Reflection: Complex Tasks Hot and Cold - Section 4: Carrying Out the Procedure


Understanding change is not as easy as we might think as teachers. Second graders are very concrete. If something changes it is different, and if it changes back, it has to be exactly as it started. Any difference in form and it is a different thing.  I am asking students to think about their own experiences with things that have been heated and cooled. Do things always change back to what they started as? Most students say no, but there are some things, such as water that change back. What about the chocolate chips? They melt, but then reharden in a different shape. Does that mean they have changed back to what they started as? 

This was a difficult concept for some of the children. If the shape was different then the chocolate did not change back. (The same was true for the butter). Students were split on this and part of that reason may be developmental. In a Piagetian sense, some of the students could not grasp that a new shape, but the same consistency were in any way the same as the original shape. If the chocolate chips did not reform into chips, then they were not the same. Explaining Her Thinking

By letting students touch the materials after they had heated and then cooled, I was giving them a new way to look at changes brought about by heating and cooling. 

  Complex Tasks: Understanding Change
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Hot and Cold

Unit 4: What Is It Made Out Of?
Lesson 9 of 10

Objective: SWBAT collect data on how some changes caused by cold or heat are irreversible and some are not.

Big Idea: Some things change permanently as a result of hot or cold. Some can revert back to where they started.

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