Reflection: What Goes Up, Day 1 of 3 - Section 1: Opening Conversation


The opening discussion went well.  Students were quick to point out that the path was curved, and they pointed out a number of causes (gravity, inertia, air resistance, etc.).  However, only a few were willing to confidently assert that the path was a parabola (approximately).  After quickly polling the class, I found out that a little less than half the students had taken a physics class, so this may be the first exposure to projectile motion for a number of them.

As they began working, I was surprised to find that many needed a refresher in function notation.  I also found students beginning to compute data at t = -1.  They needed some prompting to consider how the situation affected the domain for the function.  When I asked them what t represented and what h(-1) represented, they quickly saw the problem.  I was also surprised to find that a number of students were worried that their graphs “didn’t make sense” because the data points were not arranged symmetrically.  Apparently, they recalled that the graphs of quadratic equations were symmetric, but they didn't seem to realize that it was possible to select values for the independent variable that did not produce symmetric results.  These difficulties were fairly easy to clear up, and before long most students had produced an adequate graph.

  Some Surprises
  Some Surprises
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What Goes Up, Day 1 of 3

Unit 1: Modeling with Algebra
Lesson 7 of 15

Objective: SWBAT model projectile motion using polynomial functions. SWBAT answer questions about velocity and acceleration using quadratic function models.

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

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