*Physics 11* – Today the students combined some skills and understandings they’ve been working on: drawing a force diagram, determining if forces are balanced, and then finding unknown forces by knowing that Fnet = 0.

# Monthly Archives: November 2015

# Day 55 – Contagion

*Science 8* – Students have finished their infectious disease projects and the results were kind of mixed. In many ways, lots of students did a good job. However, the reports were essentially a rephrasing of encyclopedia entries. I ran the reports through TurnItIn, and there was very little copying, so that was nice. But the reports were pretty sterile and didn’t convince me that the students neccessarily knew the things they were reporting on. To offer a different view in talking about disease, we are going to watch the movie Contagion. It is very realistic (or so I’ve read) and covers many of the topics we are covering in class. It will be interesting to see what the students think.

Rather than have students fill out some type of worksheet for the movie, I will have two closing activities which I will blog about afterwords.

# Day 54 – More FBD

*Physics 11* – Students did more work on FBD and vectors, with calculating some horizontal and vertical forces using trigonometry.

This question also came up from the modelling package. I wouldn’t expect many kids to get this question correct, I think it is very unintuitive. However, it’s a great question to go over in front of the class.

# Day 53 – Indoor Track Meet

*Everyone* – Today the school had its annual indoor track meet. My classes were pretty doing this kind of thing all day. It looked like everyone had fun and helped develop some school spirit, especially with the grade 8’s.

# Day 52 – Force Diagrams

*Physics 11* – Students drew force diagrams and we extended this activity to analyzing forces acting at an angle. Students began to look at how an angle can be analyzed in separate vertical and horizontal components. I think this is a good place to start with vectors and components because the force vector is static.

# Day 51 – Catching Up

*Robotics / Engineering* – I was catching up with my classes today, after missing three days last week. For physics I was lucky to get a physics substitute teacher, and she went over inertia and a spring force lab. In science 8, students continued with their infectious disease research projects.

The photo above is a photointerrupt sensor that I’m trying to get more of for our robotics club. Kids are putting together 2wd robot chassis controlled with Arduinos. Eventually I’d like them to try and use wheel encoders for controlling motor speed. I need more of these sensors to match the encoder disks on the wheels.

# Day 47 – Reproduction

*Science 9* – Classes started on a new unit today about reproduction. I’ve rejigged this unit this year, to add more focus on the big ideas and less focus on the smaller details in mitosis and meiosis. I don’t yet know if my lessons will change significantly, but the general approach should be easier for students to understand. I went through an Understanding By Design (UbD) design cycle for this unit.