Wednesday, December 3, 2014

NGSS Sample Performance Assessments

The sample Performance Assessments were released last month and I'm just now getting a chance to sit down and look at it. And it will take some time to digest it. Each is 17 pages and includes background information, description of the tasks, time lines and examples. The Solar Oven is the only one that seems primarily Physics. As you read it, you may come to realize its a fairly complex assignment as I did. Each time I thought I understood how to implement it in my classroom another page reveals another layer. I don't know how this can be achieved with hands on materials in my classroom.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Solar Dancer

Share n' Tell, NCNAAPT Fall Meeting, City College of San Francisco - November 15th, 2014

I found this Solar Dancer at the local Dollar Tree. It has a photocell (light sensitive panel) that collects light and causes the dancer to move side to side. The photocell sends current through the coil which creates a magnetic field. The magnetic field from the coil interferes with the permanent magnet's magnetic field and causes the small figure to move.
Solar Dancer Inside

Literacy & Kinematics

Share n' Tell, NCNAAPT Fall Meeting, City College of San Francisco - November 15th, 2014 
 Traffic Survey article from Los Altos (pdf or google doc), Dan Burns editorial (pdf or google doc) and activity questions (pdf or google doc). Definition of a "speed Trap" according to California Vehicle Code:

V C Section 40802 Speed Traps
Speed Traps
40802.  (a) A "speed trap" is either of the following:
(1) A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.

Friday, November 14, 2014

NGSS Interactive Pathway resource

While searching for an image to use for a poster submission four my upcoming NCNAAPT meeting I found this image that I really enjoyed from the Concord Consortium. Conceptually I think it helps with understanding how the three strands are brought together. I was amused when I found a "fortune teller" template about NGSS. I was thrilled to see this interactive pathway page. If you choose a Discipline Core Idea, then a Practice you would like to use and finally a Crosscutting Concept. Then an activity is suggested for you that meets all those needs! The materials look great and were developed with a grant from NSF. The activities are very detailed, including images and other multimedia and has pacing information with teacher support. Some have questions next to the pictures for students to answer. After the questions are answered students can create a report that can be printed with their responses.
NGSS Pathways.gif

The poster I submitted to the NCNAAPT conference is available here and is meant as an introduction to NGSS for teachers and administrators alike.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Paper Management: Taming the Paper Beast

New Teacher Institute, Exploratorium - September 20, 2014
Presented with Shana Solinksy

The amount that teachers have to deal with on a daily basis is vast! Shana and I talked about strategies to manage it and minimize it all.

Workshop write-up (pdf or google doc)
Workshop powerpoint (pdf or ppt)

Link to photos from the workshop

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NGSS Aligned Unit Outlines

Working with my colleagues we took our District's linear sequence for Physics and found the Performance Expectations that fit with each of our units. From there we added our own objectives for some, more for others; Waves & Sound for example have many more of our own objectives because there are not many in NGSS that are about sound and mechanical waves. We also found some Science & Engineering Practices that were included in these units. There are many more practices we could have kept, but we were trying to keep it to a page. :) These are a work in process and are our own curricular guides; please take them lightly as we along with the rest of the country align to NGSS.
NGSS Aligned Unit Outlines:
KinematicsForces  2D Forces Energy
 Circular Motion,Torque Thermodynamics  Momentum  Waves & Sound
 ElectrostaticsElectromagnetism Current Electricity 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wire It up! Electric House Project

2nd Annual Re-Engineering your Science Curriculum, Exploratorium, April 13th, 2014
Room sign

I presented another workshop about the Electric Building project.

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, April 12, 2014

Distracted Driving Literacy Activity and Worksheet

NCNAAPT Spring Section Meeting & Conference, Exploratorium, April 12th, 2014

I have found that I can help my students understand the dangers of drunk driving using kinematics and physics. 

The write-up with explanation is available here (pdf or google doc)

Article Questions (pdf or google doc)

Dangers of Distracted Driving Worksheet (pdf or google doc)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chain Reactions

New Teacher Institute, Exploratorium, March 29th, 2014
Presented with Geoff Gould

Geoff and I presented a few different ways to teach chain reactions through Rube Goldberg machines. This can be a long term individual o group project or be done in one day!

Workshop Handout (pdf or google doc)
Workshop powerpoint (pdf or ppt)

Video Links: