Student's Problem-Solving Skill On Momentum Conservation Law

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Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 218First International Conference on Science, Mathematics, and Education, (ICoMSE 2017)Student’s Problem-Solving Skill on MomentumConservation Law1st Dina PrihartantiSMK Negeri 1 PanggungrejoBlitar Regency, IndonesiaCorresponding author:dinaprihar@gmail.com2nd Lia YuliatiPhysics Department, Faculty ofMathematics and Natural ScienceState University of MalangMalang, Indonesialiayuliati68@gmail.comAbstract— Problem-solving skill is one of thecompetencies that must be achieved by vocational students.This study aimed to describe the problem-solving skill ofstudents on the concept of momentum's conservation law. Theparticipants of this study were 28 students of eleventh gradersat SMK in Blitar in the academic year 2016/2017. The datadescription of student’s problem-solving skill obtainedthrough tests and interviews. Analysis data was performed byanalyzing the test results of per item answer to questions. Theresults showed that the students' problem-solving skill wasstill less optimal, namely on the indicator of determining thestrategy, applying the strategies and evaluating the solutions.Keywords— problem-solving, momentum conservationlawI.INTRODUCTIONProblem-solving skill is one of the competencies thatshould be reached by the students, especially vocationalstudents. The characteristic of vocational senior highschool as one of the formal education is aiming at resultingin skillful, competitive, and ready to work students anddemanding them to have skill in problem-solving.Problem-solving skill is beneficial to result in theinnovative solution to face current and future worldproblems so that the problem -solving skill becomes one ofbasic standard competency that should be reached by 21 stcentury education [1]. According to Preseissen in Costa,problem-solving as one of the complex thinking transformation) to identify the problem, determinethe alternative solution and test the feasibility, evaluate thesolution, and generalize the solution [2]. The problemsolving skill includes some significant steps, for example,identifying the problem, determining the solving strategy,verifying the solution [3-6].Plenty of previous research that tried to improve theproblem-solving skill by using any learning strategies. Oneof the learning strategies used in the research is ProblemBased Learning [7], modelling learning by usingmetacognitive approach [8], learning through contextualand complex questions [9], interactive problem-solvinglearning assisted by computer [10], learning design of mapsetting by implementing the link maps [11-12], contextbased learning [13], conceptual problem solving [14], andproblem-solving approach through students' reflection withtheir partners [15].Problem-solving skill is closely related to the student’sknowledge structure. In problem-solving, students need3rd Hari WisodoPhysics Department, Faculty ofMathematics and Natural ScienceState University of MalangMalang, from the previous experience includinglearning and daily experiences [16]. Therefore, the dge/physics concept learned [17]. Some cognitiveprocesses are needed to learn the conceptual knowledgeand build the knowledge structure [18]. Based on theconstructivist theory of learning, learning is not merely aknowledge transfer but also how to construct theknowledge by linking their prior knowledge with the newexperience they get [19]. A deep knowledge is needed toactivate the functional understanding that is reasoningcapability in facing different problems and not based on thememory [17-18]. Due to the relationship between reasoningcapability and problem-solving skill, it is essential for theteacher to give a learning design that can train the reasoningcapability to be successful in problem-solving [4].The fact shows that physics learning in Vocational HighSchool tends to be a subject-oriented to exercises in thetextbook and it mostly concerns doing calculatingquestions that only use formulation in calculating. Mazurin Jonassen states that many students are successful infinishing physics items by applying physics formulation ina mathematic procedure without knowing the conceptunderlying it [20]. Facing many items not always trains thefunctional understanding ability in the problem-solving[17,18,20]. The students should be habituated or trained toface new problems by a meaningful explanation to improvethe problem-solving skill [18].The characteristics of physics knowledge that is relatedto physics concepts become an individual problem for thestudents in understanding physics concept and building thephysics knowledge structure, for example, for the topic ofimpulse and momentum [21-22]. The previous researchmostly discussed the students’ difficulties in applying theconcept in the topic of impulse and momentum to the dailyproblems [23-27]. The students were low in connecting thephysics understanding with the application in the dailyfacts; for instance, the students were wrong in interpretingthe momentum and kinetic energy of the objects clashingbecause they did not link the theory of momentum impulseand energy effort theory in the clashing demonstration [23].The students' difficulty in understanding the momentum asa vector magnitude related to momentum conservation [22,27]. The students are difficult in interpreting the concept ofmomentum and energy qualitatively applied in the dailyphysics problems [25-26]. The student’s difficulties inunderstanding the physics concept give an implication thatCopyright 2018, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license 7

