Day 14 (Fri)


Physics – Quiz today.  2nd assessment of their ability to set up a graph and plot data accurately, which will replace the first grade on graphing.  This quiz also included questions to assess their ability to describe motion from a position vs. time graph, and the ability to do calculations within the constant velocity model.

At some point very soon I will have to address accuracy, precision, and how to deal with uncertainty in measurements and predictions.

Digital Electronics – Showed how to solder, didn’t have things set up to actually have them solder.  Started taking notes on schematic symbols and how to read resistors and capacitors.


Day 13 (Thurs)


Physics – We spent 20 minutes of class playing the graph game at   Definitely helped them connect how things are moving to the graph, along with the sonic motion detector lab.  The rest of class was filled with going over homework and finishing the sonic motion lab

Digital Electronics – Most of class was spent cutting and stripping wires for their breadboarding kits.  Tomorrow I’ll show how to solder and start identifying circuit components.

Day 12 (Wed)


Physics – In a mad scramble last night, I revised a 6 year old lab on using the Vernier motion detectors with carts and tracks.  I added the typical section in front where students had to walk a described motion, and sketch the graph.  Then they had to figure out the motion that matched with 4 position vs. time graphs.  The back page of the lab was an introduction to using the motion detector with pasco carts & tracks.  Most groups only started the back page – they’ll get some time to finish the lab tomorrow.

Digital Electronics – All the students were very comfortable with scientific notation, so explaining metric conversions was incredibly easy.  They put the metric units from Mega to pico in their Engineer’s notebooks for reference.  They also started cutting and stripping wires for their personal breadboard wire kits.  *I realized afterwards that I should have provided long pre-cut strands of different colors so all students could make their tiny cuts and stripping ends at the same time.

Day 11 (Tues)

No picture today.  I made the mistake of joining the Cross Country hill repeats practice, which destroyed my entire evening in time and energy.

Physics – finished CV particle model notes.  A lot of talking by me, students only discussed when we came up with an operational definition of Constant Velocity.  I added “in a straight line” to the end because I address the vector/scalar issue after we’ve gotten comfortable with the math.  I also made sure to show an example of solving when the variable is in a denominator, because almost every math pre-test showed trouble with those type of problems.

Digital Electronics – I can’t even remember.  Something useful happened, I’m sure of it.

Day 10 (Mon)


Physics – Started class with a quick discussion of rate & slope.  Then had them share their predictions for where the buggy would be after 30 seconds.  Went into the hallway where we tested their prediction (after 1st period took too long, I set up a full course during planning for the rest of the classes).  Then we started the CVPM notes with their observations from the lab.

*Over the weekend, in between bike racing, I noted the students that were missing some key skills from their math pre-tests and that bombed the quiz on metric conversions and graphing.  Students that were missing skills I explicitly told to focus on those skills in their ALEKS math program.  Students that bombed a section of the quiz had to commit to office hours after school to get help/practice on that standard.  I am so proud that I could actually use data so quickly to remediate.

Digital Electronics – I gave them 10 minutes to finish their conclusions from the basic circuit investigation.  Then we took notes on Voltage, Current, Resistance and series vs. parallel circuits.  I used a ton of analogies, which I rarely do in physics because I don’t want them over-extending an analogy in physics.  In DE, I don’t care so long as they can build their circuits properly.

Day 9 (Fri)


Physics – Handed back quizzes and Finished Const Vel buggy lab.  Students had to answer some conclusion questions and make a prediction for homework over the weekend.  I was pleased to see this graph because you can see how they set up their time scale incorrectly, then went back and fixed the spacing.  Growth!

Digital Electronics – Students worked on exploring voltage and current in basic circuits.  The treatment is very hand wavy, because they really just need to be able to know that without resistance, current will blow up components.

Day 8 (Thurs)


Physics:  Constant Velocity Buggy Lab.  This year I had groups check in with me after the first set of data, and I was more direct about how the resulting graph should be a line.

Grading the quizzes as I write this.  Much work to be done on setting up graphs correctly and converting metric units.  I’m glad I knew this would be an issue starting the year.

Digital Electronics:  We started working with breadboards today, hooking up an LED and providing power from a plugged in power source.