This tag is associated with 11 posts

What if we didn’t finish all of the questions?

My Physics 10 (a trimester-long class exploring E&M topics for 10th graders who haven’t yet studied mechanics) was wrapping up some extensions to an electrophorus activity. They were already pros at explaining and predicting electrostatic phenomena, but this activity gave them yet another way to test out their thinking, practice their charge diagrams, and add depth and subtlety … Continue reading

Physics Soul-mates

The day-to-day work in my class happens in at tables in an “individually together” manner that I described in the Whiteboarding Mistake Game: A Guide post. Quick summary of “individually together”: Students work at tables on problems in their packets. They mostly work on their own, take a moment to consult and debate with the … Continue reading

Whiteboard Face-Off

Next up in whiteboarding modes: The Whiteboard Face-Off (aka Board Meetings*). When we have a Face-Off, every group is whiteboarding the same problem. No one presents. Instead, we sit on the tables (bringing in our circle and keeping people from just doing more work in the packet and skipping the discussion) and all share our … Continue reading

Whiteboarding Mistake Game: A Guide

The Mistake Game (which I’ll describe in more detail in just a moment) has become the default mode of whiteboarding (problems, not experiments) in my physics classes. I’ve written about it before (old links at the bottom of this post), but felt like I needed to write again, now that I’ve been using it almost … Continue reading

Class Marker Buckets

We (the physics pholks) used to have a big tub of whiteboard markers that stayed in the classroom all the time. We would sometimes come in to find that students had written all over the board the night before (during study hall—boarding school), but the real problem was that very few students felt any obligation … 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

Monk Whiteboarding

Last spring, a large number of students at my school observed a day of silence. Since so many of my students wouldn’t be speaking in class, and since I don’t find it very productive for me to do the talking in class, I decided to come up with an alternate plan. I decided to have … Continue reading

Whiteboarding with Mistakes

Today was my first day of whiteboarding with one of my Honors Physics classes. My plan was to use The Mistake Game from the very beginning this year. I suspected it would help set the tone of normalizing mistakes and make students more comfortable. Brief interlude about the general structure of whiteboarding in my class. … Continue reading

Physics Exam Review: Recitation Problems

My Honors Physics exam is a Big Deal. Most of my students do their best work of the semester, and the test itself is the most difficult they’ve seen. It is their final opportunity to demonstrate mastery, depth of understanding, and creative thinking. The final preparation for this test is therefore very important. For the … Continue reading


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