Saturday, August 02, 2014

Planning the year: NGSS, AP1, and AP2 - Part 1: The broad strokes

My assignment for the 2014-15 academic year includes Physics, AP Physics 1, and AP Physics 2. The Physics course should be aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Our students are years from facing NGSS assessments; right now school officials of nearly every stripe are focused on Common Core State Standards nearly to the exclusion of any other academic concern.

Last year marked my first attempt to let go of the past decade+ focus on California's now-abandoned academic content standards in physics.

Advanced Placement Physics 1 and Advanced Placement Physics 2 debut this year, and Rio has enrollments in both. Now that AP Physics B is dead and gone, The College Board is laying the AP1 and AP2 cards on the table. My friend, Chicagoland physics teacher extraordinaire, Martha Lietz, pointed me to her AP Physics resource page. And I have been poking around in the links!

This post will give a general direction of how I plan to implement the three courses at my school.

Physics remains a first-year course with an Algebra 1 prerequisite. It needs to fulfill the needs of NGSS as well as provide a suitable foundation for students who might elect to move onto AP Physics 2. It is not feasible to allow Rio's pipeline to AP2 be restricted exclusively to AP1 "alumni".

AP Physics 1 is a first-year course for highly-motivated students who have passed Algebra 2. It must cover the AP Physics 1 syllabus provided by the College Board. But it must also cover the expectations of NGSS.

AP Physics 2 is a second-year course for highly-motivated students who have passed Algebra 2 and a first-year physics course (Physics or AP Physics 1). It must cover the AP Physics 2 syllabus provided by The College Board.

In any case, here's my plan so far. Click to embiggen. Subject to change!

And yes, I'm willing to try the current fashion of energy before momentum. Wide ties/narrow ties. It seems that among the cognizanti, teaching momentum before energy is on par with wearing a wristwatch or typing two spaces after a period as far as age indicators go. I know there are strongly-held beliefs, arguments, and preferences here. Sometimes I think we get too exercised about such things.


Anonymous said...

I've tried both energy and momentum options and didn't see any distinct differences.

As far as I can see light and optics isn't on AP Physics 1?

Anyone posted AP Physics 1 labs yet. I'd love to see an example of an open enquiry vs full enquiry.

Unknown said... finally switch over and now I am going to try it your old way...thanks to Mr. Randall Knight. :)

Dean Baird said...

You are correct, Anonymous. I am choosing to cover topics that aren't part of the AP1 syllabus

There are a couple of reasons for doing this. AP1 is a first-year course. When NGSS assessments are implemented, AP1 students will be assessed on them. So the AP1 outline is being dictated by two masters: The College Board and NGSS.

There may be some students who take AP1 and do not go on to AP2 (parish the thought, I know!). I'm choosing not to send them into the world not knowing why the sky is blue or how rainbows work.

They'll know what they need to know for AP1. They'll know what they need to know for NGSS. And they'll know what they need to know to make me happy as the person who taught them physics.