Questions from The Power of Per Session

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• #64789 The bookings for the tutorial on 5 October will open on Tuesday 29 Sept and close on Friday 2 Oct. If you would like to ask a question arising from the Power of Per session, then please post it in this thread.

We’re here to help, so no question is too trivial (as long as it’s about maths and physics!!)

• #64900 1. Adam Boxers cogscisci video introduces the context before introducing the equation any thoughts on this approach? I struggle with introducing the physics behind the equation… any tips.
2. Can you use the definition to introduce an equation what approaches do you use for introducing definitions which are related to the equation.
3. I used the power of per approach today for students who are not understanding the speed equation. I tried to give examples of 10 metres every second telling them the speed is 10 m/s and eliciting similar examples – students have become more confused which is perhaps due to my explanation… I have tried to elicit distance using this approach 10 m/s how much in 2s. My low ability class did not follow this. Any” power of per” tips to avoid common errors.
4. What diagrammatic approaches can you use to support power of per for topics of speed and acceleration.
• #64917 Hi, in terms of your question 3… I started with some foundation students doing this for electricity and using primary school reasoning really helped.  “If I have four sweets and I share them between two people how many sweets *per* person?” They got that because they’ve done that kind of question 100s of times. Then I said “4 coulombs, how many *per* second?” I found that students were confused because it was a new approach but once they realised that it was easier than they were making it it’s clicked.  Perhaps even demonstrating it with counters or *real sweets* ?  I had a miracle moment when a yr 11 students grade 3 said “oh, yeah, so its coulombs divided by seconds” woah.

Qu 1:    I haven’t seen Adam Boxers video but I would recommend context before equation. I used to teach through equations but see next poin…

Qu 2:  I do what I call ‘worded SLOP’ which I’ve shared on TES. I do these without teaching the equation then give it them and they go back and calculated everything. This worked really well as the equation didn’t put them off.  https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/gravitational-potential-energy-questions-12237532

4. have you seen the equation technique of drawing the letters really big if the number is big and really small if the number is small?

• #64928 Context is key. A couple of examples spring to mind, for example students have an intuitive feel that a = F/m, and I could talk about how a car or runner speeds up depending on mass or force applied. The key thing here is experience.

A similar thing can be achieved with I=V/R, using the rope model. Again, a simple tactile understanding can be developed from using the rope. You increase the resistance (the grip on the rope) and it is no surprise that I goes down. Similarly you pull the rope harder and I goes up. You can extend this to P = IV and E = IVt as well.

• #64929 Context is key. A couple of examples spring to mind, for example students have an intuitive feel that a = F/m, and I could talk about how a car or runner speeds up depending on mass or force applied. The key thing here is experience.

A similar thing can be achieved with I=V/R, using the rope model. Again, a simple tactile understanding can be developed from using the rope. You increase the resistance (the grip on the rope) and it is no surprise that I goes down. Similarly you pull the rope harder and I goes up. You can extend this to P = IV and E = IVt as well.

• #64955 Hi thanks for the reply I liked your worded slop approach I will look into using this. What ability range do you do this with?

• #64957 all ability ranges. The highest (I have a lot of grade 8-9 triple) find it challenging because they want to resort to an equation but have to understand the physics. whereas the lowest foundation students find it really encouraging because it’s not about equations.

• #65024 Think about asking them to write a narrative, explaining what they’re doing, as if to someone else. This can coax out of them a deeper understanding of both the mathematical processes and the underlying physics.

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