Academic journal article Science Scope

A Positive Force in My Classroom

Academic journal article Science Scope

A Positive Force in My Classroom

Article excerpt

For years I worked for Ray Anostino, a vice principal whose heart was still in the math classroom. While my eighth graders were learning the core of their force and motion content, I would often look up see Ray in my classroom. He would show up unannounced and walk around the lab stations speaking freely with students as they conducted their investigations.

Physics was Ray's favorite lesson to watch because it not only integrated math into science but also engaged students so fully in their investigations that they often acted more like preschoolers than eighth graders: showing joyful interest as they timed cars that sped down ramps, measured forces during a game of tug-of-war, and traced the arcs of swinging pendulums. Spontaneous contests erupted, data were shared without much teacher direction, and inferences were made and debated freely.

In all this "play," students experienced the principles of physics firsthand, and the math teacher in Ray was always pleased when students saw patterns in their data and were able to discern the relationships between one variable and another and then express them in words without an equation to solve, a textbook passage to read, or any notes to take. …

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