Reflection: What Goes Up, Day 2 of 3 - Section 2: Group Time


I found that students were having trouble calculating average velocities, so I intervened with a brief lecture on finding average rates of change.

To connect with something familiar, I displayed a small table of linear data on the board and asked students to find the average rate of change for the two data points.  The did this without trouble, so we did the same for the remaining data.  Upon seeing that the average rate of change was constant, students commented that this must graph as a straight line.

Good, from this I formalized the procedure for calculating an average rate of change, pointed out that since our graph isn't linear we shouldn't expect the rate of change to be constant, and then reminded them that in this case "average rate of change" means "average velocity".

Finally, I handed out this worksheet to help students keep everything organized.  I believe this helped quite a few students make sense of the problem! (N.B. Since I had to add some lines to the table by hand, I've also included an image of the finished product, Calculating Average Velocities.)

  Scaffolding for Student Success
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What Goes Up, Day 2 of 3

Unit 1: Modeling with Algebra
Lesson 8 of 15

Objective: SWBAT interpret the average rate of change of a quadratic function in terms of the velocity and acceleration of a projectile. SWBAT make use of the structure of the quadratic equation to compare projectile motion under a variety of conditions.

Big Idea: Projectile motion provides context for average rates of change in the context of velocity and acceleration. What goes up, must come down!

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Math, modeling, Graphing (Algebra), Algebra, master teacher project, Quadratic Equations, rates of change, Projectile Motion
  45 minutes
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