Physics 11 – Students have been scaffolded into doing unbalanced forces with kinematics. Students’ biggest hurdle seems to be thinking about what is being asked and drawing a force diagram. I often tell my students that the force diagram is where all of the physics happens. After that, most of the work is algebra.
It’s been over a month since the students were working with kinematics, and now equations reign supreme. Not one student resorted to using graphical methods of solving the questions. Not surprisingly I heard several cries of “I don’t know what equation to use.” I have no solutions to solving this issue. Clearly there are some deep habits formed somewhere, where the equation is raison d’étre.