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Please post your reflections on Joyce's circuits lesson in the forum below.




GShoshana's picture

 I was very impressed from

 I was very impressed from the lesson today about Energy.

The teacher shows inquiry through all her lesson. She start with a question and we need to explore without contain. She encourages us to participate by all different ways like: questions, exploring and creating energy. I can use this technique of asking questions to explore during my Hebrew class.  It will involve students in hands-on activities.

Edward Bujak's picture


I thoroughly enjoyed Joyce's introduction to some topics with energy, electricity, and circuits at an introductory level; especially without trying to throw a lot of technical terms at us.  As a electrical engineer, I appreciate a great presentation on anything like this.  I also appreciated how Joyce tried to draw out our understanding of our observations and led us to subtle discoveries.  There was an amazing amount of information in the lesson that was barely touched on.  As a teacher, there is the fine balancing act of exposing students at their readiness and this lesson was wonderfully executed at helping us start to think about electricity in simple lay terms.  At higher grade levels I can imagine introducing accurate terminology and relationships between what we observe, predict, and can measure.  I also like the hands-on of any kind with science and pure-science.  Manipulatives (even if virtual) give all of us some time to play, explore, discover, reinforce and socailize over the new material.  Thanks.

Syreeta Bennett's picture

Electricity lesson

Thank you Joyce for your lesson.   Your lesson and the disciussion prior to it made me think of inquiry in real world classrooms.  Unfortunately most of us teach with a curriculum  and they are standards  that have to be taught.  These realities stifle true inquiry or Level 4 inquiry in most classrooms. I thought about it in the context of swimming. You can't push me in the pool and say swim, it requires some instruction, observing and practicing. This is what I experienced with the this lesson and others. If Joyce told me in the beginning to make a simple circuit I wouldn't have known what to do. Howver with instruction, observing, collaborating with my partner, and then actually making one, I was able to do it and understand what I was doing it.  I also  thought  with required courses in school how is true inquiry happening when students are forced to take  classes they don't want to.

RecycleJack Marine's picture

Electrical Connectedness


This morning's presentation was old hat for me as I had participated twice in the training of how to use the STC kit titled Electric Circuits. I taught this kit with fourth grade last year and I found the experimentschallenging for fourth graders: Joyce uses almost the same procedures with her high school students!I have finally begun to understand the differences of the two circuit varieties (I have never set up Christmas lights) and I am a seasoned student!I enjoyed making my series circuit, because I could show off my expertise to the other kids. Joyce said that she  only presented pieces of the curriculum, and we know that's not inquiry. But she did have good techniques to bring out ideas from the class about electricity and light bulbs. I think a good way to start this unit, from an inquiry viewpoint would be to give each student a toy car to roll around and to write down anything that might explain what happens when you move the toy- that takes energy!

                                                   Then we could have the discussion about energy.

Judith Lucas-Odom's picture

Joyce's Circuits

Joyce,I really enjoyed this morning session it brought new light to something old.  I found a web site that is a good addition to what you started this morning.  circuit lessons   I plan to use this story and add it to my story!


Stephen Cooney's picture

Joyce’s Energy/Electricity Lesson




This lesson was a challenge for me.  Electricity and Magnetism is my weakest field in physics, but I still had a familiarity for the material that was better than most.  It was difficult to not call out the answers, but at the same time, being a physics teacher, I was aware that I was supposed to be an  ‘expert’ and was nervous about calling out a wrong answer, even in the inquiry part where there weren’t many (if any) wrong answers.  The discussion about energy was well rounded and pointed to and hinted at a lot of untapped areas for further discussion.


I like that this lesson can be used for lots of different age groups at lots of different levels.  The questions and actions at the beginning were really good for launching a ton of different discussions. 

The alliterative tools were good;



The hands-on fun with the battery was great.  I liked the cut outs on the wall for showing how the circuit worked.  I’d go a step further and have four of them up there, setting them up for showing the four different circuits.  (I am thinking about how I could do that on individual smaller whiteboards so that each pair could do it at their desk, not limiting it to those ‘brave’ enough to go to the board.

The introduction of the ‘secret’ symbol language for circuit boards was a nice touch.

Rachel Roberts's picture


I enjoyed the lesson today. It gave me a lot of information to take to my class. Unfortunately, 5th grade doesn't explore our subject today. I may use this as an anticipatroy set or demonstration as a hook for the kids before a lesson. I would definitely use this in my class...perhaps before a Solar Energy lesson. We could then open up the discussion as Joyce did about the different types of energy that are produced. Thanks for the information!

Diane Balanovich's picture

Electircal Circuits

I think the lesson on circuits could be used with a first grade class. Joyce suggested using non akaline batteries to so students would have less of a chance of having the wire heat up.  The students would be very interested in trying to get the circuits to work.  I think I could demonstrate the current by setting up dominoes and then putting a space and that would demonstrate an open circuit and then by eliminating the space it would demonstrate a closed circuit. However, you would need to explain how it would keeps repeating. You could also show how electricity takes different paths by having the dominoes hit two and then splitting in different directions but continuing the circuit. 

Moira Messick's picture

Many thanks to Joyce for

Many thanks to Joyce for sharing yet another engaging and hands-on lesson.  I am actually going to try some of these activities with my own children.  Although we do not study electricity in 7th grade, I had fun learning something new.  Wait, it just SEEMED new...  I  DID study circuits when I crammed for the Science Praxis.  The Praxis certification is a  perfect example of one's ability to conquer a great deal of content without attaching meaning...cramming may have "earned" an excellent score but retention is not achieved.  Learning the way Joyce demonstrated, now that lends itself to long-term retention and meaning . 

Kathy Swahn's picture

Thanks for your dedication to teaching!

THANKS! Joyce for all of your great information. Because of its content I really do not need to change the information too much it fits perfectly into my curriculum because I have electricity as part of it. I appreciate the extra attention spent to helping me build what I need to be successful. I have done simple circuits at camp but this added so much more.


Verolga Nix-Allen's picture

Electricity and Circuits

I enjoyed Joyce's presentation.  She engaged the class, was knowlegable, clear and checked on our success of the assignment.  I'm not sure how I would use the information presented with my choir and compositions but I was involved and successful.  I also will talk to my friend to see if he has composed a song about electricity.  My friend teaches in New Jersey and composes songs about his lesson plans.  He is an amazing person.  I was privileged to harmony and accompany some of his songs.

Geneva Tolliferreo's picture

7/29 AM Reflections: Electricity w/ Joyce

How does this work?

Does it manually work?  Do I need to push it?

Does it need a battery?  It appears to have a motor, but does it?  Is this why there is a battery and wires on my desk?

Is mine one the the ones that got broken coming in?

I think I’ve figured out the front, because of what appears to be the bumper?

While typing, I saw the rubber band pop…

When I pull it by the string, now available from the rubber band popping, it’s easier.

Now I have a charged plastic bag and pieces of tissue on my desk.  Why?

Joyce, “Eletricity is like teenagers, it wants to take the fastest way around”.

Am I energy or am I being energized?  If so, how?              

Note:  Carolina Supply:  See-through batteries

Code:  Home / Building Wiring…see diagram in written notes.


These are the notes I posted during the lesson, when not engaged in an activity.  Good activities for students of all ages.  I would love to have my friends try this, at a party, just to see how long it would be for all of us to be succesful.

This lesson allowed us to be the stduents, which as teachers we do not often get to do.  That's why these Summer sessions are appreciated.  It 's great to have professional fun.  Thanks.

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