I know you’ve been there. Stuck in the doldrums of kinematics. “It’s against the law to think in the doldrums!” So there you are. Stuck in description-land. The juicy parts of physics (explain and predict) are far away and out of reach. You can easily spend ages and ages there. The students start to think… Read More Balanced Forces before Constant Acceleration
The Mistake Game (which I’ll describe in more detail in just a moment) has become the default mode of whiteboarding (problems, not experiments) in my physics classes. I’ve written about it before (old links at the bottom of this post), but felt like I needed to write again, now that I’ve been using it almost… Read More Whiteboarding Mistake Game: A Guide
In response to Bowman’s call for advice to new teachers, I wrote this letter. I love to talk about teaching, though I’m not sure anyone should really listen to me. I’m still working on knowing what I’m talking about. When it is ready, I will edit this post with a link to his master collection… Read More Dear New Teacher
One of my favorite pages that comes included in the new (delicious) binders I hand to students on the first day of school is the Advice from Past Students handout. Everything included on the page is actual advice from actual former students (contributed through course evaluations). For the 2013 crew, I’ve changed the layout to… Read More Updated Advice from Former Physics Students
Next up on the May course evaluation tour: The most important things about this year’s physics classes. These responses are always some of my favorite to read. I’m also including the answers to the question “What are you most proud of with respect to your work in physics class this year?” These responses are typically… Read More May Course Evaluations: What did you learn in physics class this year?
Part 2 of my May course evaluation reflection is centered on standards-based grading (SBG). I’ve just wrapped up year 2 of this radical change in my assessment philosophy and procedure. It has been a huge success. Instead of posting every response, I will just post the best (in terms of feedback, not necessarily the best… Read More May Course Evaluations: Standards-Based Grading Feedback
Now that the year is over, it is time to do the post-game analysis and start making plans for changes for next year. I am thinking about making a few posts that contain some selections from my spring course evaluations and my thinking about the relevant topics. I’m not sure whether these posts are of… Read More May Course Evaluations: Homework