Separating Mixtures - Assessment

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Students will be able to show their learning on separating substances.

Big Idea

How are characteristic properties used to separate mixtures?

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Purpose of Lesson:

 The purpose of this lesson is to give the students a chance to solidify their science content and make connections with the previous unit and real life.


Major Strategies to Watch for:

1) Picture hook- An intriguing and thought provoking picture to stress the point that our lives of relative ease are built on industrial processes.

2) Animated Interactive Presentation- Students see and discuss the separation of mixtures in a visual format.


3 minutes

Learning Goal: Show your understanding of separation of substances.

Opening Question:  What types of things in are lives are actually mixtures?  How do we separate them to use them?

Students record their opening question on their learning goal sheet and are ready to start class 3 min after the bell has rung.  I reward students who get started early with ROCK STAR SCIENTIST tickets.  

Follow the links to learn more about the beginning of class strategies and ROCK STAR scientist tickets


5 minutes


How is separating mixtures a part of our life?  What do you think the artist is trying to portray by placing the elegantly dressed women relaxing in front of an oil refinery?  

In this video, I think out loud about what this image illuminates about our lives and mixtures.

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10 minutes

On the day of any summative assessment, I like to take the time to wrap-up my instruction by using an animated interactive power point review. The purpose of the review is to give the students one more look at the content this time at a global perspective so that students can make connections and solidify their understanding.  

In this Separating Mixtures review I want to focus students on some of the main ideas.

1) Characteristic properties are used to identify substances and separate mixtures.

2) There are different ways to separate mixtures based on the type.

3)  Mixtures make up most of the materials found on Earth. Separating mixtures is important to getting the materials we need, but can effect the land.

For me, there are two important instructional aspects of the power point. First, I set it up to be interactive with several processing slides within the presentation so that students can hear thoughts from their peers as well as me.

Second, I use animation techniques in the powerpoint to capture student attention, include non-verbal visual cues, and allow for storytelling.  Making animated powerpoints can be time consuming and tricky, but I love it and find it well worth the time.  

Below are several screenshots of how to do different animations.  Once you have the skills, the rest is up to your imagination!

Making basic entrance and exit animations

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Using animations to tell a story

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Adding in movement lines

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10 minutes

The purpose of this section is to assess students in their basic understanding of separation of substances. During this unit students have shown their understanding in a variety of ways including writings, labs, and formative checks. This Separation of Substance summative assessment is designed to do a final check on the essential learnings of the unit.  

I rarely give long tests in class any more because I simply don't have time. Now I give smaller more focused tests that give me exactly the information that I need. On the day after the test, I plan a reteach and extend day to ensure that students get one more chance for targeted interventions.


3 minutes

Closing Statement:  Today we showed our understanding of how people can separate mixtures.

Closing Question: Why is being about to separate mixtures important?

Closure depends greatly on timing and is not as easy to plan in advance as opening.  You can find more information about how I manage closure here.