Day140: No school for me today .

Yep,I was not at school today. I was at UW-O attending a CAPP workshop.  I really dislike being gone from school.  I just don’t like it.  I don’t like writing sub plans, even though the usual subs in our department are awesome and they have science backgrounds. I was not so fortunate today… more on that later. I don’t like worrying if my students are doing ok with what I left them.  I know I don’t have to worry, my kids are awesome and work really hard.

The best part of my day was getting to spend 3 hours talking physics and pedagogy with 8 other CAPP Physics teachers and our UWO Physics liaisons.  Truth be told, I did really get anything out the rest of the workshop… which brings me back to  I hate missing school.

So what did we talk about? We discussed grading practices… high school vs. college; re-assessments, topics to be taught and sequence. We had a few ideas shared. Some of the instructors were not aware of Direct Measurement Videos… they are now!  We also saw a great presentation on Dark Energy and Dark Matter… I have sooo much to learn.

So what did my classes do while I was away.

Advanced Physics:

They completed the (Conservation of) Momentum and Impulse test.  I write a new test (not necessarily from scratch) for every unit every year.  I do this for two reasons. (1) I let the kids keep the tests after we go through them.  One of the best study methods is self testing and what better way to self test than with a test.  (2) Each year is  different so they test needs to be different.  This includes a theme I have that shows up on every test.  One year is was a movie clip question, one year it was a lunch duty question ( I was assigned lunch duty as my supervision assignment).  This year… it’s my principal.  He has been in every test so far.  I’m pretty sure he does not know this, unless a student has told him, but he has not said anything to me.  Why am I telling you about my tests> Well I proof each one.  I time how long it takes me and then give my students 3 or 3.5 times that long.  The one I left my kids today was timed out to take 48 of the 53 minutes… I know cutting it close , but it was such a good test.  Well my sub took her time handing out the tests and homework for the night… about TEN MINUTES by one student account.  I started grading them, they are not too bad, but I know I’ll hear about it from a few students.

General Physics

They worked on a set of COE problems.  There were 7 total problems.  I really wish I had thought it through a bit more.  I think I should have given  them fewer problems and one of the Direct Measurement videos to work with… OR start with a DMV as a group problem solving exercise.  Maybe next time if I ever have to be gone again…

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