Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Moving into Motion Graphs - Section 1: Whole-Class Introductory Activity


In our high school, many of the students who take AP Physics 1 are concurrently enrolled in AP Calculus A/B. This isn't always the case, but I'd say about 90% of my students fit into this category. This information becomes important when we talk about graphs because often times students have already seen the mathematical application of kinematics curves. This lesson, written by Jason Slowbe, is quite similar to something my students have experienced. When I put the first slide of my Prezi on the board, I often hear murmurs of "oh yea.....we've talked about this" or "shoot, I should have paid more attention when Mr. Long went over that."

The purpose of my introductory activity is to establish the level of prior knowledge of my students. The moving man simulation activity is then meant to build on that prior knowledge and encourage students to grow in their understanding of kinematics curves. The physics application of such graphs is rooted in a much more conceptual realm, so I am striving to develop this mode of understanding.

  Math v. Physics
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Math v. Physics
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Moving into Motion Graphs

Unit 1: 1-D Kinematics
Lesson 4 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to interpret, explain, and draw position, velocity and acceleration graphs.

Big Idea: How can students relate kinematics graphs with descriptions? Today, we use a simulation to connect the dots of position, velocity, and time!

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