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astro300_f10:second_day_plan [2010/09/08 17:45] (current)
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 +======AY 300 - Fall 2010: Second Day Lesson Plan======
  
 +=====Preface=====
 +
 +Class is held in our usual Ay300 classroom in 501 Campbell Hall. Today'​s class will continue to discuss the previous day's discussion section and talk more about first-day sections. ​
 +
 +To continue to break the ice, sit with new group members for every activity/​discussion. Start with some people you didn't meet yesterday. Ideally: five groups of three.
 +
 +
 +====Goals for Bootcamp====
 +
 +   * <​del>​Show students first hand what peer-instruction techniques are like -- "get a feel for it"</​del>​
 +   * <​del>​Highlight the ways in which the classroom atmosphere can be set on the first day of section</​del>​
 +   * Isolate effective teaching practices
 +   * Give examples of ice-breaking/​first-day activities (should be fun, and somehow related to the rest of the semester, through content or otherwise)
 +   * <​del>​Point out the resources they can use to plan section</​del>​
 +   * <​del>​Help them create a section syllabus</​del>​
 +   * Think critically about what teaching means to them, what do they want out of this class and their teaching experience
 +   * Recap the main points before the end of class.
 +
 +
 +=====Homework Recap (45 min)=====
 +
 +   * **Small Group**:
 +   * Compare syllabi ​
 +   * Get feedback from at least one other person on your syllabus.
 +   * Compare lesson plans.
 +      * What icebreakers did people use?
 +      * What introductory material?
 +      * What kinds of activities can we do?
 +      * **Don'​t only share activities, but explain why you chose that particular one.**
 +
 +   * **Big group**: bring your ideas about activities.
 +     * Our ideas:
 +         * Horoscope debunking
 +         * History of universe timeline
 +         * Sizes of solar system bodies (peppercorn Earth model)
 +         * Distances between solar system bodies (paper tape model)
 +         * "​calendar"​ of universe'​s history
 +         * Scales in astronomy (e.g., ctr of gal in Albeq. from my sections)
 + ​====Points to make sure get accross====
 + 
 +   * Re-iterate the EBRB and how it has sample [[:​private:​ebrb:​first-day_activities_and_materials|syllabi,​ first day demos/​activities/​lesson plans]], and [[:​private:​ebrb:​basic_math|math reviews]].
 +   * You may choose to structure your section a certain way every time, or to do a certain activity every time. For instance:
 +      * Onsi Fakhouri passes out blank notecards at the beginning of every section and collects them at the end, with students writing comments of any kind on them if they want. (We haven'​t tried this ourselves but Onsi recommends it highly.)
 +      * GSIs last year tried doing a quick (1-2 minute) math problem about astronomy or briefly (again 1-2 minutes) discussed a recent astro-related news item.
 +      * I (Aaron) started each section with an order-of-magnitude type question that tied in concepts from last week's lectures. See my [[http://​gsi.berkeley.edu/​awards/​tea_essays/​lee-2010.html|TEA Essay]]. I have not put these questions on the EBRB yet, but please ask me if you would like copies.
 +   * If you decide to do something along these lines, do it in the first section and explain to your students what you're doing.
 +      * Make sure you address this activity explicitly the first few times. "​There'​s a recent news article on your tables which I would like you to read over the next two minutes or so, and then we will discuss."​ After a couple sessions, the students will expect this activity and know what to do. (Also, section attendance fluctuates during the first couple weeks. You'll see new faces every week.)
 +      * Make sure you come prepared with discussion ideas, especially for news items, as they can sometimes fail to evoke the reaction you may have been looking for/​expecting.
 +   * Try to treat it as matter-of-factly as possible, even if you just made up some crazy scheme that you've never seen tried before.
 +      * **Whatever you do or try in section, if you're confident about it, then your students will tend to take it seriously and participate (no matter how goofy or out-there it might be).**
 +
 +===== Prepare an Implement an Introductory Activity (45 min)=====
 +
 +   * Get the intro to one of these activities together in groups of three.
 +   * Have two groups implement the first 5 mins of the activity
 +   * Ask the students if they want to continue with more groups, be flexible about it
 +   * Break down/​critique things like good boardwork practices, projecting your voice, encouraging peer learning
 +
 +===== BREAK (5 min)=====
 +
 +===== Recap of the First Day (30 minutes) =====
 +
 +   * Josh and Aaron will run through the main points for having a great first-day discussion section, highlighting the following:
 +   * Pre-Section Prep --- Writing the syllabus (contains relevant info for section), showing up early, setting up before students arrive.
 +   * Introductions --- Announcements,​ what to write on the board. Setting the tone. Ice breakers.
 +   * Activities --- First-day activities. Getting students excited about astronomy!
