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Eratosthenes Reloaded

Alasdair Paterson, Teacher at White Oaks Secondary School
Paterson@hdsb.ca

Last spring, I took my students 2200 years back in time. My grade 8 students measured the size of the Earth using shadows — the technique first described by Eratosthenes. Read More...

The 2018 OAPT Conference

Plans are well underway for this year’s conference which is being held May 10-12 at the University of Western Ontario.

This year’s theme is Physics at the Boundaries. We will be highlighting some of the exciting things happening where physics connects with astronomy, biology, philosophy and more! Physics is more than a body of knowledge — it is a very successful way of approaching a wide variety of problems.

Proposals for Workshop Sessions:
We are still accepting proposals for sessions, but the deadline of Jan. 26, 2018 is fast approaching. If you have something to present please fill out this form.

Financial Support for Attendees:
The OAPT is aware that it can be very difficult for high school teachers to attend the OAPT conference because so little financial support for professional development is made available by their schools, board and unions. We encourage teachers to tap into these sources wherever possible. In addition we make things easier on teachers’ wallets in four ways. These supports are only possible through the generosity of several organizations.

  • Conference fees are kept very low because the host university provides the facilities and many of the speakers at no cost. Our thanks this year go to our host: Western University
  • Residence fees are kept to $29.99 a night because the real costs are subsidized by the University of Toronto’s Electrical and Computer Engineering. We thank U of T ECE for their many years of support for this and the OAPT Grade 11 Physics Contest.
  • Travel fees for teachers coming from northern Ontario and similar large distances are covered by the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics. (This year, Ottawa will be covered.) To apply to receive this subsidy, please fill in this form.
  • Supply Teacher costs will be covered for a number of teachers attending for the first time. This is being offered for the first time this year using profits from our last few conferences. To apply to receive this subsidy, please fill in the following form.

Integrating Google Quizzes Into Your Teaching Practice

Steve Fotheringham, OAPT Exhibit Hall Coordinator, Teacher Oakville Trafalgar High School
Fotheringham@hdsb.ca

As with most teachers, I struggle to provide enough feedback for my students so that they can gauge their understanding of the material. As well, I receive emails on a regular basis from the parents of my students asking about their progress in class and they expect detailed answers. To resolve both challenges, I have turned to Google Quizzes for help. Read More...

Collaborative Group Problem Solving (Part 2)

Adam Mills, Teacher Assumption College Catholic High School
adam_mills@wecdsb.on.ca

As discussed in Part 1 of this series of articles, one of the major goals within my Physics courses is to expose my students to problem solving. In order to complete this I have my students engage in context rich problems through a cooperative group problem solving (CGPS) setting. Please refer to the previous article to see the initial setup I use in order to get my students ready to appropriately participate in these types of problem solving opportunities. Read More...

Scrambled Science: A Writing and Thinking Activity

Roberta Tevlin, Manager OAPT Newsletter, teacher at Danforth CTI
roberta.tevlin@tdsb.on.ca

Are you tired of reading answers from your students that just blather on and on about anything that is vaguely related to the question? It took me many years to realize that I needed to explicitly teach my students how to write a good answer. Dave Doucette’s workshops on giving students the H.O.T.S. (Higher Order Thinking Skills) started me on this path. Learning to write clearly also helps students to think clearly. In an earlier article, I presented an activity called Writing with the Four C’s. This time I would like to present something I call “Scrambled Science”. Read More...
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