Reading guides (or sometimes called guided readings) are designed to get students to open a textbook. They are an excellent means to improve student reading comprehension skills, fluency, and word recognition. They force the students to actively interact with the text in a quantifiable manner. And once the students are done with the reading guides, they have a ready-made study guide to look over for the quiz! To keep the kids honest when putting down answers, I typically cut and paste some of the answers to a weekly quiz.
Reading guides also make good sub-lesson plans. They are self-directed activities which the majority of students should be able to independently finish.
The reading guides I offer were designed for use with the Paul Hewitt Conceptual Physics book with the white roller coaster on the cover (2009). The ISBN number is 9780133647495. If you do not have this edition of the book, many of the questions and page numbers will not align correctly. The reading guides are typically 45 to 50 questions in length, with a good mix of higher- and lower-level questions in the mix. There are also some questions where graphs must be drawn, or sketches need to be made.
The reading guides are numbered about 25 questions per sheet of paper (roughly 50 questions total), so that if students are working in pairs, they can split the work evenly between them with no arguments of who will be doing more work. This is also an exercise in teamwork and peer communication skills!
Adam and Jamie apply Newton’s Third Law to see if two objects heading towards each other at 50 mph have the same kinetic energy as one car travelling into a wall at 100 mph. The rest of the team explores the numerous variables involved when attempting to knock someone out of their socks. Scientific concepts include Newton’s Third Law, kinetic energy, mass, velocity, impact force, momentum, relative motion, acceleration, g-loads, transverse momentum, impact energy distribution, elastic and inelastic collisions, friction, and inertia.
The Mythbuster team puts conspiracy theories to the test when they examine whether or not NASA really went to the moon. In this episode, they examine photographic evidence concerning lights and shadows, lunar footprints, slow motion special effects, and apparent flag waving. Scientific topics include light angles, geometry, illusions, vacuums, molecular attractions, the albedo effect, light reflection, inertia, momentum, gravitational pull, bodily kinesthetics, vomit comet, parabolic arcs, zero g, geologic processes, weight conversions, atmospheric pressure, and laser reflections.
Adam and Jamie take on a challenge from President Obama: is it possible to set a ship on fire using the power of the sun? Kari, Tory, and Grant see if it is possible to punch a car hard enough to get it to flip over! Science topics include Archimedes, parabolic mirrors, thermal energy, ignition points, reflectivity, light rays, aiming sights, levers, fulcrum, type 1 lever, pivot point, lever arms, torque, speed, mass, center of gravity, momentum, W = FD, and forward linear momentum.
Adam and Jamie test the classic myth of pulling a tablecloth out from underneath dinnerware. This is the perfect episode to demonstrate Newton’s First Law of Motion, the Law of Inertia: An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force. Meanwhile, Tory, Grant, and Kari test the myth that we use only 10% of our brain. Science concepts discussed include Newton’s First Law of Motion, Law of Inertia, static friction, inertia, momentum, mass relationships, small scale testing, frictional coefficients, material selection criteria, electroencephalograms, EEGs, brain lobes and functions, parietal lobes, frontal cortex, occipital lobe, magnetoelectroencephalograph, MEGs, functional magnetic resonance imagining, FMRIs, and comparative base line data.