Reflection: Classroom Setup Modeling the Atomic Structure - Section 2: Homework Discussion


To ensure that all students participate in class discussions and shared work, I use a technique called popsicle stick questioning.  This works by writing each student's name on a popsicle stick and placing the sticks inside of an opaque cup so that students can not see a smaller cup placed within the opaque cup.  I then can place student's stick that I want to call on inside the smaller cup and students will not know they have been preselected to participate.  I do not always put students in the "preselect" cup, but if I find that students have not participated in awhile, or I need to assess a particular student's understanding, I can put their name in the smaller cup and get them to participate without them feeling singled out. 

This strategy encourage all students to think and be prepared to answer questions when randomly called on.  Since hands do not have to be raised, students usually do not opt out of answering the question, leading to more students engaging in their own thinking in preparation to be called upon.  All students think they have an equal chance to be called upon, thus this strategy ensures that when you select a student from the middle cup they will tend to have well formulated thoughts.  This strategy also encourages wait time and gives students an opportunity to collect their thoughts.

  Randomly calling on students
  Classroom Setup: Randomly calling on students
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Modeling the Atomic Structure

Unit 1: Unit 1-The Atom
Lesson 3 of 11

Objective: SWBAT differentiate between the sub atomic particles in an atom in terms of charge and location.

Big Idea: Students model the structure of an atom using an guided inquiry investigation.

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