Reflection: Accountability Electrons: Where they Live and How they Act - Section 3: Mini-lesson and Guided Practice


One of my students’ early critiques of my class is “This is not a math class.” My reply is that you cannot do science without doing math. Math, I note, is the language of science. After a few weeks students start to accept that we will be doing math in the science classroom. Of course, unlike some math classes, the math is always contextualized and embedded in a practical application. In this lesson, going from a color to being able to describe the underlying physical measurements of the light is that context. The challenge of teaching math in the science class is that sometimes students are not prepared with the basic underlying math skills that I would assume 11th graders would possess. What this means is that some students quickly master what I am teaching while others languish and begin to get frustrated.

How I respond to this is very important. Here is what I have found works. First, make sure that I fully understand the places where students are likely to get stuck. I then need to make sure I have a way to articulate the student challenge and a solution to that challenge. Once I am firmly rooted in how to teach the content, I teach it, and I look for allies. Who can help the class move forward by being a tutor? Those students who have shown mastery can walk around and answer questions as well as or not better than I can. The one thing I always emphasize is that math is like any skill—it requires some patience and practice to master, and going through this process is one way that my students will end the year smarter than they began it.

  Math is the Language of Science
  Accountability: Math is the Language of Science
Loading resource...

Electrons: Where they Live and How they Act

Unit 3: The Atom
Lesson 4 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to state the electron configuration for the first twenty elements on the periodic table, and they will be able to use the speed of light formula to calculate frequency when wavelength is known.

Big Idea: Electron configuration describes where electrons are located. The speed of light formula helps explain what happens when electrons go from the ground state to the excited state.

  Print Lesson
3 teachers like this lesson
800px single electron orbitals
Similar Lessons
Common Groups of Elements
High School Chemistry » Atomic Structure & the Periodic Table
Big Idea: The periodic table is organized in such a way that we can infer properties of elements based on their positions.
Los Angeles, CA
Environment: Urban
Emilie Hill
Modeling the Atomic Structure
High School Chemistry » Unit 1-The Atom
Big Idea: Students model the structure of an atom using an guided inquiry investigation.
Palos Heights, IL
Environment: Suburban
Eric Girard
History of the Atom
High School Chemistry » Unit 2: Matter, Atoms, and the Periodic Table
Big Idea: Scientists have investigated atoms throughout history which has led to many changes regarding our understanding of the structure of the atom.
Chula Vista, CA
Environment: Urban
Rachel Meisner
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload