Reflection: Station Rotation Uncovering Student Ideas of Air Being Matter (1 of 2) - Section 6: Tying It All Together


Using stations places an emphasis on student-centered learning, while keeping students focus and engaged.  Stations enable me to expose my students to many different experiences that spark inquiry.  Placing a time limit on each station means that my students must remain on task in order to collect all information, which limits time off task and helps students maintain focus.

It is easy for station activities to become too cookie-cutter (i.e. less student-centered) and more teacher led.  The NGSS is very clear that procedures and experiments should be developed and implemented by students, so be careful not to provide too much guidance.  In this station activity, with the exception of the balloon station, students are told to experiment with different ways to make the cans go together or the paper fall.  As a result, they have to discuss possible solutions with their group, try out their ideas (SP3), and then try to explain their findings.  In order to develop deeper conceptual understanding we must resist the urge to jam worksheets that have orderly procedures that lead to clean, predetermined results.  Sure, there are only so many ways to get the cans and paper to respond to air pressure changes, but ideas that are student generated are inherently their own.  These types of lessons also take more time to develop, but that should be celebrated, not shunned, because you have to get through the standards.  

I hope that over the course of this unit, students will begin to see patterns between the speed of molecular motion and other factors, such as solubility, evaporation, reaction speeds, etc.  By investing time in making my lessons are more student centered, tying in metacognitive reflection, theatrics and true inquiry, students will truly understand science.  

  Using Stations to Promote Student Centered Learning Environment
  Station Rotation: Using Stations to Promote Student Centered Learning Environment
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Uncovering Student Ideas of Air Being Matter (1 of 2)

Unit 3: Matter
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: SWBAT determine if gas is matter and model the cause and effect relationship of one demonstration at the molecular level

Big Idea: Just because you can't see it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. This is especially true in science when learning about gases. Students will experience various examples of air acting on matter to support that it is matter!

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15 teachers like this lesson
Science, gases (Chem), molecule, solids, mass, matter, molecule
  49 minutes
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