Reflection: Complex Tasks Chemical and Physical Changes Lab Stations - Section 3: Mini Lesson: Chemical reactions result in a change of properties!


While it may be tempting to go over the lab procedures with students prior to lab stations, I find that this not only takes up valuable class time, but it also creates some problems as well. First, I have found that if I go over the procedures it leads to "guessing".  Middle school students can't help it.  It's a developmental characteristic that if you verbally provide directions they will be far less likely to actually read the text/procedure because they think they already know how to do it.  

I have found that if I do not give them any "hints", they are forced to read the directions/procedures because they really have no idea.  (The only exception I have here is with major safety concerns that could impact the students.  In this particular lab, I just remind students to utilize our universal safety precautions such as wearing goggles around fire or chemicals.)  Next, the Common Core has created a literacy standard that directly references students being able to read / follow a multi-step procedure.  If I go through the procedures verbally, I will never be able to assess if students can actually do this independently.

While it can be nerve-racking to give up control and place procedure following in the hands of the students, I am always happy I did.  It not only promotes independence, but I find that my procedures are actually followed more closely than if I review them as a class first! 

  Lab Procedures: Let the students follow them.
  Complex Tasks: Lab Procedures: Let the students follow them.
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Chemical and Physical Changes Lab Stations

Unit 6: Chemical Properties and Reactions
Lesson 3 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 go through 12 quick, fun lab stations that provide students with practice at citing evidence and determining if reactions are chemical or physical changes. Students burn salts, create precipitates, and blow bubbles in this fun lab series!

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116 teachers like this lesson
Science, Chemistry, Temperature Change, Chemical Reactions and Balancing, physical properties, middle school, chemical properties, Physical Reactions, signs of a chemical change, gas production, color change, chemical reaction, precipitate, physical change, reaction
  95 minutes
station 2 magnesium ribbon in copper ii
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