Day 2: Hover Disc!

In Physics we finished the Common Types of Forces sequence and, with the help of a borrowed Pasco Matter Model and some wire brushes, developed a better understanding of normal and friction forces.

matter model and wire brushes

We then got started with the Balanced Force Particle Model Development using a hover disc (always a crowd-pleaser). We started drawing the relevant system schemas and free body diagrams, but didn’t get to finish them in any of the classes. I also had a realization which made me happy that I’d have another night to think through this development. Because my students aren’t yet familiar with the constant velocity model, I’m afraid it will not be as obvious for them to see the pattern that is Newton’s First Law. I’m particularly concerned that they may not easily see that the hover disc at rest fits into the same category (constant velocity) as the hover disc moving at a constant speed across the circle.


In Algebra, we started the day with another Estimation 180 warmup. After reading this post about weekly warm-up sheets, I’m thinking of transitioning to some more variety sometime soon.

We then watched this video as an introduction to our statistics unit.

I introduced the Feltron-esque project we’ll be doing, inspired by posts by Dan Meyer and Breedeen Murray. I’m planning to use the data sets that we generate over the next month as the basis for learning how to draw the graphs and perform the calculations that are part of our curriculum. I’m hoping that using data that they’ve collected will make the calculations and graphs more meaningful for the students. The prospect of guiding students who are each working with a different data set is somewhat intimidating though. I’m considering pairing them up and asking each pair to pick one data set to work on at a time so that I’ll have fewer data sets to stay on top of at once.


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