Reflection: Student Ownership Fishy Mixture Water Quality Inquiry Lab (Part 3/4) - Section 3: Extend


This section of the lesson is where you will see student collaboration at its best. The act of planning and building a physical object to solve a problem can be engaging for all students. It is easy for students to rush and/or get caught up in the design/building process without taking the time for thinking through the steps. I've structured this to be a plan and build project rather than a trial and error project (although an element of trial and error exists). I work with students to visualize and explain their choices for building the WWTPs, so that the design is mindful of the actual learning objectives around mixtures. It is very important to provide many checks for understanding with students during this part of the lesson to make sure students are creating a conceptual understanding of what they are doing. I ask questions like, "So, why did you decide to use the coffee filter?" or "What to you think the screen will do? What part of the mixture will it separate? Why?"

Safety is another component that I teach, model and enforce in the lab. While there are no serious hazards with the water sample itself, this lab can be hard to control. The enthusiasm can take over with students trying to get materials and see what other groups are doing. I have a strict "one person away from the table at a time policy" to help minimize accidents in the lab. I often have students complete a self-assessment of how safely they completed the lab in order to encourage self reflection and self/group monitoring of behavior.

  Plan, Build, ENGAGE
  Student Ownership: Plan, Build, ENGAGE
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Fishy Mixture Water Quality Inquiry Lab (Part 3/4)

Unit 7: Physical and Chemical Changes
Lesson 3 of 7

Objective: SWBAT identify, classify and separate different types of mixtures based on physical and chemical properties of matter.

Big Idea: Students explore how complicated mixtures are all around us, affecting us in ways we rarely think about. While some mixtures help us, they may harm the environment.

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