Day 135 – Force Concept Inventory


Physics 11 – I was away today on ProD duties, and I had my students do the post-test FCI. I haven’t analyzed the results yet but they’re not great.  From my perspective, they were downright disappointing. However, talking to students, it turns out that many kids had one or two other tests that same day and they were test fatigued. I think that would play only a small role in the situation.  I also have to realize that we don’t cover any circular motion in physics 11, and while students with the deepest and best conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics can figure out rotational motion on their own, for others the rotational motion is pretty confusing.

While I think that the FCI should not be prepped for, next year I need to pay more attention to getting the right day for students to do it.  As well, while doing unbalanced forces I think I will do some peer instruction on rotational motion.


Day 134 – Ohm’s Law


Science 9 – Students used the PhET DC Circuit Construction Kit to explore the relationship between voltage and current.  I had them use the simulator because it’s difficult to get good data using our ammeters and voltmeters.  I found that it was too easy for kids to make a mistake, and then they get data that doesn’t reveal any patterns.

Even though in grade 9 the kids are not especially great at deriving equations from a linear relationship, they are able to see a pattern and relationship using a data table, and can use words to describe this relationship.

For example, with the table below once they’ve collected data for current using different voltages, they will see that the voltage is always 100x the current.  From this, most kids decide to write something like “resistance times current is voltage”

 Resistor Size = 100 Ohm
 Current  Voltage

Day 131 – Circuit Voting Peer Instruction


Science 9 – We did lots of Peer Instruction in class today, here are a few of the questions.  Students were able to make progress going from one question to the next, but as always is the case in my classes, it was difficult to get the kids to walk around the room and talk to people that were not their friends. At one point I had them walking around but they stayed in their groups…

Day 130 – Mechanical Waves




Physics 11 – Students were introduced to mechanical waves today. The above three gifs are always a good starting point.  Lots of the things we touched on were a review from Grade 8 science, but that allowed us to move through these concepts pretty quickly.  The kids also had their last quiz on momentum today, no pictures required to imagine what that looked like!


Day 129 – Measuring Voltage, Current

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Science 9 – The students finally started to take measurements on current and voltage today. They were glad to be rid of the compasses!  Reminder for next year if I teach science 9: buy new liquid filled compasses are are sensitive but not so jittery.

Students did a good job of reading the different scales on the voltmeters and ammeters. Of course, no one in the world uses these types of ammeters and voltmeters, everyone has and uses a digital multimeter.  But that’s what you get with public ed in BC.  No money to buy suitable equipment.