Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Physical Sciences K-8: Best Practices and Standard Assessments Units

Physics reference materials can be found at the following web sites:

and many more. Refer to the units below for more specific reference materials.

Units are not listed in a prescribed order.

  Collections and Resources for Teachers (5)

Lesson Plans:

Helpful tips for new and experience teachers.


Content Support For Teachers:


This resource provides easy access to NAEP questions, sample student responses, and scoring guides.  It is organized to help teachers gain insight on which areas of the curriculum may need reinforcement.  Searches may be conducted by grade, topic, or level of difficulty.

NAEP measures the science knowledge and skills of fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-grade students. According to the NAEP science framework, developed by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), students are to be assessed in science in the following areas:  Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Scientific Investigation, Practical Reasoning, and Conceptual Understanding.

  Best Practices for Physics Teachers (2)

Lesson Plans:

This book summarizes the current cognitive, neurological, and educational research into how humans learn.  It explores scientific approaches to the improvement of teaching and learning.  Topics include how people obtain, store, and recall information, neural processes essential to learning, brain development, and how understanding can be maximized through best practice instruction.


This book, published in 2005 by the National Academies Press, investigates factors that influence a high school laboratory experience:  What does research tell us about learning in high school science labs?  What is effective laboratory teaching?  What changes need to be made to improve laboratory experiences for high school students?  A must-read for high school physics teachers.

  Benchmarks and Standards (1)

References and Collections:

This resource is a free on-line version of the  Benchmarks compiled and published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  It is a set of research-based standards of what all students should know and be able to do in science, mathematics, and technology by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12.  Links to recent cognitive research are available for each benchmark.