A Seminar Leader's Manual

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This manual, a valuable resource to many Columbia teaching assistants, was compiled by Deborah Mowshowitz, associate professor and director of Undergraduate Programs in Columbia University's Department of Biological Sciences. Mowshowitz has drawn on her extensive experience as a teacher to provide advice and tips on effectively planning and leading discussions in undergraduate science classes.

Subjects to Cover on the First Day of Class

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This document is a compilation of points to cover in the first meeting of a class. This is especially handy as a guide for new instructors or as a checklist for those with teaching experience.

Scale Model of the Solar System

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This activity introduces students to the scale model and how it is used in science. Students collaborate (or compete!) to construct a scale model of the solar system using colored cards. This task works especially well as a warm-up in the first meeting of a small class, and may be useful in any class—not just one on astronomy—where scale models are introduced.

Astronomy Seminar 1

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This document provides teachers with a list of main ideas, readings (required, optional, and background for instructors), assignments, and activities for use in the first of three seminars on astronomy.