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.
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.
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…