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Volume 03 | Issue 07 | March 2021

Cultivate Your Practice

Check out these resources and how they may support your teaching journey.

Chapter W Engineering Design Challenge

Throughout the spring and summer, we will be launching newly developed and revised Engineering Design Challenges for each chapter, with all six challenges ready for the fall semester. The Chapter W Engineering Design Challenge is on the Chapter W Resources page - look on the right side bar (login required). As with all PEER Physics materials, we welcome and value your feedback! If you try this Engineering Design Challenge with your students, please let us know how it goes! We’d also love to see pictures of your students in action and their final designs. Email shelly.belleau@peerphysics.org.

We're On Social Media!

Be the first to know about PEER Physics happenings by following us on Instagram and Facebook! Tune in!... like us, share us, and connect with other teachers!

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Design Principles for Engaging Multilingual Learners in Three-Dimensional Science

This report, a collaborative effort between WIDA and NSTA, lays out eight design principles “to support equitable and inclusive forms of science instruction through which all students, but especially multilingual learners, can learn science and language simultaneously”. PEER Physics incorporates several of these principles through its emphasis on sense-making, inducing of science principles through phenomena, and active peer learning. Check out the report to learn more.

MacDonald, R., Crowther, D., Braaten, M., Binder, W., Chien, J., Dassler, T., Shelton, T., & Wilfrid, J. (2020). Design principles for engaging multilingual learners in three‐dimensional science (WCER Working Paper No. 2020-1). University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research. http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/publications/working-papers

Coming Up

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

Symposium-Rescheduled to April 17

This has been a crazy school year! We are realizing that many of us are feeling the stress of the start of this semester and the move to more in-person instruction. So, the PEER Physics Symposium has been rescheduled to April 17th. We hope that this will give all of us time to adjust and look forward to gathering to share ideas and reconnect. Register by Friday, April 2.

Learn More and Register

Celebrating Success

Honoring the great work of PEER Physics teachers.

PEER Physics has made learning science both approachable and challenging for my students. Students feel that they can gather the evidence, reason about it, and create understanding together. As a teacher, I am able to do virtually no lecturing. The PEER Physics learning cycle is set out so thoughtfully, that the students do the learning, with my questions and suggestions guiding them so they can discover the concepts for themselves. This is the way I have wanted to teach physics, and the way I think my students learn best. The PEER Physics curriculum brings the components of learning together in an intentional, thoughtful process of learning which makes sense to my students. Here are a few of their comments from their review of the first unit: 

  • “I enjoy that we can start off from scratch and can use our brain and figure out the problems ourselves.” 
  • “I like how engaging it is, it doesn't just feel like you're talking at us, it feels like you really want us to have fun and understand what you're teaching.” 
  • “Most things we do ourselves and it’s not just the teacher talking non-stop until the class ends.” 
  • “I enjoy that you don’t just give out answers: you give us the chance to think for ourselves.” 

This is exactly the kind of feedback that, as a teacher, I hope to hear.

Michael Sarbanes is a PEER Physics Instructor at Green Street Academy in Baltimore, MD.

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