Acceleration
Forces and Motion

Formative questions: quantities

Classroom Activity for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

These questions can be used to explore students' understandings of the connections between the quantities and the different representations of these quantities.

A good understanding is encouraged by the ability to move between representations, so we'd encourage you to spend time on practising these translations. The questions are selected to help learning, so for their formative value, rather than to make summative judgements.

What to Prepare

  • printed copies of the questions

What Happens During this Activity

There are many questions available on this topic, and in a variety of formats, from discussion about instances, through predict, observe, explain, to multiple choice in two-step and three-step formats. Many have been developed from research projects, and extensively trialled. If exploring graphical representations, we think multiple-choice questions have significant value, because they offer the opportunity to present a range of answers for consideration.

One way of using the questions is to assign groups to work on the questions, so encouraging discussion of the translations. Students should be encouraged to see the different representations as telling stories about a motion in different ways, drawing the difference between reporting a motion and predicting a motion in helping to distinguish between instantaneous and average values.

Acceleration
appears in the relation F=ma a=dv/dt a=-(w^2)x
is used in analyses relating to Terminal Velocity
can be represented by Motion Graphs
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