Room 14 likes to Move it Move it

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How do things move? What forces act on things to slow them down or speed them up? These were only some of the questions Room 14 wanted answers to when learning about forces and motion for our inquiry.

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For writing Room 14 became scientific investigators to write about how paper planes move. 

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The students had to come up with a question about their planes to investigate, predict what might happen and then test their planes. They also had to write or draw an observation and then evaluate its performance. This led students on to writing comparisons between different paper planes and why they thought some flew better than others.

When asked to evaluate why plane 2 flew better than plane 1, this is what some students had to say.

Plane 2 flies better because its pointier, flat, and gets more air. It glides way better than plane 1 - Grayson

Plane 2 flies better because the air glides over it faster and the other one went straight down. This one went straight - Reid

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Later when students were making catapults and parachutes, they recognised many of the same forces acted on these things. The class showed their learning by drawing diagrams and labelling forces they had learnt about. Then they had to think of ways to improve catapult and parachute designs so they would work better. These are some of the ideas students had.

Find something that would make a stronger parachute than a napkin -Mila

Try different ways of pulling the catapult back to see if this makes it shoot things better - Riley

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For math, Room 14 learnt to use directional language to show movement. First of all the students had to listen to directions and follow them, showing their movement using a teddy bear on a 100s board.

As students got more confident with directions, they created their own mazes on grids. Other students had to use the language learnt to find their way through them. For an added challenge, students had to guide a blindfolded partner though mazes, while the blindfolded person followed their directions.

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Using positional language over and over in different ways really helped students consolidate their knowledge of left and right. This activity was also great for exercising the memory. 

Students were also able to identify their next step for this activity. This is what some students had to say.

I need to learn about ½ turns because I dont know them yet - Indigo

I cant do ¼ turns yet, so need to keep trying this - India

A next step for most students around directions is to demonstrate ½ and ¼ turns when following instructions. 

Keywords: forces, paper planes, catapults, parachutes, directional language

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