Physical Science

In desperate need of conceptual physics curriculum/activites

Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:47 PM

Hi
Due to a teacher resignation, as of today, I am now the physics teacher. Little to nothing has been left for me and it has been many years since I taught physics. If anyone can share any electronic files, suggest useful books, etc, I would be grateful. This is NOT AP physics, more of an algebra based class.  Thanks in advance.

Joseph Evans
Joe Evans
30 Activity Points

Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:59 PM


Joe,

Definitely get the Phenomenon-Based Learning books sold by NSTA Press. They're full of great physics activities, along with information on how to teach physics with more student engagement. The activities are very easy for you to use, with the activities and thought-provoking questions in the first part of each chapter, and explanations at the end of each chapter. There are versions for elementary, middle school, and high school. You can see the high-school version here:

http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781936959365

If you go to that site, you can scroll down and click on a link to see a sample chapter. Click on that, because you not only get the sample chapter but also the table of contents and the introduction, which explains the philosophy behind the book, how to use the book, and why it’s so effective for getting students to understand physics.

There are also two kits of materials (sold by Arbor Scientific) designed to go with the book. They’re kind of expensive, but they’d be a great investment for your school, even if you don’t get the books.

http://www.arborsci.com/nsta-hs-kits

James

James Dotson
James Dotson
40 Activity Points

Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:43 PM

Hi Joe,

I can recommend a couple of resources that might get you started. As the year progresses, you can check back and let us know what you need.
AAPT's The Physics Classroom has many resources that are available to physics teachers. There is an online textbook for students as well as teacher resources that can be used with the student textbook. Another resource that would be very helpful is pHet which has computer simulations that can be used as introductory activities, labs, or assessments. There are free curricula that is available for teachers that coordinate with the simulations. To access those resources, you do need to sign up for an account. Paul Hewitt has an excellent conceptual physics textbook. He has multiple resources available free to teachers (even if you don't use his book). His videos can be found on Youtube at this link. He also has a series of lessons based on his drawings. They can be found at Hewittdrewit. BetterLesson Master Teacher Project has hundreds of physics lessons that were developed by master teachers that are NGSS-aligned. Eighty examples of these lessons can be found at Timothy Brennan's curriculum page. This page is also linked to the other master physics teachers' pages. You also must have an account to view these lessons. However, they are free.

There are also many NSTA resources that might be helpful. I'm only going to mention a few. I love to use the Take Home Physics labs with my students. Here is a sample chapter on Inertia. You can also search the Learning Center for other individual chapters if you didn't want to purchase the entire book. You mentioned that it was a number of years since you have taught physics. If you need a refresher in some of the concepts, NSTA offers two types of resources that might be helpful. They are SciPacks and Science Objects. Both have you go through modules that help you review the important concepts taught in physics. Here is a link to the Force and Motion SciPack.

What are some other resources that teachers are using in physics that might help Joe?

Ruth Hutson
Ruth Hutson
58205 Activity Points

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