Well…I barely survived teaching during COVID-19. I almost wished I had written more throughout the school year, but it would be just so depressing. Each post would be something like this is what we planned, it didn’t go that way, complaints about something, and something about trying again tomorrow. What I do know is that we have to commend the first year teachers and preservice teachers trying to navigate through teaching PLUS unprecedented times (if I have to hear that one more time…).

CMPF- Day 1: June 28, 2021

But now- on to more exciting things! Today was Day 1 of Computational Modeling Physics First. My first Modeling Instruction workshop was in Denver in 2017. I met a great group of people, and when I reflect on my experience there, it fires me up to go back and teach.

So today’s workshop is a bit different from the one in 2017. We’re adding computational AND programming thinking on top of the already intimidating Physics content. However, I’m feeling pretty good about it. Our homework was to watch this video:

There are about a million “Bet you can’t solve this simple math problem” challenges going around social media. Initially, I was horrified at at the different answers people were coming up with. But after watching the video, PEMDAS has been taught to us incorrectly or poorly resulting in the variety of answers.

Throughout the day, being in student mode, I most definitely so engrossed in the activity that I forgot to write down some pointers of how to approach the class discussions. The other article we read for homework made me think how important it is for teachers to be able to lead discussions that don’t necessarily have a resolution or a “right answer” at the end. Reflecting on my teaching, I too have been guilty of getting students to participate in a discussion, but what I’m actually doing is asking them read my mind.

Basically, the biggest takeaway is that I can’t wait to go back into the classroom with real live students who are at varying levels of excitement for physics…so that we can go on this journey of Computational Modeling Physics First together.