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Dear PF nation,

I did some searches and found some posts related to my questions but I thought I'd post for additional detail.

I offered to help a HS student with non-calc physics. The student is a family friend and I'm not charging for this.

I've taught work related topics professionally with adult technicians and engineers in a business setting but never a HS student. After the fall semester final I observed the student still has trouble with some basic concepts which caused me to question my approach and I thought reaching out on PF might help. So here is what I'm doing now.

We meet once/week in a study room at the local library.

We begin by going over concepts that might still not be fully understood and then work problems. For example, this week we went over projectile motion. I explained how the resultant velocity can be broken into vertical and horizontal components. This was essentially a short repeat of what was presented in class that day.

Then we worked problems assigned. In this case 4 basic projectile problems each asking for height, distance, and time in air. I begin by working out one problem, pausing for questions, then have the student work the remaining and helping when stuck by prompting some thinking before I might dive in to show the method. That's the general method. The students in this class are expected to work those same problems the next day in front of the class. We spend about 90 minutes each session. Here are some examples of the issues I'm seeing.

On a distance/time chart the student confuses zero crossing with zero velocity

On force diagrams the student misses depicting some forces.

This is based on my observation as the final exam is not given back to the students to keep after grading.

The course has now moved into projectile motion. The student seems more comfortable with this and is proficient with the trig aspects of those problems.

Here are my current ideas.

Continue weekly sessions.

Review new current concepts that are not well understood.

Work out some example problems but have the student work all the assigned problems.

Review concepts from the previous semester by assigning one or two problems to work each week.

Looking back I'm concerned I might have been working out examples myself and should have been having the student do this more.

One problem I think I face here is I don't think the student works enough problems to develop an intuitive level of understanding. What's a good approach without overloading the student? What's a good source for problems, the local library is very light when it comes to physics texts to draw from.

Also, the class is structured to not use a text book. Problems come from teacher handouts. I try not to criticize the teaching approach but doesn't this deprive a student of a reference to go back to if concepts are in question? Should I get a physics text to use by the student?

Anyway, your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Rock on PF nation!

I did some searches and found some posts related to my questions but I thought I'd post for additional detail.

I offered to help a HS student with non-calc physics. The student is a family friend and I'm not charging for this.

I've taught work related topics professionally with adult technicians and engineers in a business setting but never a HS student. After the fall semester final I observed the student still has trouble with some basic concepts which caused me to question my approach and I thought reaching out on PF might help. So here is what I'm doing now.

We meet once/week in a study room at the local library.

We begin by going over concepts that might still not be fully understood and then work problems. For example, this week we went over projectile motion. I explained how the resultant velocity can be broken into vertical and horizontal components. This was essentially a short repeat of what was presented in class that day.

Then we worked problems assigned. In this case 4 basic projectile problems each asking for height, distance, and time in air. I begin by working out one problem, pausing for questions, then have the student work the remaining and helping when stuck by prompting some thinking before I might dive in to show the method. That's the general method. The students in this class are expected to work those same problems the next day in front of the class. We spend about 90 minutes each session. Here are some examples of the issues I'm seeing.

On a distance/time chart the student confuses zero crossing with zero velocity

On force diagrams the student misses depicting some forces.

This is based on my observation as the final exam is not given back to the students to keep after grading.

The course has now moved into projectile motion. The student seems more comfortable with this and is proficient with the trig aspects of those problems.

Here are my current ideas.

Continue weekly sessions.

Review new current concepts that are not well understood.

Work out some example problems but have the student work all the assigned problems.

Review concepts from the previous semester by assigning one or two problems to work each week.

Looking back I'm concerned I might have been working out examples myself and should have been having the student do this more.

One problem I think I face here is I don't think the student works enough problems to develop an intuitive level of understanding. What's a good approach without overloading the student? What's a good source for problems, the local library is very light when it comes to physics texts to draw from.

Also, the class is structured to not use a text book. Problems come from teacher handouts. I try not to criticize the teaching approach but doesn't this deprive a student of a reference to go back to if concepts are in question? Should I get a physics text to use by the student?

Anyway, your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Rock on PF nation!

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