Teaching Students to Learn

Posted by Ashlynn Houk

Dan Kimball, instructor of math, chemistry, and science at Bakersfield College, started out his career in the juice and food industry. After receiving his BS in Chemistry from Brigham Young University in 1978 and his MS in Chemistry from San Diego State University in 1980; he then went on work as an international consultant in the citrus juice processing industry. He has over 20 publications in citrus processing, including 3 books. Eventually Dan found his way to the teaching field and has taught math, chemistry, and physical science in universities, community colleges, and high school for almost 30 years. Read on to find out how Dan teaches his student to learn, by instilling in them skills that are more than just chemistry concepts.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy of teaching has expanded with my experience. I believe that learning must be fun and I tell my students at the beginning of the semester that my class will be more fun than Disneyland. Many students actually mention that it was that fun on the end of the semester questionnaire. My class must be relevant and interesting as well, something that makes the students say, “That’s cool!” I also feel a responsibility to prepare my students for future college classes and their career.

I am constantly telling them that I expect their work to be professional and look professional. I believe in letting students do the work; the more I do for them, the less they do for themselves. I give them enough knowledge and resources to work out problems themselves, which places the responsibility upon them. Instead of shoveling knowledge into their brains, I give them the shovel. Many times students fall flat on their face, but this is the way they learn. Students cannot be expected to be successful all the time. They learn mostly by failing and getting back up again and trying again. I believe in helping students whenever they ask and try to make myself both available and approachable. I love teaching and I hope to pass this passion on to my students.

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Giving Students Constant Feedback with WebAssign

Posted by Annie McQuaid

Shelly Barbay teaches chemistry at St. Amant High School in Louisiana. She and her fellow teachers have used WebAssign to teach across the chemistry, physical science, and physics classes for more than six years. Read more to see how Shelly and her colleagues use WebAssign to give students feedback and help them master concepts.

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Engaging Science Students with Technology

Posted by Ashlynn Houk

Linda Flohr, science teacher at Glenwood Springs High School, started her career in education by teaching physics and math in the Peace Corps in 1997. She then moved on to teach in Philadelphia, and for the past 14 years has taught science in Colorado. Read on to learn more about how Linda incorporates technology in her class.

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Using Different Strategies to Keep Students Involved

Posted by Ashlynn Houk

Roy Stanley, AP physics teacher at Cumberland Valley High School, comes from a long line of teachers. His father taught high school and middle school science for 30+ years, his sister teaches elementary school, and he has over a dozen cousins, aunts, and uncles who are all involved in education in some way. He always knew he wanted to teach, but it wasn't until his senior year of high school, when he took a physics course, that he knew he wanted to be a physics teacher. Roy graduated with his Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education from Penn State University and has a Master's Degree in Education from Wilkes University. Read on to find out how Roy employs different strategies to keep his students involved in the classroom.

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Creative Lab Experiences in the Physics Classroom

Posted by Ashlynn Houk

Scott Buhr, an AP physics teacher at Hillcrest High School, is coming up on his 4th year of teaching. Scott enjoys developing creative lab experiences for his students and has a 50% pass rate on the AP exam. Read on to see how Scott creates fun lab experiences that keep his students engaged.

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Keeping Students Interested in the Physics Classroom

Posted by Ashlynn Houk

Jim Ciccarelli is an AP physics instructor at Penncrest High School, where he has been teaching since 1997. Jim is also the faculty advisor for the Science Olympiad and Physics Olympics. Read on to find out how Jim keeps his students interested in the physics classroom.

 

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Fostering Student Development Through Collaboration and Technology

Posted by Ashlynn Houk


Dr. Christine Walker, Professor of Mathematics at Utah Valley University, started off her teaching experience while in graduate school. To help pay for her education she started substitute teaching for an elementary school. She graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics Education from Brigham Young University.  After completing her Master's Degree in Mathematics Education from Brigham Young University, she started working at Utah Valley University in 1992 and has been teaching there ever since. In 2008, she earned her Doctorate Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Utah State University. Read on to learn more about Christine's teaching philosophy and how she uses WebAssign in her classroom. 

 

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Engaging Chemistry Students

Posted by Ashlynn Houk

Dr. Randa Roland is a lecturer at UC Santa Cruz in the chemistry department, where she has been teaching for the past 11 years. After graduate school she went into industry research, but wanted to find something a little closer to home that still involved what she loved, chemistry. She took an adjunct position at a community college and fell in love with teaching. Read on to find out how Randa engages chemistry students in her classroom.

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Combining Technology and Creativity to Engage Students

Posted by Ashlynn Houk
Vicki Robinson, associate professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, is currently finishing up her 38th year of teaching physics to Deaf college students.  She has a BS in The Teaching of Physics and an MS in Education of the Deaf from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Read on to find out how Vicki engages her students using a variety of technology tools as well as a variety of communication methods. 
 
Note:  "Deaf" with the capital D denotes a cultural, linguistic group, much like an ethnicity; with a small d it denotes a population with a shared medical condition.
 
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Physics Labs and WebAssign

Posted by Ashlynn Houk

We love to hear how instructors are using WebAssign in their classrooms. This week we are taking a look at Lewis Ford, physics professor at Texas A&M University. Lewis has been part of the Texas A&M faculty since 1973. Read on to find out how Lewis incorporates WebAssign into his physics class.

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