Teaching physics is fun

Teaching physics for learning physics. It’s not only the teacher who talks. Students are required to develop skills. Teachers help.

Standard situation in teaching physics:

  • Experiments
  • Describe processes, acts and experiments
  • Develop new ideas
  • Create new things and thoughts
  • Talk about science, discussions
  • Bring order into chaos
  • Train to become better
  • Present

These items can be performed by teachers and students equally. Remember: the teacher should not talk all the time.

Source: Studiensemniar Koblenz

84 Individual work

Time needed: 3-5 min

Why? Advantages of individual work are that the students can edit the tasks for them in the appropriate speed and learning style. The tasks can be assessed individually and the level of details can be adjusted. Each student is challenged to develop their own activities, so that teaching content used to be practiced and reinforced. It can also be provided differently difficult tasks.

When? All the time if it i necessary to support different learning levels and speed.

How? In the individual work the teachers provides for each student a task, then they will process and settle the task problem by self each student alone. The conditions for individual work is the students’ motivation, self-control ability and differentiation.

Any risk? Disadvantages of individual work, are that it can lead to isolation of individual students that they have no social-educational component and run the risk of idling. To avoid such problems the teacher should be prepared with more than one task for quicker students and the teacher should be very active in supporting and controlling students individual work.

To distinguish from the solo work is individual work. In solo-work one task will be performed by the students without direct help from outside solutions in individual work. This will develop individual work steps and solutions independently, covered and transferred to other items. Self-confidence, creativity and their own actions are supported by individual work. The method of solo-work can also avoid the idling problem for quicker students, if the teacher is directly planing it in advance to give to those students an individual work task which is culminating in a solo-work task.

83 Feedback method

Time needed: max 2-3 min

Why? Feedback is a very effective method to give students the opportunity to reflect itself in the assessment of their performance by peers, detached from teacher assessments. On the other hand, the teacher is able to recognize how deep and correct are learned topics already available.

When? After students haven given a presentation to a taught topic or a given task.

How? Install the feedback method in your lesson, let students tinker flash cards with number 1 until 3 as evaluation cards. After the presentation the students have to decide which mark they want to give, install three different topics: 1.content, 2. language, 3.presentation design. Every student has to evaluate these three topics. If really bad as well very good results happen they should explain their reasons. Every student should also have the possibility to add missed contents.

Any risk? Personal subjective evaluation results based on friendship cliques reasons.  Don’t be afraid of those, if you install this methodology as a ritual every student knows that he will be evaluated from everyone as well every student has to evaluate, mostly those friendship orientated evaluation results leaving after a while, if you try to take criticism serious and professional, taking emotions out of those evaluations.

83 Feedback method

Time needed: max 2-3 min

Why? Feedback is a very effective method to give students the opportunity to reflect itself in the assessment of their performance by peers, detached from teacher assessments. On the other hand, the teacher is able to recognize how deep and correct are learned topics already available.

When? After students haven given a presentation to a taught topic or a given task.

How? Install the feedback method in your lesson, let students tinker flash cards with number 1 until 3 as evaluation cards. After the presentation the students have to decide which mark they want to give, install three different topics: 1.content, 2. language, 3.presentation design. Every student has to evaluate these three topics. If really bad as well very good results happen they should explain their reasons. Every student should also have the possibility to add missed contents.

Any risk? Personal subjective evaluation results based on friendship cliques reasons.  Don’t be afraid of those, if you install this methodology as a ritual every student knows that he will be evaluated from everyone as well every student has to evaluate, mostly those friendship orientated evaluation results leaving after a while, if you try to take criticism serious and professional, taking emotions out of those evaluations.

82 Wall newspaper

Time needed: 20-30 min

Why? A wall newspaper is a compiled source of information on a particular topic in the form of newspaper clippings and articles, which are mounted on a wall. Creates a wall paper by an author or author team.

When? In the education system, the wall paper is part of the methodology. Primarily on their results are recorded by the group work and so not involved in the work made ​​accessible. The bulletin board can be used as a memory of the class. For the class council is an important tool for the creation of an agenda. They usually has three columns: I criticize, I find it good, I suggest. College and university wall newspapers are still an indispensable information tool, where students can find course schedules, meeting deadlines, student union communications and cafeteria menus.

How? You can dived the class in different groups which prepare different materials to different topics and built up the wall newspaper to offer the absorbed knowledge to the other groups which are not involved in that topic. You also can involve the whole class to develop one wall newspaper project together as evaluation if they understood a taught topic, this method is a very effective method to transport knowledge and information and to control absorbed knowledge.

Any risk? There is actually no risk, students mostly love such practical confrontation with taught topics, sometimes if you give the responsibility 100% in the hand of the students mistakes are not preventable, but handle this with the premise: everyone is learning from mistakes.

81 Role play

Time needed: 15 min

Why? In education in the classroom (education, science of education, social education) is the role-play an important method of social group work and similar contexts. Here are usually simulated real life situations. One goal is to expand the participants social action skills by alluding critical situations in the simulated reality already. In addition, players can try out in their respective roles, the role is to try to behave accordingly, and learn to accept others in other roles. Furthermore, a competence to be acquired in dealing with situations require serious (for example dealing with conflicts). Here, the roles assigned to the character of the people to be different or similar. Are the roles and the characters of the group members is given by the role reversal the opportunity to experience the feelings and thoughts of others. Secondly, the (playing) participants and the spectators will allow insights into the results of group work in real situations. It is also advised in this context, caution: The game is both in terms of flow and the result does not necessarily equate with reality.

When? In lessons, the role play are used as a way to demonstrate the processes of social situations and backgrounds, to analyze and evaluate. The game of conflict situations such as public education in the private sector enjoys (usually) very popular. Students are provided with easy ways to this kind of a view which is otherwise only possible with great effort. The educational literature on the role play are many suggestions in this direction. The role play is still – despite all the concerns about the types of knowledge – an excellent method of intuition, brings you the necessary skepticism in the evaluation process with a playful one. In language teaching role play is an extraordinarily excellent way to theoretically acquired linguistic knowledge into practice.


  1. Associated free and spontaneous role plays that make the game open to participants during the playing with fantasy. Such a game can be played with or without toys, and subject to outstanding agreements or scenarios. Mother-father-child for example is a role playing game that is used by many children spontaneously and mostly played in constantly changing scenarios.
  2. Regulated role playing, where players follow fixed rules, game schedules, match officials or make use of certain scripts and game resources. These include, in the broadest sense, all types of games that are played repeatedly according to fixed rules.
  3. The Educational role play combines both the regulated framework. A game manager organizes, directs, helps with distribution of roles and structures developed themes. Apart from the role players logged observers are used. The game master can interrupt, “double up” and support. The game itself is always in the context of the issue free, which means all the protagonists will express what comes to their mind spontaneously about the given problem. At the end is always a rigorous evaluation, all participants will have a feedback possibility. role play leader of this approach require additional training, and the educational role play claims to practice cause permanent learning effects.

Any risks? Role plays are often staged by non-professionals who can not provide specific training for this. And so there are limits to the applicability in education, training and therapy. Caution is offered as an example with themes which can set free backgrounds of abuses. Specialists are “capable” to respond in the right way to irritation or released aggressions and depressions, others remain helpless. The following “somehow” discussion is simply not enough from the perspective of the educational role-playing games. Another example: An adult who is playing child – regardless of age – is rather implausible, because the opportunities to put themselves in the situation of children are indeed limited. For a simulation of real social relations in the role play is pedagogically-didactically questionable. Similarly, it may go to the player who has problems with it, to empathize with social roles that he does not know, for example, or against whom he has reservations or dislike. Reflected so can be an excellent role-playing version of intuition in the context of social institutions, groups and constellations. In general, role-playing has to be always very good planed and the role-play leader has to clarify all eventualities in advance to plan appropriate responses.

80 Learning station

Time needed: minimum 45 min

Why? The learning stations, as well as learning at stations, station maintenance, station work, Learning circles and learning counter (counter or teaching), is a teaching technique in which students self-directed and self-employed usually prepared using materials that are placed in stations to learn.

When? Goals of teaching with the development of open learning content, social behavior, self-organization, joyful learning with all senses, introduction of new teaching methods from the point of learning by doing, education for personal responsibility and independence. Learning psychological perspective is the root of success in addressing all types of perception. Therefore, the materials that appeal to several senses, provide visual, auditory and tactile stimuli that contain motor elements and lead by grabbing “hands on”.

Essential aspects in the open learning are goal oriented, independent and guided learning, different forms of control (self, partner, teacher control), various social forms (individually, in pairs, groups of more than two) as well as different types of tasks.

In their entirety, work orders, materials and opportunities for differentiation with regard to difficulty, inclinations and interests. Fundamental element in the open learning is the self-control, means the materials used allow the students to check their results themselves. The teachers are thus free to serve the students individually or in groups and to respond to individual questions and problems.

How? Students receive work schedules with mandatory and optional tasks to stations. The students do have choices regarding the timing, order of tasks and social form (individual, couple, group work) to get the job done in a certain time. The assignments include:

  1. Mandatory tasks: These must be made and used to develop new material or to consolidate and exercise as well
  2. Optional functions: they may be edited, and serve to broaden and deepen or repetition.
    Different types of work such as crafts, writing, reading, listening, seeing, smelling, computer work, playing, moving, etc. provide variety. The teacher accompanies the students in their learning process and provide specific assistance for planning the next learning steps. The students learn in open learning, the implementation of self-control (accuracy, detection of errors), timing, self-assessment and reflection of their own learning progress, recognizing one’s own learning needs, planning and implementation of their next steps and taking responsibility, so that an independent design and planning their own learning process are possible. A special form of learning circles, in which the inner connection is chosen so that the learners have to go through all the stations, for example, because they build on one another and serve only as a whole, the educational attainment of the goal.

Any risks? Often critiques of the station learning is based on the fact that different groups of students the teacher can not simultaneously keep an eye so that it often means that students only write off of each other, without even think and really understand the material. This can be avoided if students or groups of students will receive different tasks on the same subject. Sometimes it is necessary, the substance that has been treated in the learning stations, after the completion of the learning circle again to repeat the chalk and talk, to check whether students have understood everything. Critics say an issue in this way takes twice as long to complete because it once in a learning station and take lessons once a frontal need. The teaching techniques are therefore more suitable for the practice, repetition and deepening of the already known material.

79 Mind-Map method

Time needed: 5 – 10 min

Why? A mind-map describes a cognitive technique that can be used for example for opening up and displaying a visual subject or topic, or to plan for transcripts. Hereby, the principle the association should help, thought to develop freely and to use the abilities of the brain. The mind map is created according to certain rules and read.

When? Mind Maps can be used for many different things. It can be used for presentations, speeches, lectures and posters. In terms of themes, there are basically no limits.

Collection of ideas and brainstorming:
For collection of ideas and brainstorming mind maps are used to so well because each keyword can further associate. Through these associations can be built up large-scale Mind-Maps.

Factual structure:
To structure a bit confusing factual texts, such mind maps are also good because they combine so all upper concepts clearly and focus on an issue, but they are still extensively by large branching.

Presentation design:
For the planning of lectures or speeches they are good to use because each subject area can be detected by its cross-links. The presentation can be accommodated flexibly to the key concepts, which are arranged around a theme, without losing the thread. For lectures are also so-called “structure chart”, the order the generic terms with each other and are then connected by a line from top to bottom. To the right of the preambles are then accumulated the topics.

Contents of telephone conversations, meetings, lectures, interviews can be recorded with a Assoziogram, summarized and documented. Temporal sequences can be represented for example clockwise. Here too, supports the graphical representation of a sustainable remembering.

Planning and Organization:
For planning and organizing mind maps are helpful because they can clearly summarized them in all important areas. In this “Task List” can also be added later always things without big strikeout or paste brackets would be necessary.

Learning, exam preparation:
Preparation for the exam, the Mind-mapping is therefore well suited as creative steps in a handy representation approach is developed, and later strengthened further by a systematic study of these repeated playback of the learned material. Such a clear arrangement of the semantic structure of knowledge promotes memorability stable over long periods. When building the mind-maps should a branch not more than seven sub-branches are assigned. This promotes that you look at the mind map photographically during learning and noted in the exam situation in thought systematically goes through. This also allows extensive information such as lecture notes and the like reproduce.

