Physics Review: Around the Room Activity

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Objective

Students will be able to complete questions from various units about graphs, free body diagrams, energy conservation and other conceptual topics.

Big Idea

Students focus on conceptual aspects instead of computational aspects of motion, Newton's Laws, energy, waves and electrostatics.

Mathematical Model of Motion Practice Problem

10 minutes

The goal of this lesson is to help students to review the conceptual aspects of the semester. This includes graphs, electrostatics, free body diagrams, energy bar charts and waves. Students look at answering questions about each topic qualitatively and conceptually without focusing on the calculations with those topics. They work on explaining their solutions (SP6) throughout their review. The also use models that we created to help solve problems about relationships between variables.

To start out class, I provide students with a warm-up practice problem involving mathematical models. The students had asked from one of these types of problems for practice as they worked to prepare for finals. I choose this particular graph, shown below, because it not only focused on the mathematical model and relationships shown on the graph, but it also helps to bring up the idea that the slope on a velocity vs. time graph represents acceleration and can lead to a discussion about the slope on a position vs. time graph representing velocity. This content was discussed during the Introduction to Physics and Graphing Unit.

I give students about 5 minutes to work on this problem individually and then I go over it with them as a class. To go over the answers, I ask students to volunteer and I try to ask for a different student for each answer to get as many students involved in the problems.

Physics Final Review Around the Room Activity

50 minutes

After the warm-up practice problem, students participate in an Around the Room Review. There are 12 stations in this review so I have students work in pairs. Since it is the last day of the semester, I allow them to choose one partner to work with. Before they choose their partners, I give them an overview of the activity. They have 3.5 minutes to complete each station and they stay at that station until the time is up. Each partner needs to write for an equal number of stations so if they want to switch off or do 6 stations and then 6 stations it doesn't matter to me as long as both partners write equally. 

When I finish instructions, I ask students to find a partner and come up to get a piece of paper. When they receive the paper, I ask them to fold it into 6 boxes and to find an empty station to start at. Once every pair is at a station, I start the time for the first station for 3.5 minutes. Students continue to rotate until the time is up. Some student work is shown below.

When the students are done with all of the stations, I show the answers up on the screen and ask students to give me a thumbs up if they got most of the questions at that station right as a pair, thumbs to the side if they got some of the questions at that station right and thumbs down if they got most of the questions at that station wrong. I do this as a formative assessment for myself and to help my students think about what they should focus on when they review. I make a suggestion that anything they put their thumbs down or to the side for is what they should focus on as they review on their own time over the weekend before the final exam.

Representations of Motion Practice Problem

10 minutes

To end class, I have students complete a representations of motion question, concerning motion at rest or in the negative direction, since they already had a practice problem in the positive direction a few days ago. I provide the position vs. time graph, as seen in the image below, and I ask students to complete a written description, motion map, velocity vs. time graph and acceleration vs. time graph for each motion (A, B, and C). I choose this problem to end with because almost every student asked for practice on motion graphing before the final exam. Previous units during the semester that discussed this content include the constant velocity motion and uniform accelerated motion.

I give students about 5 minutes to work on this problem individually and then I go over it with them as a class. To go over the answers, I ask students to volunteer and I try to ask for a different student for each answer to get as many students involved in the problems.

This is the final lesson of the three lessons where students review for problems. Review in this lesson focuses on the conceptual and graphing aspects of all of the units. Over the course of the past three review lessons, students have looked at all of the units with a broad view, a computational view and a conceptual view.