Astro 300 (Fall 2012)


Class is held: Monday 6-8 PM in HFA B1

The Bootcamp is held: Wednesday, Aug 22 6:00-8:00 PM and Thursday, Aug 23 at both 11:00-12:00 and 2:30-3:30.

Instructors: Therese Jones (, Jonnie Pober (

Advising Professor: Imke de Pater (imke@astro)

Quick Links

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.

Assignments. Summaries of all assignments for Ay300.

Teaching Logs. Summaries of all teaching log prompts.

Section Video Recap Worksheet

Peer Visitation Worksheet

Ay 300 Lesson Plans


Class Number Date/Week of Topics Lesson Plan Link
1 Aug 22 Bootcamp 1: Marshmellow & toothpick activity/discussion ; What makes a good first section? General classroom setting, syllabus design, philosophy from the instructors BootCamp Day 1
2 Aug 23 Bootcamp 2: First day activities BootCamp Day 2
3 Aug 27 Effective group work activities, interacting with students, teaching math Class 3
4 Sept 10 Go over lesson plans, writing homework questions, administering demos effectively,pick Design-A-Demo groups Class 4
5 Sept 17 Writing test questions, writing worksheets, boardwork exercises Class 5
6 Sept 24 Design-a-Demo proposals, ethics, boardwork exercises Class 6


Class Number Date/Week of Topics Lesson Plan Link
7 Oct 1 Teaching Thinking, multiple intelligences Class 7
8 Oct 8 GSI visitation, design-a-demo presentations Class 8


Ay 300-specific and general pedagogy

Cool Teaching Links

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

To be filled out shortly.

Members of Ay300 (teaching times)

To be filled out shortly.

Previous Semesters

Useful links for section material

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.