Force of Gravity Lab- Day 26-28

Data Collection

On Day 26, I went over with students how they were going to collect data. First, they needed to know the forces acting on the mass. We drew interaction and force diagrams on whiteboards, that the students ended up putting into their document. Then they were to place to the masses on the mass hook and then measure the Force of Gravity using the spring scale on the “N” side. They had to collect 5 pieces of data. We went over masses in grams and how to convert to kilograms, and what information they should write in our data table. For the most part, data collection went well. What did not go well was graphing and analyzing our data.

Data Analysis

To analyze our data, I asked the students to first find out what the SI unit of mass was. They found out (through our very good friend Google) that it was kilograms, and so we to re-discuss the conversion from grams to kilograms. Then we talked about IV and DV and how they related to x & y on the Cartesian plane. Then the HARD PART. Showing students how the graph translates to an equation was extra difficult. I’m not so sure what happened between now and two years ago. There seems to be a better understanding that the graph showed us an equation. I’m having trouble explaining how x & y are placeholders, and how they can help turn the graph into an equation. Although it’s a difficult concept, I don’t think it’s as hard and frustrating as everyone may think it is.

CER Writing

The claims have generally been fine. Last year, I think we wanted students to state the written relationship between the variables, and what it was called. Maybe we need to better explain what the difference is between Written relationship and what a slope is. When I taught algebra two years ago, I think I was able to articulate what the slope is much better, but I can’t figure out how/why. I did have some carry over students, and it helped a little? Evidence has been looking better and better. The students are showing their graphs and explaining the Evidence much better. The reasoning…oh the reasoning! I think this hybrid of standards-based and traditional grading isn’t working out well for the learning aspect. Students just want to know how to get a 100% for Reasoning, without looking at their passed rubrics to see what could be improved. Also, Reasoning is just plain hard. There seems to be a jump that students are having to make from the prewrites, lab discussion, and then to writing it on their own.

As always, if you have any ideas, I am open.

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