Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge (Day 1) Air Really Does Matter - Section 2: Engage

Chain Note

I begin today’s lesson with a chain note strategy to activate students’ prior knowledge and experiences about air. This strategy begins with a piece of paper and a question related to the lesson written at the top.  The paper is circulated among a small group of students, one at a time. When the student receives the paper, they add an idea or two in either a sentence form or phrase and pass it on to the next student. This next student receives the paper, analyzes the chain of responses and either adds a new one or builds off of a previous one.  The chain continues as many rounds as the teacher puts into place.

The chain note strategy gives student the chance to activate their thinking, examine others’ way of thinking, and make connections between them both with the intention to elicit a new level of thinking. It promotes student learning by engaging all students as contribute ideas throughout the activity.  Before implementing this strategy for the first time, it is best to model its use and purpose as with any new activity.

I launched this lesson off with the chain note strategy to activate my students thinking and understandings about air.  I selected this strategy because in the last lesson, students had wavering thoughts about air being a form of matter; therefore, using the chain note strategy to start off the lesson, gave students the chance to think  about on paper before taking part in various activities to determine if air is a form of matter.  After the strategy activity finished, all groups reconvened as a whole class. I asked for students to share with the class to give other classmates a chance to respond with feedback whether they agreed or disagreed. This type of interaction gave students a chance to justify their way of thinking.

Connection to Prior Knowledge: Chain Notes

(Day 1) Air Really Does Matter

Unit 2: Structure, Function, and Properties of Matter
Lesson 4 of 19

Big Idea: Students conduct several investigations to determine air is a form of matter.

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Subject(s):
Science, structure, function
55 minutes

Carrie Boyden

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