Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Airplane! - An Introduction to Vectors - Section 1: Launch


When I taught this lesson for the first few times I did not add in this Launch PowerPoint to get students thinking about how a few different winds would affect the speed and direction of an airplane's path. I am so glad I did because it brings so much intuition into a concept that can be very abstract!

I was pleasantly surprised that students could reason so well and so easily about how these different winds would affect the plane. When it came time to sketch the resultant vector later on in the lesson, my students instinctively understood that we should not just connect the two heads of the vectors. This widespread understanding has not always happened in the past, so I think a big part of it is using this context to get the lesson started and to get them thinking about mathematical concepts, without them knowing that they are thinking about vectors.

  Using Intuition
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Using Intuition
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Airplane! - An Introduction to Vectors

Unit 6: Additional Trigonometry Topics
Lesson 4 of 12

Objective: SWBAT find the resultant vector as the sum of two vectors.

Big Idea: Finding the magnitude and direction of an airplane's path will help launch the concept of vectors.

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