Day 164: Differentiate This…

Sorry for the calculus based title… I was going for a title related to how I differentiated my plans today… guess I missed.

Advanced Physics:

This was the class I differentiated to some extent.  I offered two (well three) levels of problems related to using Ohm’s Law and the related series and parallel equations to determine the values on a number of ammeters and voltmeters in the circuit.  Here are the two problems I offered:

This was the easier of the two.


Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.30.56 PM

This was the more challenging:

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The students could choose either problem and work in groups of two or three’s.  To help solve these, i really strongly (ie force) my student to simplify the circuits using the equivalent resistance equations and redraw as they go.  It has been my experience that this helps the students immensely.

On a side note, I found it really interesting that some of my students with a better background (the kids in our engineering academy) at first did not do the redraws. The had no trouble determining the total resistance and total current, but were dead in the water when trying to find the values of the other meters.  A few told me, they (engineers) would never do this… if you want to know the reading at a certain part of the circuit, grab a multimeter and measure it.  I asked about an instance when y wanted to add a motor to a branch of a circuit and the motor had current anc voltage specs and how they would determine what resistance to add and how to get the motor specs correct?  They really did not have an answer.

General Physics:

Just more on the circuit ILD… sorry not too much exciting here.