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Day 107: More SBG Work

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Day 107: More SBG work: making it digital

I work better on paper than on computer, possibly because I don’t get into as many online games. At any rate, I’ve translated my digital notes into Evernote, so I can work on it while I’m away from my home computer.

I’m having my annual self-argument about the order of subjects (start with measurement or atomic theory and nuclear stuff). The first way tends to weed-out kids who aren’t that serious about taking chemistry (strangely, because they don’t want so much math). This makes it better as a teacher, as most of the kids who hack it will probably manage to hack the rest of the course. There is a weird transition somewhere along the line, where numbers and sig figs aren’t used for a few weeks while atomic theory is introduced, and a lot of kids forget all rules for precision and numbers. The second way tends to keep a lot of kids in the beginning, but the course may be more than what they bargained for later. After getting the non-number-based stuff out of the way, the rest of the course needs digits and precision, so the math piece is introduced later and used consistently to the end. To me, it’s a much smoother way to do the whole course. And I hate weed-out things.

And at the same time, I don’t want kids who shouldn’t be in the course… be in the course. It’s hard on them and hard on me. And maybe they’d be ready for chemistry at a different time, so maybe a weed-out is kinda diagnostic. And either way, I feel like a big meany, either for having put kids through an ordeal, or not having given them a chance to show me wrong.

Because of my previous schools, I’ve done all kinds of ways to order chemistry, even starting in the middle. I’ve even done a bunch of versions concurrently. Ultimately, it needs to be what’s best for the kids, not me.

I’ll probably change my mind tomorrow.


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