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Volume 03 | Issue 05 | January 2021

New from PEER Physics

Check out these new tools to support your teaching journey

Scientists' Ideas Reading Question Keys

The questions that follow the Scientists’ Ideas Readings are designed for students to apply scientific formalisms to their laboratory investigations and to new contexts.  We’ve released keys for these reading questions.  Find the new Scientists’ Ideas Reading Question keys on the teacher resources web pages beneath the Scientists’ Ideas Readings.  Teacher login is required to access these resources.

Fall Webinar Series Mural Boards

Did you miss the webinar series this fall?  Take a look at the Mural Boards to see what we discussed. And, stay tuned for information about our spring webinar series.

Also check out the PEER Physics Mural Board Templates.

Coming Up

Take note of these events to collaborate and learn from one another

PEER Physics Community Collaboration

This year, the Year 2+ Professional Learning sessions are open to all PEER Physics instructors. The format of this virtual PD will provide space and time for teachers to gather as a community and discuss problems of practice. Sessions will be held on Saturdays from 9-11am MT and take place on January 23rd, and March 6th. Please register by Sunday, January 17

Register for the YR2+ PD

PEER Physics Symposium

Have you been teaching with PEER for a year or more? Consider attending our annual Symposium! The PEER Physics Symposium will take place on January 30 from 9am-12pm MT. The purpose of this collaborative event is to bring together veteran PEER Physics instructors interested in sharing, discussing, and solving challenges in the classroom. This year the Symposium will be held virtually through Zoom. Highlights of the day will include:

  • Working Group Reports
  • 5-in-5 Presentations to share ideas 
  • Roundtable Discussions on Problems of Practice

Register by Sunday, January 24. View the flyer to learn more.

Register for the Symposium

PEER Physics Spring 2021 Pilot Opportunity

Do you have colleagues who might be interested in trying PEER Physics?  Or is your district considering a curriculum adoption for Physics?  Investigating and vetting curricular resources, especially in this year of turmoil, can be time consuming and frustrating. The PEER Physics pilot is a way for interested schools and districts to make informed decisions about curriculum adoption. The PEER Physics Pilot has 3 main goals:

  1. To provide a deeper dive into the PEER Physics curriculum and professional learning as well as the impact PEER Physics courses can have on science learning through inductive processes,
  2. To see the ways in which PEER Physics can support your vision and goals. For teachers and school administrators to see the ‘fit’ for PEER Physics in their programming, and,
  3. To highlight the range of resources that support face-to-face and remote instruction.
Learn More About the Pilot And Sign Up!

Celebrating Success

Honoring the great work of PEER Physics teachers

Teaching has always been a profession where change is the constant and this last year set a record! As a teacher I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when her house was picked up by the tornado and dropped in the Land of Oz. That spinning house, not knowing where it will land, plus the witches and monkeys was too much! The last 9 months of pandemic, confrontations challenging our social contract, and the plethora of decisions about our classrooms operating with any sense of normalcy has much the same feel as a spinning house in an Ozian tornado. 
However, in this messy year I discovered that I can create a community of learners that can work together, share and challenge our ideas, and feel safe to learn and grow. I was intentional about using our virtual time to build relationships with and between my students.  Each class period I spent the first 5 minutes to say hello to everyone, asking questions about their work spaces, sharing my office space, and checking in on the campus and Boulder news. I also asked them to self evaluate, reflect on, and use norms of collaboration frequently. This provided a continual focus on improving their collaborative skills.
In addition, every class time the whole group worked in a common workspace called Mural. Mural is a virtual whiteboard in which everyone is putting their initial ideas, investigation questions, and consensus ideas in front of everyone. At first this was a bit scary, not knowing if they ‘had the right answer’ but we started slow, and I set expectations for using this tool and spent ample time on the individual value of making our collective thinking public.
By the end of the term, what I thought was going to be a spinning house turned out to be a fruitful and effective semester.  There are still flying monkeys to deal with but I have more confidence than I did before to help students make sense of the physical world and each other.

Jon Mann is the Director of Responsive Partnership with  PEER Physics and teaches using the PEER Physics curriculum at CU Boulder.

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