Foreign languages:
Also for the learning of foreign languages, foreign words and technical terms mind maps are suitable. The combination of words and phrases with pictures and each other helps to keep.

How? Formally mind maps consist of labeled tree diagrams. Additional notes explain the content and processes. Relationships are represented by reciprocal links.
In contrast to brainstorming, which produces a number of unsorted terms and then sorted by the Board Chair will be created in the mind map from the start, a crosslinked structure. A mind map is also suitable for documenting the outcome of a brainstorming session, so the sorted text. With the metric evaluation of the knowledge itself is illustrated a relationship to Informetrics, created the intellectual capital.

Any risks? Criticism is that the various positive aspects highlighted are the application of a mind map while plausible, but not scientifically proven. In particular, the hemisphere concept, which underpins the theory of mind mapping, have proven to be incorrect or restricted as to.
Furthermore, replies, mind maps are basically just a tool for its author, and not for the reader, because the chosen keywords is often very individual and not for others of course, would be to structure the information is often only for the author of insightful and the same problem concerning the symbols and colors would. In other words is a mind map is not self-explanatory, so the reader must be presented and explained, but still suitable for (commented) presentations. Mind maps can quickly lose their clarity when aspects are classified under several keywords, or stand on key words in different relationships. The levels – the hierarchical classification of concepts – are only in simple cases immediately clear. Often be changed in the editing stage hierarchies, so it is generally necessary, is very long and hard to deal with the structure of a Mind Map to create a logical and consistent mind map – but this is in certain respects quite an advantage of the method.

78 Method 635

Time needed: max 30 min

Why? Method 635 is among the creativity techniques, a brain-writing technique, which promotes a problem-solving process to generate new and unusual ideas in a group of people.

When? For low to medium complexity problem species, as a follow-up action on the brainstorming session for the systematic deepening of the basic ideas, suitable to explore the potential of a new raw material, a new process, etc.

How? Six equal participants receive each large sheet of paper. This will be separated the 3 columns and 6 lines in 18 boxes. Each participant is asked to formulate the first line to three ideas (one per column). After a reasonable time – according to the difficulty of the problem about 3 to 5 minutes – each sheet all at the same time, will be passed clockwise. The next is to try to address the aforementioned ideas to complement and develop. The name of the method was based on the optimal six group members who produce three initial ideas and then five times each with three first or further develop ideas derived from (6 participants, each with 3 ideas that pass five times). This method produces within a maximum of 30 minutes 108 Ideas: 6 participants x 3 x 6 lines of ideas.

Any risks? The clear advantages of the direct feedback, the possibility of having many ideas in a relatively short time and that ideas will not be discussed to death is also accompanied by the following disadvantages, sometimes it is a difficult handling, the very fixed expiration mechanism can interfere the creativity and sometimes the redundancy, in the worst case is total of only three ideas.

77 Carousel Conversation

Time needed: 15 min

Why? The carousel conversation, learning or carousel roundtable called, is a temporary oral exchange of information on a given topic. Participants sit or stand opposite each other in pairs.

When? The aim of the method is an exercise in free speech against random partners. The method can be used as a “warmup” to discuss a new topic with the participation of all students. The frequent change of partners bring different partners together. Through active participation to the self-confidence and increased the threshold for active participation in discussions will be overcome. As a matter of the reports themselves are only narrowly defined topics and information.

How? 1. The process is explained by the moderator. 2. The plenum is halved. 3. The first group forms an inner circle, the second an outer circle. Participants sit or stand opposite each other and facing each other. 4. Participants receive a research question, which they exchange with the counterpart. Reported the first person in the inner circle and outer circle listens. 5. Following a signal by the moderator tells the outer circle and listens to the opponent.This first round can be kept relatively short. Depending on the subject as a reference value twice for two minutes.

The second round starts with the comment: “The outer circle (inner circle) is about two (3 or more) positions clockwise”. With the new comparison of the sequence repeats itself. In the second or third round of questions can also admitted statements supplemented or reinforced reciprocated and thus a discussion partners can be triggered. When switching can also move both circuits, but in the opposite direction. This gives all participants a small activation and get a “fresh perspective”.

Option 1: the inner circle and outer circle have different themes or issues which they mutually agree or answer.
Option 2: In the second round can be a constructive, deeper questions can be selected.

