I teach early in the morning two days each week, and at this time of year it means I’m up and…

I teach early in the morning two days each week, and at this time of year it means I’m up and on my way to work before dawn. But, on my commute today, there was a large full moon hanging above the horizon to the West while the first orange traces of daylight lit up the sky to the East. Therefore, I didn’t mind being up so early today.

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It’s interesting to compare my two sections of the same course to each other, and although…

It’s interesting to compare my two sections of the same course to each other, and although I’ve noticed some small differences both are doing well. But, one of the sections begins early in the morning, while the other is at midday. Therefore, there is a noticeable difference in attendance (especially at the start of class).

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TAPD mini-modules week 4: But, are students really learning?

This semester, we’ve carved out time from the Teaching Assistants’ normal duties—a half-hour per week—to use for professional development activities. This post series tracks our weekly goals and activities. “We’re going to derive this, but I need your help with it.” This was my lead-in to the set of clicker questions we used to derive the kinematics equations. Instead of lecturing about these equations, this year I designed a series of clicker questions of increasing…

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Aristotle said, “If a body is moving, an external force must be driving it,” and Newton…

Aristotle said, “If a body is moving, an external force must be driving it,” and Newton said, “A body will stay at rest or move with constant velocity if no net force is acting on it.” But, our lived experiences make it hard to decide who is more reasonable. Therefore, we explicitly discussed this centuries old debate—and amended Aristotle.

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I set up my computer for class, connecting it to the projector, and began the lecture as normal….

I set up my computer for class, connecting it to the projector, and began the lecture as normal. But, out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a precise red light shining around, on my chest and on the projector screen. Therefore, I paused class to request that the mystery person with the laser pointer put it away.

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TAPD mini-modules week 3: “Does F=ma in real life or only in physics?”

This semester, we’ve carved out time from the Teaching Assistants’ normal duties—a half-hour per week—to use for professional development activities. This post series tracks our weekly goals and activities. “Does F=ma in real life or only in physics?” Students say the darnedest things. Over my years as a TA and instructor, I’ve had many interactions with many students. When I walk into a classroom, I can never be quite sure which direction the discussions will…

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