made some calc errors. YM ~ 30,000 PA) #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 44: Quiz Day. #teach180
Day 46: Groups shared results from fan cart lab. Values for the thrust from fan at low, medium, and high speeds are similar to values stated in the Pasco manual. But we can't figure out why the friction values for medium are less than high and low. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 47: What's the relationship between incline and and acceleration? Students using @VernierST motion detectors to determine acceleration and @rwth_phyphox mobile app to determine incline angle. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 48: Revamped yesterday's lab to use ZeCars instead of carts. Much better! Using whiteboards as ramps instead of tables means no carts rolling onto the floor and fewer books needed to raise the ramps. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 53: I forgot to take a picture, but we did the bowling ball and mallet activity that I blogged about here: https://noschese180.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/day-23-bowling-balls-mallets-and-motion/ #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 55: Discussing results from the bowling ball and mallet activity. While not incorrect, you can see these responses might indicate thinking that F = m•v rather than F = m•a. #teach180 #iteachphysics
More info about Dueling Fancart discussion:
Day 57: Finally did @kellyoshea's and @brianwfrank's Interaction Stations! Great introduction to different types of forces, stressing force as an interaction between 2 objects. Activity here: https://kellyoshea180.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/day-10-interaction-stations/ #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 58: Newton's Laws Performance Assessment. @MrLonghurst and I did this with our AP Mechanics classes. Students take measurements in randomized groups today, do calculations individually tomorrow. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 65: Using CASTLE color-coding to analyze capacitors in series and parallel. Problems taken from: http://dev.physicslab.org/Document.aspx?doctype=3&filename=DCcircuits_CapacitorProperties.xml #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 66: How does the stretch of a spring relate to the force of the spring? (Using force sensors instead of spring scales or hanging masses helped guide students to make stretch the independent variable.) #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 67: Rotational Equilibrium Problem-Solving Stations!
(1) Determine the mass of the purple star.
(2) Determine the mass of the meter stick.
(3) Determine the reading on each scale.
(4) Determine the masses of the beam and the softball.
Day 69: Investigating Tension. One of my favorite activities for both its power and its simplicity: http://www.batesville.k12.in.us/Physics/PhyNet/Mechanics/Newton3/Labs/StringTension.html #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 71: Having students identify places of compression, stretch, and shear continues to pay dividends. Such a helpful step before drawing interaction and force diagrams. And using toothbrushes to model frictional shear has been a helpful visual, too. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 72: Friction Stations! Students investigated possible factors affecting the friction between surfaces. Modified from work by @brianwfrank: https://teachbrianteach.com/2017/03/14/static-friction-demo-stations/ #teach180 #iteachphysics (1/2)
Day 76: I keep empty clementine boxes on hand for storing, sorting, and dispensing lab equipment. Today I used one as a stand for my document camera so I could easily slide papers underneath. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Followed up with questions and calculations. Thanks @MrLonghurst for brainstorming them with me! (2/2)
Day 81: Every free moment I had today was spent piloting a new rotation lab:
• collecting data to see how clean/repeatable it is
• analyzing data to see if it works as predicted
• figuring out how to account for friction and minimize air resistance
• Clean and repeatable data? Yes.
• Did data analysis work as predicted? Not initially b/c I made a physics error that I didn't realize until after school. This frustrated me all day. I almost gave up, thinking there was just too much friction/air resistance to work.
• After fixing my error, data analysis was great and I got under 3% error.
• Minimized air resistance by adding a wooden dowel into the horizontal tube.
• Accounted for friction by graphing torque vs. angular acceleration, so slope = inertia and y-int = frictional torque.
My initial physics analysis error that took me all day to figure out? I mistakenly used the angular acceleration of the pulley (rotational motion sensor) as the angular acceleration of the T-shaped apparatus. #oops
Day 84: 2nd Quarter Lab Practical. (1) Determine spring constant of spring and mass of softball. (2) Determine coefficients of friction between flat side of buggy and rubber mat. (3) Balance the mobile and determine tension in all strings. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 85: Which way will it roll? Students whiteboarded predictions then tested with yo-yos. Followed up with Hewitt's worksheet, testing each case and determining the torque. Ended with task to determine the angle needed for yo-yo to slide w/o rolling. #teach180 #iteachphysics
BTW, Dollar Tree has the "butterfly" style yo-yos for $1 each, called the Soaring Eagle. They are perfect because they don't tip over easily while rolling.
