This tag is associated with 11 posts

Drawing accelerated position-time graphs

During our PLC chat this week, we talked at one point about how long it takes for students to become completely consistent in drawing motion graphs. My experience has been that students become confident relatively quickly in drawing the velocity-vs-time graphs (having switched their brain into thinking through v-t graphs), but still sometimes struggle to draw … Continue reading

Physics Objectives 2013

Here are my updated lists of objectives for the year (subject to change/grow as the year unfolds depending on how the pace goes). As always, feel free to borrow and modify these objectives for your own classes. The Model Building page on this blog collects my posts about my paradigm experiments, the graphical representations we use, … Continue reading

Balanced Forces before Constant Acceleration

I know you’ve been there. Stuck in the doldrums of kinematics. “It’s against the law to think in the doldrums!” So there you are. Stuck in description-land. The juicy parts of physics (explain and predict) are far away and out of reach. You can easily spend ages and ages there. The students start to think … Continue reading

Dear New Teacher

In response to Bowman’s call for advice to new teachers, I wrote this letter. I love to talk about teaching, though I’m not sure anyone should really listen to me. I’m still working on knowing what I’m talking about. When it is ready, I will edit this post with a link to his master collection … Continue reading

Standards-Based Grading in a Points-Based World

My last post (Bundled Objectives, etc) had a comment from Joe Morin this morning with great questions and ideas about how to create an SBG system when you are required to average quarters and exams. I replied to his comment (see below), but I am also hoping to get Joe some more responses with other … Continue reading

LinReg for physics class data graphing

What is LinReg and how can I get it? Note: This is not meant to be an advertisement. I was in no way solicited by, nor am I affiliated with, the creator of the program. This is a recommendation and love letter about a tool that has made a huge difference in my classes this … Continue reading

The essential toolkit for a first time SBG implementer?

This question, “What do you think is the essential toolkit for a first time SBG implementer?” was posted in the comments on my last post. So after rambling a bit myself, I threw it over to Twitter to see what other people had to say. Here’s what I got. A lot of good advice! Know … Continue reading

Managing extra tests

Students are applying for extra tests (given on Sundays) by filling out the form on our class website during the week. That process is going well, and it lets me prepare tests for them ahead of time instead of scrambling to hand out problems while lots of other students wait around and get anxious/annoyed/etc. Another … Continue reading

Building the Balanced Force Particle Model

Hey guys! [Turn on hover disc. Wait a moment. Turn it off.] Something new! Let’s look at it! I want to show you something cool. Let’s all sit on the floor right here. [Get everyone sitting in a circle in the middle of the room on the tile floor. Turn the hover disc back on. … Continue reading

Honors Physics Course Information Handout

John challenged us to share our course syllabi. Here is my latest (possibly final?) draft for this year. I would call this more of a course reference sheet than a syllabus since it doesn’t talk about what we’re going to learn. It’s more about how we’re going to learn it. My document’s genealogy goes back … Continue reading


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