Monday, May 2, 2011
Calculating Speed - Time Trials
In the hallway, we created a "racetrack," which was really a measured track with a starting line and a finish line marked on the floor with masking tape. The start and finish lines were 30 feet apart.
Each student was assigned some movement, and they were allowed to volunteer for each movement so that no one was forced out of their comfort zone. We had "safe" movements, like walking, running and jogging, for students who were a little more self-conscious, then we had skipping, army crawl, log roll and crabwalking for the more adventurous students. After each student was assigned a task, we began our trials.
I sat at the finish line with a stop watch and calculated how long it took for each student to go the 30 feet. We kept chart of the times on a piece of large chart paper that was taped to the wall. After a few trials, students began to correlate that faster movements took less time.
It is innately apparent to a middle schooler that running will be faster than a log roll, however, these calculations and graphs gave scientific and quantitative context for that tacit understanding. The students enjoyed this activity and, best of all, it was appropriate and comfortable for all of the different personalities and sensitivities of the class.
Posted by MaryBeth Spencer at 11:02 AM