DAVID LIAO.COM home handouts tutoring links

I tutor physics, calculus, and linear algebra.
I apply physics education research to tutor AP Physics 1.

Understand concepts


Visualize concepts using illustrated handouts.


Make review sheets using a template.

I use multiple representations (illustrations, mathematical representations, and words) to review concepts. I walk through cartoons of experiments to highlight individual features of physical laws.

[1] A. Arons, "Student patterns of thinking and reasoning (II)," Phys. Teach. 22, 21-26 (January 1984). <doi:10.1119/1.2341444>.

[2] E. Etkina and A. Van Heuvelen, "Investigative Science Learning Environment -- A Science Process Approach to Learning Physics," in Research-Based Reform of University Physics, edited by E.F. Redish and P.J. Cooney (American Association of Physics Teachers, College Park, MD, 2007), Reviews in PER Vol. 1, <http://www.per-central.org/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=4988>.

Understand strategies

Learn steps

Learn the steps in SiQuENC & REASoN using an eTutorial.

Review steps

Tape a printable SiQuENC & REASoN guide to your wall.

I use a mnemonic called SiQuENC to help students to remember to use multiple representations when solving physics problems.

[3] J. Larkin, J. McDermott, D. Simon, and H. Simon, "Expert and novice performance in solving physics problems," Sci. 208, 1335-1342 (1980), <doi:10.1126/science.208.4450.1335>.

[4] E. Etkina, M. Gentile, and A. Van Heuvelen, College Physics (Pearson, Glenview, IL, 2014), pp. xliv-xlv. <amazon:0321715357>.

[5] The following article appeared in D. Liao, "A SiQuENC for solving physics problems," Phys. Teach., 56, 264-265 (April 2018) and may be found at doi:10.1119/1.5028250. 🗎 PDF. Copyright 2018 American Association of Physics Teachers. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Association of Physics Teachers. This article is posted on my personal webpage in accordance with AAPT guidelines.

Become fluent with exam-style language

Learn steps

Review the steps in REASoN by reviewing the eTutorial.


Read explanations: play Explanation Jeopardy.


Compose explanations: play a sentence-sorting game.

I use a mnemonic called REASoN to help students to think of points to include in arguments when addressing free-response questions, including the dreaded paragraph-length response, in AP Physics 1.

[6] J. Speirs, W. Ferm, Jr., M. Stetzer, and B. Lindsey, "Probing student ability to construct reasoning chains: a new methodology." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, July 20-21, 2016. <doi:10.1119/perc.2016.pr.077>.

[7] William N. Ferm Jr., J. Caleb Speirs, MacKenzie R. Stetzer, and Beth Lindsey, "Investigating student ability to follow and interact with reasoning chains," presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2016, Sacramento, CA, 2016, <doi:10.1119/perc.2016.pr.025>.

[8] K. McNeill, D. Lizotte, J. Krajcik, and R. Marx, "Supporting Students' Construction of Scientific Explanations by Fading Scaffolds in Instructional Materials," J. Learn. Sci. 15(2): 153-191 (2006), <doi:10.1207/s15327809jls1502_1>.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Attribute by leaving the URL davidliao.com intact in each handout you share. © Copyright 2018 David Liao.
AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the creation of this website. This website is not endorsed by or affiliated with the College Board.