Reflection: Unit Planning Chemical vs Physical Changes Group Challenge - Section 2: Connecting to the Essential Question: What are you supposed to learn today?


In developing a unit plan, there are some critical elements that can help your unit be successful. The first is an "Essential Question".  Having a big idea that is the focus of learning gives students purpose in each lesson.  Post this question in your room and refer to it daily!  This can help students see that each lesson is part of a bigger plan and that they are searching for depth about a big idea.  To help with this, the NGSS has already created these in the "Storyline" of each topic that includes an "Essential Question" for each topic! Next, "I can" statements help students have a clear idea of what they need to do in order to develop the answer to the essential question.  I have found that "I can" statements are the most successful format for objectives for middle school students.  It is important for I can statements to be written clearly (at middle school understanding level) and explicitly, using vocabulary that tells the student what they have to be able to do.

It is more than just creating an EQ and "I can" statements though.  The success in your unit will revolve around your use of these tools.  If only referenced at the beginning of a unit or printed on a paper that is "shoved" in the students' binders, your students will never reach the level of mastery that you are seeking.  You see, students can hit a target that they know is there.  They can make plans for reaching it and reflect on their progress.  They will make connections to standards across multiple lessons over the course of the unit as opposed to feeling as if each lesson is in isolation. Thus, your unit can become one of growth rather than "hit or miss".  Moving or invisible targets - well, those are easy to miss.  Make your targets clear and understandable.

Use your Essential Questions and "I Can" statements on a daily basis!  Your students learning will be positively affected!

  Unit Plans , Essential Questions and "I Can" Statements
  Unit Planning: Unit Plans , Essential Questions and "I Can" Statements
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Chemical vs Physical Changes Group Challenge

Unit 6: Chemical Properties and Reactions
Lesson 2 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to cite evidence in order to determine if a reaction as a chemical or physical change and identify that the properties of the reactants and products of a reaction are different.

Big Idea: Students utilize text strategies to investigate the differences between a chemical and physical change and play a fun group activity that gives students lots of practice at identifying reactions as chemical or physical!

  Print Lesson
Science, Chemistry, chemical change (Chem), Chemical Reactions and Balancing, Temperature Change, physical properties, physical characteristics, chemical properties, signs of a chemical change, gas production, color change, precipitate, matter, chemical reaction, physical change, reaction
  80 minutes
precipitate lesson
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