Astro 300 (Fall 2011)


Class is held: Mondays from 5-7pm in Hearst Field Annex, Room B1.

The Bootcamp is held: Tuesday, Aug 23 and Wednesday, Aug 24 from 3-5pm in Hearst Field Annex, Room B5.

Instructors: Therese Jones (, Aaron Lee (

Advising Professor: Imke de Pater (imke@astro)

The Syllabus. Make sure you read this!

The Electronic Big Red Binder. An important resource for GSIs. Reuse and modification of any and all of the materials in these resources is highly encouraged! So is contribution back to the EBRB of your improved materials! There is also an older physical copy (The Big Red Binder), located in the library.

Teaching Logs. Summaries of all teaching log prompts.

Assignments. Summaries of all assignments for Ay300.

Design(Improve)-A-Demo. Assignment summary.

Experienced GSI Visit Worksheet

Section Video Recap Worksheet

Peer Visitation Worksheet

Professor Visitation Worksheet

Ay 300 Lesson Plans

(parenthetical statements are for C10)


Class Number Date/Week of Topics Lesson Plan Link
1 Aug 23 Bootcamp 1: Paper airplane activity/discussion ; What makes a good first section? General classroom setting, syllabus design, philosophy from the instructors BootCamp Day 1
2 Aug 24 Bootcamp 2: First day activities, lecturing and boardwork (part 1), use of technology, class closings and assessment BootCamp Day 2
3 Aug 29 Effective group work activities, interacting with students, teaching math Class 3
- Sept 5 Labor Day, no class
4 Sept 12 (Quizzes next week) Go over lesson plans, writing quiz questions, administering demos effectively, board work exercises,pick Design-A-Demo groups Class 4
5 Sept 19 (Quizzes this week) Discuss group work and visitations, developing rubics and grading quizzes (bring in example questions/responses), writing worksheets, check teaching logs Class 5
6 Sept 26 Discuss writing test questions, go over examples in class, DaD proposals, Class 6
7 Oct 3 (Midterm reviews this week), Ethics, DaD presentations , boardwork (topic: midterm reviews) , Class 7
8 Oct 6, 5:30-6:30 (C10 GSIs have to grade on Monday 10/10) Celia's meeting: midsemester evaluations Class 8


Class Number Date/Week of Topics Lesson Plan Link
9 Oct 17 Special Topic 1: Motivation and dealing with student problems/inabilities, bias in the classroom, cultural differences, etc. Class 9
10 Oct 24 (Quizzes this week) Special Topic 2: Identifying misconceptions, how wording can promote misconceptions, etc. , Class 10
11 Oct 31 Special Topic 3: Teaching Thinking Class 11
12 Nov 7 (Review sessions this week) Discuss visitations, Midterm Board Work
13 Nov 14 No class, C10 GSIs have to grade


Class Number Date/Week of Topics Lesson Plan Link
14 Nov 21 Special meeting at Celia's , Other GSIs visit (McBride, Fornasini)
15 Nov 28 Special Topic 4: Teaching Portfolios, Teachers visit (Filippenko, Quataert, Stahler, Davis), Check teaching logs this week, Wrap Up Class 14


Ay 300-specific and general pedagogy

Teaching Pedagogy Books

Strategies for Astro 101 by Tim Slater and Jeff Adams. (Amazon) A great affordable book on designing Astro 101 (Introductory Astronomy for non-majors) courses. Applied to the course as a whole, but a lot of this book applies to running sections as well.

McKeachie's Teaching Tips by Marilla Svinicki and Wilbert McKeachie. (Amazon) Almost biblical in the pedagogy world, this book covers almost anything you need to know about teaching. If you want to shell out the money, this is the book to get. It covers everything in Slater and Adams and more (no need to buy both…).

How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Ambrose et al. (Amazon) An interesting book that covers seven very real problems that you will experience in section. Applied to teaching a course as a whole, many of the book discussions can also be applied to sections.

GSI Assignments

AY C10 (Filippenko/Keating)

Graduate Student Instructors

  1. Garrett Karto Keating (Head)
  2. Jonathan Wright
  3. Lauren Weiss
  4. Sedona Price

Undergraduate Student Instructors

  1. Michael Ellenburg
  2. Elan Frenkel
  3. Sean Goebel
  4. Gary Li
  5. Michelle Mason (star parties)
  6. Eliza McDonald
  7. Jieun Choi

AY 10 (Davis)

  1. Isaac Shivvers
  2. Yookyung Noh
  3. Eric Huff

AY 7a (Chiang)

  1. Francesca Fornasini
  2. Nick Hand

AY 160 (Quataert)

  1. Josiah Schwab

Members of Ay300 (teaching times)

  1. Michael Ellenburg (W 9-10,11-12, Th-TALC 7-8)
  2. Elan Frenkel (Tu 11-12, Thu 12-1, Wed-TALC 8-9)
  3. Sean Goebel (M 10-11, W 1-2, TALC W 7-8)
  4. Nick Hand (M 1-2, W-TALC 5-7)
  5. Gary Li (Tu 2-3, Thu 2-3)
  6. Michelle Mason (Star Parties Su, M, W, Th nights)
  7. Eliza McDonald (Tu 1-2, Th 1-2)
  8. Sedona Price (W 10-11, W 12-1, TALC Th 6-7)
  9. Isaac Shivvers (M 11-12, F 10-11)
  10. Dyas Utomo (not teaching this semester)
  11. Lauren Weiss (M 9-10,2-3 Star Parties Th, TALC Th 7-8 (weeks 1-5))

Previous Semesters

C10-specific webpages

Astronomy in the News - A list of interesting astro-related news articles and websites (usually with more of an emphasis on pop-culture type stuff). It be great if everyone in the class could update this on occasion.

Stuff for Therese and Aaron

Quick recap of Fall 2009 semester, with comments on pieces of the curriculum and recommendations for this upcoming semester.