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Fall 2016 Phys 131 Reminder from 8-26

Page history last edited by Kim Moore 3 years, 9 months ago

Reminders from 8-26-2016 TA meeting, for week of 8-29-2016 (First Recitation, Surveys and Lab Intro)


Hello, Phys 131 TAs!

Here is the email that we promised you, recapping our Friday discussion and including links to useful information. Our first 'full' TA training time will be Friday, Sept. 9th, from 1-4pm in room 3312.  Profs. Redish and Buehrle have sent an ELMS notice (announcement) to students to remind them to bring their computers, to have a flash/thumb drive for our labs, and to read the lab documents and pre-readings ahead of time.  Students have also been reminded them that we are in room 3312 until further notice (we switch rooms in the second week of October).


This week you need to attend your own recitations and labs.  You might also consider reading a bit about this course--from the course website, the papers you got on Friday, or the links in the logistics section below.  Starting next week, week of Sept. 5th, you will be working with students in the Course Center (room 0208).  There are no labs or recitations in the week of Sept. 5th--but we will have our TA training that Friday, Sept. 9th!


This week in recitation:

0) Take attendance.  You can normally do this in ELMS (that is how I do it, by entering their participation score in ELMS--which you can always adjust later if their behavior is poor)--but right now you do not have ELMS access and they may not have this fixed before your first section.  So, for this week you can take attendance by checking off their names on a roster printout (from the roster I emailed on Sunday) on paper or in a spreadsheet, or by having the students write their name on a sheet of paper (a sign-in).  Whatever works for you, just be sure you know who is there for each recitation and each lab.  Also, please double-check that the students are 131 students (not 132 students in the wrong room!)....


1) Recitation: How Big is a Worm?

Link: http://umdberg.pbworks.com/w/page/42294962/How%20big%20is%20a%20worm

(Please encourage the students to work collaboratively, using the whiteboards and markers. The recitation papers are on the printer table at the back of the room.)


Have students write their name on the corner of the whiteboard closest to them (this helps you and their fellow students to learn their name).  If you will be using the stop-go sticks, explain their use to the students.


Students should NOT write on the "room copies" of the recitation paper.  Please collect the room copies between recitation and lab.  If supplies are running low, email Lead TA Kim ASAP.  These papers can be found on the printer-table at the back of the room.  Remember that students are not turning in any work for a grade at the end of recitation.


TAs and LAs: Please remember that the general goals of recitation are group discussion, communication of ideas/logic, and reconciliation of individual perspectives.  We'd love for the students to get the "right" answer, but that is less important than the exchange of ideas and negotiation of meaning among group members.  Please encourage the students to think deeply about what they are doing, rather than rushing through the worksheet and stressing about how "correct" their answers are.  Themes that appear all over these recitations (as well as in the Labs, HWs, and Lecture) are: Multiple Representations, Modeling, Reconciling Perspectives, Interdisciplinary Thinking, and Epistemic Games.


TAs: Don't forget the wrap-up/summary at the end of recitation!



Outline for lab time: ("Lab 0")

(Between recitation and lab, there is a ten-minute break. Students should use this time to get up and move around, use the facilities, get water/coffee, etc.)


(There is no login info for the computers. If a computer is 'logged out,' simply turn it off and reboot the computer. It will automatically login.)


2) Surveys

Students will be asked to fill out three surveys: (TWO on paper/scantrons and ONE online)

* the MEGS (paper) survey using the green scantron;

* the MAX (paper) survey using the blue scantron; and

* the pre-lab NEXUS/Physics survey ( http://tinyurl.com/Fa2016-NEXUS-Pre )´╗┐ (Ugly´╗┐ link -- in case the nice link isn't working -- https://umdsurvey.umd.edu/SE/?SID=SV_0oBAKT6m06RGjJ3 ).


Students will be completing the MEGS and MAX on-paper surveys during the first hour of the 'lab' time.  These surveys, together, will take a little over one hour.  Either Mark or Deborah will be present to introduce the surveys to your students and to answer any questions your students may have. Completed surveys should be placed in the "Completed MEGS" and "Completed MAX" boxes, on the back-left table of the room or on the "TA" desk at the front of the room.  Please make sure that you also re-collect the MEGS and MAX question booklets, as these will be used for the next section's students, too.  (And students should NOT write on the question booklets!)  As with all Scantron surveys, students should use a #2 pencil (there are extra pencils on the back-left table--re-collect these, too, if distributed).  Do the MEGS first, then the MAX.  Check with Deb and Mark--but I am pretty sure you can just collect the MEGS and scantron when they finish it, student-by-student, and immediately hand them a MAX and new scantron to start the new survey.


As the students turn in their scantrons, please check each one to make sure

- they filled out and bubbled in

    - name

    - UMD student ID in "identification number"

    - section number (e.g. 0101, 0203, etc) in "special codes"

    - "1" in "Grade or Educ" (this indicates that they're in 131, not 132)

- they did not write on the survey itself

- the completed scantrons are in the correct bin with all the same orientation (otherwise the scantron reader gets confused)


If students finish the MEGS and MAX and are waiting for the rest of the class to complete the surveys, they can be sure to:

These should keep them busy until their peers are finished with the paper survey.


