The Name That Motion Concept Builder is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Concept Builder can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Concept Builder is intended for use near the middle to later stages of a learning cycle on position, velocity and acceleration. It provides an excellent formative assessment of student understanding of constant velocity and accelerated motion. The learner must understand the manner in which positive and negative acceleration are distinguished from one another. The intention was that after labwork, instruction, and discussion of constant velocity and accelerated motion, a classroom could navigate to Name That Motion and use the Concept Builder as an assessment/learning tool. The availability of the stars on the main menu allows a teacher to quickly check-off progress on a per-student basis (if desired).

This Concept Builder is intended for use in the latter stages of a learning cycle on Kinematic Concepts. It makes for an exceptional formative assessment of student ability to describe a motion and to grasp the concepts of velocity and acceleration. We recommend using the activity only after students have begun to develop a comfort with the meaning of acceleration.

This Concept Builder was intended as an in-class activity. The Concept Builder includes 11 different animations and is organized into three different difficulty levels. Teachers using the Concept Builder with their classes should preview the activity in order to judge which levels would be most appropriate for their students. Our summary of the three levels is as follows:
  • Apprentice Level: Animations 1-6 (the most simplest, single-stage motions)
  • Masters Level: Situations 7-11 (the more complicated, multi-stage motions)
  • Wizard Level: Situations 1-11 (all 11 animations from the previous two difficulty levels)
In order to complete a level, a student must correctly analyze each situation at that level. If a student's analysis is incorrect, then the student will have to correctly analyze the same situation twice in order to successfully complete the level. This approach provides the student extra practice on situations for which they exhibited difficulty. As a student progresses through a level, a system of stars and other indicators are used to indicate progress on the level. A star is an indicator of correctly analyzing the situation. Once a star is earned, that situation is removed from the cue of situations to be analyzed. Each situation is color-coded with either a yellow or a red box. A red box indicates that the student has incorrectly analyzed the situation and will have to correctly analyze it twice before earning a star. A yellow box is an indicator that the situation must be correctly analyzed one time in order to earn a star. Once every situation at a level has been analyzed, the student earns a medal that is displayed on the Main Menu. This system of stars and medals allows a teacher to easily check-off student progress or offer credit for completing assigned levels.

The most valuable (and most overlooked) aspect of this concept-building activity is the Help Me! feature. Each question group is accompanied by a Help page that discusses the specifics of the question. This Help feature transforms the activity from a question-answering activity into a concept-building activity. The student who takes the time to use the Help pages can be transformed from a guesser to a learner and from an unsure student to a confident student. The "meat and potatoes" of the Help pages are in the sections titled "How to Think About This Situation:" Students need to be encouraged by teachers to use the Help Me! button and to read this section of the page. A student that takes time to reflect upon how they are answering the question and how an expert would think about the situation can transform their naivete into expertise. 



Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Name That Motion Concept Builder. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments from the Kinematic Concepts module, especially missions KC4 and KC5, make for a great complement to this Concept Builder. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.

    Users may find that the App version of Minds On Physics works best on their devices. The App Version can be found at the Minds On Physics the App section of our website. The Kinematic Concepts module can be found on Part 1 of the six-part App series. Visit Minds On Physics the App.

  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Describing Motion with Diagrams

    Visit the Curriculum Corner - Kinematics.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Name That Motion into an instructional unit on Kinematics  can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.