** revisited after 1 year. Notes at end of post
For the last few weeks I've been hosting a type of lesson in my class that I'm really excited about. It has a lot of potential. Since I do these lessons once a week I call it Technical Tuesday. I don't always get it right. In this post I'm going to try and summarize what makes these lessons work and what slows them down. I've written two previous posts on the subject but after doing four I'm starting to get the hang of it.
Motivations and Goals
This is my 1st full year teaching physics. Last semester I gave it my best shot and felt that one of the biggest improvements I could make would be to expose the students to more formal physics. For this reason I set out to find or develop a lesson style that would give my kids both and intuitive understanding of physics content as well as exposure to more formal physics notation and problem types.
I also wanted to design these lessons to reduce the amount of time that I spent in front of the class delivering information. I'm not really good at that skill and don't feel that I make it very engaging to my students. In search of a more student centered approach I attempted to build a lesson values experiences over content.
Philip Estrada is a teacher at High Tech High Media Arts in San Diego California. He teaches Physics by having kids build things in a woodshop.