Whew. Yesterday was A Day. It was brutally hot (for this area, anyway), we have no AC (because this area is practically never even warm, much less brutally hot), and I had two classes to completely re-develop. I started with AP. I did a deep analysis of what was given to me to see what the original intent was, but had some disagreements with the sequencing. I re-wrote all of the assignments and topics in a way that is intelligible for the first month. I didn’t want to plan too far ahead, because I want to try this for a bit and get feedback from the students. I’m still happy to make even more changes if needed. Here are the two schedules I came up with.
The actual activities that will happen day to day are yet to be nailed down, but it’s a matter of going through all the resources I have and sorting it out. Worst case for any given day is doing more practice problems with speed dating, playing the mistake game, or having them write and solve their own problems. I could honestly do no more planning other than labs now that I have the topics and schedule, because there are few things I love more than being given a topic and some time to talk about physics, but that doesn’t sit right by me. There are so many other, more effective things a teacher can do that falling back on lecture all the time feels almost dirty.
The overall goal here is to put as much of the cognitive load as possible on the students. Have them read through the text and attempt a problem or two so they come in either knowing that they don’t understand at all or at least having specific questions. I’ve always before done things the other way around where we would go over the things they need to know in class using one method or another, they would go home and attempt homework and realize that being told things doesn’t actually help them learn how do them, and then we would spend the next class reviewing the homework instead of covering new info. I’m hoping to short-circuit that pattern this year. We’ll see how it goes.
After a long day of planning, G brought me a chicken fried steak dinner and I watched Moana and Jane the Virgin on Netflix. It was a really great brainless and delicious ending to a day of non-stop mental heavy lifting.