Category Archives: Uncategorized

Electricity Visualized! Teaching Circuits in AP1 with ideas from the CASTLE Curriculum.

CASTLE stands for Capacitor-Aided System for Teaching and Learning Electricity. It is a conceptual curriculum available for download from Pasco Scientific (go to https://www.pasco.com/prodCompare/castle-kit/index.cfm and scroll down to find the downloads). The curriculum is a basically complete set of activities, … Continue reading

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PEER INSTRUCTION

I learned a very simple, powerful technique for engaging students’ interest, sparking intense classroom discussions, and guiding students how to think like a physicist from the book Peer Instruction  by Eric Mazur. What’s more, if you use this technique in … Continue reading

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“Nothing is too wonderful to be true” – Michael Faraday’s Law

Science is moved forward by observations and experiments, yet some observations are too subtle and some experiments too complicated to reproduce in the classroom.Michael Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction combines observation and experimentation yet requires nothing expensive or complicated. It … Continue reading

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WHITEBOARDING TECHNIQUES (To promote a good classroom environment and possibly, inquiry)

A brief description of the ways I have used whiteboards to promote discussions in the modeling physics classroom. Continue reading

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Pinterest Boards for Teachers

Last year, inspired by my oldest daughter’s obsession with Pinterest, I started making Pinterest boards for high school physics teaching. Pinterest is a website that allows you to create “bulletin boards” of images (with a snippet of text) “pinned” from … Continue reading

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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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