Reflection: Checks for Understanding Molecular Arrangement in Matter - Section 4: Compare and Contrast


In this lesson, I chose to have the closing activity be a Venn diagram for a couple of reasons.  It is easy to assess for misconceptions- a quick scan of each area will show better how students misunderstand than their own writing.  Often, when my students are asked to write, I would see half of the content I was getting in the diagrams because they are struggling with how to organize and format their thoughts more so than just capturing their thoughts.

I was also hoping for students to discuss what they wanted to write prior to putting it into the diagram, which didn't happen consistently.   For future activities, I have thought about having the students generate a list of statements prior to putting them onto the diagram.  I am hopeful this will help them find discrepant statements such as in the first student work example, and that the discussion will center on "where does this go?" vs "how do I fill each section of the diagram?"

By leaving it open ended, students get a chance to go beyond.  Some groups inserted the phase change names in the common spaces, showing a depth of prior knowledge and vocabulary not every one of my sophomores have at this point of the unit. 

  Visual Organizers
  Checks for Understanding: Visual Organizers
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Molecular Arrangement in Matter

Unit 3: Intermolecular Forces
Lesson 2 of 9

Objective: SWBAT identify the differences in the three main states of matter by using a computer model to observe particulate motion.

Big Idea: The state of matter in a pure sample is determined by the kinetic energy of the particles and the attractions between particles.

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