Day 1 – 8.21.13
Block 1 (AP)
I have had most of my students in AP Physics before. This year I am working with a proactive leaning team that really has tried to get prepared prior to this first day of class. We have had 4 learning team meetings since July to prepare for our school year. My worry is that I have been so prepared for algebra-based physics that I have put AP Physics on “automatic pilot”
Nevertheless I think I set some good expectations for the year. I let students know
- That AP Physics C will demand more of them than any other class they have taken
- That if they are used to getting ‘A’s in classes with little effort, they will find themselves challenged in completely new ways
- A 56/90 is an excellent grade
- Programming will play a role in the class
Block 2 (Physics 1,2)
It has been an adjustment as our learning team now has 3 teachers, all of whom are seasoned veterans of teaching physics.
I have a real concern on my part that as I went through the syllabus that I did not emphasis rules and structure. Yet, I have to confess that I really truly think the structure of my class will come through in how we do the labs and classwork. The structure of carrying out labs and learning, the mechanics of measuring and recording, and the process of solving and white-boarding problems will really lay out expectations through experience.
This seems to be the style that works best for me. I just need to make absolutely sure that I have my process for labs and problem sets clearly and transparently laid out. I will review it in class, put it in our LMS, and probably share it in Google Drive.
The truth is that I have to think about what best serves our students. I already have the sense that with 30-32 students in my physics classes, I will need to keep an eye on students to make sure they are on task. What I need to ensure is that when I address my students that it is honest: i.e. truthful, kind AND necessary.
Block 2 (Physics 4-6)
I went through the syllabus with each class, and I have realized that next year I want to start off using an ice-breaker. Although the students were completely willing to go along and were very polite, I’d like to start off the next year getting to know them. I have to make sure that the ice-breaker
- helps create classroom procedure
- is engaging
- gets students to get to know each other
- gets students to give me some information about them so I learn their names