Reflection: Checks for Understanding Density of Gases - Section 2: Elicit


Once students are given directions  and set out to begin the work of planning investigations I find it very valuable to spend that time checking in and listening to individual group discussions. Encouraging your students to think aloud how they might attack a given lab investigation, the variables they have to consider, the materials they need,etc,  is an important part of understanding student learning.

By taking the time to listen in I can also drop some pointed questions or "things to think about" to help guide their thinking and make the planning process go more smoothly for them. I encourage you to develop a culture in your classroom where once students are asked to begin their work independent of your instruction that you move around the room listening watching and interacting, keeping all your senses open for opportunities both to learn about student something and guide them.

I also find this time important to check in with students who may have learning challenges or are struggling by providing some differentiated scaffolds to keep their progress moving along with the rest of the class. These include things like helping them build a step-by-step outline to then later fill-in for the steps of a lab or by explicitly letting them know what variables they should be using.

  Listening to Student Ideas
  Checks for Understanding: Listening to Student Ideas
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Density of Gases

Unit 1: Heat Transfer and Interactions of Matter
Lesson 3 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to use a model to determine that densities of gases are extremely low compared to the densities of liquids and solids.

Big Idea: This investigation uses a simple method that allows for capturing the gas released from a chemical reaction to help students determine the density of the released gas.

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