Reflection: Standards Alignment Subatomic Particles and Relative Masses - Section 1: Why this lesson?


The Next Generation Science Standards are multi-layered, encompassing Science and Engineering Practices (SP), Crosscutting Concepts (CC), and Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), as well as the Common Core State Standards for Science & Technical Subjects.  Each lesson in my classroom will address at least one of these in preparing students to meet specific Performance Expectations (PE) that are currently proposed by the Next Generation Science Standards for high school chemistry courses (to see a full list of proposed Performance Expectations for each grade/subject, see this link).

I feel like I have many options for lesson development and standards alignment through using the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Sometimes before switching to this set of standards, there were skills that I thought were really important for my students to learn that were not necessarily correlated to my state's science standards, primarily because the state standards were written to specifically address content knowledge and not necessarily skills.  The NGSS have specific skills that students need to master described in the Science and Engineering Practices.  The NGSS also uses Crosscutting Concepts to describe the breadth of understanding and patterns throughout all grade levels and science disciplines.

Even though I could easily cover the concepts in this lesson as a five-minute "aside" during class, I think it is much more effective for students to actually calculate the relative masses and take the time to make the representative models.  This lesson falls during the first week of my chemistry course and makes a really good low-risk hands-on activity.  I also get an idea about which students are better at mathematical problem solving than others.

  Standards Alignment: Aligning to Next Generation Science Standards
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Subatomic Particles and Relative Masses

Unit 1: Atomic Structure & the Periodic Table
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT name and describe relative masses of the three subatomic particles that make up an atom.

Big Idea: Proton mass = neutron mass >> electron mass; Electrons have about 1/1800th the mass of a proton or neutron.

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model subatomic masses
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