What ideas do students have about tension and balancing?

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Episode 302: Equal weights Seattle Pacific University

Research suggests that students have both productive ideas about and difficulties with forces. What ideas do students have about tension and balance?

July 2, 2018

Pedagogy Content
Attending to student ideas
Physics Content
Newton's laws
Instructor Interaction

Lesson Contents (3 MB)Student Handout
Transcript, discussion questions, and problem

(2 MB)Specific Lesson Guide
Facilitator's guide for this lesson

(1 MB)General Facilitator's Guide
Background and best practices

(186 MB)Video
Captioned video


Sample Discussion Prompts

  1. What did you observe in this episode? Talk to your partners about what you saw.

  2. What is Daphne’s idea about what the masses will do?

  3. What is April’s idea about what the masses will do? What does April say Daphne’s idea is?

  4. What does Blair say is “against physics”? What do you think she means by that phrase?

  5. Blair asserts that “the question’s deceptive,” and Logan agrees. What do you think they mean by that?

  6. Blair concludes that “whatever was holding B wasn't exerting any force on it; it was just touching it.” Explain her idea.

  7. What evidence in the episode shows you that Logan (the LA) understands the students’ ideas (or does not understand them)?

  8. What student ideas about tension and balance are indicated in this episode?

Collections featuring this lesson

Colorado LA Pedagogy Course21 LESSONS Best of Periscope11 LESSONS Student ideas14 LESSONS