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 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.

Day 46 – Gravity and Size of Forces



Physics 11 – Today was the students’ last day at analyzing gravity. They worked towards the understanding that big objects and small objects exert the same gravitational force on each other.  This will also become a valuable lesson when it is extended to the more general case of all forces and interaction pairs.

Day 44 – Gravity as a Mutual Force


Physics 11 – Today the classes worked towards whether or not small objects exert a force of gravity on large objects.  The above voting question is where the kids voice their understanding.

Two of my classes worked through this ok but one class really struggled. As a result, I typed out an argument/reasoning for them. I think it may have helped a few students.