I gave a workshop with Mike Pustie in NYC in June and with Casey Rutherford in Minneapolis in July on using a graphical approach to solve kinematics and force problems. I wrote a bit about the content involved in my preview post, and I wanted to follow that up here by making the slides and content available to anyone interested. The full presentation is available here and is embedded below.

Overall, both workshops seemed to be successful, even if one had to be #unsanctioned, and at least one participant has already been reporting success with implementing the strategies in class:

Hooray!

I had a great time sharing with everyone and learned some new things myself, too! Thank you to everyone who helped make the workshops happen (including the participants!).

## Future Workshops

1) There is a “Part 2” to this workshop scheduled for Sunday October 19th (2014) via STEMteachersNYC. It will be on Graphical Physics Solutions for Momentum and Energy (including going beyond just bar charts for problem solving in those models). If you’re in the NYC area, I hope to see you there! I’ll also post some recap information here, too, once that is complete.

2) I should be presenting a full day workshop in a more “sanctioned” manner at next summer’s AAPT meeting in Maryland. The plan for the workshop is to spend half of the time on this graphical solutions material and half of the time on what I’m calling “advanced whiteboarding techniques”—strategies for whiteboarding beyond the basic student presentations (practicing using mistake whiteboarding, speed dating, etc). I’m really excited about getting to do that, and I hope it will be appealing and helpful to others.

[…] vs. time and velocity vs. time graphs. Since I’m planning to have my students use the graphical solutions approach I learned form Kelly O’Shea and Casey Rutherford this summer, motion graphs will need to be […]

Kelly,

I’ve somewhat used velocity versus time graphs for solving kinematics problems, but I’m unsure of how to solve a projectile motion problem in this way. Is there any way you can share an example student solution for a projectile motion? In past years, I have given up and resorted to equations at that point. Thank you for sharing your insight!

Amanda

I think that I figured it out. Do the kids use an x vs t graph to keep track of x-direction information and a v vs t graph to track y-direction information? The graphs really become a repository of the information that I used to have students put in a table of knowns.

Amanda

Hi Amanda,

That would work! Make sure the v-t graph is really a Vy vs t graph. Usually we use Vx-t and Vy-t graphs to solve.

There is a student example here (https://kellyoshea.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/free-unofficial-workshop-during-aapt-in-july/)—the first one (on the white paper).

Glad you’ve found it useful! 🙂

Kelly

Kelly,

Both myself and another physics teacher at my school have tried using goal-less problems in our class and have been really happy with them. Do you mind if we present about this at the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers conference to share this idea with a wider audience? I will, of course, give you credit for the awesome ideas, and if you would like, I will share your blog address.

Amanda

I spent several days developing a graphical approach to projectiles in my physics class this year. I found it necessary after years of students in regular physics struggling with projectiles. We began with a video analysis lab using LoggerPro and a basketball shot. The graphs were recognizable to the students from constant velocity and uniform acceleration units. We then spent a few class periods analyzing problems from a purely graphical approach. A number of students really liked this approach and have now taken to solving any motion problem by starting with a graph, when possible. I found it to be very beneficial and plan on refining and implementing this annually. I developed a few worksheets which are designed to scaffold these concepts which I would be happy to share. Thanks for all you do Kelly!

[…] week, students started using graphical solutions to solve problems for an accelerating object. I was introduced to this approach by Kelly […]

Kelly

Thanks for sharing all your experiences in using a Modeling approach to Physics education. I am currently trying to apply this technique to the Australian curriculum for yrs 8-12. I would be grateful if you could share your packets as pages docs with me as i would like to adjust them to match our curriculum descriptors. Also how have you found your `experiment` of rearranging units to start with energy?

Thanks

Sam

[…] students took their first look at forces in 2D and drew some vector addition diagrams to scale. The problems, lifted from Kelly O’Shea, were all on a grid to keep things […]

[…] graphs look like for a projectile, they dove into some problems. I’m continuing having them use graphical solutions a’la Kelly O’Shea where students solve from velocity vs. time graphs, rather than getting the kinematic equations. […]

[…] annotating velocity time graphs and writing equations based on them. I’ve become a big fan of graphical problem solving, but find students need some practice just going from a graph to equations before they’re […]

[…] using vector addition diagrams to solve balanced force problems (one of many things I learned from Kelly O’Shea). I really like that while many of my students still ended up using a version of components, they […]

[…] asked students what should happen if we swapped out a lighter marble. Once we tried it, we used vector addition diagrams to find the acceleration of each marble and show the mass doesn’t […]

[…] started using vector addition diagrams to solve problems with balanced forces in 2D. I saw a lot of groups working much more effectively […]