Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wire It Up! Electric Building Project

Chevron STEM Conference Exploratorium November 23rd, 2013

As part of the Chevron STEM Conference by the Exploratorium I presented on my Electric House Project using recycled holiday lights.

Workshop Write-up (pdf or google doc)
Student introduction sheet (pdf or doc)
Workshop powerpoint (pdf or ppt)
Sample projects from 2012 and 2013
Physics class Electric Building Project page (not updated for 2014)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Paper Management: Taming the Paper Beast!

New Teacher Institute September 28th, 2013
Presented with Maria Kapadia
Teachers have to deal with so much paper it is often overwhelming! We shared strategies about how to mange paper, how to minimize it and more.
Workshop powerpoint
Workshop handout
Ideas for paper management by category  - created by the participants
Types of Paper

Saturday, August 31, 2013

3 Dimensional Learning analogy

A great article on NSTA's blog about how to employ the NGSS. I love the cooking analogy!

NSTA NGSS Resources I love

NSTA Resources:
A huge amount of NSTA materials is available on this website and is very helpful because they sort the standards differently.
I found an Infographic about NGSS that is very clear and understandable that helps explain the "parts." After I found this I used it to develop a NGSS Professional Development introduction  using portions of the Infographic by This is a general explanation piece using the image in a printable format.

NGSS Basics

I found that I started not understanding the basic chart format of the standards. I found an Infographic about NGSS that is very clear and understandable that helps explain the "parts." The new standards are no longer a check list of "things students need to know" but a list of (1) Content they must know at a deeper level than before, (2) Practices or skills they must have in order to express that content and (3) Crosscutting ideas they should be able to see across several disciplines. The framework in its chart form separates each of these categories from the "Performance Expectations" that detail what students are expected to be able to do based on those three parts.

Specific resources for the Middle School and High School are also available. 

Science & Engineering Practices These skills are listed under specific Performance Expectations but do not have to be taught only with those concepts. All the advice I've heard for implementation of NGSS has been to start with these Science and Engineering Practices. These skills can be taught to students in any concept and if students truly understand how to do it then they should be able to apply them to any other concept. For example, there is an Science & Engineering Practice regarding analyzing data, something that students do frequently. There are others about designing and revising a model which you may teach to your students in the Kinematics unit but they may be assessed regarding Electricity. I've separated the Science and Engineering Practices for Grades 9-12 so that you can see them a little more broadly. 

Crosscutting Concepts:
The Crosscutting Concepts are concepts that should appear in multiple disciplines and help students see the overall interdisciplinary connections between their classes. Often, teachers discuss applications of a particular concept in multiple classes. For example, the lens of the eye shares properties with over convex lenses so it may be discussed in both a biology (or anatomy) class as well as a Physics class. In my class I discuss near-sightedness and far-sightedness and how their focal lengths differ; students who are in anatomy and have dissected a cow's eye have a much better understanding of that concept. Crosscutting Concepts Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Common Core & NGSS at PUSD

PUSD Common Core Institute August 21st, 2013

Presenter Handout (doc or pdf) with Inside the NGSS Box from NSTA on the back
Common Core materials:
Anchor Standards for Reading (pdf) and Writing (pdf)
Reading in Science (pdf)
Text Complexity (pdf)
Writing Standards (pdf)

CER aka ClEvR materials:
CER Explanatory Handout (doc or pdf) and a word document of the chart on the second page is available here.
CER Activity with prompts (doc or pdf)
An example of an activity for Physics with the CER strategy called "Graphing Experimental Data Lab" (doc or pdf)

Presentation powerpoint (pdf)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Blinky Lights 2013

Summer Teacher Institute 2013, Exploratorium

I have presented on this many times, I learn new things every time!
Blinky Lights Gallery on Flikr
Powerpoint with pointers and explanations
Accompanying document with more explanations

Labs on a Shoestring

Summer Teacher Institute 2013, Exploratorium

As part of the Leadership Institute I shared some cheap lab materials alongside other mentors.

Current Physics Project descriptions and photos available here.
Additional suggestions & tips for teachers available here.