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 218physics learning that can develop the functionalunderstanding of the new concept through experiment ordirect observation is urgently needed [17]. The use ofvideo/film can also make the students learn the scienceeasily [28].Based on the explanation above, constructivist learningthat can train the students to activate the functionalunderstanding in problem-solving is needed to improvetheir problem-solving skill. The previous research showedthat map meetings learning including summary lecture,problem-solving session, and the plenary could help thenovice students in understanding the physics concept anddevelop the problem-solving skill [11]. Therefore, thisresearch was conducted to describe the problem-solvingskill on the concept of impulse, momentum, and theory ofmomentum impulse by using map meetings learningdesign.II. METHODSResearch by using mixed methods approach of thisembedded experimental model was conducted in October2016 to 28 eleventh graders of Competency and Expertiseof Light Vehicle Engineering of SMKN 1 PanggungrejoThe academic year of 2016/2017. The learning designapplied in this research was map meeting consisting of thesteps summary lecture, problem-solving session, and theplenary. The collected data were in the form of students'answers in doing the items of the concept of impulse,momentum, and theory of momentum impulse. The datacollecting technique was in the form of test before and afterthe intervention, quiz, and exercise in the discussion ofproblem-solving. The data on students' answers wereanalyzed based on the indicator criteria of the problemsolving skill of IDEAL from Brandsford and Steinincluding the ability to identify the problem, defining andrepresenting the problem, exploring the possible strategies,the act on strategies, and the ability to evaluate the solution(look back and evaluate the effect of your activities). Theresult of analysis of students' answers was confirmed byusing the data of interview results and presented in the formof narrative, picture, and table. From all data of the testsand interview results were then interpreted to be concluded.III. RESULTSThe student's problem-solving skill on the concept ofmomentum conservation is described from the analysis ofstudents' answers in the discussion of the problem-solvingsession, the quiz answer and the answer of pre-test and posttest. There were two description questions explained in thediscussion of problem-solving, one question in the quiz, andone question of pre-test and post-test.Description of Student’s Problem-Solving on theQuestion of Problem-Solving SessionThe question described in the learning for the problemsolving session and on the concept of MomentumConservation Law was about recoil. The questions finishedwere in the form of conceptual and calculation questions.Description of the Analysis Results of Student’s Problem Solving Skill in the Problem Solving Session in the Form ofConceptual QuestionThere were two questions done in this step presented inFig. 1. The question number 1 is about recoil surge of thegun when a bullet shoots by the shooter, and students shouldexplain why the gun recoil is not more dangerous ifcompared to shot by a bullet. While question number 2 wasabout unstable hose tip movement when the faucet wasopened maximally, students should to explain about thisphenomenon and give solution how to make hose, but thewater still can flow swiftly. The analysis result of student'sproblem-solving skill in the problem-solving session aboutthe concept of momentum conservation law is described inTable 1.Fig. 1. The Question of Problem-Solving Session on the Concept of Momentum Conservation Law48

