Key Topics in Newtonian Dynamics for K-8 Teachers (Simplifying Physics for Elementary Teachers)

Key Topics in Newtonian Dynamics for K-8 Teachers (Simplifying Physics for Elementary Teachers)

1 graduate credit
Instructor: Jeff Elmer

The study of motion, forces, energy, and momentum involves numerous concepts, terms, mathematically abstract ideas, and limitless applications. The mastery of such a wide body of knowledge is nearly overwhelming, requiring multiple semesters of study. The purpose of this course is to help K-8 teachers make this enormous body of knowledge more manageable by providing concise explanations and terminology, with useful applications, for the teaching of these ideas.

Instructor Bio

Jeff Elmer

Jeff Elmer received a bachelor degree in chemistry education from UW-Madison and a master degree in physics education from UW-River Falls. He is the upper-level physics instructor at Oshkosh North High School and a 21–year veteran of physics teaching. Jeff has previously taught a Science Teaching methods class at UW-Oshkosh in 1999 and was on staff at the Modeling Physics and Physical Science Institute at UW-Oshkosh during summers from 2002 through 2005.

His students have received national recognition as U.S. Physics Team Quarter-Finalist in 2008, Semi-Finalists in 1992, 2000, 2001, and Finalist in 1993.

Jeff has been honored for his teaching, including the 2006 and 1996 Milwaukee School of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Awards, 2004 Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers Excellence in Teaching and Service Award, and the 1999 Kohl Fellowship Award.

Course Syllabus

Course Introduction

The study of Newtonian dynamics involves numerous concepts, terms, mathematically abstract ideas, and limitless applications. The mastery of such a wide body of knowledge is nearly overwhelming, requiring multiple semesters of study. The purpose of this course is to help K-8 teachers make this enormous body of knowledge more manageable by providing concise explanations and terminology, with useful applications, for the study of motion, force and Newton's Laws, momentum, energy, and circular motion.

Objectives

  1. Divide the study of Newtonian dynamics to five manageable topical areas.
  2. Provide a learning experience for teachers, such that, they may confidently utilize motion, force, Newton's Laws, momentum, and energy to enrich their students' learning experiences when studying Newtonian dynamics.
  3. Provide details for construction and meaningful implementation of various activities in the classroom setting.

Conceptual Framework

The Adams State College Graduate Studies in Education has adopted a Teacher As A Reflective Decision Maker Model and the Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure, also known as INTASC (Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) Standards. Each course is designed to contribute to the development of one or more of the WI/INTASC Standards and if applicable, IRA and/or ISLLC Standards.

Franciscan values permeate the program. The focus of every professional education course is on the learning of the PK-12 pupil. Viterbo education courses infuse constructivist practices, use of technology, PK-12 collaboration, awareness of diversity, traditional and authentic assessment, research and real-world experiences into the professional development of the teacher.

Intasc Standards

Nearly all of the INTASC Standards are infused in this course at some level. The first, fourth, sixth, and eighth standards are particularly applicable in the content and format of this class.

Course Composition

LESSON ONE

Course participants will expand their understanding of speed as a ratio, while differentiating between speed and velocity. After a brief, but concise definition of force, course participants will recognize that Newton's first and second laws dictate how various force situations affect the motion (velocity) of the objects experiencing the forces.

LESSON TWO

Course participants will learn about force pairs and Newton's 3rd law. In particular, close attention will be given to the different effects experienced by unequal mass objects in a force pair, as well as, why the forces in Newton's 3rd law pairs do not cancel. The idea of equal, but opposite, forces acting on an object, as opposed to the equal but opposite forces in a force pair, will be closely scrutinized, as this makes Newton's 3rd law perilous for the new student.

LESSON THREE

Combining Newton's 2nd and 3rd laws results in a mathematical quantity called momentum, which may be accounted for before and after interactions in nature. The conservation of momentum allows for the prediction of motions due to the exertion of future forces or deduction of motions prior to an interaction based on final motions.

LESSON FOUR

Everyone talks about energy, but does anyone really know what it is? Course participants will learn what energy is and why it so difficult to define. In addition, participants will see energy as a second way to account for changes in nature and develop several strategies to develop energy accounting tools with students.

LESSON FIVE

Course participants will utilize ideas involving force and motion from earlier lessons to get a handle on one of the more elusive topics in Newtonian dynamics; circular motion. In addition to being difficult to sometimes execute, turns provide all sorts of conceptual difficulties for our students. Several different activities will be presented to help students work through their ideas.

Course Assignments and Requirements

  1. Course participants will complete all online lessons and follow-up assessments
  2. Course participants must develop and submit a demonstration or laboratory activity based on the topics covered in the course. Included with the submitted activity must be a digital photo clearly showing the apparatus utilized in the developed activity.
  3. Participants must submit a written reflection of an idea (or ideas) in this course that were particularly helpful to future instruction in one's K-8 classroom.

Textbooks

  1. The general content of this course will be provided online in the five lessons of the course.
  2. Highly Recommended Reading: Touch This! Conceptual Physics for Everyone by Paul Hewitt. This soft-cover book is available from Arbor Scientific; PX-9040, for $16.95. It's the perfect handbook for the elementary science teacher responsible for teaching aspects of physics.

Bibliography

  1. A.B. Arons, Teaching Introductory Physics, (John Wiley, New York, 1997), pp. 4-8, 23-45, 56-80.
  2. Operation Physics American Institute for Physics (AIP), Children's Misconceptions About Science, (AIP 1825 Conneticut Ave. NW, Suite 213, Washington, DC 20009)

Graduate Credit

1 graduate credit
Adams State College tuition: $55

Graduate level credit is provided through Adams State College. The Department of Teacher Education at Adams State College is accredited nationally by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and has program authorization from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE).

To be eligible to receive credit, students must do the following:

  1. Pay the online course fee by purchasing a course activation code on this web site (AdamsStateOnline.com).
     
  2. Pay the tuition fee by registering as a student on the Adams.edu web site. Pay tuition by visiting the Adams State College registration form.
     
  3. Complete the online course at a satisfactory level of assessment, according to the completion requirements outlined by the instructor on the course syllabus.

It does not matter in what order the two payments are performed.

Registering for credit from Adams State College is optional.

Course Dates

Students are given a 2-month period in which to finish each course. Courses are offered continually throughout the year. Each enrollment period starts on the 1st of the month and ends two months later. Enrollment periods are listed below.

Students can enroll in a current enrollment period anytime between the 1st through the 10th of the month. Enrollments submitted after the 10th of the month will be moved to the next enrollment period.

For example, if a student registers for a class on January 2nd, he/she will be enrolled in the Jan.–Feb. enrollment period. If a student registers for a class January 11th, he/she will be enrolled in the Feb.–Mar. enrollment period.

Students moved to the next enrollment period will have to wait until the 1st day of the month to obtain access to their course.

Enrollment PeriodStart DateEnd Date
Jan.–Feb.January 1stMarch 1st
Feb.–Mar.February 1stApril 1st
Mar.–Apr.March 1stMay 1st
Apr.–MayApril 1stJune 1st
May–Jun.May 1stJuly 1st
Jun.–Jul.June 1stAugust 1st
Jul.–Aug.July 1stSeptember 1st
Aug.–Sep.August 1stOctober 1st
Sep.–Oct.September 1stNovember 1st
Oct.–Nov.October 1stDecember 1st
Nov.–Dec.November 1stJanuary 1st
Dec.–Jan.December 1stFebruary 1st
 
SKU SCED589-V110
ASC Tuition 55.00
 
Online course fee: $140.00
 
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