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Stop Marking So Much!

Roberta Tevlin, Editor OAPT Newsletter, teacher Danforth CTI

Marking is important, but it is boring and it takes you away from the more important aspects of teaching and life. Marking numerical problems is not too bad, but questions that require answers in sentences can be really time-consuming. A number of teachers have complained to me about how much time they spend marking and have asked me to pass on some of my techniques for reducing this. Read More...

Learning the Current Electricity Ropes

Chris Meyer, President OAPT

Electricity is almost always invisible; we never get to see electrons doing their thing. Only occasionally do we observe some by-product of electrical shenanigans like a spark, a glow, or a warm battery. This makes learning about electricity tough. As a result, many students (and even some teachers!) don’t develop a clear mental model representing how electrons move in a circuit. There are two important ideas are often missing from our mental models. Read More...

College Physics: Electronic Literacy and Numeracy

Roberta Tevlin, Teacher Danforth CTI, OAPT Newsletter Editor

I am teaching the college physics course for the first time. My thirty years of teaching 12U physics and grade 9 science has not been a great guide for this. After two months, I am still struggling. Many of my lessons didn’t go the way I expected and some of them didn’t work at all!

Fortunately, two assignments did work well and in this article I will describe what I did and why I think they worked. Read More...

Visualizing Static Electricity

Chris Meyer, President, Ontario Association of Physics Teachers

Static electricity might very well be the most important topic taught in high school science. Exploring static electricity teaches us how charged particles behave, which becomes the basis for understanding the structure of the atom, chemical reactions, the behaviour of complex biological molecules, cells, and even human thought. Static electricity is challenging to understand because it is invisible; we can’t see the particles doing their thing. As a result, we need to help students construct concrete, visual models of charged particles and provide students with visual ways of verifying their understanding of static electricity. Read More...

2019 OAPT Conference

Plans are well underway for this year’s OAPT conference being held May 2-4 at the Institute of Quantum Computing in Waterloo.

Our theme is Entangling Learning. We will be highlighting some of the exciting things happening where physics connects with student learning, as well as how we can entangle different parts of the curriculum.  Physics is more than a body of knowledge — it is a very successful way of approaching a wide variety of problems.

Registration for the conference will open in February. In the meantime, mark your calendars!

Proposals for Workshop Sessions
We are accepting proposals for sessions at a variety of time lengths.  The deadline for proposals is January 25th, 2019. If you have something you would like to present please fill out this Google Form. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdhiR9elS8i2bmuu0MGiGKIMpQFFAzgtAmuRidztjoqEJjPxA/viewform

Financial Support for Attendees
The OAPT is aware that it can be very difficult for high school teachers to attend the OAPT conference because there is so little financial support for professional development made available by their schools, boards and unions. We encourage teachers to tap into these sources for wherever support is available. 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 The Institute of Quantum Computing.
  • Residence fees are only $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 for supporting the OAPT Grade 11 Physics Contest.
  • The OAPT believes that encouraging first-time attendance will create a new generation of teachers who will want to attend again and again.  To encourage first time attendees, we will cover their supply teacher costs for Friday May 11th. Please encourage the young teachers at your school to take advantage of this opportunity. You can apply for this subsidy by filling out this Google form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfSxnP2v3WRYhScNn0tTvVZmjsOUz-kTmMhKYg_qlDWxv5CdQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
  • The OAPT recognizes that teachers in northern Ontario lack many of the PD opportunities that are available in the south. They also have much higher travel costs. For the eighth year running, the OAPT will be covering the travel costs for teachers north of Algonquin Park. We would like to thank the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics for helping us to provide this support. You can apply for this subsidy by filling out this Google form. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjlQ8mPI_aKT7pRM56b4W8oQHsQyfE-OvjNa11HfO7EfldVA/viewform?usp=sf_link
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