Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Archive for October 21st, 2009

nightshiftI don’t know why I’ve never mentioned this before.  In my room I have a bookshelf full of mostly paperbacks.  The books are there for the kids to take, read, and if they chose, return.  I go to the public library every couple of weeks, they are constantly selling paperbacks at either 5 for a dollar or a bag for a dollar.  I must have about 200 books on my shelf right now.

I have lots of science fiction (Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Card), mysteries, thrillers (I love Ludlum novels), fantasy, even some non-fiction titles.  I have a bunch of the Sue Grafton series (“A is for Alibi”, etc.) since the protagonist is a woman detective.  I often recommend those to the girls.  I try to keep the books different from those they read in their English classes.  Books don’t equal homework.

I require nothing in exchange.  I ask them what they like, then I recommend something if I can.  Today a student took Stephen King’s Night Shift.  I pick up every copy of that I can find, it’s a great book and I recommend it frequently.

I even have one student who is constantly bringing in books her father donates to my library.

My goal is pretty obvious, get them to read something.  Anything.  If they are reading, they are learning.


What’s New in 2013/2014?

Every year brings a change, this one is no exception.

I will be picking up the sophomore honors Algebra II class to keep them separate from the juniors. This should help accelerate them and put them on a stronger track towards Calculus. Looks like there will be only one section each of Physics and Calculus, but still two of Robotics & Engineering.

Hot topics this year are going to be the Common-Core Standards, Standards-Based Grading (SBG), improving AP Calculus scores, and somehow adding Python, maybe as a club.

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