Reflection: Complex Tasks Resultant Vectors - Section 1: Launch and Explore

This lesson is an excellent example of how Mathematical Practice 8 (Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning) looks in practice. Before we started the worksheet, students had a firm grasp on the fact that when adding two vectors in component form, we simply add the horizontal and vertical components.

As students worked through the worksheet, they were asked to find the components of the resultant vector but were given the magnitude and direction of the vectors. I heard many "a-ha's" as students slowly realized that they didn't have to draw out the vectors and physically add them head-to-tail, but could simply write them in component form using the format <rcosA, rsinA>.

It was awesome to see students make this connection and to simplify a complicated process. We contrasted this with our approach of drawing triangles and using Law of Sines and Cosines - students liked converting to component form and adding the components much better!

Regularity in Repeated Reasoning
Complex Tasks: Regularity in Repeated Reasoning

Resultant Vectors

Lesson 7 of 12

Big Idea: Students will work through problems with resultant vectors and make connections to right triangle trigonometry.

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55 minutes

Tim Marley

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