Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Subatomic Particles and Isotopes - Section 1: Introduction


This is a lesson which I always have a range of student prior knowledge. 

The periodic table and basics of the atom are part of the middle school curriculum but students' come to my class with mixed knowledge.  Part of this is missing this in middle school (that they came to this country after middle school) or being absent on days where teacher covered this material, or simply not remembering the content. 

This year when I surveyed the class if they remembered how to figure out the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons I had many students who did not know the subatomic particles and how to calculate the number of each.  Therefore, before delving into the more complicated concept of isotopes I make sure to spend time reviewing in detail how to determine the number of each subatomic particle with the periodic table.  Furthermore, I made sure to have activities for students to practice with their partners to make sure that all students understood how to calculate the number of each particle and where they are located in the atom.  

Because of the mixed knowledge I choose to aim for 100% mastery of Bohr models and calculation of protons, neutrons, and electrons; but do not expect all students to be able to calculate weighted averages.

  Atoms and Subatomic Particles
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Atoms and Subatomic Particles
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Subatomic Particles and Isotopes

Unit 2: Unit 2: Matter, Atoms, and the Periodic Table
Lesson 5 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to determine the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons in an atom, explain what an isotopes is, and calculate average mass.

Big Idea: Atoms are composed of subatomic particles; the number of these particles determines an atom's identity and mass.

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