Any risks? Experience has shown that four to five phases with different interview questions will be carried out without a concentration gap. If a joint plenary session will discuss the same time, a certain noise level is not ruled out. Nevertheless, this method is completely straightforward. In general, participants are quickly to the conditions and move a little closer together. In difficult issues they begin to circle, in which there are the “stronger” participants. Thus, the supposedly “weaker” Participants get further explanation. Although once a call pair should not talk about the task: So many participants, who nevertheless share the same professional on a given topic, is rarely found in other methods.

76 Market of opportunities

Time needed: 30-45 min

Why? Market of opportunities is a form of group work. The group work results are presented in various forms in a marketplace, to introduce the members of the group turns its stall with the information in conversations with market visitors and answer questions.

When? The market of opportunities provides a good chance for participants activation. The participants get their new knowledge not “chopped” served, but it must be earned. Here, the experts can draw in the groups and inspire each other. Another advantage is that all the “experts” have to contribute equally in the preparation of the substance and the presentation, because they are dependent on this knowledge in phase 2 and the presentation, because all their expertise they have to bear in the other group.

Furthermore, the trained material absorbed particularly well, because they are not only new knowledge as a “dead knowledge” appropriate, but must work actively. They need to find explanations to the new knowledge and offer this in the marketplace, and consider any additional examples to assist in the presentation phase. Thereby keeping the efficiency is increased and strengthened. The new knowledge must be applied and therefore in the form of structured exercise or the summary on a poster for example.

How? At the starting conditions, the participants will be divided into small groups part of the overall theme. This may apply to the following scheme:

1. Participants A1, A2 and A3 establish on part 1
2. Participants B1, B2 and B3 establish on part 2 and
3. Participants C1, C2 and C3 establish on third part

Phase 1 (development of expert knowledge): In the market of opportunities is in a first step (preparation phase) that these small groups establish with a topic or only the portion of an overall theme together. This form respective expert groups, which collect on the individual topics or sections particularly extensive knowledge and then transfer the knowledge as experts on the other.

Phase 2 (presentation of expert knowledge): In the second step (presentation phase) the groups dissolves A1-3, B1-3 and C1-3 and form new groups (A1, B1, C1), (A2, B2, C2) and (A3, B3, C3). Thus, in each group sits an expert on a topic from the respective expert groups in the newly formed group and can talk about his subject experts.

Phase 3 (outcome backup): Now, the experts all come naturally to her topic of expertise, in each other they are still “beginners”. To solve it, there are several opportunities: Firstly, the individual groups to measure their new knowledge to the tasks (tasks that can work out the teacher or the expert, depending on how much time is available for Phase 1). Another possibility: the group creates a kind of educational posters, on which the new knowledge is to articulate whatever kind – it may also interest group which created the best poster. Through these actions, the new knowledge is used and is thus secured.

Any risk? This method needs a lot of time, but is solving in the same time very complex subjects. Ultimately, this method offers a learning platform in an attempt to reproduce an excerpt from the real world of communication possible details. This requires different means of communication are made ​​available to enable the participants to exchange knowledge and information. In phase 1 (development of expert knowledge), the division into groups is basically the face-to-face communication. After the expert groups have found, they create a separate area (group) on the learning platform or receive it, in which they manage their knowledge among themselves first and collect. Phase 2 (presentation) provides an environment such as netucate all opportunities of the presentation or joint working group. Each presentation, each group has a room available. The expert knowledge can be transported either in a lecture or in a group discussion with participants, video and chat-rooms are also possible. After this first phase is the result either in securing a practical exercise, or through a joint instead of creating a final presentation.

75 Fishbowl method

Time needed: 10-15 min

Why? Fish Bowl is a way of leading a discussion in large groups. The method is named after the seating arrangement: it looks like a goldfish bowl, two circles of participants sitting around each other.

When? In the Fishbowl Method discusses a small group of participants of the plenum of the inner circle (in the “goldfish bowl”) exemplifies the theme, while the other participants observe in an outer circle of the discussion. Would like to contribute a participant from the outer circle for discussion, he can exchange with a member of the inner circle of the courts. The work of the inner circle can be discussed at the end with the entire group. The Fishbowl method can also be carried out with a discussion of moderation in the moderation is a constant part of the inner circle.

