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  • Writer's pictureNathan Belcher

New Information - Models and Schedule in AP Physics C: Mechanics

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

If you are curious about how I structured my AP Physics C: Mechanics course in the Fall 2018 semester, please see the first document in the "Modeling in AP Physics C" tab. The second document shows the connection between each unit and the standards for AP Physics C: Mechanics; I have color-coded this document to easily understand how the standards are included in each unit.

A few notes on the "Models and Schedule" document:

  • In the four previous years of teaching AP Physics C, we had a class time of 97 minutes every day--giving a total class time of 485 minutes per week. At the Singapore American School, we are on block schedule. Students attend five classes every two weeks for 80 minutes per class--giving an average of 200 minutes per week. The change of total course time plus block scheduling was difficult; I needed about six weeks to create a curriculum, instruction, and assessment system that worked for me and students. The schedule shows the tight packing of each class, including more emphasis on student practice outside class time.

  • For each model, I included relevant chapters in two textbooks: Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker (HRW) and University Physics, Volume 1 by OpenStax. We use an older version of HRW that students leave at home for extra practice; I included OpenStax as another method for describing the physics and practicing. For further practice, we use WebAssign--an online problem platform that changes numbers for individual students. In each assignment, I would require students to complete half the problems; the other half were for extra practice.

  • I interleaved linear and rotational models, describing and using similarities and difference between the models. I have found this to help students not be overwhelmed by the amount of new mathematics in the rotational models; the most difficult part of physics is learning new physics AND new mathematics at the same time. Students responded well to this approach, performing strongly on my assessments and released AP exam questions.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions!

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