Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Testing Tower Materials - Part 2 - Section 3: Testing the Towers


One way to assess student understanding is to ask them to explain their thinking. When I brought students together on the rug I wanted them to do just that. They had started testing the towers and I wanted to see if they could explain why one tower they built might be stronger than another. I was looking for an understanding that the materials and the shape or design of an object contribute to its overall strength and usefulness. This is a part of the NGSS and a foundation to understanding how the shape and materials of an object are important to its purpose.

I did not ask every student to respond at this point because I was looking for a general check on the understanding of the class as a whole. With each of the lessons in this unit and the feedback from each one, I will eventually have a clear picture of how each student grasps the standard.

  Explaining Their Thinking
  Discourse and Questioning: Explaining Their Thinking
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Testing Tower Materials - Part 2

Unit 4: What Is It Made Out Of?
Lesson 6 of 10

Objective: SWBAT to compare the strength of different building materials

Big Idea: Students are working as scientists to explore the properties of matter and how some properties make materials more suitable for a job than others.

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8 teachers like this lesson
Science, building materials, Building Structures, reasoning, comparing, testing materials, matter, shapes
  55 minutes
screen shot 2014 12 28 at 4 03 50 pm
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