##
* *Reflection: Trust and Respect
Virtual Exploration of Motion - Section 2: Simulation Exercise: Constant Velocity and Constant Acceleration Cases

Knowing that I would be out of class, I had to think strategically about the lesson for today. I needed to provide students with a meaningful experience despite the lack of support and oversight. My choice was made easier by the development of a culture of trust and respect that has emerged in my classroom. This was late March so I knew that if held up my end of the deal (by honoring student's time with a meaningful activity), that they would, with great likelihood, hold up their end (with attention and dedication).

I chose to give the students the motion simulator assignment because it was relevant and familiar to our previous lesson. I also chose to pair it with a chance to study for our upcoming quiz as it would provide the perfect transition - whatever time was left in class after the simulation work could be applied toward preparing for their quiz.

In the video below, I look at the degree to which the activity was suited for students developmentally: given our previous lesson, was this really the best possible simulation work for my students to be doing?

*Strategic Planning when Out of Class*

*Trust and Respect: Strategic Planning when Out of Class*

# Virtual Exploration of Motion

Lesson 2 of 10

## Objective: Students will induce, through virtual data, the relationship between position, velocity, and slopes.

*80 minutes*

Today's lesson provides an opportunity for students to progress despite the fact that I am out of the classroom attending a conference. Fortunately, we are deep enough into the year that students have a well-developed ability to self-direct. Today, they are asked to pursue a set of ideas using an on-line simulator that is focused on some introductory concepts in the area of kinematics and which extends our thinking from the previous lesson. As this is self-paced, students will move from that activity to studying for an upcoming quiz in electromagnetics as they are ready.

The notions of position, velocity, and acceleration are important stepping stones for the achievement of NGSS Performance Expectation HS-PS2-1. The idea that these physical characteristics are related to one another via the mathematical construct of "slopes" provides an opportunity for students to mathematically model. As a result, students are engaged in the practices of developing and using models and using mathematical thinking (Science & Engineering practices #2 and #5 respectively).

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Students access computers - either their own or ones that are available in the back of my room - and follow the directions of the handout. Though they may work in small groups, each student is responsible for submitting his or her own responses.

The activity ("Moving Man") is available from the University of Colorado's PhET project. The simulation allows students to observe a character in motion and link his movements to position and velocity graphs. Students pursue questions related to constant velocity and constant acceleration cases of the moving character.

Here's a sample of data collected, with a corresponding graph, for the constant velocity case:

This is followed, a bit later, with data for an accelerating object:

Students get an early glimpse at the differences between the constant velocity and the constant acceleration cases of motion. This virtual exploration, though a task students can do without direct oversight, is just a bit beyond what I would expect my students to immediately internalize. In the next lesson, therefore, I double back to the idea of slopes and how they are used to generate velocity graphs from position graphs.

#### Resources

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As we have an upcoming quiz on Electromagnetics, I provide some time for my students to prepare. They have previously received a Mock Quiz whose problems are replicated, in a slightly altered form, on the actual quiz. In addition, solutions to the mock quiz are posted electronically.

Students move into this activity only after completing the simulation. In this way, the lesson is self-paced. Students are encouraged to collaborate and to check the electronic solutions. As I am not in attendance, the attention to the task clearly depends upon individual student motivation. Students continue in this mode until the end of class.

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- LESSON 1: Introduction to Objects in Motion
- LESSON 2: Virtual Exploration of Motion
- LESSON 3: Creating Velocity Graphs from Position Graphs
- LESSON 4: Nonlinear Position Graphs
- LESSON 5: Electromagnetics Test & Motion Task
- LESSON 6: Graphical Summary of Motion
- LESSON 7: Acceleration Lab - Day 1
- LESSON 8: Acceleration Lab - Day 2
- LESSON 9: Acceleration Lab - Day 3
- LESSON 10: Wrapping up the Acceleration Lab