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Hewitt, Paul G. – Science Teacher, 2019
Some introductory physics courses begin where student interest is thought to be highest--in waves, sound, and light--before speed, velocity, and acceleration. For students with math difficulties, this order makes sense. But most physics courses, including the author's own, begin with a study of motion. Why? Mostly due to tradition, he admits. When…
Descriptors: Motion, Scientific Concepts, Science Instruction, Science Teachers
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Hewitt, Paul G. – Science Teacher, 2019
Part 1 of the series looked at teaching speed and velocity. Part 2 considers the teaching of acceleration in physics. Teachers may find it okay to hurry through the concepts of speed and velocity because they are intuitive. But teachers cannot hurry through acceleration quite so quickly because it is not intuitive. Whereas velocity is a rate of…
Descriptors: Motion, Scientific Concepts, Science Instruction, Science Teachers
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Stoeckel, Marta R. – Science Teacher, 2018
Along-standing energy lab involves dropping bouncy balls and measuring their rebound heights on successive bounces. The lab demonstrates a situation in which the mechanical energy of a system is not conserved. Although students enjoyed the lab, the author wanted to deepen their thinking about energy, including the connections to motion, with a new…
Descriptors: Energy, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Misconceptions
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Dani, Danielle; Hallman-Thrasher, Allyson; Litchfield, Erin – Science Teacher, 2018
One way to probe students' misconceptions about science during instruction is by using formative assessments. Described as assessments "for" learning rather than assessments "of" learning (Black and Wiliam 1998), they provide teachers with information about student understanding during instruction. Examples of formative…
Descriptors: Cues, Writing (Composition), Teaching Methods, Scientific Concepts
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Hancock, James Brian, II; Lee, May – Science Teacher, 2018
Many teachers are confused about how to implement the phenomena-based teaching recommended by the "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States 2013). This article describes one possible approach--purposely repurposing existing activities. This process involves having teachers: (1) Choose a phenomenon that informs the development…
Descriptors: Concept Teaching, Scientific Concepts, Scientific Principles, Teaching Methods
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Campbell, Todd; Neilson, Drew – Science Teacher, 2016
In this article Campbell and Neilson discuss several design strategies developed or adopted that were found particularly helpful when sequencing a unit that focused on learning about motion and acceleration. Students were expected to predict, observe, and explain why a ball traveled down one ramp faster than the other. Before engaging students,…
Descriptors: Models, Motion, Kinetics, Scientific Principles
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Hewitt, Paul G. – Science Teacher, 2016
Examples of equilibrium are evident everywhere and the equilibrium rule provides a reasoned way to view all things, whether in static (balancing rocks, steel beams in building construction) or dynamic (airplanes, bowling balls) equilibrium. Interestingly, the equilibrium rule applies not just to objects at rest but whenever any object or system of…
Descriptors: Physics, Motion, Kinetics, Scientific Concepts