How?  Each participant in the discussion group is allowed to leave it at any time. If “tapped” a participant, he can finish his thought, and then leaves the discussion group. Blank spaces in the discussion group can – but need not – be filled by each participant.

Any risks? The main advantage is that the discussion is clearer, as more and can discuss only a small number of subscribers simultaneously. Topics to be focused and thus compacted. Members who are not otherwise able to speak, go into the inner circle and get there quickly to turn to express their opinion. A participant who has no desire to get off and just listen. The method lends itself also to show dominance relationships: Intrusive participants must constantly go back into the inner circle.  Avoid side conversations.

74 Collective Notebook

Time needed: 2 – 4 weeks

Why? Collective-Notebook is classified as a creative technique to brain writing techniques. In this technique, the participants must not collect at the same time and same place ideas. This method support creativity and partnership.

When? Each participant will receive a task for a problem on one open-ended period of time (usually two to four weeks) to document his ideas and thoughts in writing. They should use a notebook, which contains the first pages a description of the problem. Participants should carry the notebook whenever possible, to capture emerging ideas also spontaneously.
This technique is also suitable for additional ideas, which often occur due to relaxation after a session as flashes of creativity to collect.
There are at least two participants to carry out required. The duration can be adjusted as needed with them. In many sources, a period is recommended 2 to 4 weeks.


  • Preparation phase: 1. Problem formulation, 2. participants choosing, 3. preparation of  the notebooks
  • Implementation phase: 1. Make notes on the prepared blocks, 2. spontaneous entries, 3. daily permanent entries,  4. Summary and Conclusion
  • Evaluation:  1. match Summaries, 2. control the notes, 3. Basic proposals to develop problem-solving, 4. concept development in joint group meetings

Any risks? the advantages are: that the team members do not influence each other. It is not necessary that the team is working all the time together on the problem. The ideas can then be collected, if they occur. Participants must not speak the same language. More complex issues can be handled. the only disadvantage is that this method takes a very long time.

73 Apollo Technic

Time needed: 10-max 15 min

Why? The Apollo is a method of cooperative learning and is part of the Civic Education. This method can crest coexistence roles. The rules can be set up for a class trip, for cooperation in education, in a department or throughout the school. This could then lead to a school constitution.

When? This method can be used in classes with difficult social structure facing discipline problems.

How? The first step is that everyone is writing their ideas involved working together or learning together. Then the group works together. Matching suggestions are taken together and summarized into a rule. Diverging proposals are written on another list.
In the second step, two working groups, four participants together, and repeat the procedure from the first step.
The final step is a random, for example, by lot, to summarize all the results given by all groups. Then the class discussed the list with the divergent proposals. Either the points to the overall set of rules added or incorporated in a special list of minority positions.

Any risks? Actually there is no risk, its a chance to overcome misunderstandings and discipline problems. In connection with the Joint Negotiating and setting rules for all able in teaching complex concepts such as the democratic process and the common good of the Act and the sanctions will be discussed. At this point, rule violations, sanctions and punishment are not abstract teaching subjects, but are directly related to the joint work on their own laws, its own constitution for the class and school community.

72 Three Step Interview

Time needed: 15 min

Why? The three-step interview is a method of cooperative learning and is part of the Civic Education. It aims to promote the specific questions and active listening.

When? Topics for the three-step interview are for example, have experience in the field of democracy, justice, values ​​and so on, or reactions triggered by a poem, etc., or conclusions arising from a teaching unit. With this method you can determine the personal experiences of the learner, and then build up examples in the classroom or workshops.

How? The students are divided into groups of three students.

  1. person A interviews person B, person C as an observer makes notes about the main statements.
  2. the interviewed person B interviews Person C, Person A makes taking notes as an observer on the main statements.
  3. the interviewed Person C interviews Person A, Person B makes taking notes as an observer on the main statements.

Then two groups of three are merged. The six observers report based on their notes on the key aspects.

Any risks? Students might be using to much time for the interviews, that’s why the teachers should clearly give times limits for each interview (e.g. 3 minutes) and than strictly disconnect the interview.