Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Science in Focus: Force and Motion
About the Workshops
1. Making an Impact
2. Drag Races
3. When Rubber Meets the Road
5. Keep on Rolling
6. Force Against Force
7. The Lure of Magnetism
Supplemental Resource List

About the Workshops

-Workshop Overview-
Workshop Goals
Workshop Structure and Materials
About the Contributors

Workshop Overview

In this workshop, teachers will explore science concepts in force and motion and come away with a deeper understanding that will help them engage students in their own explorations.

The study of force and motion really begins the first time a child picks up something or notices something move. If children are using high-quality instructional materials, they will have numerous opportunities to drop, slide, roll, float, and balance various objects and observe how the objects behave. They will also be encouraged to compare the results of these school-based investigations to their real-life experiences.

Students come to the classroom with deep-seated intuitive views about how the world works. Their K-12 science lessons should allow them to explore their own notions about common, everyday phenomena, discuss their observations with peers, and draw conclusions that can be tested. Since force and motion encompass phenomena that relate directly to the student's world, they provide a content area where students can make predictions, practice data collection and graphing techniques, and start to make scientific sense of their observations. This also provides students with an opportunity to apply some of their growing mathematical understanding.

This content workshop consists of eight one-hour professional development programs. Each program features footage from a complete science lesson related to force and motion. These lessons, virtually unedited, take place in real classrooms across the grade levels. As children explore the relationships among motion, force, size, mass, and speed, the camera captures the students’ ideas and how they change and build during the activity and subsequent discussion.

As each classroom lesson unfolds, science and education experts act as guides, highlighting and expanding on the key points that emerge. Their commentary, coupled with graphics and video demonstrations, reinforces the science concepts taught in the lessons, and supplements the lessons with background information about gravity, friction, air resistance, magnetism, and tension. As the students begin to connect science concepts to real-world phenomena, teachers will be asked to think about their own ideas on force and motion.

The lessons teachers observe in the video and the activities they do in this Science in Focus workshop will provide them with the opportunity to test some of their own initial ideas about force and motion. The goal is to move teachers toward a greater understanding of forces as interactions, the concept of action at a distance, the various ways to describe motion, and the effect of physical surroundings on the motion of objects.

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