In AP Physics 2, we didn’t have time after a practice quiz for a series of peer instruction conceptual questions. However, I did share one of the more challenging next-time questions:
Students worked independently for a few minutes to answer the question. I then had them discuss in table groups their answers and work on their justifications. Finally, we discussed as a whole class. I particularly like this questions, because it shows that it is easier to prove that if current was to flow through the middle LED that an inconsistency results rather than proving that current cannot flow through the middle LED.
Today, I was out of the classroom for professional development related to our district’s 1:1 digital learning initiative. AP Physics 2 students whiteboarded the final set of circuits problems. One positive aspect of the professional development was that half of the time was set aside for us participants to define our own topics in an edcamp style. Within minutes, we had eight different sessions with facilitators and participants scheduled!
Today we discussed the results from Friday’s activity modeling the capacitors in series and in parallel. Historically, students have struggled to understand why capacitors in series must all have the same charge. This year, many more students appear to understand this concept. I think what has helped this year is the continued focus on connecting observed macroscopic phenomenon with atomic-level behavior. Visualizing a positive charge carrier flowing onto the positive plate of a capacitor and repelling another positive charge carrier from the corresponding negative plate, and then that positive charge carrier flowing onto the positive plate of the next capacitor in series, and so on, facilitates the observed phenomenon that capacitors in series have the same charge.
Sorry about this week. It was rough, and I was gone two days and took few photos.