3) Welcome to class, Discuss Scientific Community Lab format

Once students have completed the surveys, please introduce them to the Scientific Community Lab format (which they should be familiar with from the pre-reading: Intro to the Scientific Community Lab).  Please emphasize that this lab format is designed to be reflective of professional scientific practices--designing experiments, working in groups, learning to communicate with peers, presentation and critical evaluation of ideas, etc.  You don't need to read it to them word-for-word, but cover the major points (lab report written entirely in class and due at end of lab, all students must have copies of data/word files before leaving the lab room (flashdrives!!), review roles and discuss role rotation (if using this), briefly discuss grading, grade renormalization (all lab grades are renormalized at the end of the semester, so the "easy" or "hard" grading of any individual TA has no over-all effect on student rank within the class), and attendance policies -- on the last page of the Intro to SCL document) and ask them if they have any additional questions.  This should take you no more than half an hour.


4) Download ImageJ (w/ "Manual Tracking" and "MultiTracker" plug-ins.) -- Last task

Explain to students that one of the modern tools that we will use is an image/video analysis software called ImageJ.  They will learn more about this in the pre-reading to a future lab (Lab 1, Part 2).  ImageJ software is used in lots of biomedical research labs--some of your students may already be familiar with it/have heard of it.  (Go ahead and ask them!)  This software will be used for over half of the labs and for occasional homeworks, so it is good for them to have access on their laptop/home computer.  (If they don't have their laptop with them, they can take notes on the download instructions and download the program later.)  These (and an alternative set of) download instructions are also available at: ImageJ Download Instructions for Students (which they can link to from the course webpage, on the Recitation/Labs tab).


Software can be downloaded from: http://rsbweb.nih.gov/ij/download.html


Students will need to choose the correct version to match their laptop. PC users need to choose the correct version to match their version of Java. They can find this by accessing the Control Panel, System Properties (System and Security), System, System type. For most newer laptops, 64-bit is the correct choice.


Once this has been downloaded (SAVE, don't OPEN) and installed (default installation recommended), two plug-ins must also be downloaded. These plug-in files (linked below), should be SAVED (not opened) to the Stacks folder in the Plugins folder in the ImageJ folder that has been created during installation on their hard drive. For MAC users, it is imperative that they not open/run ImageJ until these files have been saved to the appropriate location, and that these files have been SAVED, not opened.  (MACs are a bit pickier, here, than PCs). If any of your students are having way too much trouble accomplishing this, please send them to my Course Center hour (time TBD) in room 0208, and I will fix it for them.  Of course, once some of your students have figured it out on their machine, they can help their struggling peers who have the same machine type.


Plugins: Manual Tracking: http://rsbweb.nih.gov/ij/plugins/track/track.html


MultiTracker: http://rsbweb.nih.gov/ij/plugins/multitracker.html


If students finish downloading quickly/are not downloading, please encourage them to help their neighbors OR to read over the 'Mechanics/Grading' section of the course website.  I find most students are NOT fully aware of how the course grade will be determined, especially with regard to HW grades.  They are also welcome to leave the lab when their download/installation is complete.  Of course, this is the ONLY "Lab" where they will get to leave early, so please tell them to expect recitations and labs to take the full scheduled time in all future weeks.


Useful Links/Other Information:

Course center hours to begin week of 9/05.  Full TAs do two hours per week, half TAs do 1 hour per week. The course center is room 0208 in the basement of the Toll Physics building. The tentative schedule is here: Course Center Schedule, Fall 2016 .

**In the event that you can't make your hour(s): First, try to swap hours with another TA or one of the profs. If that is not possible, place a note on the door to 0208 (in the basement of the Physics building) explaining the date and time period that the course center will be closed.


LA/TA pairings: we are working on this and will report it to you shortly.


TA Guidelines:

Physics 131-132 TA and LA Information (AWESOME Information page with tons of helpful stuff for new and experienced TAs, including reminders from TA training....)

(Helpful hints for you on what recitation, lecture, etc. should be like for you as a TA. Also, info about contacting your students, uploading/downloading grades, and other goodies. Check it out!)


Scientific Community Lab student guide: Intro to the Scientific Community Lab

(This will be the pre-reading for the coming lab--students should arrive to the lab already familiar with this document.  You can always ask them to read/review it while they wait for their classmates to arrive/return from the break/finish surveys.)


Course Website: http://www.physics.umd.edu/courses/Phys131/fall2016/index.html

(for grading policies, HWs, lab and recitation documents and pre-readings)


WebAssign: https://www.webassign.net/login.html?message=ended

(for grading on-line homework)


ELMS/Canvas: https://myelms.umd.edu/login

(to communicate with your students, enter lab and homework grades, etc.)

**An announcement was sent through ELMS/CANVAS reminding your students to do the pre-reading, bring their laptops, and acquire a flashdrive (a 4 GB drive is definitely large enough).


UMEG: https://was-3.umd.edu/commonlogin/login?goto=https://www.sis.umd.edu/umeg/

(for rosters, email reflector)


One final note, for grading (labs, quizzes, exams, written HW, etc.), research shows that it is best to grade in ANY color other than Red. We suggest you try to find some other ink colors (green, purple, orange, light blue, et al.) to work with. You might need 2 pens to cover all of the grading you will do in the first semester.


That should be everything for now. Please send me or Profs.. Redish or Buehrle an email if you have questions, need clarification, or have thought of something I have missed!


Good luck!


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