Algebra and Physics are like Red Beans and Rice


This is my first year getting to teach Algebra I and (freshman) Physics classes to basically the same group of kids.  Seriously, I thought it would take at least three years or so before the curriculum would be properly synced up.  But I don’t think I could separate them if I tried!  Everything just seems to be matching up.  For example, we just finished up our constant velocity lab in physics.  They had some little cars and they modeled the motion:

Well, in Algebra our next unit is systems of equations.  So, I want to start off with a real world problem that can be solved using a system.  How about: If we put group 1’s car on the same path as group 3’s car, when will they crash? (We can also do some where one car will catch up with another or they will never meet, etc)

The real awesomeness here is that each group already made a graph and an equation to model their car’s motion.  We still get to start with a great context, and the prep work is already done.

I’m not sure which is red beans and which is rice on this one.  (I’m thinking physics is the red beans this time!)

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