Days 5-7: Brain Mush

I’m not sure if it was the Fourth of July weekend or this new eating plan I just started, but my brain is having a hard time functioning and remembering to post my daily reflections. It’s really important that present self do this so that future self can go back and refer to these!

DAY 5: Constant Velocity and Motion Maps

Started off in teacher mode and discussed some of the guidelines for discussion from Step-Up curriculum. After looking at the Step Up website, I’m inclined to learn more about it. Perhaps, after I wrap my mind around CMPF stuff.

Unit 2 Activity 1: Simulation Motion Part 2- Then we went into Pyret. At this point, we figured out that we should add comments to the same line to include our comments. (No numbers should be caught in public naked!) We plugged our Design Recipe into Pyret. I wrote some notes for myself about what students should know at this point.

U2 A1 Notes

I wrote a couple of the questions that I heard the leaders ask. I did first say that it looks like the object was moving faster when we changed the delta-t, but I eventually picked up that it’s the smoothness factor. We change it so that it looks more like the buggy moving in real-life. I also wrote in my notes that the function next-x(current-x) is super important. However, obviously, I should have gone to office hours to figure out some other things. I’m hoping Kim, Kristy, or Geoff has that part that I’m missing. As I’m reviewing my notes, I’m also realizing that I did not finish a few of the assignments. Real life student-mode here…I’m going to be lost if I don’t finish it.

Class Discussion leading to motion maps:

I really appreciate how Jess leads his class discussions and the leading questions he poses. I hope I wrote all of them down because the way his discussion goes, it’s like he’s telling a story. The story of how velocity came to be. When a textbook tells it, it’s not as compelling. I’m definitely getting some campfire vibes whenever he leads us to a concept that we need to know. The picture he shows is what he would have had students complete before the discussion. At this point, we have collected data and are discussing what we see. The goal here is to come to some class agreements of what a motion map needs and the definition of velocity.

AFTER BREAK– I need to get better overall about getting my brain to be on. It seems as though from 11A-12N (PST), I lose it. I can’t hold on. However, it looks like a different part of my brain is at least trying to pull it together…based on the notes. When we WB’d initially, we changed some things in our Pyret program and the results didn’t come out to be as expected. Some personal cognitive dissonance happened here, and instead of persevering, my brain went into shut-off mode. Again, here, I’m hoping Kim, Kristy, and Geoff have better information than I do. At least I have some excellent whiteboards to jog my memory of what we did?

DAY 6: Multiple Objects

New Week, New Struggles

The teacher mode discussion was about the article we read, which I really enjoyed reading. It made me think of the times I’ve had 5 females and like a bajillion males in one class at at time. It also made me appreciate the female students that have come back to talk to me about their own apprehension in a science classroom and how having a female science teacher has impacted their own self-talk.

We went into a class discussion of turning our motion map “sideways.” Instead of it laying horizontally it’s now vertical. Then we went over and transferred the information into a x-t graph. It was strongly suggested that we do the physically moving of the axis–like take the ticker tape and move it vertically so that students can see that it’s just the motion map standing up.


The Physics team has really struggled with the x & y axes nomenclature because then everything happens in terms of x and y. During the Two Bicycles activity, we came to the aha! moment that we should just call it horizontal and vertical axis…and never ever call it x & y axes. That seems to click with us a lot better. We did get new groups, so Team Pixar had to break up. I have to think of a cute name for the new group, with teachers who all happen to teach in the Bay Area.

We went back to Pyret and was given some started code. My group had to change some of the names because we called it different things in our Design Recipe. Note: Tell the students what the identifiers are because then changing the names would affect how the code would run. Students with some programming experience would be able to catch that, but I’m not sure if all would. We coded for Runner 1, Runner 2, and then tried to figure out a more general code so that we wouldn’t have to code for Runners 1 and 2 separately. We did not get there. I think I got lost somewhere, but not sure where. Kim said she went to office hours and figured it out with Gretchen…so I think I’ll ask her.

DAY 7: End of Unit 2

During today’s session, it was so painfully obvious who did and did not do their HW. I distinctly remember someone asking something in the chat and many people responded: “It was in the reading.” I chatted with Kim on the side how I’m not usually that person, but this week…doing homework and going to office hours is not in the stars for me.

Our day started off with Melissa showing us her notes for multiple objects. I wrote that this should happen before students take data. Then use the buggies to test the code made from the multiple runners program. I also had to expose myself a bit and write down what we should have known…because I have not done the homework or readings. I’m furiously trying to catch up while my mouth is numb from the dentist.

Velocity-Time Graphs are introduced here. The question: What will the velocity-time graph tell me? was asked and answered after a jamboard discussion. The jamboard gave students a starter picture and then we were expected to draw arrows on the motion map and create a v-t graph for the BLUE buggy. Other groups were in charge of drawing a v-t graph for the red buggy. I purposely made the error that most of my students make of transferring their x-t graph knowledge into this new representation, v-t graph. I’m not so sure that my group members know that I was acting or if they thought I was in #authenticstudentmode. I told Kim and Kristy today that my acting skills are sooooo good that feedback from student surveys are often filled with: “My teacher never knows what’s going on.” I like the line of questioning that we went through and went into how negative time doesn’t exist. We did a gallery walk of Our Model So Far.

After the break, we went into more graphical representations. We first WB’d a fast and slow object then ADDED to the WB, an object that is moving slow then becomes fast. I like that idea of adding to the model instead of just introducing it separately.

Wheel and Axle Lab happened here on Pivot. Now we see that the points no longer form a straight line. Rather, it forms a curved line. It was suggested that we take data from the other side of the number line too. We ended the day with a discussion on tangent line, but not sure where my brain went. I’ll probably review it some more today and write some more notes about it.

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