## Activity: Establish Classroom Norms

Theoretical Mechanics (4 years)
In this hour-long activity, students establish classroom norms for being respectful when working in small groups. This is particularly helpful in the first course a cohort of students encounters.
What students learn Class establishes classroom norms.

## Description of the Activity

1. Prep: Assign students to groups of 3-4 students.
2. Each group should have two whiteboards. Ask students to introduce themselves and write names and pronouns on one of the boards.
3. Prompt: In order to really learn physics well, it is important to share your physics ideas and practice using them in front of the instructional team and your classmates. What can the members of this class do to help you feel comfortable sharing your ideas in your small groups and with the whole class? What does "being respectful" look like in this class? Use one whiteboard to list ways that your classmates can support your learning. Use the other whiteboard to list ways that the instructional team can support your learning.
4. Presentations:“Things students can do” (the first whiteboard) Have each group talk present their list. Groups should first introduce themselve to the group (names and pronouns). I suggest that groups acknowledge things that have been discussed before, i.e., “we agree (or disagree) that we should listen and try to understand other students' ideas”, and add new things “we also suggest that we should learn and use the names of other students in our groups”. It is important to see what things have consensus and discuss some of the nuances of the suggestions. The instructional team could share their own pre-made board at the end.
5. Discussion:”Things the instructional team can do (the second whiteboard) I suggest having a whole class brainstorming list on the class whiteboard. It's nice when the students can see the instructor agree to something the students want (shows responsiveness). It's also nice for the instructor to explain their reasoning about not making certain changes (e.g., “I can't post homework more than a week ahead because the pace of the class and the order of the topics can change based on how the activities in class go” or “I prefer not to make the homework due at midnight because my experience is that most students work right up to the deadline and lack of sleep is bad for physical and mental health.”).

## Student Conversations

1. The first time I ran this activity, most groups said some variant of “be respectful”. Press groups to describe specifically what being respectful looks like.
2. You can make the activity shorter by asking groups to only report on things that have not already been mentioned. This is good because they have to listen to the other groups, but I like the opportunity for students to say they agree with each other.

## Example Lists:

### Things Students Can Do:

1. Learn & use names and pronouns
2. Don't use “dude” as a generic word for person
3. Encourage everyone in the group to participate
4. Don't ignore group mates - ask for their ideas
5. Be patient with wrong answers
6. Don't interrupt
7. Don't tell offensive jokes
8. Give positive feedback
9. Let someone know that you had the same question as them

### Things the Instructional Team Can Do:

1. Have evening or weekend office hours/lots of office hours
2. Learn names & pronouns
3. Be patient with wrong answers
4. Give people time to think
5. Have flexible due dates
6. Post homework assignments early
7. Post solutions before exams
9. Don't call on people who don't have their hand raised
1. Each group should have two whiteboards. Introduce yourselves to your group and write your names and pronouns on one of the boards.
2. In order to really learn physics well, it is important to share your physics ideas and practice using them in front of the instructional team and your classmates.

What can the members of this class do to help you feel comfortable sharing your ideas in your small groups and with the whole class?

What does "being respectful" look like in this class?

• Use one whiteboard to list ways that your classmates can support your learning.

• Use the other whiteboard to list ways that the instructional team can support your learning.

• assignment Symmetry Arguments for Gauss's Law

assignment Homework

##### Symmetry Arguments for Gauss's Law
Static Fields 2022 (4 years)

Instructions for 2022: You will need to complete this assignment in a 15 minute appointment on Zoom or in person with one of the members of the teaching team between 1/21 and 10 pm on 1/26. Here is a link to a sign-up page.

You are required to watch a sample video for how to make symmetry arguments here. As demonstrated in the video you should bring with you to the meeting a cylinder, an observer, and a vector.

Use good symmetry arguments to find the possible direction for the electric field due to a charged wire. Also, use good symmetry arguments to find the possible functional dependence of the electric field due to a charged wire. Rather than writing this up to turn in, you should find a member of the teaching team and make the arguments to them verbally.

• group Systems of Equations Compare and Contrast

group Small Group Activity

60 min.

##### Systems of Equations Compare and Contrast
• group Survivor Outer Space: A kinesthetic approach to (re)viewing center-of-mass

group Small Group Activity

10 min.

##### Survivor Outer Space: A kinesthetic approach to (re)viewing center-of-mass
Central Forces 2023 (3 years) A group of students, tethered together, are floating freely in outer space. Their task is to devise a method to reach a food cache some distance from their group.

assignment Homework

AIMS Maxwell 2021 (2 years)

Task: Draw a right triangle. Put a circle around the right angle, that is, the angle that is $\frac\pi2$ radians.

