Teacher Review for PhET Interactive Simulations

Quick and engaging way to reinforce physics concepts

Lisa K.
Classroom teacher
Bingham High School
South Jordan, United States
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My Grades 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Individual
Knowledge gain
Practice
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with ELL
General
How I Use It
I have used this product as a teacher-led discussion and as students working individually. When I used it as a teacher-led discussion it was helpful to show the students that what I was saying about launch angles was true. Students had a hard time wrapping their heads around this concept but when I showed it to them on the simulation it helped them to see how it was possible. When I assigned it to students to use individually I used a guideline that I borrowed from a colleague. The guideline from the colleague wasn't specific enough and I didn't get the answers or exploration that I wanted from the students. I'm lucky because we have an A-day/B-day format at our school where I teach the same thing two days in a row. After looking at the results from A-day I made a new worksheet for B-day that was more specific and the results from that worksheet reviewed and reinforced the concepts and gave me the results that I was looking for.
My Take
I think this project is a wonderful teaching tool. There are several lesson plans on-line to help your students navigate the simulations but what I found worked best for me was to use other teachers lesson plans as a guideline and create my own lesson plan and worksheet to ensure my students got out of the simulation what I intended them to.