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Sep. 18th, 2006 | 09:33 pm
posted by: doohickey in towson_hs

This is going to be a slightly different entry than what you're probably used to.

I graduated from THS in 2001, and I'm now a student teacher at another high school. I'm teaching Physics for the first time to high school students.

What would you recommend, in terms of how to teach a Physics class? More labs? Less labs? More real-life problems? More generalized (no numbers) problems? (Less/no homework is NOT an option here, sorry.)

If you went to NASA (Goddard Space Flight Center) on a field trip, would you think that you'd have fun, or would it be boring?

I can't believe that I'm saying this, but I'm having a hard time remembering how I reacted to most things in my high school Physics class.

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Comments {4}

ange

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from: jackalite
date: Sep. 19th, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC)
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Based on my physics experience, my biggest suggestion is, "Follow up with what you say you'll do." I didn't enjoy physics because my teacher didn't control his class. There were discussions everywhere in the room, and the teacher kept joining them and getting distracted. We barely got anything done. By the time the final exam was just a few weeks away, we were behind by a unit or two.

Also, I received instruction on how to do a new problem after receiving homework regarding those types of problems. It wasn't fair to the class as a whole, because few could figure out how to work the more difficult problems without prior knowledge.

I think a trip to NASA would be really fun as long as it wasn't done in monotone. I think if the students learned cool facts and got to try some of the things that astronauts did (just the safest things, of course), they'd enjoy themselves.

Good luck teaching!

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General

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from: calculusdestind
date: Oct. 2nd, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
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Hmm.

Well I'm taking physics now, and I'm thinking...
More labs that actually apply something that the student has learned, rather than doing the lab and then learning the concept. The same goes with homework. It's ridiculous, we're learning the concepts after doing the assignments.

Real-life problems help illustrate things well, as long as they're not too out there.

I also like generalised problems, but you have to eventually phase in the numbers. The generalisations allow you to figure out things like cancellation of units and formula manipulation/derivation, which is really useful when you're dealing with all of the formulas you encounter in physics.

I have to agree with jackalite on the NASA trip. I think you have to let the students explore and actually try some of these things to see that physics is applicable to real life. It reinforces your concept, while still allowing enjoyment.

Good luck with your class!

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Maya

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from: breakinhabits
date: Nov. 17th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Less labs. I am physics now. No one likes labs. well, okay, to be fair, if you want kids to be happy, don't give them many labs. If you want to make sure they know this stuff, give them labs. I can't believe I'm saying this because I hate labs, but that's only because I don't understand physics...
real life problems are okay, and generalized problems are good. Everything is good. It's more the context of the questions that slips people up. How many you want depends on the physics class. NASA would be great! I always loved it there. Besides, everyone loves a field trip! Good luck! :)

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Maya

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from: breakinhabits
date: Nov. 17th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
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oh and I agree with the last two posters. Control is good, and reviewing concepts BEFORE giving homework related to it is a plus for everyone. My teacher gives concepts after hw and it's really hard because we don't understand the hw because he hasn't taught us the concepts, and as a result we all pretty much fail.

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