## Power Words for AP Physics 1

So, it's Wednesday, and due to our schedule, I don't teach AP Physics 1 today. So, instead of a teach180 entry, I've decided I'll use this time to write about something I can't fit into a typical #teach180 post.

Here's a post I started in November, and never posted. I think it's worth posting, and I have some questions at the end:

At a professional development meeting last week, Dr. Lori Wilfong spoke about how to teach vocabulary effectively. As an AP Physics teacher, I didn't know if it would be helpful, but I played along. I went through a few exams, looking for the words that I thought would be most powerful for an AP Physics student. Dr. Wilfong separated vocabulary into three tiers, and I used those tiers to guide my thinking. I didn't include any tier one words, which only have one meaning and that they'll probably know before entering the class. And I only included the most important tier three words, those words that are the specialized vocabulary of the subject matter. I looked for mostly tier two words, words that take on different meanings depending on how they're being used. I think the list is very powerful, and I think that students who consciously tried to know and use these words correctly would be at a great advantage.

Here's my list:

• acceleration
• angular
• applied (force)
• area (under a graph)
• average (as in average speed)
• balanced (forces)
• beat (frequency)
• center of mass
• change in
• charge (electric)
• circuit
• coefficient (of friction)
• component (of a vector)
• conductor
• conservation (of a quantity)
• current
• derive
• displacement
• dissipated
• distance
• elastic (energy)
• emf
• energy
• exert
• frame of reference
• field
• force
• frequency
• gravitational mass
• harmonic
• horizontal (as opposed to straight)
• impulse
• inertia
• inertial mass
• instantaneous
• interaction
• junction
• justify
• kinetic
• linear
• longitudinal wave
• loop
• magnitude
• mechanical energy
• moment of inertia
• momentum (or linear momentum)
• motion detector
• negligible
• net (force)
• object
• ohmic
• oscillation
• parallel (circuit)
• particle
• period
• photogate
• pivot
• position
• potential difference
• potential energy
• power
• projectile
• propagate
• pulse
• qualitative
• quantitative
• quantized
• resistance
• resonance
• rotational inertia
• sensor
• series (circuit)
• situation
• speed
• standing wave
• static
• system
• thermal (energy)
• torque
• trajectory
• transverse wave
• velocity
• vibration
• wavelength
• work

I've spent a few hours on this list; I really like it. I still didn't know how to use it. How can this list be useful to a student? Dr. Wilfong stressed that vocabulary can't just be a one-and-done event; it has to be integrated into class. How would you integrate this into an AP Physics 1 class?

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