Understanding Speed

December 4, 2014

For the last few days, Robert was reintroduced to the concept of speed via lessons from  Reasoning and Writing, Part B. This is not an easy concept, so I had to admire the cleverness of the authors of the curriculum who developed a series of exercises allowing students to understand the concept of speed. As different pairs of characters race through the rectangles to the finish lines, Robert learns that those who reached the end in shorter time were faster than those who reached the end later.  In the subsequent exercises, rats and beetles ran over congruent rectangles representing units of length and Robert compares the number of feet (rectangles) passed in one unit of time.  That is speed. The concept is formed.

I don’t know of any other curriculum, that would put so much emphasis on concept formation, as does this one.  Most of my experiences were with the subjects where the concept was verbally defined.  The definition served as an introduction.  But for those students whose language lacks proper tools to understand definitions, the other methods of presenting new concepts are needed.  For those students, the definition with its precise vocabulary has to come later, AFTER UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT. The new words are there to describe what the student has learned through different approaches.

Today, as we were driving,  Robert and I shared our observations about how fast or slow we went.  Fast, slow.  It was a traffic our, so it was mostly slow. Very slow.

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1 Comment

  1. Jean

     /  December 5, 2014

    great post relating concept development vs skill building. Traffic is a daily example!


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