Today was really about AP Physics. I think my students are one of the brightest classes I’ve taught and this could be their downfall.
The problem is that learning comes so easily to them that they are a little too confident and chat just a little bit too much.
Today we drew free body diagrams and set up Newton’s Laws equations to solve for acceleration and constrain forces in terms of variables and constants (as opposed to using numerical data).
The students were quite confused at first, as usual, but were sold on the idea once they realized that if given several different versions of a problem they could solve by plugging in numbers into a formula they had derived.
For example in the second Free body diagram , if the box accelerates and there is friction
a = [F cos 𝜽 – µk( mg – F sin 𝜽)]/m
When I had then solve the same problem with 2 different sets of numbers the advantage became obvious to them.