Reflection: Rigor Mixtures Labs Day 1: Separating Mixtures and Rates of Dissolving - Section 4: Writing Procedures for Separating Mixtures

 

In order to maintain the rigor of this procedure writing process, resist the urge to step in and help.  Some students may have a clear plan for how to separate the mixture immediately, others will struggle to develop a plan.  Be careful with your line of questioning if students ask for help that you do not lead them to the correct answer.  Students need to experience the uncomfortable feeling that can occur during problem solving so that they can learn how to persevere.  

In this particular case, students often get stuck with how to separate the salt from the sand.  Below are some questions you might ask them instead of providing them with the answer:

What are some ideas you have considered (even if you know they won't work)?  What was it about those ideas that wouldn't work?

Go look at the lab set up.  When you look at the tools you have to work with, are their any tools whose structure could help you complete this task?

For each tool at the lab station, discuss as a group how each of them could be used to help.  If you don't know what a tool is called or used for, look it up on your lab tool reference sheet.

Can you eliminate any of the tools that would not be helpful? 

Do you have a text reference that might help you?

  Problem Solving: Resist the Urge to Help!
  Rigor: Problem Solving: Resist the Urge to Help!
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Mixtures Labs Day 1: Separating Mixtures and Rates of Dissolving

Unit 4: Physical Properties: Molecular Arrangement and Phase Changes
Lesson 2 of 12

Objective: The student will be able to write a detailed procedure and model various methods that mixutres can be separated by physical means.

Big Idea: Students develop their own procedures to separate a mixture and then carry out their plan using lab tools of their choice!

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