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 218Based on the analysis of students’ answers (Table 1) forthe question given in the problem-solving session, thestudents' problem-solving skill was still less. In case ofrecoil of the shotgun, most of the students could identify theproblem but less completely (A3 level), in the indicator ofdefining the problem, most of the students could mentionthe relevant information although it was lack ofcompleteness (B3 level). In the indicator of determining thestrategy, the students were less suitable for determining thephysics concept (C2 level). In the indicator of applying thestrategy, most of the students could explain the solutionbased on the physics concept although the explanation givenwas less clear and less connected logically; the explanationgiven was still fragmented (E2 level). Meanwhile, for thecase of the motion of the hose tip, most of the studentsshowed the low skill that was level 2 for all indicators.Based on the analysis of students' answers, we can concludethat the students were still low in applying the strategy andevaluating the solution. The examples of students' answersto the discussion questions are presented in Fig. 2. For thequestion number 1, student's answer is No, because the gunand the bullet have a different mass so that when the bulletwas shot, the speed of the bullet and the gun is different, themass of the gun is more significant than the mass of thebullet. While the student was answering or inquiry number2 is Roni must give momentum to the hose with the samesuppression to the water flowing from the hose.Table 1. Description of Students Problem-Solving Skill in the Problem-Solving Session of Momentum Conservation LawNo. IndicatorProblem-Solving SkillsPercentage Number of Students (%)IndicatorCODE43211.Using momentumconservation law tosolve the problemsrelated to recoilphenomena.(the case ofshotgun air)Identify the problemsDefine the fy the problemsA35,71064,290Define the 10,71E7,1410,7171,4310,71Explore the possiblestrategiesAct on StrategiesLook back and evaluate thesolution2.Usingmomentumconservation law tosolve the problemsrelatedtorecoilphenomena. (the case ofwater hose).Explore the possiblestrategiesAct on StrategiesLook back and evaluate thesolution(a)(b)Fig. 2. (a) Example of Students’ Answers to the Question Number 1 (b) Example of Students’ Answer to the Question Number 249

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 218Description of Analysis Result of Student’sProblem-Solving Skill in the Problem-Solving Sessionin the Form of Calculation QuestionThere was one question in the problem-solvingsession, the application of momentum conservationlaw in the form of calculation item as presented in Fig.3. This question is about a fisherman that rides a shipmoving at the speed of 4 m/s, the mass of thefisherman is 60 kg, and the mass of the ship is 80 kg.Suddenly, the net is snagged to stone, so that he mustjump into the water with the opposite direction withthe ship move. If the fisherman jumps at the speed of2 m/s, students should calculate how much the speedof the ship right after the fisherman jumps. Theanalysis result of student’s problem-solving skill in theproblem-solving session about the concept ofmomentum conservation law for the calculationquestion was described like presented in Table 2.Fig. 3. The question in Problem-Solving Session on the Concept of Momentum Conservation Law in the Form of Calculation QuestionTable 2. Description of Student’s Problem-Solving Skill on the Question in Problem-Solving Session about theApplication of the Concept of Momentum Conservation Law in the Form of Calculation QuestionIndicatorProblem-Solving SkillsPercentage Number of Students (%)IndicatorCODE4321Using momentum conservationIdentify the problemsA32,2910,7128,5721,43law in problem-solvingDefine the problemsB10,7139,29500(identifying the problem,Explore the possible strategiesC7,147517,860defining the problem,determining the strategy,Act on StrategiesD32,1446,4321,430applying the strategy,evaluating the solution) for theLook back and evaluate theE21,435017,8610,71case of clashing in the form ofsolutioncalculation.Based on the analysis of students’ answers (Table2) to the question given in problem-solving session inthe form of calculation question, the students'problem-solving skill seemed good enough if it wascompared to the conceptual question. For the indicatorof identifying the problem, most of the students wereat level 4 (A4). For the indicator of defining theproblem was at level 2 since most of the students didnot write down the complete information. Meanwhile,for the other three indicators such as determining thestrategy, applying the strategy, and evaluating thesolution, most of the students were at level 3. Theexample of student' answer for the question ofmomentum conservation law in the form of calculationis presented in Fig. 4.Fig. 4. Example of Student’s Answer of Question in Problem-Solving Session about Concept of Momentum Conservation Law in the Form ofCalculation Item50

