Reflection: Rigor Day 1 The Chemical Side of Matter - Section 4: Evaluate/Exit Day 1


Examining Data to Draw Conclusions

In The Chemical Side of Matter lesson, I worked with my students on analyzing data to draw conclusions which supports the NGSS science and engineering practice #4. I guide them through this practice by having them analyze the data they collected while recording the temperatures, on a data table, as substances reacted and became a new substance. Using a data table, helps students organize results of the investigation so they can find any patterns or identify relationships to make sense of the outcome.  We further discuss the importance of data and how using it is necessary to draw scientific conclusions to further develop scientific knowledge and better understand outcomes and phenomena. Furthermore, they need to have the opportunity to reflect on their investigation outcomes to interpret why it might have happened.  This analysis process is an ongoing skill that students need to develop because outcomes are not always clear-cut enough to determine a conclusion. It’s an ongoing practice that requires students to use other skills like comparing and contrasting the data, using logical reasoning, and/or mathematical thinking to build analytical skills in order to use the data as evidence to support their conclusion.

I dedicated a portion of this lesson to analyzing data because it is a skill my students still need work on.  I often find my students can organize the data in a chart or table, but struggle with connecting it to their conclusion on an investigation. To do this, I presented my students with questions:

    ~Why do you think you have to wait for a minute before recording the temperature?

    ~What happened during the reaction?  Did the temperature increase or decrease?

    ~Which cup produced an energy gain and explain why you think it happened in this cup, but not the other.

I used these questions to guide my students through the analysis process. These guiding questions get students to examine the data they have in their table so they can conclude that chemical reactions produce heat. By determining heat is produced during this investigation students should be able to apply prior knowledge of the particle theory that as the temperature increases the particles begin to move quickly and become a new substance. This result is an irreversible change. By noting temperature changes, they are able to determine if energy is gained or lost during a chemical reaction and how this facilitates a chemical reaction. Overall, it is a skill that needs continuous practice. The more students engage in interpreting data, the more evidence based their conclusions will become.


  Examining Data to Draw Conclusions
  Rigor: Examining Data to Draw Conclusions
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Day 1 The Chemical Side of Matter

Unit 2: Structure, Function, and Properties of Matter
Lesson 16 of 19

Objective: SWBAT observe the effects of chemical changes in a chemical reaction.

Big Idea: Students will observe a chemical reaction and use temperature change to determine if heat was gained or lost.

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Science, Chemical Reactions in Matter, matter, structure, function
  60 minutes
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