There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:
- work with an awareness that the majority of experiences that most students have to guide their ideas are based on the classroom
- focus on power and not on energy
- distinguish clearly between energy in stores (joule) and power in pathways (watt)
- work in the present tense
What's happening nowwhilst the circuit loop is complete
- use the circuit loop as a unit of explanation, prediction and analysis
- emphasise that (dissipative) electrical potential differences in a circuit depend on a complete loop
Work through the Physics Narrative to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Teaching Approaches for some examples of activities.
- sequential analogies of the working of electric circuits
- ad-hoc algorithms for calculating and predicting
- conflating gravitational potential difference with electrical potential difference
These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.