*Physics 11* – Some students have been coming for extra help. There are two recurring themes with students in physics. Well, there are lots more but here are two.

- Students are pretty good with graphical and diagramatic representions, but transferring those to actual equations is tricky for them, especially when dealing with symbols instead of numbers. I think many kids are on the threshold of formal reasoning.
- Kids want to know how to get from A to B before they start solving a problem. They’re not used to the idea of starting at A, trying something out, discovering something, and slowly working to B.

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I see a lot of content unit separation in student problem solving, For instance, I often hear kinematics referred to as ” the old equations.” Though we frequently need to calculate acceleration, they are reluctant to look beyond what has been taught in the current unit, especially when forces are involved

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This is where modeling is an important pedagogy. If students can clearly state what models apply, or how they can model the situation, they can then use any graph, diagram or equation that applies to that model. IMO, and many agree, when the focus is on equations the kids don’t see the forest through the trees. By focusing on the bigger picture, which is using a model to describe a situation, it is easier to have a more complex analysis.

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