Reflection: Intrinsic Motivation Introduction to Bonding - Section 2: Do Now and Activator


“Are we doing a lab today?” When I hear that question, and the answer is “no” I cringe inside. Many students love labs. I had a student stop by with his mother after school yesterday so that he could demonstrate for her the flame test we had done a few weeks ago. Clearly, this student found the lab engaging!

In this lab, I could have covered the learning objectives just as easily by having students read about how melting points and conductivity differ. However, I am certain that it would not have been as engaging, nor as memorable. Students enjoyed using the conductivity testers, both on their compounds and on their jewelry and objects around the classroom. Using Bunsen burners is often a source of nervousness and excitement for students, as they recognize the danger of using them. Seeing sugar melt and salt not melt is somehow more rewarding for students than just reading about it.

And so, even though it means a lot of extra work for me in terms of lab setup, I conduct as many labs as I can find that meaningfully reinforce the learning objectives for that week.

With that said, I also recognize that my students need as much experience as possible with reading, writing, and math, and so on the days that we are not doing a lab, I know that I am also doing student a service by emphasizing these equally important tasks. Interspersing labs amidst these tasks increases student learning and engagement in the course. 

  Are We Doing a Lab Today?
  Intrinsic Motivation: Are We Doing a Lab Today?
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Introduction to Bonding

Unit 4: Compounds
Lesson 3 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to use electronegativity values to decide if a bond is ionic or molecular, and describe differences in physical characteristics for substances with each type of bond.

Big Idea: Large differences in electronegativity values between bonding atoms result in ionic bonding. Substances with ionic bonds have different properties than other substances.

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5 teachers like this lesson
Science, Chemistry, ionic bonds, bond formation, NGSS, periodic table, compound
  60 minutes
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