Physics 206 — Mechanics

Texas A&M University, Spring 2020

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Dept of Physics & Astronomy » PHYS206 common webpage » Recitation information
Student FAQ

Links to Zoom meetings

Please see zoom-info-2020C.php for the Zoom meeting IDs for all sections this semester, as well as all other Zoom meeting information (synchronous lectures, recorded lectures, office hours of instructors and TAs, ...).

Expectations for Participation and Preparation in Recitations


What do we do in recitations?

Recitation provides an opportunity for students to work together in a small group on challenging problems that are designed to build conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills. The emphasis is on learning to find, evaluate, and build confidence in answers. Recitations are not a repeat of the material covered in the text or lectures, or of the homework problems. In recitation, you will learn to: These are the process skills that can improve your performance on the exams and in your subsequent courses, when you are faced with new, often challenging, problems.

Why is it important to participate in – and be prepared for – recitations?

It is important that students participate in recitations so that they can learn from each other. We know that active involvement in learning increases what is remembered, how well it is assimilated, and how the learning is used in new situations. In making statements to peers about their own thoughts on a topic, students must articulate those thoughts and also submit them to (hopefully constructive) examination by others. It is important that students come prepared, with good familiarity with the material covered in the text, lectures, and on the homework, so that they can focus on the parts they don't understand and build connections between concepts. In listening to their peers, students hear many different ways of interpreting and applying class material, and thus are able to integrate many examples of how to use the information. Especially in a course that stresses application of material to solving problems, extensive participation in group discussions is an essential element of students' learning.

How is participation and preparation in recitations graded?

Participation in, and preparation for, each recitation session is graded on a scale from 0 (lowest) through 4 (highest), using the criteria stated below. The criteria focus on what you demonstrate and do not presume to guess at what you know but do not demonstrate. This is because what you offer to the group is what you and others learn from. The average level of participation is expected to satisfy the criteria for a "3". At the end of the semester, the grades from all recitations will be averaged to determine the overall grade for recitation.
Grade Criteria
0 • Absent
1 • Present, not disruptive
• Tries to respond when called on, but does not offer much
• Demonstrates very infrequent involvement in discussions
2 • Demonstrates adequate preparation: knows basic facts, but does not show evidence of trying to interpret or analyze them
• Offers straightforward information, without elaboration or very infrequently
• Does not offer to contribute to discussion, but contributes to a moderate degree when called on
• Demonstrates sporadic involvement
3 • Demonstrates good preparation: knows facts well, has thought through implications of them
• Offers interpretations and analysis of problems (more than just facts) to group
• Contributes well to discussion in an ongoing way: responds to other student's points, thinks through own points, questions others in a constructive way, offers and supports suggestions
• Demonstrates consistent and ongoing involvement
4 • Demonstrates excellent preparation: has analyzed problems exceptionally well, relating them to readings and other material (e.g., readings, course material, discussions, experiences, etc.)
• Offers analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of problems, e.g., puts together pieces of the discussion to develop new approaches that take the group further
• Contributes in a very significant way to ongoing discussion: keeps analysis focused, responds very thoughtfully to other students' comments, contributes to the cooperative argument-building, suggests alternative ways of solving problems and helps group analyze which approaches are appropriate
• Demonstrates ongoing very active involvement

Recitation Problems

Recitation problems are intended to be sufficiently challenging that a single student working along will have difficulty answering them, but a group of students working together in recitation will be able to answer them. To get the most out of recitation, you should try to work out the problems on your own before recitation. If you have any difficulties, you should make a note of them so that you can bring them up for discussion in recitation.


Math Reviews
Recitation Problems for Chapter 1 (Units, Measurements, and Vectors)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 2 (Motion Along a Straight Line)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 3 (Motion in 2 and 3 Dimensions)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 4 (Newton's Laws of Motion)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 5 (Applying Newton's Laws)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 6 (Work and Kinetic Energy)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 7 (Potential Energy and Energy Conservation)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 8 (Center of Mass, (Conservation of) Momentum, & Collisions)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 9 (Rotation of Rigid Bodies, Moments of Inertia)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 10 (Torque and Rotational Dynamics)
Recitation Problems for Chapters 10 & 11 (Conservation of Angular Momentum, Static Equilibrium)
Recitation Problems for Chapter 13 & 14 (Universal Gravitation and SHM)