Reflection: Quiz on Newton's Laws - Section 2: Free Response Quiz Questions


If a student makes a mistake on a word problem, then VFW (Variables - Formula - Work) helps me to easily find their mistake. I tell my students that they will get partial credit if I can follow their thinking and find their mistake. Also, correct answer without VFW WILL NOT receive full credit! 

We have been using VFW all year, so students are comfortable working with this. On several of the quizzes showing student work, I see that students list out the variables given in the word problem. They write the formulas without the variables and then show their work. This methodology helps students become organized problem solvers. I even have students come back to me years later and tell me how helpful VFW was to them in college.

A frequent error that I see on the students' quizzes is with the second open ended problem. A moving car that slams on its brakes has no force propelling it forward, yet because it is still moving forward, students want to put a force there. This exact situation has been a common misconception that I have not been able to eliminate despite many practice problems given before the quiz. I question students about their thinking on what that force is and they cannot tell me. It goes back to that very first misconception with Newton's Law of Inertia that forward motion requires a forward force. This is such a difficult mental model to break!

  Reflection on Open Ended Questions
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Quiz on Newton's Laws

Unit 1: Forces in One Dimension
Lesson 11 of 11

Objective: Students demonstrate their knowledge of Newton's Laws of motion with this summative assessment.

Big Idea: Summative assessments are a tool to keep students accountable for learning and to inform the teacher of students' understanding.

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