 +   * The role of the GSI --- Discussion leader, facilitator,​ companion. NOT a lecturer.
 +   * Wrapping up section. ​
 +   * Getting feedback.
 +
 +===== Plan Your First Sections (if any time remains) ====
 +
 +Get into groups and talk about what you might do during your first discussion section. ​
 +
 +   * What will you talk about in your introduction?​
 +   * What will be your icebreaker?
 +   * Will you have a hook/​attention grabber?
 +   * What activity will you do?
 +
 +
 +===== More info below =====
 +
 +Here is some more information on peer learning and board work we recommend you read. 
 +
 +===== Peer Learning =====
 +
 +Discuss as a class how we incorporated group/peer learning into the discussion section. How would have the section run differently if we did not emphasize group work and instead just lectured? ​ What benefits do you see to group and peer learning? What are the possible pitfalls (and how could you avoid them)?
 +
 +Here is a lot of great information Josh prepared:
 +There are three basic techniques typically used in section:
 +
 +**Lecture-style review** (GSI -> student)
 +  * We'll discuss this in detail later today.
 +
 +**Question and answer** (GSI <-> student)
 +  * "​Discussion"​ section means you **should** be doing at least some of this technique.
 +  * Requires questions.
 +    * Sometimes there simply are none other than logistics or specific/​irrelevant questions.
 +  * Minimal effort involved in preparation,​ although you can come to section prepared with a few questions to ask your students and turn their answers into a section-wide discussion.
 +
 +  * No control over order or level of questions.
 +  * Review sessions are great if run this way but section rarely seems to work like this.
 +
 +**Group activities** (student <-> student)
 +  * Consists of numerous independent groups working on the same (or similar) tasks.
 +  * Typically guided by a worksheet or handout.
 +  * The GSI is there to make sure that the groups stay on task and keep moving forward without giving away all the answers and without spending all of their time with one or two groups.
 +
 +  * This pushes students to engage in the material and requires them to think and discuss.
 +  * Students will learn from each other and explain concepts to each other.
 +  * Generally works great but does have flaws:
 +     * Individuals can elect to not participate,​ endangering the whole idea.
 +     * Groups can get sidetracked or taken over by someone(s) that are doing everything or nothing and leaving out other group members.
 +     * Often these flaws can be corrected or at least improved by the GSI walking around and closely monitoring the progress of all groups.
 +
 +Each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages.
 +
 +In general, section can and should involve //all three// elements.
 +
 +Typically, you will deal with each in order: ​ //e.g.//, deliver a quick recap of lecture and highlight some confusing points. ​ Then, open the floor to any student questions (about the key points, about other topics from lecture, or about general course questions). ​ Finally, when the questions run dry or when you deem that it's time to move on, pass out the worksheet or handout and use the rest of the time in section for an activity.
 +
 +We will refer to these three basic techniques individually and repeatedly throughout the course and we will both practice and discuss all of them during the semester. ​ However, always keep in mind that the divisions between them are not real and that creativity can reap great rewards.
 +
 +**Combining the Basic Techniques**
 +
 +With that said, of course it is possible to mix and match styles! ​ Examples:
 +
 +  * The Interactive Lecture
 +    * Like group work but the whole class is one big group you're a group member!
 +    * Can be used with worksheets and/or demos (often with well-defined fill-in-the-blank questions).
 +    * Continuously call on //a variety// of students to explain answers.
 +    * This style tends to keep all students engaged and on task.
 +
 +  * The Choreographed Group Task
 +    * //e.g.//, Start off doing problems 1 and 2 at the board (with varying amounts of help/​feedback from students). ​ Then have students do 3 and 4 in groups. Do 5 at the board by Q and A, taking responses from the class for each step.  Then call on a volunteer to explain 6.  Students learn in different ways, and variety is always a good thing.
 +
 +  * A "​Q&​A"​ part of section can involve a lot of peer learning, if you get good at enabling the students to answer each other'​s questions. This requires more sophistication than just asking the smartest student to say the right answer; you have to ask the question in a way such that all of the students have a chance to grapple with the question initially posed. ​ We'll discuss more on how to actually accomplish this in later classes.
 +
 +Also note that section size and objectives influence the best choice of strategy:
 +  * Large sections – More students to ask more and diverse questions, can have different groups do different tasks (or slightly different versions of the same basic worksheet -- to build up an H-R Diagram for example).
 +  * Small sections – easier to connect with the class as a whole, can have the whole class act as one medium-sized group (like the Interactive Lecture).
 +
 +===== Lecturing and Boardwork =====
 +
 +Discuss how our boardwork ameliorated or hindered learning in the classroom. Why is it important to pay attention to boardwork. Students will copy your boardwork into their notes. Bad boardwork translates into bad notes, confusion, and misunderstanding.