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 218Based on the result of interviews with students, thehelp of link maps given in the discussion could not beused by all students optimally for the conceptualquestion. Not all students could use link maps whenanswered the question; some students mentioned thatlink maps helped them especially for calculationitems. The students still got difficulty to connect theconcept of momentum conservation law in solving thedaily problems.The problem-solving skill in applying the conceptof momentum conservation law was also analyzedfrom the answer of the quiz. The question given in thequiz was determining whether the throw of claysticking to the wall violates the momentumconservation law as shown in Figure 5 (a). Theexample of student's answer for the quiz question ispresented in Figure 5 (b). The analysis result ofstudent's problem-solving skill on the quiz questionabout the concept of momentum conservation law isdescribed in Table 3.Description of Student’s Problem-SolvingSkill on the Quiz Question(a)(b)Fig. 5. (a) The quiz question of the concept of momentum conservation law; (b) The example of student’s answer to the quiz question of theconcept of momentum conservation lawTable 3. Description of Students Problem-Solving Skills on Quiz of Momentum Conservation LawIndicatorUsing the momentumconservation law in problemsolving (identifying theproblem, defining theproblem, determining thestrategy, applying strategy,evaluating the solution) for thecase of clashing.Problem Solving SkillsIndicatorPercentage Number of Students (%)CODE4321Identify the problemsA089,2910,710Define the problemsB078,5721,430Explore the possible strategiesC035,7160,713,57Act on StrategiesD014,2985,710Look back and evaluate thesolutionE07,1478,5714,29Based on Table 3, we can see that most of thestudents could identify the problem and define it well.However, the given explanation still did not show theanalysis using momentum conservation law like theexample of student's answer in Fig. 5 (b). The studentonly mentioned the difference of mass between theclay and wall and they did not explain the concept ofthe momentum of both objects.Description of Student’s Problem-Solving Skill onthe Question in Pre-Test and Post-TestBased on the result of pre-test and post-test for theconcept of momentum conservation law, we can knowthat the student's problem-solving skill changed betterthan before. The question done in pre-test and post-testfor such topic is mentioned in Fig. 6. The question isabout four wagon with the similar mass that iscoupling each other but quickly released, and it ispushed to move in v speed. Unfortunately, thesewagons move on the wrong track that leads to thebroken bridge. Students must provide solutions howcan the wagon move in opposite directions so that theminer who is in the rear wagon can be safe. Theexample of student's answer in the pre-test is presentedin Fig. 7 (a) the answer in post-test is presented in Fig.7 (b). The student's answer is presented in Fig. 7 (a)show that students did not give solutions and justrewrite the question, whereas the student's answer inpost-test (Fig. 7 b) shows that students give solutionsby answering that the miner who rides on the mining51

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 218train must put off the wagon the first. Then, thewagons from the front part and push the wagon pushedforward off so that the wagon which he rides on movesin the opposite direction/moves backward, so themining train will be slow down/moves in the oppositedirection. The description of student’s problemsolving skill on the concept of momentumconservation law for the question in pre-test and posttest is shown in Table 4.Based on Table 4, we can know that generally, thestudent’s problem-solving skill for each indicator hasimproved. For the skill of identifying problem, whenpre-test, most of the students could not be able toidentify the problem correctly (60,71%). The studentstended to determine how to make the train was notwrong in the line. When post-test, most of the students(50%) could be able to identify the problem correctlyalthough they did not mention explicitly that wasdetermining how does a train become slow or move.For the indicator of identifying the problem in the pretest, many students (53.57%) who mentionedirrelevant information such as emergency brake andreducing the fuel. In post-test, the student could beable to mention the critical and relevant informationalthough there were some of them who answered lessthoroughly. For the indicator of determining thestrategy and applying the strategy, when pre-test, 75%of the students had not shown the strategy based onphysics concept; they determined the solution basedon the logic and information of the question. However,in post-test, 53.57% of the students seemed to be ableto explain and determine the solution based on themomentum conservation law. From the sequence ofthe students’ sentences of their answers, we can seethat the students’ ability to evaluate the solution in pretest was 60.717 of the students who gave unclear andillogical sentences. However, in post-test, there was abetter change although only 3.57% of the students whocould give an answer clearly which was focused andcorrelated logically; 64.29% of the students gave lessprecise and less logical answers and only 7.14% of thestudents who gave answers with all sentences whichwere unclear and illogical.Fig. 6. Question of Pre-Test and Post-Test regarding Momentum Conservation Law(a)(b)Fig. 7. (a). Example of Student’s Answer in Pre-Test; (b) Example of Student’s Answer in Post-Test52

