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Interaction with Force, Mass, and Motion | Posted in Physical Science

In my physics classroom, we use both hands-on activities and pHet simulations.  The hands-on activities provide concrete experience with the phenomena that my students are studying.  The computer simulations help them further explore those concrete experience by looking at the phenomena a different way.  For example, when study projectiles, I have students build mini-catapults and test how they work.  They observe and describe how motion projectile motion looks. Then they follow up that activity with the pHet simulation in which they can more easily control variables so they can test the different factors that contribute to projectile motion. 


Ruth Hutson

Seating Charts | Posted in New Teachers

I teach third grade so I can only give an elementary perspective. I have always with the exception of one time assigned seating spots to my students. I always start the school year in desk pods usually four to five to a pod depending on how many students I have. This year I have 18. There have been years when I had to make quick adjustments because certain kids just can't sit together. I like the beginning of the year to go as smoothly as possible with setting expectations and instilling good habits. I do keep students who need more help or direction closer to the front but I mixed them up with other students so they don't feel singled out. I never seat students by learning ability. When I was in elementary school I did have a teacher who did this and I always felt bad for the lower kids because we all knew they were the lower kids. Unless we are doing state testing, I never put my students in the traditional rows. This is my least favorite way to set up a classroom. The one time I let my students pick their spots was when I taught 4th grade. Overall they were a good class so I decided to try it out. It ended up with boys sitting with boys and girls sitting with girls. They promised me they would behave so I wouldn't change their spots. They were good for about 3 days and then I could see they couldn't handle it. Once I had them back in assigned seating they were back to their old selves. Don't be afraid to move kids if needed.


Brenda Velasco

NSTA National Conference in LA | Posted in Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy 2017

Hi Fellows- We will be meeting in just two weeks! I have enjoyed reading the introductions each of you have posted as it gives me faces with names- thank you! Attached is a short PowerPoint you can view that covers some helpful information as you get ready to travel to LA. Please review this at your earliest convenience. If you have any questions after viewing please post them here in the forum and I will reply in a timely manner. Warm Regards- Wendy


Wendy Binder

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