One thing that I’ve struggled with for years is trying to fit in the curricular content for physics 11. I know that I’m weeks behind most physics teachers in BC. I always start the year off with the best intentions with planning, and the planning is generally ok in that I remain focused on the goals and sequence.* I’m interested in trying to improve my sequence and scheduling so that it is appropriate in coverage and understanding, and accomplishes what I want it to, recognizing that unit planning is a personal thing even when working within the guidelines of the set curriculum.
My classes just finished doing a conservation of momentum lab. In many ways it was a big disappointment. We ended up spending 2-1/2 classes on the lab, with little to show for it. The general idea was to record position and time data from 6 videos (6 different types of collisions), calculate velocities and momentum, and compare total momentum before and after. There were lots of problems with this: Students would make mistakes in recording data or making a calculation, and every mistake helps to obscure the goal of seeing that total momentum doesn’t change.