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 218Table 4. Description of Student’s Problem-Solving on the Question in Pre-Test and Post-Test Regarding Momentum ConservationLawProblem Solving SkillsProblemsPercentage Number of Students (%)IndicatorIndicatoronCODE4321Using momentumPre-test025,0060,71 14,29Identify the problemsAconservation law inPost-test32,1450,0017,860solving the problemPre-test017,8628,57 53,57(identifying theDefine the problemsBproblem, defining thePost-test25,0050,0017,86 7,14problem, determiningExplore the possiblePre-test010,7114,29 75,00Cthe strategy, applyingstrategiesPost-test10,7153,5732,14 3,57the strategy, evaluatingPre-test017,8614,29 75,00the solution) for theAct on StrategiesDPost-test3,5742,8650,00 3,57recoil phenomenon.Look back and evaluate thePre-test017,8621,43 60,71EPost-test3,5725,0064,29 7,14solutionQuantitatively, the mean score of the students in pre-test and post-test increased 37.95; from the mean score of pretest which was 20.89 changed to 58.84 in post-test. The calculation of N-gain on the mean score of pre-test and posttest got the score of 0.48 meaning that the improvement of student's problem-solving skill on the concept of momentumconservation law was categorized as moderate.IV. DISCUSSIONThe analysis result of student’s answer to thequestion in problem-solving session about the conceptof momentum conservation law showed the student’sproblem-solving skill which was relatively low indetermining strategy, applying the strategy, andevaluating the solution on the new conceptualquestions for the students. The physics concept usedwas still relatively improper. For example, for the caseof recoil surge of a harmless gun, the studentsanswered that it was harmless due to the massdifference. Although the students wrote down theequation of the summation of before momentum andafter momentum, the big difference between the gunsurge speed with the bullet was unexplained regardingthe mass difference. Therefore, the students' answersdid not give a complete explanation about thecorrelation between the danger of the gun recoil surgebased on the momentum conservation law. The similarthing also happened in the case of determining the wayto make the tip of the hose became stable when thewater was flown swiftly. Some students stated that thetip of the hose should be given momentum with thesimilar suppression on the water. The students’ answershowed the less correct and less complete explanationregarding the momentum conservation law. The termof giving momentum is relevant if we state giving theexternal force. For the system consisting of hose andwater, the unstable motion of the hose tip was due tothe swift flow of the water. This case is based on themomentum conservation law stating that the numberof the momentum of the hose tip and the water flowafter the faucet is opened should be similar to thenumber of momentum number before the faucets areopened which is zero. Therefore, the external force forthe hose tip should be given, and it is minimallyproportional to the momentum change of the hose tip.Based on the answer given by the student, the studentsseemed did not give a correct explanation based on themomentum conservation law. The students'explanation showed the incomplete knowledgestructure and the concepts that did not correlate witheach other; whereas, broad conceptual knowledge isnecessary for problem-solving [16]. The typicalresearch result was also reported by Ivowi stating thatmost of the students could not be able to apply theprinciple of conservation law [29].The weakness of problem-solving skill for theindicator of applying the strategy can also be seenfrom the analysis result of the students' answers in thequiz session. The less in-depth explanation which didnot focus on the problem tended to happen in theproblem-solving process done by the students. Forinstance, in case of clay thrown into the wall, thestudents did not focus on analyzing the conditionbefore and after the clashing moment based on themomentum conservation law. Most of the studentsexplained that the wall had an external force so that theclay could stick to the wall. This case was relevant tothe previous research result reporting that the studentswere hard to understand the momentum conservationlaw and define the system [22]. Besides, the time ofdoing the quiz items was limited, and it became thefactor of the lack of success in problem-solving. In theproblem-solving process, the students need enough53