 +
 + * Break into groups again and come up with answers to the following questions: "What makes for good boardwork? We just discussed the benefits of peer learning over lecturing. Under what circumstances could lecturing be more important than peer learning?" ​
 +
 +The following lists good pointers on lecturing and boardwork: ​
 + * Lecturing is the old-fashioned style of teaching and has been shown to be relatively ineffective at conveying information that students will retain after the course is over (//​especially//​ in college science courses for non-scientists),​ but sometimes you have to do it.
 +  * Students usually demand more of this in section on evals! ​ It's usually because they'​re always scanning for exam hints...
 +  * Unless you genuinely think you're a better lecturer than the professor, go easy on lecturing.
 +  * Lecturing //can// be useful, but only if done well (which is tough to do).
 +  * When is a good time to lecture? Sometimes it is useful to quickly recap lecture ideas in a weekly recap at the beginning of your discussion section. Here, lecturing can be appropriate. What does this recap entail?
 +    * Recap key points from the last lecture (almost always a good idea to do this for a few minutes in each section).
 +    * Hit the key points only. The ratio of course Lecture/​Section time is typically 3:1, so it is hopeless to try to be thorough.
 +    * Address common points of confusion. Anything mathematical often falls in this category - a weekly '​equation review'​ can be a good idea.
 +    * If the professor botched explaining something, you can do damage control. (But don't undercut him/her.)
 +    * Highlight the fun stuff to try to keep them interested. If you find a particular thing cool from the previous lecture, point that out to them. Genuine enthusiasm is infectious. (But don't drone on beyond the scope of the class.)
 +  * Another sometimes helpful use of lecturing is to demonstrate problem solving:
 +    * Work a problem yourself at the board (usually mathematical).
 +    * Do either an example problem or a previous homework problem.
 +    * This is much more common in non-Ay 10 classes. We recommend against extensive use of it in Ay 10.
 +  * Other uses of lecturing are highly limited and quite discouraged. //This is **discussion** section, not an extra lecture.//
 +
 +**Never** spend more than half an Ay 10 section on this, and only very rarely more than one-quarter. ​ 5-10 minutes (out of 50) is a good goal.
 +
 +===Common lecturing and boardwork mistakes:​===
 +  * Get some from the class and write them on the board while demonstrating the mistake.
 +    * Talking to the board.
 +    * Not explaining/​labeling your symbols or drawings.
 +    * Writing too small, or too light.
 +    * Writing too much or too little.
 +    * Erasing too soon.
 +    * Anything else?
 +  * Informal assignment: observe your professors (and Ay 300 instructors) and make note of their faults (and strengths!).
 +
 +===Boardwork tips and tricks:===
 +  * In intro-level classes the GSI typically does not write much on the board. ​ This means that anything you //do// write is automatically bolded, highlighted,​ and surrounded by stars in students'​ minds.
 +  * If you're going to be spending any significant amount of time writing on the board, think //before// section starts about what you're going to actually put on the board.
 +  * Write at the top of the board what it is that you're talking about (//i.e.// a title for that chunk of material).
 +  * Start left of center to give yourself room and proceed to write/draw in an orderly fashion.
 +  * A picture is worth a thousand words, but a bad picture can make things oh-so-much worse. ​ Take time to set up your drawings and clearly label anything that should be labeled.
 +  * When using equations, label the terms. ​ Non-science students may still be uncomfortable with symbolic math and are certainly very unlikely to be familiar with our symbol conventions (λ = wavelength, //etc.//).
 +  * Use multiple colors. ​ (Sensibly though.)
 +  * Bring your own markers or at least check the markers before section starts.
 +     * Pass out markers now, 2 to each GSI.
 +  * Try to track down a (relatively) clean eraser before section starts.
 +     * There should be a couple erasers in 264 Evans, but they might not be there or they might be disgustingly dirty. ​ If either of these things are true, let your Head GSI know **immediately** and they should get new ones (probably from Dexter).
 +  * Take time to check the class' understanding before blazing onward, but do it meaningfully (much more on this later).
 +  * When a topic is complete, draw a big line beneath the last line of material or erase the board to signify that you're moving on to something else.
 +  * //​Don'​t feel obligated to use the board if you don't need to.//
 +
 +===Speaking to your students:​===
 +  * Speak relatively slowly and carefully.
 +  * When speaking to the entire class or a large group, speak loudly and clearly so that everyone in the room can easily hear you.
 +  * Enunciate important words and phrases (//​especially//​ astro jargon -- of which there'​s a lot!).
 +  * Always try to be interactive. Stop and check for understanding. ​ ("If I increase this factor, what happens to this other one?")
