Are graphs and algebra central?

These are important, but you should get to them at the right moment. These are highly abstract representations of motion, embedding many conventions far removed from our starting point of describing journeys. (There is little less removed from the lived-in world than graphing my bicycle journey to the shops in one dimension. Yes, it can have value, but the highest value may lie some way down the didactical path.) It seems at least likely that the best place to learn about the intricacies of constructing and interpreting graphs is not (as so often happens at the moment) in studies of motion, for however many carefully engineered sensors are employed in automatically generating the graph, time remains spatialised. Two axes extended in space (measured in metres) must represent seconds, metres, metressecond-1 and metressecond-2: this is not obviously or immediately a well-formed tactic if clarity of representation is the aim. It is also the case that algebraic representations, manipulations and conventions can serve physics well, but cannot replace a physical understanding. There is more to understanding kinematics than achieving algebraic and arithmetic fluency, and the approach suggested here ensures that these fluencies are no longer a necessary precursor.