Teaching Binary and Data Transmission
The Next Generation Science Standards place a lot of emphasis on data transmission in the waves standards. This is something that we have barely touched in the past and with NGSS being a likely adoption in MN in 2017, we wanted to get a head start in getting our curriculum ready.
For this year, I introduced this topic as a one day crash course on binary and how it is used to encode and transmit information. The website http://csunplugged.org/ is a phenomenal resource and offered some great binary introductary activities like the cards in the picture below. I also taught the students a little bit about ASCII code and I had students write "text messages" to each other in binary. Texting is an application that students haven't really thought about, but their phones are doing a very similar process.
I'm excited to build out this unit in more detail in the coming years. In my opinion, most Physics curriculum don't focus nearly enough on this application of the electromagnetic spectrum because it's one of the only topics in high school physics that has undergone dramatic changes in the past 20 years.
Grading with Class Time
I'm so grateful for the colored paper that we have access to when we send for copies. With all of the paper quizzes and tests (not to mention the multiple versions of each), the color coding really helps me keep my copies straight. I've figured out a much more efficient way of using class time to grade this year. I typically grade the quizzes, enter the scores, and pass them back by the end of class. Obviously, tests take a little longer but by using those testing days to get a head start on my grading, I've been get them in the grade book and pass them back by the next class. :)
Students appreciate this fast turnaround because it provides them with timely feedback that can help correct misunderstandings before they go too far.
Father, Physics Teacher, Knowles Fellow, Friend, Techie, and Musician