Day 153: Bulb Boy and Polarity Shift

Advanced Physics:

My three sections of physics were pretty small today thank to the AP Calc test.  About half of each class was missing.  Today was spent working through the circuits in an activity I call Bulb Boy.  The activity consists of 5 different circuits (well 6 if you count the single bulb, single cell, single wire ask I wrote about yesterday).  Here are the guts of the handout.  Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 7.35.00 PM


You’ll notice I do not use the terms series and parallel.  Basically, there are two reasons.  First of all, if I use those terms, I have to define them first, RATHER than letting the activity and post-activity discussion define them (recall concept first, then name).  I also find that just because some students know the names of the terms does not mean they understand them or can use the equipment to physically set them up.

Here are just a few shots of some of the set-ups:

IMG_3797 IMG_3796

The post-activity discussion for this is really rich.  More on that tomorrow.

General Physics:

We went through the 7 Charge Questions they were asked to explore last night.  I’ve written about them before here.  This group also had an opportunity to try the Harry Potter Demo.  With this group, we do not focus too much on each the details of the charge, but more on the interactions and how the force(s) are involved.  Because we are a bit short of time (aren’t we all), we are giving a differentiated authentic assessment (yep, a mouthful).  We decided to use the game ‘Polarity Shift’ from The Universe and More website.  There are some pretty nice teacher materials provided at the website that we obtained the questions from.  We made use of them and provided a chance for the students to decide how much they wanted to work for. Here is a sample of the questions and how it was differentiated.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 8.11.33 PM


SIDEBAR: The Universe and More website is a goldmine of computer based learning experiences. We also use the Graphing Game on occasion. I really encourage you to visit the site, it would be a wise investment of your time.

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