A Resource Book for the Beginning Physics Teacher Documents

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Main Document

A Resource Book for the Beginning Physics Teacher 

written by Jan Mader and Mary Winn

This handbook is designed to help the new teacher, or teachers new to physics, get started in their classes. Each chapter covers a specific physics or pedagogy topic with a short introduction and a selection of lessons, labs, activities, and demonstrations. All activities are selected for their effectiveness and ease of use.

This material is a pre-publication draft for use and comment by teachers. The first six chapters, covering topics through forces, are currently available.

Last Modified August 15, 2006

This file is included in the full-text index.

Supplemental Documents (7)

Teacher Background 

Chapter 1 of the handbook provides background information on learning cycles, learning styles, and the goals for a physics course. There are also recommendations for grading rubrics for labs and non-standard student activities, including cooperative (group) learning.

© Jan Mader and Mary Winn. This material can be used for non-commercial purposes with attribution.

Published August 14, 2006
Last Modified August 15, 2006

Getting Started 

Chapter 2 of the handbook provides four example activities that can be used on the first days of class to get students started taking an active role in their learning. These provide an introduction to a learning cycle approach to science.

© Jan Mader and Mary Winn. Can be used for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution.

Published August 15, 2006
Last Modified August 16, 2006

Analysis of Data 

Chapter 3 of the handbook provides activities and resources to help students understand data. Topics covered include independent and dependent variables, estimation, graphing, and significant figures.

© Jan Mader and Mary Winn. This material can be used for non-commercial purposes with attribution.

Published August 15, 2006
Last Modified August 16, 2006

Kinematics - Motion in One Dimension 

Chapter 4 of the handbook provides materials for the study of one dimensional kinematics. The activities in this chapter cover concepts of position, velocity, and acceleration. They are designed to build student understanding of the properties of moving objects through measurements and analysis.

© Jan Mader and Mary Winn. This material can be used for non-commercial purposes with attribution.

Published August 15, 2006
Last Modified August 16, 2006

Motion in Two Dimensions and Vectors 

Chapter 5 of the handbook provides activities and demonstrations of motion in two dimensions. The topics covered include the description of position, displacement, and velocity as vectors, relative velocity, and free fall.

© Jan Mader and Mary Winn. This material can be used for non-commercial purposes with attribution.

Published August 22, 2006
Last Modified August 22, 2006

Dynamics 

Chapter 6 of the handbook provides resources for covering forces and Newton's Laws. Activities are included that cover the topics of inertia and Newton's second and third laws. These activities and demonstrations illustrate the basic force concepts with which students struggle.

© Jan Mader and Mary Winn. This material can be used for non-commercial purposes with attribution.

Published August 22, 2006
Last Modified August 22, 2006

Electrostatics 

Chapter 11 of the handbook provides resources for the study of electrostatics and charge. The demonstrations and activities include electroscopes, Van de Graaf generators as well as activities using common household items.

© Jan Mader and Mary Winn. This material may be used for non-commercial purposes with attribution.

Published January 5, 2007
Last Modified January 6, 2007