After years of fighting students about showing their work, I created the "box" method to direct their thoughts into a logical and linear fashion. This form directs students in determining what variables they have, what they are looking for, doing the algebraic manipulation on a formula and then solving with units and significant digits for a clear and concise answer. You'll love how easy it is to grade, spot errors like not using units, and to making it easy to follow their work.
Because I usually give the answers on homework, the point of the exercise is not the answer, but the process. When I grade the assignment, I don’t grade every problem. Sometimes, I’ll simply scan down the data table side for variables, numbers, and units. Other times, I check for the algebraic manipulation or the work with units. After you use it for a while, it becomes very easy to spot lost units or bad algebra.
Once my students get the process down, they like it so much that I frequently get emails from students in college asking for a copy to use in their physics and engineering classes!
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Keywords: logic, problem solving, algebraic manipulation, physics, chemistry, GUESS