Physics 10 Course Handout with Advice from Former Students

One of the classes that I am teaching this year is a one-trimester class for sophomores on E&M topics (a very basic class because of the short amount of time and because the students haven’t taken any mechanics). I get to teach it four times this year (twice in the first trimester) as every 10th grader takes it.

The next section of the class starts on Monday, and I’ve been spending some time cleaning up materials to prepare for it. I made a new course handout and incorporated some updated advice from former students (which I’ve written about before) on the back of the page. A lot of this set of advice comes from this past trimester’s group of sophomores who gave me a lot of great feedback a couple of weeks before their final assessment. They were particularly fond of the grading system and the way that they saw themselves as being able to learn something challenging that they didn’t necessarily expect they could do.

Here is my draft of the full document. As always, feel free to borrow, steal, modify, etc anything you’d like (except, I mean, your students would probably rather have advice from your own former students than my former students).  And ideas, reactions, feedback, etc are of course always welcome.

Physics10CourseHandout1 Physics10CourseHandout2

4 thoughts on “Physics 10 Course Handout with Advice from Former Students

  1. I love the student comment, “Just because you are not taught how to do it at first, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to solve it with what you already know.” I think this right here is one of the most difficult aspects for my students in a Modeling classroom.

    1. I love that one, too! It’s from this year’s sophomores. They are really insightful kids to have come up with that after only one trimester of a class. It’s definitely difficult to get students more comfortable with the idea that they aren’t just doing a “type of problem”. I had a senior in a different class this year say that he can’t figure things out, he can only learn by copying examples (I was less successful in one trimester with him—it’s definitely tougher to break through that with older students).

  2. It is great that you seek feedback from your students! It is very useful for the students to hear advice from their own peers and not just from the teacher. We survey our grade 9 science students using simple google forms at the end of their first semester to get some numerical and qualitative data- pace/difficulty/advice to teachers/ advice to grade 8’s etc. to inform ourselves as teachers, as what we can do better in semester 2. We also share the advice for grade 8 students (as written by the grade 9’s) when they start the course. On another level, all this data is shared with the grade 8 teaching team to help us articulate vertically with grade 8. I recognise all the comments that you have collated and every year, and use them as a tool to help better equip our new freshman grade 9’s for the trials and tribulations of the jump to High school! It helps make the student learning visible from the lens of a student. A great book to reach which drives our learning and teaching is by John Hattie- Visible Learning for teachers. Really seeded our department reaching out to the students to get feedback.

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