When I finished my undergraduate studies in 2004 I had no knowledge of Modeling instruction. I began teaching my science classes in an interactive, but very traditional way. It didn’t take me long to realize there must be a better way. As with most of us, I consider year one as a mulligan, I survived, and that is about it. During that time I was employed at Brillion High School in East Central Wisconsin. My assignment was mainly Freshmen Physical Science. During that first year, a colleague of mine, Ryan Peterson, invited me to the local Physics/Physical Science share group meeting where I meet Scott Hertting, Dale Basler, Greg Franzen, Jeff Elmer, and many others who were talking about this Modeling thing.
My interest was sparked! Those guys had so many awesome ideas and seemed so passionate about the way they taught, it was contagious. I continued to struggle through year one, and finally it was over. The next school year I was given the responsibility to teach physics along with physical science. Scott Hertting was gracious enough to meet with before school started that year and shared almost all of his materials with me, and explained even more about Modeling. After blindly learning as I went I could see the effectiveness of Modeling, despite my own short comings.
It was in the spring of 2007 when I received my first formal Modeling training when I took a class at UW-Oshkosh with professor Mark Lattery. One summer later (2008) UW-Oshkosh began its MSE C&I program in physics. For the next three summers I studied the “ins and outs” of the Modeling Method from some of the best teachers around. Included in the Masters program was an Action Research project. Two other teachers and I studied the effects of “Grading Discussions in a Modeling Physics Classroom.” In 2010 I earned my Masters of C&I in Physics.
During the summer of 2008, in between my Masters studies, my career took me to a new school with a new teaching assignment. Bloomer High School hired me as their new Chemistry and Physics teacher. It was at that time when I began to explore the Modeling Chemistry curriculum, and have never looked back since. My current class schedule consists of Chemistry I and II, and Physics I and II. All 4 classes I have designed to use Modeling Instruction.
Future posts will describe each of my classes and how Modeling fits into each.