 +     * Again, more on this later.
 +  * Make eye-contact,​ with a number of different students, as you speak.
 +  * Use the whole room when talking to the whole class. You can start on one board and move to the other one. (264 Evans has boards on two walls.)
 +  * **Always be yourself!!**
 +
 +===Use of technology (laptops, PowerPoint, etc.):===
 +
 +  * This is almost certainly overkill for section.
 +  * However, laptops can be useful for some demos and activities.
 +  * Unfortunately,​ there is no screen or projector in 264 Evans.
 +    * The white walls or a whiteboard make an OK screen.
 +    * There is a portable video projector you can rent from the department. Make a reservation well in advance by going to [[http://​astro.berkeley.edu/​resources/​campbell/​reservations/​video.html]] and contact ''​central@astro''​ if you run into reservation problems.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +===== Planning Your First Section =====
 +
 + * Your sections will probably follow a template such as:  ​
 +    * Deal with any administrative details (e.g., HW is due Friday, etc...)
 +    * **Very quick** recap of lecture: what was important?
 +    * If there are any questions right off the bat, answer them
 +    * **The bulk of your section: a peer-learning activity exploring the week's topic**
 +       * Show an activity from the Slater worksheet book as an example of a good worksheet, maybe print one off the EBRB..?
 +    * Any end-of-section announcements
 +  * **When** you attend course lecture, note down what you'd call the major points; then a quick lecture recap becomes pretty straightforward
 +  * Then the only hard part is planning a peer-learning activity. General tips:
 +    * consult the [[:​private:​ebrb:​home|EBRB]] for worksheet ideas
 +    * Students generally love demos. check [[resources]] and EBRB [[:​private:​ebrb:​demos]] page for relevant ones. or cook up your own!
 +    * **plan how you're going to go over the worksheet; if you don't go over them every time you hand one out, students will stop actually filling them out**
 +  * As discussed below, your first section is going to be a bit unusual, but the precedents you set are important, so keep these general instructions in mind nonetheless.
 +
 +===== Assessment =====
 +
 +You must get some sort of feedback from either reflection personally on how your section went, or asking for written or oral feedback from your students (ideally, you'll do both). To aid in this, you'll be keeping a teaching log during the semester. After every section, reflect on your section. What worked? What didn't work? What would you do differently?​ (or, did you do something differently from previous sections? Did it work?) Bring these with you to class. We will be checking them periodically. ​
 +
 +==== Closings ====
 +
 +How to wrap up section.
 +
 +==== Recap ====
 +
 +Recap the main points of running your first discussion section. Refer to Wiki for more information. Words of wisdom about our first sections? ​
 +
 + 
 +=====Assignment #2: assigned 8/25, due 8/30 (Last 5 min)=====
 +
 +1. Start keeping a teaching log. 
 +
 +2. Read “Collaborative Learning 101”, distributed in class. //At least skim// pp. 7-12 ("​Types of Groups"​ through “Theory and Research on Collaborative Learning”) and **definitely read** pp. 19-26 (“Lessons of Experience: Tips from Teachers”);​ the other parts of the handout can be skimmed or skipped (i.e., ignore the //​extended//​ river metaphor...).
 +    * Be prepared to discuss next time.
 +    * Consider the following questions in prep for the discussion (perhaps jot down a few notes):
 +      * Are you convinced that collaborative learning is always superior to lecture learning?
 +      * What kinds of further evidence would you like to see about the efficacy of collaborative learning?
 +      * Do any of the guidelines in the second portion of the required reading seem especially appropriate or especially inappropriate to your section(s)?
 +      * Do the claims in this article jibe with your experience leading section so far?
 +
 +3. In at least one paragraph, but not more than one page, answer the following questions:
 +  * I bring to teaching a belief that .....
 +  * In the classroom I see myself as .....
 +  * I believe students are .....
 +  * I seek to foster in students .....
 +  * I think the role of discussion section is .....
 +
 +You will share and discuss these responses in groups and with the class at the beginning of our next session.
 +
 +
 +===== Other Reminders: (Last 5 min) =====
 +
 +   * Enroll and complete the GSI Resource Center'​s [[http://​gsi.berkeley.edu/​ethics/​index.html|Online Ethics Course]].  ​
 +   * Attend the New ASE Orientation. The dates, times and locations for the Orientations can be found at http://​hrweb.berkeley.edu/​labor/​ase_orientdate.htm
 +   * Deal with computer accounts, if necessary. ​
 +   * Remind everyone to see Nina Ruymaker (''​ninanina@berkeley''​) on the sixth floor of Campbell so that she can see your student ID and get it coded for entry into Evans after hours. Either Nina or Dexter Stewart can help you get keys, if necessary.
 +   * Have a great first section!