Suggestions for you as you plan to teach …

• … episode01 of the SPT topic: Forces

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

• Building explicit connections between the actions of animate and inanimate environments on an object
• Being consistent in the drawing of force arrows
• Giving children a variety of representations to hand when asking for descriptions
• Arranging it so that the placing of arrows is provisional and open to debate
• Focusing on the physical reasons for expecting a force to be acting – e.g. the bombardment by particles
• Acting as if Newton's first law really is hard to believe
• Speaking, acting and drawing with exemplary precision, so children can apprentice their practice on yours
• Using a rich variety of examples

Teacher Tip: 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.

Avoid these

• Relying too much on precise words by themselves
• Acting as if the placing of arrows is obvious and open to a simple inspection
• Referring to forces cancelling out
• Using complex objects on which forces might be acting (with internally moving parts – bicycles, cars, people.)

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

This appears as Fo01TL as Fo01TLnugget12 in the full materials.

• … episode02 of the SPT topic: Forces

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

• Building explicit connections between the actions of animate and inanimate environments on an object
• Building in explicitly the steps from physical situation to the forces acting on the object
• Modelling how you come to expect a warp force to be acting
• Discussing the placement of arrows
• Focusing on the physical reasons for expecting a force to be acting – e.g. the bombardment by particles
• Sharing tangible examples of frictional forces
• Arranging for children to experience drag forces in air

Teacher Tip: 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.

Avoid these

• Using friction as a blanket term, without reference to its physical origins
• Treating contact forces exerted by inanimate objects as obvious
• Stating, without sharing the appropriate experiences that give the statements meaning
• Being drawn into discussing the details of the drag forces

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

This appears as Fo02TL as Fo02TLnugget06 in the full materials.

• … episode03 of the SPT topic: Forces

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

• Giving real experiences of forces acting at a distance
• Exploiting the tangible effects of magnets in regions of space around the magnet
• Keeping magnetic, electric and gravity forces and their effects separate
• Exploiting similarities of behaviour between the forces
• Sharing some of the struggles that clever people had with action-at-a-distance in the past
• Dealing with mass and the force of gravity acting on an object by sharing the reasons for caring about the difference
• Discussing the assumed universality of these forces, and sharing some of the evidence for that

Teacher Tip: 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.

Avoid these

• Treating action-at-a-distance as obviously acceptable
• Acting as if the similarities between the three non-contact forces always have been obvious
• Over-emphasising the similarities
• Conflating the terminology and representations for the three different forces

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

This appears as Fo03TL as Fo03TLnugget14 in the full materials.