Day 87: What causes gravity?
(B) Air Pressure?
(2/2) Also used the concept of "newtons per kilogram" to see how a larger mass means less acceleration. The top box is 1 kg pushed with 1 N of force (i.e., 1 N/kg). The bottom box is 2 kg pushed with 1 N, which is the same as two 1-kg boxes each pushed with ½ N (i.e., ½ N/kg).
Day 100: Exploring and visualizing potential energy graphs with a simulation from Matter and Interactions: https://www.glowscript.org/#/user/matterandinteractions/folder/matterandinteractions/program/06-potential-energy-well #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 106: Introduced air resistance by having students work through a problem iteratively, then did a non-calculus-based derivation of the velocity equation (based on work I learned from @kilroi22). #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 108: Introduced momentum and collisions with this sequence of questions taken from the book "Preconceptions in Mechanics." Students used @plickers to indicate their responses. 1/2 #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 111: Introduced the concept of flux with an Invention Task about solar panels. Students had to invent a rule that would allow them to rank the 4 scenarios by energy collected. (A = panel area, S = solar strength) #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 112: Happy International Women's Day! Thanks to @neverthelesspod for these great women in STEM posters we have on display in the science hallway! https://medium.com/nevertheless-podcast/stem-role-models-posters-2404424b37dd #teach180 #iteachphysics #IWD2019
Day 113: Using conservation of momentum to determine if the same M&M cannon was used in 2 different videos. Thanks to @bohacekp for making the videos and to @treddtaylor for the idea to add mass and velocity columns in the momentum table. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 115: Video analysis of a collision. Are momentum, angular momentum, and kinetic energy conserved? How does the center of mass move before and after the collision? https://www.rit.edu/cos/livephoto/LPVideos/puckbar/ #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 116: Faraday's Law and the Curious Case of the Curly Electric Field. https://www.glowscript.org/#/user/matterandinteractions/folder/matterandinteractions/program/22-Faraday-magnet and https://phys.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/College_Physics/Book%3A_Conceptual_Physics_%28Crowell%29/11%3A_Electromagnetism/11.5_Induced_Electric_Fields #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 120: Breaking the momentum model by analyzing the scenario of a hover puck (turned off) launched by a rubber band and sliding to a stop. Also trying to be consistent with terminology regarding "energy stores". #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 121: Four energy transfers from the kinetic store to the thermal store. (1) Burning holes in paper by smashing steel balls together. (2) Temperature increases when hitting clay with a mallet. (3) PhET friction sim. (4) Skidding bike video. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 125: Introduction to Gauss's Law. I tried a new approach this year, which feels like it's been the best yet. This sequence of problems helps students intuit that ϕ = q/ε, no matter the shape: https://1drv.ms/w/s!ApnZRKSJ0lCAgol5W2s1VB-O7JuCHg #teach180 #iteachphysics
It's important to note that my students were first introduced to the concept of flux back when we did Faraday's Law, so they didn't need much help figuring out how to calculate electric flux.
Day 126: Breaking the simple pendulum model! Students predict the theoretical periods for a 1-m pendulum bob and a 1-m stick. Then they find the periods experimentally and compare. Why are the predictions for the 1-m stick so far off? #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 127: How does the period change as the mass is moved down the meter stick? What position gives the shortest period? (An S-hook clamped to a rod with a binder clip makes for a nice pivot.) #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 128: Crumple Zone Testing and Modification. The goal is to not let the empty film canister topple forward. (Inspired by a similar activity in the Active Physics textbook.) #teach180 #iteachphysics
It's hard to see in the previous video, but there's a flap of tape on the front of the canister that allows it to tip over without sliding off.
