Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Science Squish

The room is squished while all the science materials are set up and there were a few bumps and breaks today because of it. I'd say we are at max for students and space right now, but we'll figure it out.

As I've been saying again and again, new curriculum is complex as you simply can't anticipate how any lesson is going to go. It brings me back to my first year of teaching when I was religiously following the worm observation lesson. The lesson required students to watch worms under a light bulb for about 10-15 minutes. You can only imagine what started happening with a light bulb and worms in only a few minutes. That's when I realized that some curricula is written with much smaller classrooms in mind and perhaps not tested on real life, big classes in small rooms.

Anyways, today I modeled the raw egg in vinegar chemical reaction and the supersaturated hot water and sugar solution that hopefully will result in rock candy. I popped popcorn to show another chemical reaction, and then the students made catapults and used the popcorn to see the difference between potential and kinetic energy as they catapulted the popcorn all over the room (the custodian wasn't too happy, but hopefully the vacuum will clean it up without too much trouble.)

Tomorrow we'll have the mixtures and solutions lab. Students will mix a lot of ingredients and decide if those mixtures result in a solution or not, then they'll test the solutions/mixtures for density to see what happens when they place a fake jewel into the blend. After that they'll have the chance to mix chemicals to make bouncy balls and slime. Later, if there's still time, they can work on their long term matter/energy project, a project guided by a website, informational texts, and other resources.

Next week students will have a study lab, and the week after that we'll focus on sound. Finally students will take a unit assessment, and then after vacation they'll start their next science rotation.