Reading, Writing, and Physics
Benoit, Adam, The Science Teacher
Like many schools across the country, the high school where I teach has been pushing for increased reading and writing in all classes. By the end of my first year of teaching physics, I found a way to incorporate these literacy skills while addressing another common dilemma--a lack of current physics studies in the curriculum. I designed an assignment in which students read, write, and study current physics topics without diverting class time from the curriculum. In this Idea Bank, I describe this assignment and the unexpected benefits for both students and me.
Students read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (1998) and journal about each chapter. The assignment setup is simple: Students read one or two chapters each week (based on a schedule I distribute) and write journal entries. The entries have three parts: a summary, a reaction, and questions. The summary is necessary to ensure students read the chapter, but I'm more interested in their reactions and questions. In the reaction section--the bulk of the assignment--students describe their understanding …
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Publication information: Article title: Reading, Writing, and Physics. Contributors: Benoit, Adam - Author. Journal title: The Science Teacher. Volume: 79. Issue: 1 Publication date: January 2012. Page number: 62. © 2009 National Science Teachers Association. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.