Reflection: Lesson Planning Density Using Water Displacement to Measure Irregular Solids of the Same Matter - Section 5: Reflecting and Asking Questions


Learning happens over time and not by breezing over topics and moving on. Additionally, the NGSS framework results in students revisiting topics that were originally covered to further develop their understanding, possibly even challenging their previous views.  

Over the course of the last year, I have learned to appreciate this reality. It isn't easy to divert from your lessons but that is how learning is supposed to work. If students want to investigate a certain topic further, but you don't necessarily have a plan, you should allow them to pursue their questions.  

Strategies that we have in our tool kit are then utilized to support these opportunities. If you have a select few strategies to begin with (P.E.O.E., This is what I think...this is what I think now, etc.) you will be able to respond to the uncertainty within a lesson by providing the necessary structure for students to be successful. Teaching the NGSS is not easy.  

I think that the hardest part, in many ways, is teachers letting go of some control. Being a good implementer of the NGSS doesn't mean that you have every detail of what kids will be doing; it means that you have general lesson structures and the bravery to allow the lessons to evolve. Scientists don't know what is going to happen all the time, so your classroom should mimic that uncertainty. That's what makes science so interesting, and middle school students appreciate the freedom and structure you provide to support their growth.

  Building Understanding
  Lesson Planning: Building Understanding
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Density Using Water Displacement to Measure Irregular Solids of the Same Matter

Unit 6: Density
Lesson 4 of 8

Objective: SWBAT use the water displacement method to measure the volume needed to calculate density of irregular solids and determine the meaning of density as a "characteristic property of matter."

Big Idea: Water displacement is a speedy way to measure volume of objects that are not prisms.

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