Day 129: Getting quantitative with our crumple zone investigation by using force sensors and motion detectors. Comparing the force vs. time graphs for different cushioning materials. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 138: Thanks to folks on here, I learned that ∫B•dl is called "magnetic circulation." My students suggested a lazy river as a possible physical analogy, which then led me to create this Invention Task I'll use next year before teaching Ampere's Law. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 139: Starting a project-based unit on roller coasters, but instead of having everyone do every lab in the unit, we are trying the jigsaw method. First, each expert group does a different lab. Then, home groups pool their knowledge for the project. #teach180 #iteachphysics
For folks looking for more information about the project — it is modeled after Chapter 4 of Active Physics. Here's a PDF with a detailed outline of all the chapters in the book: https://web.archive.org/web/20090902212042/http://www.its-about-time.com/pdfs/ap_third_ed.pdf Great place to get ideas for physics projects! #iteachphysics
Also, the jigsaw graphic is not mine. It's from here:
Day 140: Students are using a class notebook in OneNote to record their lab results. That way, everyone in the class can see all the different experiments done by the other expert groups in the jigsaw. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 141: Used @Desmos scientific calculator to breakdown problems that required many steps. Being able to see intermediate values along the way allowed us to catch and fix mistakes easily, without having to recalculate everything from the start! #teach180 #iteachphysics
Just noticed I forgot the negative sign in the exponent for G in the last step. #oops
Day 142: AP Mechanics students working on a great PhET lab about orbits written by @kilroi22. You can get the lab here: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/2862 #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 143: Students meet back in their Home Groups. Each member shares the results from the different labs they did last week in their Expert Groups. All lab work is in OneNote so everyone has access and can follow along. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 146: Set up a "mega review lab" to help students prepare for the AP exam. Even though we used a steel ball rather than a Hot Wheels car, friction was still large enough to affect results. #WeTried #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 150: Preparing mock posters for the first draft of the roller coaster design project. Current focus is on height, speed, and energy calculations. Next week we'll discuss safety considerations and then designs will be revised. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 157: Spent my prep periods writing up solutions to the 2019 AP C free response questions which were released earlier this week. I was happy to see that part of the "mega review lab" we did on Day 146 was an exam question! #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 159: Today was Wellness Day. No regular classes. Students attended workshops about a variety of topics. @MrLonghurst and I led a short session about the myth of meritocracy, based on lessons from http://underrep.com. (Thanks @RiPhysKin!) #teach180 #iteachphysics
These were the other workshops, plus there was a guest speaker on addiction. And at lunch there were tables set up with folks from outside organizations such as GLSEN. Such a shame that the majority of students decided NOT to come to school today.
Day 160: I made a HW guide to help students with this week's WebAssign problems. Although problems aren't solved completely, hopefully the explanations will be more helpful than Chegg or Yahoo Answers. And helpful to those who don't like asking for help. #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 165: Using inquiry boards to introduce the final project.
NSTA article on inquiry boards: http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/sc0610_34.pdf
Inquiry board templates: http://static.nsta.org/connections/middleschool/201512TarjanWorksheets.pdf
Day 170: Swapping posters to prepare opposition critiques. During presentations tomorrow, the opposing group will ask questions of the presenting group. (Inspired by the International Young Physicists Tournament.) #teach180 #iteachphysics
More puzzles and clues hidden inside the locked pouches:
Here's a link to the file. I tried my best to explain how it works.
I bought 3 extra locks and 4 zipper pouches from Amazon to supplement the standard breakout kit.
Attaching clues to whiteboards was helpful and gave students a VNPS to show everyone their thinking and allowed for easier collaboration. Whiteboards were propped up on small easels:
Day 176: Senior Internship Fair! Seniors sharing what they learned during their 5-week internships. Such a wide range of experiences: organic gardening, mobile phone repair, helping at the local library… #teach180
… More internships: architecture, state government energy initiative, painting murals, and PCB design.
Day 178: More proctoring and planning for next year! Looking to incorporate more projects and engineering design activities. I like the Pasta Cantilever challenge for wrapping up our balanced forces unit: http://static.nsta.org/pdfs/BookBeat201801PastaCantilever.pdf #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 179: In order for students to build a wave pendulum next year, they will first need to collect data for the length and swing rate (not period) of various pendulums. However, the graph isn't linear. But a power law fit works well. #teach180 #iteachphysics
I'm thinking about only using 2 types of curve fits next year:
• y ~ mx+b for linear graphs
• y ~ ax^b+c for non linear graphs and looking at the value of b to determine if the relationship is quadratic, inverse, inverse square, square root, etc.
Day 180: For the past 2 years, I've been part of a wonderful cohort of innovative teachers from across my district. This portfolio documents the new methods I've tried: QFTs, performance assessments, and project-based learning: https://sway.office.com/nEpOWEU5AgDLAClY?ref=Link #teach180 #iteachphysics
Day 181: Graduation! Congratulations to the Class of 2019! 🎓👍🏻 #teach180
Day 182: Last day and final post. Goodbye school, hello summer! #teach180
College-Prep Physics: I’ve been coding with my AP Physics classes for years. But in honor of this week’s Hour of Code, I tried VPython programming for the first time with my College-Prep class. We used GlowScript, but in a Trinket environment so that students could edit the code without creating a GlowScript account.
