So I tweeted…
Testing eggscape pods for eggstronauts was great fun with yr7. Otherwise very theoretical day. #asechat
Unstoppability aka momentum, ISA prep, lots of nuclear radiation, beta decay paradox and all. What has everyone else been up to? #asechat
— Ian (@teachingofsci) April 3, 2014
…and then I got some replies. It wasn’t a survey. It wasn’t particularly scientific. But I did think it cast an interesting light on the variety of science teaching. The joy of Twitter is that I was able to check permission (and Yes, I agree it’s a public medium but it also seemed polite) and invite longer comments by email. I’ve not had any of those, completely understandable as everyone’s busy with the end of term rush, but here we go anyway.
I suspect mine needs little explanation. Surely we’ve all used ‘martian landers’ to get kids thinking about forces and parachutes? Lots of great videos as starters and many briefing sheets, like this one from TeachEngineering. Before introducing momentum as a term I get kids to consider how unstoppable moving objects are, as they find that language much more accessible. And giving them the two contradictory facts that beta particles are electrons and there are no electrons in the nucleus is always fun.
the dentist made me be sick. then I taught EMS three times, then annual review and now still in slt
— Marion (@90_maz) April 3, 2014
I wonder how @90_maz changed the teaching of the EM spectrum to suit different classes?
— specialsciteach (@specialsciteach) April 3, 2014
That is indeed varied! I always find classifying an interesting topic to teach but find myself getting bogged down in (fascinating) detail about bats and dolphins if I’m not careful.
Having fighting kids dumped in my classroom by SLT, sharing much chocolate (INSET tomorrow) & preparing for ISA moderation 🙂
— Arakwai, Glaws (@Arakwai) April 3, 2014
The joys of behaviour management… trying to pay attention to potential issues without them feeling they have to play up/down to your expectations.
blood with Y9, Y11 past paper – turns out they love it when I do the q too, then photograph my answer to project.
I also set my 6th form a timed essay and wrote it at the same time then copied my attempt for them to critique. #asechat
— Sarah (@MrsDrSarah) April 3, 2014
I find this a really useful approach, but would be a lot easier if I had wifi access or a webcam of some kind. Preparing three paragraphs in advance and asking students to identify strengths and weaknesses, and which belongs to the teacher, is often worthwhile. If I was brave enough I’d record audio of me talking myself through the problem so they can hear/see me ‘thinking out loud‘.
Immunity to yr8, soothing yr13 pre-Empa, kidney dialysis with yr11, fighting with yr9 last thing.
— Angela (@Ange_K1) April 3, 2014
Another varied day – sometimes I wish I was immune to yr8. I’ve never taught the EMPA but would be really interested in viewpoints. Of course, it won’t be long before it all changes again; you might have seen the letter from SCORE on practical assessment, but I’ve not tracked down anything published by OfQual yet.
maternity leave. Improving sex SOW. Trying to find good crosscurricular project with humanities.
— B (@13loki) April 3, 2014
A great example of how teachers do extra work – effectively unpaid overtime – which is effectively invisible to the wider world. We’re all familiar with working in the evenings, weekends and through holidays, but how many of us have also worked while off sick or on maternity leave?
A really interesting snapshot and I’d value any further detail, from the above or anyone else.