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Home > Physical Science > First Day of School
by Arthur Eisenkraft, Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:33 AM
The Physics Teacher article where 13 teachers describe how they introduce physics on the first day of school.
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by Carolyn Mohr, Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:35 PM
Hi Arthur and welcome to the Discussion Forums. Thank you for posting the interesting article from "The Physics Teacher" journal. It is fun to see how several different physics teachers begin their year with their students. There are some great ideas posted at another thread in this forum too: First Couple Days of Physical Science
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by Ruth Hutson, Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:08 PM
Arthur and other thread readers,

I am so glad that Arthur found a way to share this article. It provides some interesting insight into 13 different ways to start the school year. I really enjoyed reading it. This started as a Physics listserv discussion. A new teacher wanted to know how different teachers start their school year.

Like the teacher from Greeley, CO, I am fortunate to teach at a small high school. I already know all the students that will be in my physics class this year. They were in one of my classes the previous year. We will spend a little time discussing classroom expectations, setting up their lab notebooks, and reviewing lab safety. Then I will have my students complete several stations that have them explore inertia. We will discuss what they observed the following day. I believe in some talking and lots of modeling of classroom procedures. It keeps my students engaged and sets the tone of the class.

How are others planning on starting their first day of school?
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by Loren Nomura, Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:39 PM
For my integrated science class / physics we are just going over classroom procedures and rules/school policy. For example our school has a 10 minute lockout period at the beginning of every single class and students need to take out a book and read it. This is part of our basic literacy routine called SURF (silent uninterrupted reading for fun). Most students unfortunately will not read for 'fun' on their own time if they have a choice.

This week is the second week and for physics we just started reviewing the scientific method - standard 1, which is something that practically any science teacher could do for the first part of the year. I am giving them a quiz today on independent, dependent, and control groups. Then eventually I plan to go into forces and motion and maybe magnetism. If we have time I think waves are a good topic to explore too, especially since we live in Hawaii!
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by Carolyn Mohr, Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:05 AM
Wow, Loren! You are already two weeks into the school year? I thought my district started early, and they don't go back to school until next week. I noticed that there are some good resources for the first days of school on one of the NSTA blogs: NSTA Press Books. It includes some free book chapters to download. I hope some of you will have time to check them out.
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by Loren Nomura, Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:53 PM
Thanks for the link. Yes we are now about to head into our third week (wow!) of school and I'm already exhausted...but not because of the planning because for the first time I actually have an idea of what I want to do for the whole year.

For the physics part of our curriculum I think I am set. I liked the chemistry links though, because we are changing our curriculum to help our students get a head start on HSA next year. So thanks again
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