Why are we coding in physics class?
I asked the students if they had ever seen the first Toy Story movie:
Realistic motion is often too complicated for animators to do by hand, says Michael Kass, a researcher at Pixar Animation Studios. “The results can be awful and very expensive.” He points to the original 1995 Toy Story and notes that “if you see a wrinkle in clothing, it’s because an animator decided to put in a wrinkle at that point in time. After that we [at Pixar] decided to do a short film to try out a physically based clothing simulation.”
(excerpt from “Animation uses old physics to new effect” in Physics Today)
Then I showed this simple cloth physics engine:
Next, we watched these short clips showing more advanced modeling of clothing, hair (from Tangled), and snow (from Frozen).
Now it was time for the students to tinker with some code which modeled our red and blue constant velocity buggies. Rather than have them do a tutorial from scratch, I gave them a pre-written program and asked them to make changes in order to create different outcomes. They worked in pairs, and I circulated around the room stamping their sheets as they accomplished each task. (The ♢♢ tasks require them to apply what they learned from the ♢ tasks.) Often there is more than one way to do each task.
For more info on how to incorporate programming and computational physics into an introductory physics course, I highly recommend reading this article:
Chabay and Sherwood also gave a related talk at a recent AAPT meeting:
For folks looking to start with something slightly more advanced activity, I recommend this GlowScript tutorial for a particle bouncing around inside a box.
AP Physics C: Predict the landing point of a ball rolling down and off of an elevated incline. (Note: We haven’t studied rotational energy yet. So their prediction will be further than the actual landing point. That’s part of my plan to motivate our study of rotation.)
After taking measurements and grinding through their calculations, they put their target on the floor and held their breath as the ball rolled down and off the ramp.
Yep. They were off by about half a length of paper.
“What’s going on? Were we supposed to account for friction? Air resistance? Did the mass actually matter?”
So I rolled a few other things off the ramp. The first being 3 steel balls of different sizes (front row in picture below).
And the all landed in exactly the same spot as the original ball. It was really amazing.
Then I rolled one of the hollow metal balls (back row, center). And it landed shorter.
“Wait, let me try that again.”
Still short. Then I rolled the hollow yellow ball and the ring. Both short.
Then I rolled the black disk. That landed between the other landing points.
Now everyone is thoroughly perplexed. I love rotation!
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
#5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
I’m out of school again today, so here are some photos I’ve saved for the occasion. One of my science colleagues has her AP Biology students make and present scientific mini-posters for one lab each quarter. I love this idea and ties in nicely with the student-designed lab experiments my students do for their midterm and final projects. I’m considering having students do a mini-poster next quarter instead of a formal lab report. (Well, both are quite similar, but the mini posters can be displayed around the room and in the halls.)
All Physics Classes: The 2 other physics teachers and I organized a field trip to see the movie Gravity in IMAX 3D at the local theater. We arranged for a special showing and had the entire theater to ourselves — 260 students, 26 parents, 4 teachers, 1 assistant principal, and 6 bus drivers!
The trip was a huge success — due entirely to our awesome students and their parents.
And the movie was AMAZING. I highly recommend it.
Today was our last day of school. And sadly, we said goodbye to David Gewanter, who is retiring after teaching physics at John Jay for the past 7 years. It’s been great working with David. His friendship and mentorship have been invaluable both to faculty and students. He is an accomplished educator and gentleman, who has made a positive impact on the John Jay community. He introduced a new science elective, Environmental Physics, and organized field trips to CERN over school breaks. His students designed passive solar houses and studied the thermodynamics of clothing (which culminated in sleeping outside for a whole night). He taught life lessons in addition to physics, always ready with a funny or heartfelt story from his many adventures.
I’m not very good with goodbyes, so… Goodbye, David. We’ll miss you.
Postscript: Why only 178 days and not 180? After Hurricane Sandy and the winter snowstorms, we lost two days that we were unable to makeup. Have a great summer, everyone! See you in September!
Students designed testing experiments to try to bust common misconceptions about force and motion.
Prompt: How do forces affect the motion of objects?
Every year in college prep physics,?? I question my sanity when I give each group a bowling ball, mallet, and some scenarios to explore. Tomorrow, each group will present a scenario.