Reflection: Classroom Setup Cleavage and Fracture - Section 4: Mini-Lab: Creating Atomic Models


In thinking about how best to coordinate the (often too) complicated process of managing materials in a Science classroom, I truly feel that the best two things to do are: 1) prepare as much as possible for everything beforehand and 2) have very strong routinized procedures for the distribution, collection, and cleanup process. 

To speak to the first point, I try as much as possible to have all materials either on desks or tables when students come in, or in pre-sorted piles or crates that can be very easily distributed to students come laboratory time. This makes the process much, much more time efficient  and eliminates the confusion of missing materials, problems with sorting, issues with too many students getting up and moving around, and the like. I find it's just a calmer, easier, and faster process when things are ready beforehand. 

However, despite even the best preparation, things will need to be passed out and materials will need to be moved throughout the room at different points of the lesson cycle. While it may feel a little too childish for some, I operate with very large class sizes in a reasonably small room, so things can get dicey if more than a couple students are up at one point in time. One relatively simple rule I have is to select designated 'materials managers' (yes, this works in high school!) who are the only ones who can collect or move materials to and from the work area. This makes the process much easier and equips students with some degree of leadership capacity in being real managers for their lab groups (or classes) in making sure everyone has what they need to proceed. 

  Lab Materials
  Classroom Setup: Lab Materials
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Cleavage and Fracture

Unit 1: Rocks & Minerals
Lesson 2 of 12

Objective: SWBAT demonstrate cleavage and fracture in minerals by constructing atomic models and identifying minerals that exhibit cleavage and fracture

Big Idea: Cleavage and fracture are important physical properties in classifying minerals.

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