Physical Science: Today we continued our discussion about the scientific method, focusing on analysis and writing conclusions.I introduced Claim-Evidence-Reasoning model for writing conclusions. I first encountered this at a Wisconsin Society of Science Teacher (@WIScienceTeach) Convention session hosted by Greta Voit (@gretavoit) and Kirsten Wiesneski(@mswiesneski). Below is a basic outline of what the students are supposed to write for a conclusion.
Here is the video as well, so you don’t have to look for it.
Students practiced writing their own CER statements, and then shared in small groups. I went around and had one student share with me what they wrote. We dissected it, and pointed out the Claim, the Evidence, and the Reasoning in what they wrote. Most students did really well for their first efforts.
Then they were given a murder mystery to read and do a C-E-R statement for. I’ll share more on that tomorrow.
Chemistry: We finished our discussion on the Mass and Change lab today. Below is a gallery of the boards that were presented.
In the end we not only discussed differences between physical and chemical changes, but also indicators of a chemical change, and how they are indicators of POTENTIAL chemical change. We also had to discuss what a system was, and how our open systems got us into trouble, over and over again. An open system being a system where we added or removed mass from our containers (system) during the test. Instead, we need a closed system, where we always account for where matter ends up.
In a closed system it was decided, the mass before and after a change, regardless if it was a chemical or physical change, is the same. Sound familiar? Antoine says it does!
Physics of Light: Today was white board day as well. Here is a gallery of boards from our Shadow Labs.
All groups were able to use our particle model for light to describe why they thought the shadows formed in accordance with the data. So tomorrow, we deploy the model!
Of course the real fun started when one group, then another, graphed their data. The relationships turn out directly proportional for each data set (minus the alignment one, to hard to graph).
“What does the slope mean, Mr. Schwaller?”
“No idea, maybe it s geometry thing. Go ask your math teacher.”
So they did. Which lead to a long discussion about the shadow lab with our upper level math instructor. He came over after school, and he explained what they had worked out. Then we spent another 15 minutes looking at different ways to analyze the data to make sense out of it.
“This is pretty cool stuff. I would love to sit in on your class and get the science part of all this. I know the math, but this stuff is pretty cool.”
“It is cool, but it’s also why we science teachers never get anything done. to distracted by what is interesting and what we don’t quite understand. I’d love to get to the bottom of what these slopes mean.”
Of course, the highlight of my day was when one of my students said, “I think I’m really going to like this class. I mean, I like science, but this seems just so…interesting. You know? Were learning some pretty cool stuff.”
AP Chemistry: We hammered out some more stuff dealing mass laws, and also had our first lab. It was a disaster, but that’s because magnesium ribbon does not burn. Wait, you say it does? Sorry, we proved it doesn’t. GRR!