Saturday, August 25, 2012

My big idea

2012 will be my 5th year teaching physics, astronomy, and geometry, my 2nd year utilizing the modeling curriculum in physics, and my 2nd year implementing Standards-Based Grading in both physics and geometry. 

I attended the Modeling: Mechanics workshop in MI in the summer of 2011 and immediately fell in love. One of the first thoughts I had was "how could I implement this in my other classes?" Modeling is all about student discovery and geometry struck me as perfectly suited for such an approach, but I got bogged down in learning modeling and dealing with SBG, so I tabled that thought for the year. 

This summer I went to ASU and attended the Modeling: E&M workshop which was incredible (huge thanks to instructor Michael Crofton for his hard work as well as the entire ASU staff). The only downside was that I was stuck in the desert with no car for 3 weeks, which means I had a lot of downtime. So I revisited the idea of Modeling: Geometry and jotted down some thoughts and outlined a basic framework. I've done a fair bit of Googling, and I've talked to a lot of people, but I can't find anyone who's already tried to merge the modeling curriculum with math of any kind (please correct me if I'm wrong - I'd love some help on this). 

Basic premise: Most topics in a high school geometry course can be learned through discovery and discussion without much guidance from teachers in much the same way that Modeling: Physics is set up. 

I've spent the summer of 2012 formalizing my plan and putting in enough of the foundation to force me to jump in. I plan on posting my plans, thoughts, and reflections here so that hopefully others will find some merit in the idea and help carry it forward.

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