Sunday, August 30, 2009

Forces & Motion

Forces & Motion From High-speed Jets to Wind-up Toys
By Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves
Published at Master Books
This book is part of the Investigate the Possibilities series and is geared for grade 3 to 6 students. You will find that the content of this book is about elementary Physical Science. I personally wasn’t looking forward to the years where I would have to think about Physics… Honestly, I wasn’t that good when I was in high school (even though better than when I was doing chemistry). But with a book like this one, I am quite excited to sit down with my 3rd grader and discover what Physics can teach me (oh! And him also….*grin*).

Once again I found that Rob DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves have put together a wonderful gem to work with for teaching elementary Physics. The lessons are pretty straightforward and simple as well as very colorful. I found that when there is real pictures and color the kids are more interested than if it was only text in a page. The book has 20 investigations that the kids will go through as well as a special project on Isaac Newton. The student will learn how to determine the speed and motion of favorite toys, create a catapult and experience the mechanics of pulleys, set up a floating pencil race as well as discover why friction creates heat. Each investigation – and yes your student will transform himself as an investigator - will provide a problem and he will have to perform some experiment to investigate the solution. A think about this section will engage the child to think about a possible solution to the problem, an explanation will also be given and a section will also help the student to expand his knowledge. Finally, at the end of the lesson, before the learning comprehension is tested, the student will read about how to make the connections from what he has learned to the real life. This book not only brings hands-on activities but also forces the student to think before and after the lessons.

Also available are the Teacher’s Guide and the Student Journal. The Teacher’s Guide will help you to plan in advance the lessons as well as having follow-up discussions with your student. I like the idea that I can read the teacher’s section before we go through the material. It permits me to know a little bit more before I can guide my son to learn the information of the lesson. The Teacher’s Guide also contains the answers to the questions for each lesson found in the text book. The Student Journal on the other hand will permit the student to write down his/hers observations for the activities as well as answering the questions related to the lesson. There is no way around it, before being able to answers the questions, the student must have gone through the lesson and read the test related to it. So no only the student will read it and experiment it but he will also write about it. Personally, I think this is the best way of learning when you use multiple senses…

If you want to test the waters to see if your student will like Physics, I strongly suggest this book. Forces & Motion From High-speed Jets to Wind-up Toys books are available at New Leaf Publishing as well as and

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