## Teacher Notes for Electric Circuits

### Unit Plans

We estimate this to be a 14-day unit if you address all the Learning Outcomes. An additional day should be added for an exam. There are three primary goals for the unit:

1. To understand the nature of charge flow in electric circuits, including the requirement of a closed conducting loop and the presence of an energy source to maintain an electric potential difference across the two ends of the circuit.
2. To understand basic circuit concepts such as current, voltage, resistance, energy, and power and the mathematical relationship between them.
3. To analyze both series and parallel circuits in order to determine such quantities as the voltage drop across and current in individual resistors and the battery.

Our Lesson Plans and Pacing Guide allocate six days to an understanding of basic circuit concepts and quantities. The remaining seven days are devoted to understanding of the concepts and mathematics of series and parallel circuits (and a day for review).

With the CalcPad section of our website, you will likely never have a shortage of problems to draw from. The Electric Circuits section of our Calculator Pad includes 15 problem sets with well over 100 problems. We used this bank of problems to create five custom CalcPad problem sets for the Algebra-Based Physics course. But if you need more problems, you will find them among these 15 problem sets. With a Task Tracker subscription and our directions and video walk-throughs, you can even create your own custom problem sets or edit one of ours.

### DC Circuit Builder

One of the simulations in the Physics Interactives section is DC Circuit Builder. This simulation provides the user a virtual electronic circuit board. Add resistors, light bulbs, wires and ammeters to build a circuit. Explore Ohm's law. Compare and contrast series, parallel, and combination circuits. Use a voltmeter to measure voltage drops. We have created five different student activities for use with this simulation and four interactive Concept Checkers.

### Combination Circuits

We have not included combination circuits in our Lesson Plans for this level of course. But there is plenty of resources on our website for this topic. You will find written and video tutorials and CalcPad problem sets (Set EC15). Levels 9 - 18 of our Equivalent Resistance Interactive is great practice for combination circuits. And finally, Mission EC11 of our Minds On Physics program is a great skill building exercise for combination circuits.

### Other Resources

We pretty much relied on everything we have in creating our Lesson Plans. But there is one resource that we did not list in our Lesson Plans that you may find to be very helpful:

1. Concept Builder: Know Your Potential
Students use the concept of electric potential to predict which bulbs light in a complex circuit and to identify the electric potential value at various locations in a circuit.

### Also Available ...

Physics teachers may find the following for-sale tools to be useful supplements to our Lesson Plan and Pacing Guide section:

1. Task Tracker Subscription (annual purchase)
A subscription allows teachers to set up classes, add students, customize online assignments, view student progress/scores, and export student scores. Task Tracker accounts allow your students to begin assignments in class or at school and to finish them at home. View our Seat and Cost Calculator for pricing details.

2. The Solutions Guide
We publish a free curriculum with >200 ready-to-use Think Sheets for developing physics concepts. The Solutions Guide is a download containing the source documents, PDFs of source documents, and answers/solutions in MS Word and PDF format. An expanded license agreement is included with the purchase. (Cost: \$25 download)

3. Teacher Presentation Pack
This is a large collection of downloadable content packed with nearly 190 Microsoft PowerPoint slide decks, the corresponding Lesson Notes (as PDF and fully-modifiable MS Word format), about 170 animations (in .gif, .png, and .mp4 file formats), a countless number of ready-to-use images (including the original source documents that would allow for easy modification of those images), and a license that allows teachers to modify and use all the content with their classes on password-protected sites (such as course management systems).  (Cost: \$40 download)

4. Question Bank
We distribute a Question Bank that includes more than 9300 questions neatly organized according to topic. The Question Bank is the perfect tool for busy teachers or new teachers. Even if you don't use the website with your classes, the Question Bank will assist you in quickly putting together quizzes, tests and other documents with high-quality questions that target student's conceptions of physics principles. And if you do use The Physics Classroom website, the Question Bank is the perfect complement to the materials found at the website. (Cost: \$25 download)