August 4, 2010

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The Motion Graph lesson is discovery-based activity. The game, Graph Matching Challenge, is an assessment of their newfound understanding of linear equations and the slope intercept form of linear equations. The game will specifically reinforce and assess students understanding of positive and negative slopes, changing slope, and y-intercepts.

- Mathematics > General

- Grade 6
- Grade 7
- Grade 8

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**Introduction:** The Motion Graph lesson is discovery-based activity. The game, Graph Matching Challenge, is
an assessment of their newfound understanding of linear equations and the slope
intercept form of linear equations. The game will specifically reinforce and assess students understanding
of positive and negative slopes, changing slope, and y-intercepts.

**Timing:** This activity should take about 90 minutes to complete. The Graph Matching Challenge should
take about 30-40 minutes.

**Group Size:** Small groups

**Learning Objectives:** The objective of this game is to use motion graphs to
develop an understanding of the y = mx + b form of linear equations.

**Guiding Question:** How can the motion of a person be used to develop and understanding
of the y = mx + b form of linear equations.

**Materials:**

Students will need pen/pencil, mini-white boards and dry erase markers to sketch out graphs.

This lab requires the use of a motion detector and the ability to project its results to your class. The instructions provided are based on the use of Vernier’s: Labpro or Labquest, a Motion detector, and the Logger Pro software.

Labpro

Labquest Motion Detector - ?Logger Pro Software - ?

Most of this equipment can be found in any modern Physics classroom. There are also less expensive options through vernier. Their Logger lite or Go Pro setups are capable of running this activity and will not cost as much. Other companies have similar probes. The Pasco motion detector seems capable, but I have not had much experience with it.

Photocopy enough activity sheets for each student.

**Procedures:**

This activity is an attempt to allow students to discover the slope-intercept form of linear equations. There are four sections to this activity:

Part 1. Sketching Graphs

Students should be able to plot graphs using ordered pairs for the first part of this section. Students should work on their own, but I allow them to compare graphs with each other when they finish. The Graphing Q & A is meant to be a stretch for many of the students. They should be able to identify which graph is steeper and which passes through the origin, but the second part of each question will not be easy for many students to answer. I let them struggle with it for some time. As a class, we will read through the slope-intercept theory on the second page. We than go back and review the six questions from part one. Try to ask leading questions that allow students to discover the relationships, if they haven’t already. Try and reach a class consensus on each question.

Part 2. Motion Graphs

This section is a review of an activity we did during unit 3. Students are asked to sketch each motion scenario on a distance-time graph. There are no right or wrong answers for these attempts, so students should be encouraged try even if they don’t completely understand yet.

Afterwards, using the motion detector we will double-check their graphs. Experiment 35a is a blank screen. I randomly call up a student to walk each scenario in front of the motion detector. Remind students that forward is moving away from the motion detector (reference point) and backward is moving towards the motion detector (reference point). Students typically do a fair good job it this and we will have some decent graphs to check the previous ones with. If their original graph was correct, they don’t need to do anything else, but if they were incorrect, they must sketch the correct one over the original in different color ink.

Part 3. Graph Matching Review

This section is also review of an activity we did during unit 3. Students are going to try and match the graph shown on the activity sheet.

In groups, the must decide how they could walk to produce this target graph. They should record how, on or next to the graph. One group member chosen at random will demonstrate their team’s understanding. I typically give the students the starting point. I call it calibration and let them wander till they are on the starting point (y-intercept). You can also have them measure it out and put a piece of tap down. Each group gets one chance at walking it. I score each group on a ten-point scale. Top group will earn two bonus points.

Part 4. Graph Matching Challenge

This section is the real game piece of the activity. Open the same Experiment 35a again, but instead of projecting onto a screen, project it onto a white board or a chalkboard. This will allow students something to sketch their graphs on.

Assign each group a graph. Using the parameters given, they should sketch it in the space provided.

Select group one at a time to put their graphs on the board.

Give the other groups an opportunity to find any graphing errors. If they find any, they earn 0.5 points added to their score when they challenge the graph. If they present something that is not an error, they lose 0.5 points to their score when they challenge the graph.

Choose on group member at random from the original group to walk this graph for a score. Grade them from 1-10.

Each group then gets to challenge this graph. The top-scoring group gets two bonus points, but if the original group’s score hold on to win, they earn three bonus points.

Logistically, this is a challenging activity to run. The discovery focus can frustrate some students. The use of the motion detector is pretty straight forward, but practice beforehand a few times. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but at times it makes me want to pull my hair out. Grading this activity is pretty straightforward. Graphs are right or wrong and the part one questions are not meant to be graded.

The Motion Graph Activity is collaborative learning effort with a focus on discovery. To succeed, students will need to work together and use their time wisely.

**Assessment:** Students will complete questions throughout the game and
receive feedback on correctness.

**Answer Key:** None provided

**Resources:**

Using Vernier software – ?

GoMotion (cheaper option for motion detector) - ?

Or

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