Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Physics Foundation in 1st Grade

Today we created our catapults and launched some marshmallows!  The students were ecstatic over this as I'm sure you can imagine.  This week is TCAP standardized test week for the upper grades, so we have more time in the room (the related arts teachers are proctoring).  

In a math literacy camp I went to this summer, we discussed how graphs should show meaning.  Students should be able to look at a graph and tell a story- not just see numbers!  I think this is a great thinking activity that gives them a strong foundation so they will feel confident when they do encounter graphs (like on standardized tests!).  My thematic unit has an entire section on creating graphs from real life actvities and analyzing them.  It also has sample graphs for the students to make up a story about what happened.

Here you can see our catapult launches and the graph that goes with it.  The first graph is all we will be dealing with, but this amazing program actually creates several.  Check it out:

This was created with the App Vernier Video Physics ($2.99)

I did want to mention that this was created with an iPad, but you could do the same activity with any computer and a pencil and paper!  You can play Angry Birds in Google Chrome from any computer and draw a graph by hand.  Detailed instructions and graph analysis sheets are included in my unit.

I'm teaming up with another super-creative teacher who just had a Angry Birds themed birthday party for her son (who is in my class).  On Friday, we are going to do a life-size Angry Birds slingshot with our classes!  I'll be sure to video that as well and include the details of creation soon.

What are you doing to keep your kids energized for the home stretch?



Whoa! It CAN be done!

Heidi Butkus

Can you post a picture of your catapult? It looks so neat in the video but goes by so fast!!!!
Heidi Butkus

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