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archives

# Modeling Instruction

This tag is associated with 19 posts

### Building the Constant Velocity Model

Note: This post details my version of the paradigm experiment for what is Unit 2 (Particle Moving with Constant Velocity) of the Modeling Instruction Mechanics curriculum. My interpretation varies a bit from the official materials, and my classes build this as their first model, starting with the very first day of school. Here’s a binder. And the handshake. [As … Continue reading »

### Empirical Force Laws: Spring Force Experiment

In the middle of our Balanced Forces unit, we do a couple of experiments to come up with equations for some of the types of forces we’ve been talking about while drawing qualitative free body diagrams. We tend to do them at the same time and to post-lab them together. I covered the gravitational force last … Continue reading »

### Empirical Force Laws: Gravitational Force Experiment

In the middle of our Balanced Forces unit, we do a couple of experiments to come up with equations for some of the types of forces we’ve been talking about while drawing qualitative free body diagrams. We tend to do them at the same time and to post-lab them together. I’ll split them over two … Continue reading »

### Energy Pie Charts

The stage is set. We started building the energy transfer model (ETM), and we’ve talked about the flavors of energy. We are ready for a new representation to help us start thinking about energy storage in a system. In a day or two, we’ll be using energy bar charts, but first, we’ll get used to … Continue reading »

### Physics Objectives 2013

Here are my updated lists of objectives for the year (subject to change/grow as the year unfolds depending on how the pace goes). As always, feel free to borrow and modify these objectives for your own classes. I should note that I teach using Modeling Instruction (MI) and that some of my model names differ … Continue reading »

### All-year Goal-less Problems for Physics Class

So. Josh* took my Honors Physics exam review activity and expanded it into something bigger and better. As I was reading his post, though, I started thinking about my regular physics classes. They would really like something like that. Of course, I also had to make it my own. I am curating a set of … Continue reading »

### Balanced Forces before Constant Acceleration

I know you’ve been there. Stuck in the doldrums of kinematics. “It’s against the law to think in the doldrums!” So there you are. Stuck in description-land. The juicy parts of physics (explain and predict) are far away and out of reach. You can easily spend ages and ages there. The students start to think … Continue reading »

### Building the Projectile Motion Particle Model

Note: This post details my version of the paradigm activity for what is Unit 6 (2-D Particle Models) of the Modeling Instruction Mechanics curriculum. My introduction to this unit varies from the official materials, and my classes build this as their sixth model (after building models for motion, forces, and momentum transfer). Due to differences in math comfort and … Continue reading »

### Force Vector Addition Diagrams (or, Components No More!)

The graphical solution bug has really gotten me this year (and in the best possible way). I’ve apparently done such a good job of pushing the graphical solutions that one of my classes stopped me in my tracks while I was showing them how to solve force problems by breaking the forces into components and … Continue reading »

### Energy Bar Charts (LOL Diagrams)

“LOL diagrams are my life.” —Honors Physics student from 2010 I have to admit, first of all, that I wasn’t expecting to love energy bar charts (when I first heard about them at a Modeling Instruction workshop). I didn’t originally learn to solve energy problems that way, and when I first saw them, I thought … Continue reading »