• Complete the assignment using your choice of technology. You may write your answers on paper, write them electronically (for instance using xournal), or typeset them (for instance using LaTeX).
• If using software, please export to PDF. If writing by hand, please scan your work using the AIMS scanner if possible. You can also use a scanning app; Gradescope offers advice and suggested apps at this URL. The preferred format is PDF; photos or JPEG scans are less easy to read (and much larger), and should be used only if no alternative is available.)
• Please make sure that your file name includes your own name and the number of the assignment, such as "Tevian2.pdf."

Using Gradescope: We will arrange for you to have a Gradescope account, after which you should receive access instructions directly from them. To submit an assignment:

2. Select the appropriate course, such as "AIMS F21". (There will likely be only one course listed.)
3. Select the assignment called "Sample Assignment"
5. You will then be prompted to associate submitted pages with problem numbers by selecting pages on the right and questions on the left. (In this assignment, there is only one of each.) You may associate multiple problems with the same page if appropriate.
6. When you are finished, click "Submit"
7. After the assignments have been marked, you can log back in to see instructor comments.

• computer Using Technology to Visualize Potentials

computer Mathematica Activity

30 min.

##### Using Technology to Visualize Potentials
Static Fields 2022 (5 years)

Begin by prompting the students to brainstorm different ways to represent a three dimensional scalar field on a 2-D surface (like their paper or a whiteboard). The students use a pre-made Sage code or a Mathematica worksheet to visualize the electrostatic potential of several distributions of charges. The computer algebra systems demonstrates several different ways of plotting the potential.
• assignment Quantum concentration

assignment Homework

##### Quantum concentration
bose-einstein gas statistical mechanics Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020 Consider one particle confined to a cube of side $L$; the concentration in effect is $n=L^{-3}$. Find the kinetic energy of the particle when in the ground state. There will be a value of the concentration for which this zero-point quantum kinetic energy is equal to the temperature $kT$. (At this concentration the occupancy of the lowest orbital is of the order of unity; the lowest orbital always has a higher occupancy than any other orbital.) Show that the concentration $n_0$ thus defined is equal to the quantum concentration $n_Q$ defined by (63): $$n_Q \equiv \left(\frac{MkT}{2\pi\hbar^2}\right)^{\frac32}$$ within a factor of the order of unity.
• assignment Building the PDM: Instructions

assignment Homework

##### Building the PDM: Instructions
PDM Energy and Entropy 2021 (2 years) In your kits for the Portable Partial Derivative Machine should be the following:
• A 1ft by 1ft board with 5 holes and measuring tapes (the measuring tapes will be on the top side)
• 2 S-hooks
• A spring with 3 strings attached
• 2 small cloth bags
• 4 large ball bearings
• 8 small ball bearings
• 2 vertical clamp pulleys
• A ziploc bag containing
• 5 screws
• 5 hex nuts
• 5 washers
• 5 wing nuts
• 2 horizontal pulleys
To assemble the Portable PDM, start by placing the PDM on a table surface with the measuring tapes perpendicular to the table's edge and the board edge with 3 holes closest to you.
1. one screw should be put through each hole so that the threads stick out through the top side of the board. Next use a hex nut to secure each screw in place. It is not critical that they be screwed on any more than you can comfortably manage by hand.
2. After securing all 5 screws in place with a hex nut, put a washer on each screw.
3. Slide a horizontal pulley onto screws 1 and 2 (as labeled above).
4. On all 5 screws, add a wing nut to secure the other pieces. Again, it does not need to be tightened all the way as long as it is secure enough that nothing will fall off.
5. Using the middle wingnut/washer/screw (Screw 4), clamp the shortest of the strings tied to the spring.
6. Loop the remaining 2 looped-ends of string around the horizontal pulleys and along the measuring tape.
7. Using the string as a guide, clamp the vertical pulleys into place on the edge of the board.
8. Through the looped-end of each string, place 1 S-hook.
9. Put the other end of each s-hook through the hole in the small cloth bag.
Here is a poor photo of the final result, which doesn't show the two vertical pulleys. If you would like, you could view a video of the building process.
• format_list_numbered Integration Sequence

format_list_numbered Sequence

##### Integration Sequence
Students learn/review how to do integrals in a multivariable context, using the vector differential $d\vec{r}=dx\, \hat{x}+dy\, \hat{y}+dz\, \hat{z}$ and its curvilinear coordinate analogues as a unifying strategy. This strategy is common among physicists, but is NOT typically taught in vector calculus courses and will be new to most students.
• group Quantum Measurement Play

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

##### Quantum Measurement Play
Quantum Fundamentals 2022 (2 years)

The instructor and students do a skit where students represent quantum states that are “measured” by the instructor resulting in a state collapse.
• assignment Photo Permission

assignment Homework

##### Photo Permission
Quantum Fundamentals 2022

In the "Quizzes" section of Canvas, please fill out the "Photo Permission Form" to indicate what information you'd like me to post about you on the Physics Department Website.

Faculty & Students use this site to learn who is taking Paradigms and to network.

Author Information
Liz Gire
Learning Outcomes