Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Pendulum Experiments- Part 3 - Section 3: Explore/Explain/Elaborate/Evaluate

The comparison of the 3 graphs helps students look for patterns among the data. They should see that all three representations show the same pattern for the variable- that the longer the string is, the less number of swings it will have in the same time frame. Some students might get confused since the coordinate graphs and the picture and concrete graphs don't exactly match (the coordinate graph is "upside down" as one student commented.

Looking at and using patterns is one of the Crosscutting concepts that are part of the 3 dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards. I use this resource quite often to address these Concepts with my students. This link shows the grade level progression of patterns. This is the patterns poster I use with my students to direct them to think about patterns and this is the focus we are using in a lesson.

It's difficult to make predictions about something if you don't have data and look at patterns, so this experiment is a good practice and example of using these thinking skills. Making predictions is a good way to use data and shouldn't be done unless students have seen something where data has been collected or where they've been able to observe patterns.

Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Looking at Patterns by comparing graphs

Pendulum Experiments- Part 3

Unit 3: Gravity
Lesson 6 of 11

Big Idea: Now that the students have done controlled experiments, they will learn about dependent and independent variables in experiments and will graph their data on coordinate graphs.

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75 minutes

Jennifer Mutch

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