Reflection: High Expectations Introduction to the Periodic Table: It's Elemental Plaid Pete! - Section 5: Vocabulary Instruction


It can be difficult to get students to accurately and precisely use vocabulary terms that are new to them.  In Example 1, this student has confused the vocabulary term "subscript" with its referent (in this case the number of atoms in a chemical formula).  The student has incorrectly written, "in H2O2 there is two subscripts of hydrogen and oxygen."

One of the biggest reasons for building the kind of classroom culture where students are not afraid of revealing their mistakes, is that a mistake like this can be a terrific "teachable moment."  I will quietly pull this student aside, go over the error, and ask if they would be willing to allow me to use it for a classroom example.  When I present the example, I will say ____ has graciously allowed us to benefit from his/her experience.  If the student is comfortable speaking (and in this case - yes), I will have them share their thinking about why the sentence was written that way in the first place, and how they would go about revising it to make it more precise.  If a student is unsure of how to revise, I would have him/her ask their peers for suggestions.

Acknowledging that learning a new language - the language of Science is difficult, is an important first step.  Students need to know that although the work is rigorous, we will be there to assist them.  Supporting fluency in that language by having high expectations in its spoken and written forms, is the kind of extra push students need to ensure they acquire this new language.

  High Expectations: Supporting the Use of Precise Science Vocabulary
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Introduction to the Periodic Table: It's Elemental Plaid Pete!

Unit 1: What's The Matter Plaid Pete?
Lesson 15 of 22

Objective: SWBAT construct a model for a given compound, and write the chemical formula.

Big Idea: What is an element? What is a compound? What is the Periodic Table? Students finally get introduced to Plaid Pete, and the fine art of constructing molecules and writing chemical formulas!

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27 teachers like this lesson
Science, Science Vocabulary, science notebooks
  65 minutes
2014 10 21 14 17 52
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