Day 72 – Particle Model

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Science 8 – I love this lab. Students predict what they’ll get when they mix 50 mL of water with another 50 mL of water, and then they find out that it’s almost 100 mL. They do the same with 50 mL of water with 50 ml of ethanol. To their surprise, it only adds up to around 97 mL. Finally they mix 50 mL of sand into 50 mL of marbles. They now have a model for how matter is made up of particles and how there are spaces between the particles.  Students also learn about miniscus, graduated cylinders and brainstorming errors (why did 50 mL of water + 50 mL of water = 99 mL?).

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Day 70 – Probing for Prior Knowledge

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Science 8 – We started a new unit on matter and fluids today.  First task was to figure out what everyone already knew about the topics.  Students worked together on whiteboards and compiled lists of prior knowledge.  Common things that my students wrote down included: everything is made up of matter and particles, atoms are the smallest types of particles, atoms are made up of electrons, proton and neutrons,  states of matter.

This activity took about 45  minutes because there were lots of questions being asked as we went around the whiteboards.  When I do KWL (Know, Want to know, Learned) activities, they’re usually done within 5 minutes.  Today’s class was much more rich than that.