Slides, Patterns, and Space-stuff: Days 4-5


Estimation 180 -> Discussion of Daily Learning Targets and Agenda -> Review of Last Class -> Notes on Translations -> Practice with Translationss

Nothing too much to note here, we did a little I DO, WE DO, YOU DO to talk about the notation and process of translating points and then students worked on some practice problems. I was originally going to try to find some activities for the lesson, but all of our school’s Geometry teachers are supposed to stay together so to make up for the time lost last time I decided to just keep this lesson simple. Students picked up on it with little to know difficulty so I’m not too upset about it, and I know that I will need the extra time on the reflections and rotations lessons.


One of my favorite pieces of the Modeling Physics curriculum is the Scientific Thinking unit. The unit builds the foundation for the later material by teaching students how to linearize data in order to create equations. This is what makes the Paradigm Labs possible and so useful.

Over the summer, I was introduced to the “Patterns Approach to Physics” materials by Casey Rutherford (@rutherfordcasey) on Twitter. I really like the materials, especially the first unit, and they are easily integrated into a modeling approach.

So for the third day in class, I gave students a short lecture about how to fit curves in order to write equations and make predictions. I hate just sitting at the board and lecturing to the students, but I have no idea how to teach this portion of the class any other way. If any experienced modelers have any advice I would love to hear it.

After that we practice the new techniques on the data we got from the pendulum lab in the previous class and yet again, I did not get to use my bowling ball pendulum. I think I am going to somehow integrate this into a test question and then after the test we will see how well students’ predictions worked out.


After the debacle that was the last class, I decided I am going to jump into Optics and teach the math skills the students are deficient in through the light applications I gave a brief lesson on the properties of waves and then we jumped into a PhEt simulation in an attempt to determine the relationship between wavelength, velocity, amplitude, and frequency. I feel that the lesson went well, but several students voiced their dislike of my curricular decision to start with light (and not with space) and the use of math in the course, even after I promised them that both were very important to the ‘space-stuff’ they were craving. Hopefully, I can get students to buy into my curricular vision and of the importance of mathematics.



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