SoCS Up/Down

Linda is our host for SoCS. Her random prompts are fun to reply to because they are meant to be written “off the top of our heads.”





Let’s begin with: what goes up, must go down. 

When teaching physics to middle school kids, they typically understood the concrete example of things coming back down to earth. I would ask one student from each table group to grab any item from a box I had on my table. They were then allowed to climb up on the (very sturdy) concrete counter and drop their items. It was a great intro to the lesson on Sir Isaac Newton. We would then talk about them climbing up and their item falling down.

This led to the discussion of gravity and the gravitational pull of the earth. I always enjoyed it when the students would bird-walk on my lesson. I usually mentioned all three of Newton’s Laws before labeling them. I had kids roll down the isle in my classroom timing how long it took to stop. I had smaller and larger students push different students up the isle to see which kids went further.

Most of my lessons ended with a question. It could be as simple as what was fun today? Or as complicated as which one of Newton’s Laws do you think was the most difficult to prove in his time? The answers might be the starter on their homework assignment or on a piece of paper as a passport to leave the class. Sometimes it was an individual assignment and sometimes it was a table assignment. Occasionally, if I had time, I would have the kids give me a verbal answer as they left class. Changing it up every day was what kept them on their toes. IMHO

Months after teaching Newton’s Laws, I would ask the pupils to relate the idea of what goes up, must go down in other contexts. It was useful when teaching cycles in nature, the economic costs of environmental safety, as well as weather and earthquakes.

Personally, as a last thought, I can’t help but be impacted by my checking account going up at the beginning of the month, and down as the month progresses.



9 thoughts on “SoCS Up/Down

  1. “When teaching physics to middle school kids” Now I feel really dumb LOL! I’ve heard of Isaac Newton and the apple thing but I’m not sure I could say one intelligent thing about physics if I was asked. And now middle school kids know it?! Oy!

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