Physics 11 – By using the LOL diagrams, students do not need to conjure up the Work-Energy Theorem. Instead, students can use first principles: by analyzing the LOL diagram and coming up with the conservation of energy equation, students can solve for any unknown. The work-energy theorem, while concise, is one extra level of abstraction that probably isn’t needed at this point. What is more important: that a student can plug numbers into the right formula or figure out what is happening with energy in the system? These aren’t mutually exclusive, but abstractions can lead to answers with understanding. This is seen all the time in math, physics, programming, etc.
For problem solving, each step is simple and achievable but these are multi-step questions. They can be difficult for students while they learn to assimilate several ideas at the same time.