The post Can You Find the Forces? appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>8.2.a A force has both direction and magnitude.

8.2.b When an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the effect is the cumulative effect of all the forces.

8.2.c When the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object does not change.

8.2.d How to identify separately two or more forces acting on a single static object, including gravity, elastic forces due to tension or compression in matter, and friction.

To help make this assignment flow smoothly and not suck up a huge amount of time, I’ve uploaded 5 pictures from Flick onto our course Moodle page. The pictures all have objects in motion including a race car on a track, a plane in the air, a rubber band being pulled, and a the space shuttle taking off. Students will choose one picture, bring it into Keynote (PowerPoint will work for your PC folks), and label the forces using arrows and text boxes. Arrows should be in the proper direction of the force and have correct relative sizes to each other. Once the assignment is complete they will save their slide as an image and upload that image to the dropbox on our Moodle page. Yesterday, we talked about the most common forces, such as gravity, static and kinetic friction, and the normal force. The one tricky area might be helping the kids identify the forces that don’t immediately fit into one of these predefined categories like lift for a plane or thrust from rocket engines. The image you see posted here is what I modeled for students at the end of the lesson yesterday. If you’re talking about forces soon try out a project like this and let me know how it works. Any ideas on how we could make this better?

Joe

Photo: Rolling, Rolling, Rolling by Steffe on Flickr with forces added by me.

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]]>I love using wikis in the classroom and so do my students. They’re easy to construct – if you can click and type you can create a wiki. They’re also free and teach real-world collaboration. The Wiki Periodic Table is a combination of two paper-based projects I’ve used in previous school years – an element report and a class-built periodic table. This year each student is responsible for one element on the Periodic Table. Pairs of students will work together to construct a wiki page and an element card for the periodic table on the element of their choice. With this project I am also trying to model for my students the idea that others can view their project and use their work as a resource. My students weren’t completely convinced this was true, so I created a Visitors Page with a Google Map where visitors can post a placemark sharing their approximate location and thoughts on our project. On Friday a few of my Twitter colleagues posted placemark comments on our map and my kids were amazed! Now that understand we have an audience, they’re very proud to share their hard work and motivated to “make it look great.” When you have a moment check out our wiki and please post a comment on the Vistors Page. To see what each element will look like, click on Hydrogen. Throughout the week come back and watch their work develop!

Joe

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]]>8.1.b: Students know that average speed is the total distance traveled divided by the total time elapsed and that the speed of an object along the path traveled can vary.

8.1.c: Students know how to solve problems involving distance, time, and average speed.

8.9.f: Apply simple mathematic relationships to determine a missing quantity in a

mathematic expression, given the two remaining terms (including speed = distance/time, density = mass/volume, force = pressure × area, volume = area × height).

Some years I find kids really have this skill under their belt from math class and other years I find that students who struggle in this area. The 8th grade science CST is loaded with speed problems. In some cases students have to calculate the rate and in other problems they have to find time or distance. The second type of problem bewilders many 8th graders. In order to identify who needs a little extra practice my students and I spend some time solving rate problems, usually on a worksheet. This year I wanted to do something different and try to have more of a real-world connection to the problems, so my students are going to use Google Maps and Google Earth to solve the problems. Here is a link to the worksheet I created (GoogleEarthRateProblems). As you can see in most of the problems students have to use one of these two pieces of software to find the distance portion of the equation. We’ll see how it goes. The fun starts 4th period today!

Joe

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]]>Over the past few years my friend Lisa and I have one gripe about student technology projects – sometimes take way too long!. Based on some advice from John Patten to keep it simple, this week my students are working Atomic Comic Life projects. On Tuesday I presented a direct instruction lesson on atomic structure and today my kids had to create a Comic Life demonstrating their knowledge of protons, neutrons, electrons, the nucleus and electron clouds. I supplied my students with four atom pictures to choose from and some step-by-step directions and requirements through our class Moodle page. I didn’t develop a rubric because so far this year I keep finding that my expectations might be a little too high. However, next semester when I have a new batch of kids I will have a rubric for students to independently assess their work before submitting it for a grade. I gave students only one period to complete the assignment and nearly everyone had it turned in by the time the bell rang. My few stragglers did not finish due to technical difficulties.

Yes, I know we’re using Comic Life, a Mac-only program, but a similar project could easily be accomplished using Word, Inspiration, or PowerPoint. When doing projects like these I find it most efficient to choose a group of images from which students can select. This saves enormous amounts of time by not letting them peruse or get lost in Flickr. I also find it helpful to give them an example. For my English-learners and academically struggling students an example gives them some scaffolding either for terminology or content. The high-achievers use the example as a starting point and always end up amazing me with extra information or some sort of techie wiz-bang. Regardless of how you set it up projects like Atomic Comic Lifes are a great way to get kids to demonstrate content knowledge and pick up a few technical skills at the same time. You’ll also be amazed at how quite your class is with everyone focusing on their computer project!

Joe

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