Astro 375 / Astro 300 (Fall 2014)

This course qualifies for the GSI Teaching and Resource Center's Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.


Class is held: Mondays, 5:30-7:30pm, Location: Barrows 180.

The Bootcamp is held: Monday, August 25th, and Tuesday, August 26th, from 6-8pm in Hearst Field Annex B1.

Faculty Instructor: Imke de Pater (imke@astro)

Graduate Student Instructor: Aaron Lee (a.t.lee@ber…)


Ay375 Lesson Plans

(Any lesson plans for future dates are subject to revision, but feel free to peruse if you're interested.)

Class Number Date/Week of Topics Lesson Plan Link
1 Aug 25 Bootcamp 1: Paper airplane activity/discussion, What makes a good section? General classroom setting, syllabus design, philosophy from the instructors BootCamp Day 1
2 Aug 26 Bootcamp 2: Syllabi activities, board work activity, first day activities Experienced GSI visit (Karto K.) BootCamp Day 2
3 Sept 8 Section Recaps, Improv for Scientists Class 3
4 Sept 15 Lecturing/Learning Styles, Implementing Demos Class 4
5 Sept 22 Experienced GSI visit (Lea H.), Learning Objectives & Lesson Plans Class 5
6 Sept 29 Log1 due, Exam, Worksheet, and Quiz Question Discussion, Grading Rubrics Class 6
7 Oct 6 Teaching Philosophy, Experienced GSI visit (Francesca F.) Class 7
8 Oct 13 Log2 due, Board Work, Midsemester Evals, Group Work Revisited Class 8
9 Oct 20 Ethics, Board work Part 2 Experienced GSI visit (Drummond F.) Class 9
10 Oct 27 Log3 due, Midsemester Eval discussion, Experienced GSI Visit (Paul M. – Political Science), Misconceptions Class 10
11 Nov 3 Experienced GSI visit (Abby P. - Physics), Discouraging Learning Class 11
12 Nov 10 Log4 due, No class Class 12
13 Nov 17 Experienced GSI visit (Josiah), Fixed and Growth Mindset & Motivations Class 13
14 Nov 24 Ignorance & Course Development (Celia's Day) Class 14
15 Dec 1 Teaching Portfolios & Philosophy, Professors Visit Class 15
16 Dec 8 Final Exam, Course Closing Class 16


Ay 375-specific and general pedagogy

Teaching Pedagogy Books that Aaron enjoys

Teaching and Designing Courses

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…).

Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite by Edward Redish. (Amazon ; the book chapters are available for free here) Teaching Physics is a book about learning to be a more effective physics teacher. It is meant for anyone who is interested in learning about recent developments in physics education.

Student Learning

Why Students Don't Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel Willingham. (Amazon) Fascinating account on how the brain “learns” and how you can use that both to your advantage in the classroom and to assess why certain activities might have failed.

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

Astro 10 (Blitz) - Ryan

Astro 7a (Kriek) - Zhang

Astro C13 (Quataert) - Zick

Astro 120 (Graham) - Yuk, Domagalski

Members of Ay375 (teaching times)

Domagalski - Office Hours: Tu 4-5 D23 (Undergrad lab)

Lee - Teaching: M 5:30-7:30, Barrows 180 ; Office Hours: T 22:00-22:30, Campanile Tower

Ryan - Teaching: M 2:00-3:00, Evans 264, W 1:00-2:00, HFA B1; Office Hours: W 2:00-3:00, HFA B26

Yuk - Office Hours: M 2:30-3:30 D23 HFA (Undergrad lab)

Zhang - Teaching: F 11-12, Evans 264. OH: F 10-11 B36, HFA

Zick - Teaching: Tu 2-4 & 4-6, VLSB 3007, OH: Th 5:15-6:15 VLSB 3007

Stuff for the instructors

Some Notes on development and from previous semesters.

The syllabus given to the GSI Resource Center.

Previous Semesters