Understandings also don't have to be phrased in a way that will be clear to students. In fact, if an understanding is too clear, it might not be worth focusing a unit on.

The prompt for writing EUs is "Students should understand

*" rather than "how" or a fact (even an important one). So here are some initial thoughts on understandings for physics, some of which may not be suitable for a first course taken in 10th grade (15-16yrs old).*

**that**Students should understand that:

- we can describe motion with words, pictures, graphs, and equations.
- if we know the initial conditions and the acceleration as a function of time for a classical (macroscopic) system, we can predict its future.
- forces are interactions between objects or between an object and a field.
- many physical quantities have direction as well as magnitude.
- the "natural state" of motion is constant velocity, not constant position.
- velocity is the rate of change of position, while acceleration is the rate of change of velocity.
- gravitational forces, static electrical forces, and light intensity all decrease with the square of the distance from the 'source'.
- momentum gives us a way to describe collisions even when we don't know the forces or the forces change too quickly to be useful.
- objects have energy based on their motion and position, which gives us another way to describe them.
- light is both a particle and a wave: the observed behavior depends on the test done.
- moving electrical charges cause both electrical and magnetic fields.
- energy can be transferred between objects and transformed between types, but some is always lost as heat (disorderly, atomic-scale kinetic energy).
- different substances respond at different rates to changes in thermal energy.

What are your thoughts?

## 2 comments:

here are my units broken into objectives. even though i learned about ubd this year, i never really emphasized the "big ideas"... something i'd like to work on next year...

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B5BYN7Rg2lvJODk4YTA3ZTUtMjAzOC00MjA0LTg2YjMtZGZiNTc1Y2UzY2Ji&hl=en_US

Thanks, Frank.

Post a Comment