Day 18

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Block 1 (AP Physics)

Today I learned a valuable lesson. Whiteboarding, real whiteboarding is extremely difficult.

I have one of the smartest AP classes I have ever taught. They are creative, inventive and original. They also like to take shortcuts. And this can be a problem.

I wanted to make sure that they are showing all the steps in their work when they do problems. Because they like to skip steps and that can often lead to sloppy work.

Here is the problem we looked at:

2007 Problem 1

I had the students complete the problem over the weekend and we wrote up each section on whiteboards in groups of two.

All I want to compile in this post is a list of things that I need to address with my students

  • All work on whiteboards must be clear, legible and in large print
  • Any variable value that is set to zero must be explained
  • If equations are combined or substituted, this must be clearly indicated with an arrow
  • Any deductive reasoning that is non-mathematical must be stated clearly
  • If you do not understand what someone has written on their whiteboard you must ask that group a question
  • Make absolutely sure that you understand each and every step that someone has written on their whiteboards.

In short, whiteboard discussions require some initial investment on the part of the teacher. I have a feeling that I will have to learn this through experience this year.

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