Long after the details of physics or chemistry have faded from memory you will still retain those approaches or 'habits' that you took with you out of high school. You will also find that learning new strategies is not difficult while at the same time un-learning bad ones is nearly impossible.
In most teacher preparation programs you are bombarded with what are typically called strategies. In reality, most of these are actually tactics used to implement the more general pedagogical strategies. Semantics aside, many of these are the difference between success and failure at achieving set goals. This section provides a clearing house for those tools and strategies I find useful. Most of them have applications far beyond the classroom. Good strategies for communications, project management, and time management are universally applicable. The can be used for a wide variety of applications from school, to sports and in the workplace.
We've all seen the schematic diagrams that come with electronic appliances or assembly instructions that come with almost anything you buy. These are both analogies to physicsal systems. They are 2D graphical representations of the real work. They are stripped down to the essential information you need to solve the problem at hand; hook up your stereo, assemble that new bicycle.
Many people struggle with physics because many classes are taught as one continuous series of word problems, an essential aspect of solving these problem is to properly 'visualize' what is going on. For virtually every application there are standards for how to diagram systems and problems. These standards have been time tested and are important tools to everyone concerned. If you do not already diagram your problems, you need to start. need to learn the accepted standards so that you may communicate clearly with others. Try some of these sites to see if you know how to diagram problems effectively.
GO here for examples tutorials etc.
RIGID BODY DIAGRAMS
used for all of the following
Depending on the application, there is always an accepted means of graphically representing the key pieces of a real system. Knowing these provides the scientist, engineer, or programmer an efficient way of visualizing the problem at hand and communicating it to others.
There are also many software packages that can be used to produce these drawing. Any general CAD software will do most of these. Special software for Schematics, logic and block diagrams include libraries and features such as reports like connection lists and also interface to other programs for analysis and other functions that are related to the same data.
By starting a plan or design from the end product (the top) and working backward you quickly eliminate wasted effort because if an action does not lead to the final product it would not be part of the planned. Think about the different was you could apply this concept to different every-day tasks.