goal-less problems

This tag is associated with 6 posts

All-year Goal-less Problems for Physics Class

So. Josh* took my Honors Physics exam review activity and expanded it into something bigger and better. As I was reading his post, though, I started thinking about my regular physics classes. They would really like something like that. Of course, I also had to make it my own. I am curating a set of … Continue reading

Building the Projectile Motion Particle Model

Due to differences in math comfort and overall motivation, I take rather different approaches to starting this unit in my two classes. In Honors Physics, we typically spend 4 to 6 class periods worth of work on the entire unit. In the regular physics classes, we spend at least a couple of weeks. Honors Physics … Continue reading

Whiteboard Speed Dating

This idea has been percolating for a while, ever since reading Sophie’s post back in September. When we came back from Christmas Vacation and needed to start flexing all of those now-unpracticed skills that we gained in the fall, the time seemed right to try out this crazy new idea. Instructions for Starting the Date … Continue reading

Building the Momentum Transfer Model

Hey guys, bring a pencil and a whiteboard next door. I want to show you something cool. [Wave them over to the lab. At the front table, there are two tracks set up to make one long track (half of which is a ramp). Two carts and some extra masses (blocks) are at the ready.] … Continue reading

How to Practice Physics (By Really Trying)

I want to do a better job of teaching my students how to practice physics. When I tell them which skills need work (see the SBG tag for more details), I want them to have some ideas about what it looks like to practice those skills. We say practice, not study: practice definitely means there’s … Continue reading

Goal-less problems

I talked about my use of goal-less problems on my physics semester exam. The essential idea is that the question is actually just a description of a situation. The student’s job is to model the situation as best they can using the physics they know.¬†First step: say which models apply and why. Second step: draw … Continue reading


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