Tag Archives: teaching

“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

Posted in AP Physics 1 and 2, AP Physics C, E and M, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Physics Teacher’s Strongman Trick

Strongman tricks often involve seemingly impossible tasks like bending iron bars, lifting gigantic weights, or pulling trains with your teeth. This “teacher trick” doesn’t take great strength to impress. Using a clever arrangement of a mirror and a laser, students … Continue reading

Posted in about teaching and learning, AP Physics 1 and 2, Modeling., Teaching Ideas | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in about teaching and learning, Modeling., Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in about teaching and learning | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in about teaching and learning, AP Physics 1 and 2, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Modeling Terminology

In teaching modeling physics, there is some terminology that is used that I have found confusing. For instance, we (modeling teachers and authors of “Teacher’s Notes” in the modeling materials) talk about the paradigms. The paradigm is a real thing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment