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astro300_f10:third_day_plan [2010/08/31 03:23] (current)
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 +======AY 300 - Fall 2010: Third Day Lesson Plan======
  
 +
 +==== Goals of today'​s class ====
 +
 +    * Review the ethics policies of UC Berkeley. ​
 +    * Understand the role of group work versus lecturing.
 +    * Briefly discuss what makes a worthwhile worksheet.
 +    * Learn how to develop effective lesson plans for future sections.
 +    * Review the role of TALC (The Astronomy Learning Center).
 +  ​
 +
 +===== Ethics and Discussion Section Sharing (10 min) =====
 +
 +    * Aaron and Josh: Quickly touch on ethical issues.
 +    * How did section go (for the few who have already gone)?
 +
 +==== Ethics Information ====
 +
 +  * Some topics covered in the online course:
 +    * Diversity
 +      * Berkeley is a minority-majority school
 +      * Unlikely to be a major issue (especially in an intro astronomy course since the classes tend to be pretty diverse). ​ However, be aware that we all have unconscious biases and try to make an effort to be open and inclusive. ​ For example, try to equally call on males/​females,​ different races, //etc.//
 +    * Disabled Students
 +      * Berkeley allows students with documented learning disabilities (or physical disabilities affecting their ability to learn) to have extra time (and occasionally a '​quiet'​ or private room, //etc.//) on quizzes and examinations. ​ Students must have their disabilities diagnosed or approved by the Disabled Students'​ Program, or DSP.
 +        * For examinations,​ this is typically dealt with by the professor. ​ If a student comes to you about a disability-related problem, tell them to contact the professor and/or Head GSI.
 +        * In Alex's class, students take quizzes in section twice during the semester. Alex usually lets DSP students know that taking the quiz normally has turned out successfully in most cases, since it is designed to last well under the allotted time. However, if students insist on it, then you must accommodate them. If possible, the exam may be extended in situ, or a small group can repair to another room. Otherwise DSP can help with arranging for a proctored exam with additional time  (Most general solution: borrow another GSI's quiz and give it in your office during office hours.)
 +        * If a student in your section is having major difficulties with the course but seems intelligent and really is trying, consider talking to him/her about being diagnosed for a learning disability. Obviously this is something to be dealt with delicately.
 +        * [[http://​dsp.berkeley.edu/​sbin/​dspACCESS.php?​_page=dspFAQ|FAQ for faculty and staff about DSP]]
 +    * Sexual Harassment
 +      * Should be common sense - don't get involved. ​ Power difference -> potential for serious problems.
 +      * [[http://​ccac.berkeley.edu/​policies.shtml|Policies on Sexual Harassment]] - Title IX: Sex Discrimination and Harassment (UCB Equity Standards and Compliance)
 +      * If you see something between your students that you think might qualify as harassment, you're not required to do anything (as I read the policy), but keep in mind that you're the authority figure in the room. You can report instances of harassment, but that's a fairly severe step. A reasonable start might be talking to the parties involved informally and individually. You should probably find someone with experience in dealing with such situations.
 +         * One person we suggest is Colette Patt (colette@berkeley) who "works directly with the dean on issues associated with diversity in science"​ and is supposed to be an excellent resource for harassment-related issues as well diversity issues.
 +  * Tons of information can be found on [[http://​gsi.berkeley.edu/​ethics/​documents/​Maggie_AnnotatedResources.pdf|this]] list of resources (all of which are mentioned during the Ethics Course).
 +  * It is very unlikely that a serious issue will come up as long as you use basic common sense. ​ If it does, know where to turn for help!
 +
 +
 +
 +===== Go over the homework assignment (25 min) =====
 +
 +    * Pair up in groups of three or few and share your teaching philosophy responses with each other. What is the role of section, in your opinion? Homework will be handed in after discussion. (10 min)
 +
 +    * In a big group, discuss the reading. (15 min) (// Group work is usually more effective than lecturing!//​)
 +
 +===== Worksheets (25 min) =====
 +
 +So if group work is so great, how do you facilitate it? Well made worksheets are a good way. Here are some examples:
 +
 +   * {{private:​ebrb:​astronomy_mythbusting.doc|Earth/​Moon/​Sun Mythbusting}} by Therese Jones
 +   * {{private:​ebrb:​celsphere:​celsphere.pdf|The Celestial Sphere: Lost at Sea}} by Dan Perley
 +   * {{private:​ebrb:​spectra_2.pdf|Stellar Spectra}} by Nicholas McConnell
 +   * {{private:​ebrb:​light:​nmcc_light_kregenow1.pdf|Wein'​s Law and Lots of Spectra}} by Julia Kregenow
 +   * [[http://​astro.berkeley.edu/​~dperley/​astro10/​radiation.pdf|The EM Spectrum]] by Dan Perley
 +
 +Each small group will be given a different worksheet. Discuss what makes the worksheet effective for stimulating group work, what could be improved upon, etc. We will share with the class. In the (perhaps near) future, we will return to worksheets and discuss ways of writing your own.
 +
 +==== Info from Past Years ====
 +
 +Remind everyone that they'​re required to contribute their "best original worksheet"​ (or a significantly improved one) to the EBRB.
 +
 +==Worksheets should:==
 +  * Explore the topics discussed in lecture, focusing on the most important points. The aim is to make the students //use// an idea after merely having it //told// to them.
 +  * allow students to examine their understanding by doing sample questions - but without the stress of being graded and with the assistance of groupmates
 +  * serve as a reference after the student leaves the classroom
 +  * Beyond the above, they can also:
 +     * explore new topics not covered in lecture in detail that are interesting,​ cutting edge or fun!
 +     * serve as a fill-in-the-blank 'note sheet' for a more lecture-style section
 +     * simply provide an incentive to experiment with a particularly involved demo activity
 +
 +==How to present worksheets==
 +Worksheets are intended to get students collaborating in groups, which has been proven a great way to get them to learn the material in depth. How do we get students collaborating the way we want?
 +  * Students need to believe that their work is going to be evaluated in some way -- not necessarily in a grade, but that somehow the effort they put into the sheet (or fail to put into it) will be considered.
 +  * You need to use good worksheets! Easier said than done, of course.
 +  * Mixing up the makeup (and possibly the size) of the groups in your section can help change things up and get students to concentrate on the worksheets and not get as off-topic by talking to their usual groupmates (//i.e.// friends).
 +  * You should stress early on in the semester (basically from the first time you do any kind of worksheet) that the information in the worksheets is often a restatement of material from lecture and some of it might be on a test (the magic phrase).
 +  * In fact, if the information is important enough to warrant lecture-time **and** a worksheet in section, it //must// be important.
 +  * Also stress the fact that section and worksheets and demos are supposed to the more fun, hands-on aspect of the class (as compared to lecture).
 +
 +==What makes a good worksheet?​==
 +  * Interesting/​important topic (everyday experiences are always good, as are topics that students are always interested in: Mars, aliens, comets/​meteors,​ Big Bang, black holes, //etc.//)
 +  * A variety of types of questions ​
 +     * Answer format: multiple choice, fill in the blank, calculation,​ read a graph, free/​paragraph response, plot data, draw a schematic, "​discuss with your groupmates",​ //etc.//
 +     * Presentation/​group format: individuals,​ group, as a class, demo-related,​ //etc.//
 +     * Applies both within a worksheet and week-to-week
 +  * Active participation (get students up and moving and talking, writing on the boards, presenting to the class, //etc.//)
 +  * Promoting the idea of group activity (//e.g.//, difficult or tedious for a single student to do, but can be naturally broken into independent components for different individuals)
 +  * Separate activities/​examples for separate groups to compare/​contrast at the end of section (//e.g.// build up an H-R diagram)
 +  * Be visually engaging: make your worksheets look nice (include pictures, picture captions, fill-in-the-blanks,​ //etc.// but don't make them too cluttered)
 +    * On just about every one of Dan Perley'​s worksheets he includes a nerdy, science-related comic.
 +  * Relate concepts to commonsense notions and everyday experiences (if possible)
 +  * Use of real or realistic data and images, instead of clearly fake examples, as long as it doesn'​t excessively complicate the activity
 +  * Symbols are defined and used consistently with elsewhere in the course
 +  * Be relevant to homework/​exam questions (so students feel it was worthwhile to them)
 +  * //Be creative//​. ​ Non-standard worksheets can work well.  Try things that aren't discussed here - and let us know if they work!
 +
 +==What makes a bad worksheet?​==
 +  * Too much calculation (many students will not bring calculators to section, even if you remind them constantly, and some will not be able to do exponents or scientific notation!)
 +  * Too many mundane tasks (students will quickly lose interest if the questions are just "do this calculation,​ then this one, then this one" without ever seeing the big picture until the end or not at all)
 +  * Covering esoteric or "​boring"​ topics or topics that are too advanced to do much with at the Ay 10 level
 +  * Too long: students can't finish the critical parts by the end of section and it's difficult to interrupt them to review in the last 10 minutes. If students learn that their worksheets won't be gone over every single time, they'​ll lose the motivation to actually do them
 +  * Too short: some groups finish the activity and become bored (as a precaution, consider adding extra 'bonus questions'​ at the end you may or may not cover)
 +    * Answers to bonus questions can be posted on your website or given out via email or at office hours or TALC if you'd like.
 +  * Sloppy wording (however, the standards are much less strict than for exams, quizzes, or homeworks)
 +  * Rehashed, basic, dull questions more appropriate for homeworks or exams: take advantage of the group format -- you can push your students'​ abilities since there are many of them working together on the worksheet!
 +  * Not relevant: doesn'​t build understanding of the most important subjects -- which, let's not kid ourselves, are "the things that will be on the final."​ (If you think that the questions on the final are not addressing the most important subjects in the course, the thing to do is **fix the final**.)
 +
 +==Instructors present some of their own example worksheets used in their sections.==
 +  * Divide into groups, hand out a sample worksheet to each group. Groups go over worksheets, present to rest of class:
 +    * Summarize content of worksheet
 +    * What they think its good and bad points are. Remember the metrics: will this get students talking to one another? Do you think it's the right difficulty? Will there be a good way to review the answers?
 +    * Hand out copies of the worksheet in question to the other groups while it's being discussed.
 +
 +==Worksheet tips:==
 +  * Make sure you're intimately familiar with the worksheet before section. ​ Work everything out yourself (and make a key).
 +  * Use caution if simply printing old EBRB worksheets. They may refer to obsolete parts of the text, may have subtle errors, or the questions might be slightly different than you remember from just giving it a quick read. If using a worksheet you didn't write yourself, always work it out //​completely//​ to be sure it's bug-free.
 +  * Give some background, not just questions. ​ Let them know why the activity is interesting and/or relevant to them.  (Of course, you can also just to this verbally.)
 +  * Start with a really easy and obvious question (and preferably an interesting one).  Don't let the students get stuck immediately and stop caring. ​ If they'​re led into starting the worksheet with a simple question or two, they become '​invested'​ in the activity and are more likely to stick with it.
 +  * Leaving minimal empty space on the worksheet encourages use of the board. ​ However, it also makes it harder for students to write their answers down and discourages individual participation.
 +  * For large sections, give plenty of written guidance for how to solve the problems (you can't help everyone at once). ​ For small sections, it's possible to go as far as completely omitting the directions.
 +  * Always save time to go through the worksheet as a class! ​ Each member of the class need to have some feedback on their answers (even if it's just you quickly running through the problems) or they will feel the activity petered out into meaninglessness. ​ Be firm about ending the activity on time. 
 +  * The main points:
 +     * **Engagement** - Encourage students to engage actively and look at the material in new ways different from how it was presented in lecture
 +     * **Relevance** - Students want more than just an enrichment activity: be sure it's really benefiting them
 +     * **Familiarity** - Customize your worksheets to your section; as with just about everything in section, put your own personality into it
 +     * **Fun** - Worksheets are the single biggest outlet for creativity that you have as a GSI; have fun with it and you'll almost certainly get you students to actually want to do the worksheet
 +
 +
 +===== Break (5 min) =====
 +
 +===== Lesson Plans (40 min) =====
 +
 +(10 min) Brainstorm in small groups what a good lesson plan should include. Also consider how specific a lesson plan should be, how long, etc. 
 +
 +(10 min) Aaron will hand out his lesson plan 12-step guide and discuss each step with the class. ​
 +
 +(15 min) In groups, write your own lesson plan based around your group worksheet. ​
 +
 +(15 min) One group member will take their lesson plan to another group and present it. That group will give comments and suggestions for how to improve upon the lesson plan. 
 +
 +
 +===== Lesson Plans (15 min) =====
 +
 +Here is a 12-step program for writing effective lesson plans. Here is the same content in {{:​astro300_f10:​leelessonplanay300.pdf|handout form}}. Here is a {{:​astro300_f10:​leelessonplantemplate.pdf|lesson plan template}}.
 +
 +   - Identify topics to cover. ​
 +        * Lecture meets for ~150 minutes a week, while discussion section meets only 50 minutes a week. You cannot be expected to recap a week's worth of material. Don't even try! Pick **two**, at most three, topics to cover during your 50 minutes. Encourage students to attend office hours if they have more questions.
 +   - Define the learning objectives of the section.
 +        * Ask yourself ``What do I want students to leave with at the end of our 50 minutes together?"​ Be specific. Are these goals long-term (e.g., mastery of a skill) or short-term (e.g., recapping material)?
 +   - Determine what method and materials you will use to accomplish these goals.
 +        * Will you spend section having a classroom discussion, individualized problem solving, or group work? Will there be demonstrations?​ What materials will you need?
 +   - Think of a motivation or ``hook"​ to open the section with.
 +        * How will you get the student'​s attention? Flashy demos, hypothetical or real-world situations involving material from lecture, or an ungraded quiz of questions from past exams are good ways of getting students focused.
 +   - Write a draft of the discussion section. Including an opening hook, procedures, and closing.
 +        * Do not forget things such as conveying any administrative notes and allowing time for questions. ​
 +   - Add details and specific examples. Eliminate vague words like ``discuss,"​ ``introduce,"​ or ``explain."​
 +        * HOW will you explain a particular topic? Give details. What will you write on the board to aid in your explanation?​ What prompts will you give to the class?
 +   - Criticize your timetable.
 +        * The average attention span is 10--15 minutes. Are you spending longer than this on a particular exercise? Break up your discussion section with demos, lecture work, group work, class discussions,​ etc. that last only 10 minutes or so.
 +   - Come up with a backup plan.
 +        * Wednesday lecture was canceled and students are not ready to discuss the material you had planned to cover. Or your students are so smart that you finish your discussion section in 30 minutes. What do you do now? Have backup plans.
 +   - Critique your lesson plan globally. ​
 +        * Look over your entire plan. Does it work to accomplish your learning objectives? If not, have your learning objectives changed or does your plan need revising?
 +   - Critique your lesson plan meticulously.
 +        * You should be able to write a sentence on how each part of your lesson plan goes to accomplishing your learning objectives. If you cannot, that may be alerting you to revise your learning objectives or to revise your plan. 
 +   - Determine how you will assess the success of your discussion section.
 +        * Will you ask questions near the end of section to probe whether section was successful? Will you ask for written or oral feedback?
 +   - Repeat any of the above steps as necessary.
 +
 +===== Optional Reading =====
 +
 +   * {{:​astro300_f10:​mckeachieactivelearning.pdf|Article}} from Svinicki and McKeachie'​s //​McKeachie'​s Teaching Tips// on active learning through group work. It does NOT (unfortunately?​) use the river metaphor. ​
 + 
 +===== Assignment 3 (Due two weeks from now) =====
 +
 +   * If you haven'​t E-mailed Nina yet (ninanina@berkeley),​ do it NOW! 
 +   * Continue keeping a teaching log.
 +   * Everyone has completed the Ethics thing, yes?
 +   * There will be some readings. We will E-mail you when they are available. ​