In geometry today we just did some quick definitions, discussed the difference between postulates and theorems, and then practiced with our first two postulates (the ruler postulate and the segment addition postulate). Nothing too fancy here, I wish I could find a way to spice this part of the curriculum up a little bit. Have to work on this for next year.
Today we spent more time working on data analysis and linear regression. As a quick side note: I encourage every teacher to sit down and look at their curriculum one day and decide what it is that you want students to take away from your class, because they won’t take it all away, probably not even 60% of the material. Whatever you choose should be relevant to many facets of your students’ lives. The only way to ensure that students will leave your class with these skills is by constantly spiraling backwards throughout the course. Repeated exposure is the key. For physics I want students to leave my class with the ability to properly analyze data and to make scientific conclusions; so we are spending a lot of time there (and will continue to).
Today we began class answering questions that students had concerning linear regression that I discussed last time. After it seemed that students were starting to get the hang of it, I decided to do an impromptu laboratory exercise, where they verified (many were discovering instead of verifying) the formulas for circumference of a circle, area of a circle, and area of a square.
It’s still not quite clear for all of the students, but many are beginning to catch on and with plenty of opportunities throughout the semester to catch on, I’m confident that all of them will walk away from my class with the necessary abilities.