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 218time to think, analyze, and try to solve the problem[30].The student's problem-solving skill on thecalculation question showed an excellent enoughproblem-solving skill of the students compared to theconceptual question. The students could give thecorrect answer although there were some of them whowere less meticulous in writing the denomination. Thiscase showed that the students felt easier in doingmathematical problem than the conceptual problem.Based on the questionnaire data before theintervention, it was found that the students were notused to finish the physics questions in the form ofcalculation and they tended to repeat the exercise inthe textbook. This case is matched with the previousresearch indicating that to improve the problemsolving skill, and the students should be habituated ortrained to face a new problem with a meaningfulexplanation [16]. Facing many items do not alwaystrain the functional understanding ability in problemsolving [16]; [17]; [20]. In-Depth knowledge is alsoneeded to activate the functional understanding tosolve the problem for the different situation [16-17].Correlating the physics concept to the problemfaced and applied it to find a solution are the activitiesfor the indicator of applying the strategy that becomesthe core of problem-solving activity. The result of thisresearch showed that the students could not be able toactivate the practical understanding. This case isrelevant to the previous research result reporting thatthe students got difficulty in interpreting the conceptqualitatively related to the energy and momentumapplied in the real situation [23,25]. Although thestudents' analysis was less thorough and complete, thestudents could be able to answer directly to a correctsolution. This case is matched with the previousresearch stating that the students got benefit inconstructing a new knowledge from a real learningexperience [31].The student’s problem-solving skill on the conceptof momentum conservation law showed theimprovement between before and after theintervention. Such improvement happened to allindicators such as identifying the problem, definingthe problem, determining the strategy, applying thestrategy, and evaluating the solution. However, theimprovement happened to the indicator of applying thestrategy and evaluation the solution was still lessoptimal, and the most of the students indicated thiscase was at level 3 and 2 for these particular indicators.The analysis of the student's answer showed that theywere less able to apply the concept of momentumconservation law in solving the daily physicsproblems. This fact was supported with a writteninterview result (questionnaire) in which we found thatthe students were still used to face physics questionsin the form of calculation and to emphasize on theconcept application on the daily problems. Theproblem solving oriented to the use of the formulationfor the mathematical questions did not show thestudents' understanding of the concept used. [20].The student’s lack of skill in applying the strategyand evaluating the solution was possibly due to theirlow understanding of the concept of momentumconservation law, or they were hard to correlate theconcept learned to the problem faced. The interviewresults showed that not all students could use the helpof link maps when they did the question. Somestudents mentioned that the link maps helped them incalculation question. This case showed that thestudents could not be able to interpret the physicalmeaning of physics equation and they only saw it as amathematical equation so that they were difficult toconnect the concept with the daily conceptualproblems. The students see the physics equation asonly a mathematical equation [32].V” CONCLUSIONThe student’s problem-solving on the concept ofmomentum conservation law was still less optimal forthe indicator of applying the strategy and evaluatingthe solution. The students' less understanding causedthis case to the concept, and they were not used to facethe contextual and conceptual questions. They werestill lack of activating the functional understanding ofproblem-solving. Some alternatives can be done tomake the students more experts in solving theproblem, especially in physics learning such ashabituating the students with the activity ofconstructivist learning to make the concept understoodby the students more structuralized and morethorough. The students are needed to be habituated toface contextual questions and train the reasoningability by applying the concept so that they not onlyapply the formulation based on their memory but alsothey have a complicated thinking process. Thestudents are needed to be habituated to understand thephysical meaning of the physics equation rather thanonly remember the mathematical formulationREFERENCES[1][2][3]The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, The MILE Guide:Milestone

understanding in problem-solving is needed to improve their problem-solving skill. The previous research showed that map meetings learning including summary lecture, problem-solving session, and the plenary could help the novice students in understanding the physics concept and develop the problem-solving skill [11]. Therefore, this

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