Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Introduction to Ions - Section 5: Application


I embed two high-leverage strategies in this lesson to increase student learning.  

First, I connect to prior knowledge. Looking at ions and their charges is a direct extension of what we did in the previous lesson. It requires an understanding of the previous lesson, but is not such a huge leap that it would overwhelm students. This is important--I like to think of my class as a series of lessons. There is a story line. Starting each class with a brief recap of the previous lesson, and then naming how that lesson links to today's lesson, is a common feature of my classroom.

The second strategy is continuous assessment. During the application section of this lesson I do a lap. I tell students to not raise their hand to ask for help because I am checking in with everyone—I literally have my room set up in such a way that I can walk a circular route and look at every student’s work. I do this because students respond well to the individual attention I provide them. If I find myself repeating the same instruction 2-3 times, I use this data to inform my catch and release moments. During my lap I also get to identify very strong students who may need more of a challenge, as well as students who are struggling and may need to go backwards to a previous lesson before they can move forward with the current one. By following these two strategies, students get scaffolded instruction that moves their learning forward in a logical progression.

  Catching them in the Act
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Catching them in the Act
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Introduction to Ions

Unit 3: The Atom
Lesson 7 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to model how atoms become ions.

Big Idea: Atoms become ions by gaining or losing electrons. Atoms become positively charged when they lose electrons and they become positively charged when they gain electrons. Whether an atom is likely to become positive or negative depends on its valence electron

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