Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: Adding Elements to Circuits

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How to:

  • relate your model of flow to actions in adding elements to a loop
  • relate your model of flow to actions in adding loops
  • connect toolkits for thinking with physical experiences with circuits
  • not conflate analogies with toolkits that can make predictions

Teacher Tip: These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.

Focusing on the physics:

Representing–noticing–recording. How to:

  • keep emphasising that the charged particles are only set in motion by the battery
  • separate charge flow and energy shifting
  • exploit your chosen toolkit to make predictions about the effects of changes to circuits
  • keep the focus on whole loops
  • link the ideas of something being used up to the flattening of the battery

Teacher Tip: Connecting what is experienced with what is written and drawn is essential to making sense of the connections between the theoretical world of physics and the lived-in world of the children. Don't forget to exemplify this action.

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