I’m sitting here on Halloween day grading Thursday’s test, and feeling a need to congratulate a few people. So, congratulations to the students who are KILLING IT on this test, first of all (and there are quite a few). And secondly, congratulations to me…
Anyone who has corresponded with me about last year knows that it was a total mess. I was continually frustrated by students unwillingness to practice and learn the most basic procedures, let alone do real thinking and scientific heavy lifting. This caused me to drastically lower my expectations for the course, making even the students who found the ideas challenging and exciting bored out of their skulls. (Note the Halloween-themed language here!)
This year ain’t a cakewalk, but it IS fundamentally different. Not only are kids practicing the procedures that make up our extensive “balance force model” toolkit, I see them using these procedures in creative analytical ways. On this test, for example, you see a student choosing a different positive direction for two different situations, to make his own analysis more straightforward, and carefully choosing the lengths of his force diagram arrows to match the magnitude of the forces.
This kind of work was unheard of last year… Now I’m seeing it over and over again. Again, not a cakewalk BUT still amazingly satisfying.
##bfpm ##physicsfirst ##struggle