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

Posts Tagged ‘Books

I picked this book up recently at Barnes & Noble for three dollars.  It was on the extreme discount rack that occasionally appears near the front door.  That day I got lucky with three books on teaching math and science.

I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but I like to take activities intended for middle school and use them in my 12th grade classes.  I find these activities tend to have a higher fun factor and if I find them interesting, at least some of my students should as well.

The book says it contains “over 185 exciting investigations to teach thinking & reasoning skills along with science concepts and facts.”  I would agree.  The activities are typically only one or two pages long with a small conclusion called “Teacher Information.”  The table of contents is one of the most useful I have ever seen.  The chapters are divided into topics and each topic has anywhere from five to more than twenty activities clearly listed in the form of a question.  For example, under Physical Science and the topic of Energy (of which there are 19 activities), activity two asks, “How Much Horsepower Do You Have?”  Then, using only a stopwatch and a calculator, the students use the formula provided to see how their horsepower compares to a motor bike or a car.  Simple, but memorable.

Usually, these kinds of books are easy to find.  For some reason, this one is not.  Nothing on and the ISBN brought up nothing in a Google search.  The author is Marvin Tolman.  I have the link to the book in the picture above, but if you go to or Amazon and search his name, you will find he has a whole series of these books available.

Summary: I really like this book for quick activities to start class, another 4/5 Einsteins.


I decided I need to add a book review section to this blog.  I have a pile of books that I steal ideas from.  This one was on my list to purchase, but I found it in the Juvenile section of our local library.  It is written for a budding scientist, but I don’t think it really hits its target.  As a teacher, the stuff is almost obvious, so while I got a couple of ideas from the book, mostly it was a quick skim and return to the library.  I’m glad I didn’t purchase the book.

Far too much of the book is used to describe examples of simple machines.  I spend very little time on machines, so the book isn’t one for my library.

Having said that, I will be looking for his other books at the library in hope of gathering another one or two ideas.

Summary: Worthy of borrowing, not one to purchase.  Rated 2/5 Einsteins.

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.

Polls in the sidebar

Just a quick poll to help me understand who is stopping by my blog.

Yeah sure, lots from America, but look who else is here…

If you are badly in need of more email or for some reason jonesing for a physics fix, enter your email address so I can bother you with my newest rant on science.

Join 314 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 1,299,568 hits by nerds like me since June 1, 2008
July 2018
« Jan