Author Archives: marcreif

About marcreif

I live and teach high school physics in the town I was born in, Fayetteville, Arkansas. My professional interests include modeling instruction and Advanced Placement courses. I do a fair amount of work as a College Board Workshop Consultant.

Racism and the past

Last summer I drove through the delta from Searcy, Arkansas to Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It’s a pleasant drive. The land is mostly farmland, dedicated to cotton, soybeans, and rice. The delta is an area of rich soils, plentiful water, and productive farms. Arkansas … Continue reading

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The First Day of School: Marshmallows and Spaghetti

I have used this as a first-day activity for several years. Students walk in, and sit in groups of three or four assigned for them. The groups are given a large marshmallow, 20 sticks of spaghetti, about a meter of masking … Continue reading

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TESS has no meat on her bones

There are structural and cultural problems with the Arkansas Department of Education’s newish Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS), the system by which teachers are evaluated. TESS is not really going to change anything. TESS is based on Charlotte Danielson’s “The … Continue reading

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What should a kid get out of high school science?

Some friends asked me this question recently, and I gave a bad answer. In my bad answer I said something like “They should know some things. Some big ideas.” And I listed a few that came to mind, like conservation of … Continue reading

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Good Intentions

The Board of Education of the state of Arkansas has recently released the descriptions of the new Next Generation Science Standards-inspired courses for high school, debuting 2017-2018:  Proposed High School Science Courses. There are a lot of things to like in this plan. … Continue reading

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Using Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research

Below are my thoughts on the Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research (TIPERS). These are really excellent tools to promote discussion in your physics class, no matter what the level. I strongly recommend buying one or more of these books. By … Continue reading

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Standards-Based Quizzing

This year in AP Physics 1 I’ve made a step towards Standards-Based Grading. I know I am several years behind the curve on this, but I am glad that I finally decided to make it happen. The slower pace of … Continue reading

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