Reflection: Modeling Alpha Decay - Section 3: Nuclear Equations -- Alpha Decay


It is very easy for me to model how to do the nuclear equations for the class.  However, we are working on helping students to model for each other in the science and math classes in my school.  This is why I had one of my successful students walk us through the second example. 

In my walk around I made mental notes of who had the problem done perfectly, so I could call on someone with the right answer and work.  If they didn't explain their thinking, I had pre-planned my questions to make certain either they, or another student, explained it to the class. 

Hearing how to do it from someone besides me is powerful for a struggling student, and sometimes a student may use a term I didn't that makes things simpler for the student who is struggling.  For example, a few years back many of our feeder schools switched to using the term "take away" instead of "subtract".  When I did the first problem, I said "the alpha particle left, so you subtract it from the parent atom" but the students who led the example in three of my four classes said "It left the atom, so you take away its numbers" and I watched lightbulbs go on across the classroom among the students who were uncertain after our first one.


  Student Thinkaloud
  Modeling: Student Thinkaloud
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Alpha Decay

Unit 4: Nuclear Chemistry
Lesson 3 of 7

Objective: SWBAT explain how alpha decay occurs and model it using nuclear equations.

Big Idea: Alpha decay is the process by which atoms with too many protons can become stable.

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