Skin of my pants teaching!

Teaching this week has been by the skin of my pants!

Luckily I don’t mean that literally.

Last week saw me finish teaching my science students our module on gravity and satellites. Or so I thought. On the Friday we’d even had a fun lesson splitting up the class in two and having a mini competition answering questions, so on Monday I thought we’d be able to  move swiftly on to a new topic after briefly going over the homework I’d collected on the Friday.

Well, unfortunately a few things came up. First that small homework was not so small after all and had me frantically marking for 4 hours on Monday (they accidentally got locked in the staff room over the weekend). I finished marking them 5 minutes before the class so hands aching I went to teach.

Now unfortunately the second thing turned out to be that there were a few things they were still not *completely* straight on, said with my tongue firmly in cheak. Both on the homework and from the lessons previously it turned out as I haven’t been doing enough worked examples with them in class whenever we learn a new equation (lesson learnt? I certainly hope so!).

So lesson introducing Simple Harmonic Motion cancelled, lesson going over homework and time period of a satellite commenced!

On Tuesday I realised my lesson introducing SHM was too short for the period we had, so I had to quickly come up with something to do for half an hour in about the 10 minutes before classes started at 7am. Lovely.

Luckily I had the great idea to get them all timing pendulum swings at different pendulum lengths! Great idea, right? Well, it turns out we have no stopwatches and only three weights good to be used as pendulums. Lots off string and stands though so we improvised some rubber bungs as pendulums. Next problem was I thought we could use some watches and phones as stopwatch, but phones have been banned and the class only has two watches between them. Queue my phone and watch and just teaming up into 4 groups!


Class 2C (year two science) doing an experiment on pendulum swings.

Tomorrow we will graph our times (squared of course) and lengths to find the force of gravity irrespective of pendulum mass or amplitude of swing (for small amplitudes). A far more practical worked example of a physics equation!  🙂

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