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Why Don’t Students Improve? Part I

Chris Meyer, President, Ontario Association of Physics Teachers; Hybrid Teacher-Coach, TDSB
Christopher.meyer@tdsb.on.ca

For years it drove me crazy. I would remind students again and again about common mistakes and important details; I would make a grand production of it. But, they would make the same errors again and again. Why? A big part of the answer is this: my students never practiced assessing the quality of their own work and making improvements. This is the idea behind metacognition: the ability to monitor the process and quality of one’s own thinking and work. If we don’t train our students and give them opportunities to practice metacognition, they won’t develop this important skill. And they won’t improve. Read More...

EdPuzzle

Adam Mills, OAPT Workshop Coordinator, Teacher - Assumption College Catholic High School
adam-mills@wecdsb.on.ca

One tool that has really helped change the look of my Physics classroom is Edpuzzle. https://edpuzzle.com/ Edpuzzle is a website that allows teachers to embed questions within videos already created from YouTube or other sources. I find this tool particularly useful to help minimize the amount of direct instruction that I am giving my students in class. This allows my students more time to participate in richer educational strategies such as peer instruction, cooperative group problem solving and inquiry based learning. Read More...

Award for Excellence in Teaching High School/CEGEP Physics

Canadian Association of Physicists

Nominations are open for the 2019 award. No one won the award in Ontario last year because there were no applications! Let’s not let this happen again.

There are many great teachers in Ontario, but they are too modest. Find one and nominate them. It is good for that teacher, their school and physics education.

The applications are due by Feb. 28, 2019.

More information about the award and a link to register the nomination is here
https://www.cap.ca/programs/medals-and-awards/medals-teaching/hscta/ Read More...

Stop Marking So Much!

Roberta Tevlin, Editor OAPT Newsletter, teacher Danforth CTI
roberta@tevlin.ca

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
christopher.meyer@tdsb.on.ca

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...
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