I teach physics at an independent high school in North Carolina. Over the past ten years, I’ve met and been inspired by an incredible group of dedicated, energetic and creative science teachers through the modeling instruction program. These teachers have been participants in workshops that I’ve taught, instructors of fellow students in workshops I’ve attended, or colleagues I’ve worked with to promote modeling instruction at the state and national level.
Through attending the Physics Teacher Camp organized by John Burk, I became acquainted with a group of teachers who wrote blogs about their physics teaching. I was impressed with the way opening their teaching practice to public comment helped them to reflect on their teaching and improve.
My motivation for starting a blog at this time is also fueled by wanting a vehicle to share a new physics apparatus that I developed over the summer. Once again, as friends jokingly point out I seem to do every year, I’m making ambitious changes in the way that I teach my courses. Here’s hoping that someone will benefit from my reflections on teaching, and that writing this blog will help me continue to reflect on my own teaching and improve.
Jim cibulka in St. Louis here. After seeing what you and Kelly oshea are doing with goal less problems, I got totally into them. I like how they allow you to put the model back together after you have taught the parts ( among other things). I have started using a lot of Dan Meyers 3 act problems ( and made my own) to use as well.
I am giving a presentation to the St. Louis area physics teachers group ( you know – the one with Debbie and Rex rice among other amazing educators) and I was wondering if you had any advice on using goal less problems. Thanks for any help you can offer!
Hope to meet you sometime!
Jacibulka at gmail dotcom
I’ve received a few inquiries about goalless problems through e-mail and now here through the blog. A lot of my thoughts on using them with high school students are in the teacher notes to the materials I posted on the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) web site. I think you have to be a member of AMTA (well worth it!) to access the full materials, but I’ll write a new blog post based on those teacher notes to make them accessible and to whet people’s appetite to see more of the problems.
My strategy for using them has been pretty stable since I wrote those notes, so I don’t know that I have many new thoughts, but translating the notes into the blog post may help me remember.
Look for something by this weekend (hopefully!).
Pingback: Mechanics: 3 Fundamental Principles | Physics! Blog!