Physics Review: Carousel

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Students will be able to recall important concepts for each unit from the entire semester.

Big Idea

Students work as a group to write down and recall important concepts for each unit.

Graphing Motion Practice Problem

10 minutes

The goal of this lesson is to start preparing students for the physics final exam. This lesson focuses on the general recall of what we learned as a class in each unit. Students work with groups to help remember important concepts that we learned about throughout the semester and how we applied them.

To start out the lesson, I have a problem written on the board when the students walk into class that I ask them to start working on. I provide them a position vs. time graph and as them to complete the other representations of motion as seen in the image below. I choose this question because it is one area that my students asked for practice on the most on the exit slip from the previous class. In this problem all of the motions are in the positive direction so students can recall what that means about the motion. Previous units during the semester that discussed this content include the constant velocity motion and uniform accelerated motion.

I give students about 5 minutes to work on this problem on their own before I go over it with the class. To go over it, I start with the written description and ask for volunteers to provide their answers. I continue going over it that way through the motion map, velocity vs. time graph and acceleration vs. time graph. I try to call on as many different students as possible to get many students involved to help encourage them that they can do these types of problems even if it has been a long time since we learned this content.

Physics Review Carousel Activity

40 minutes

After the practice problem, I ask students to take out their review packets and/or the packets from each unit. In the previous class, I asked students to try to bring as many packets as they could as it would help them in today's review activity. Once the students have everything out, I explain that today the activity is a review carousel. I have them look around the room to see that their is a poster with the name of each unit around the room (8 posters). To complete this activity, each table group (of 3-4) has one colored marker and writes down important concepts from each unit on the posters around the room. They take this marker with them throughout every station as they write down the things that they recall from each unit. The purpose of each group having their own marker is so that I can see what each group is writing down and making sure they are participating.

I tell students that they get 3 minutes at each poster to write down only 2 things that they learned from that unit that they think is important to remember for the final exam. The first poster should be easy since they can write whatever 2 things they want. As students move through the activity, they must read what other groups wrote and either add to it or write about a different topic from that unit. The hardest poster should be the last one since 6 other groups have already written on that poster. 

When students are completely done, I take pictures of each poster, as seen below, and I put them into a summary document for them like the Review Posters Student Work. I tell students that this is a great way to study the main concepts in a short amount of time, as it has a summary of the many packets that they used throughout the semester.

Free Body Diagram Practice Problem

10 minutes

To end class, I have another problem written on the board about free body diagrams as seen in the image below. This is another section that some students want to practice. I provide two situations that have similar free body diagrams so students can remember the difference between situations where objects are accelerating and when objects are at constant velocity. The Inertia and Interactions unit is where this content was seen previously. Similar to the problem at the beginning of class, I give students 5 minutes to work on the problem alone and then we go over it as a class. As I go over the problem, I call on students to volunteer for each part of the problem on the board.

This lesson is the first of three lessons to help prepare students for the physics final exam. I started the review lessons out with something that would be a broad overview of everything they learned during the semester.