Reflection: Continuous Assessment Solidifying Our Understanding of Physical and Chemical Changes - Section 4: Students Analyze Examples, Present Arguments and Check for Understanding


As we plan these types of lessons, it is important to plan your questions that unearth or challenge student ideas about the content being assessed.  In this case, students have experience modeling chemical changes (reactions) at the molecular level when they counted the number of atoms on the reactants side versus the products side in this PhET simulation.  Therefore, I want to ask them questions about what is happening to the chemical composition of matter during a chemical and physical change, and how it relates to their findings from the simulation.

Students also know that density is a characteristic property of matter that is unique to each type of matter.  In particular, I could ask students what is happening to the density of copper when copper oxide forms?  Would the density be the same or different?

The challenge for teachers is to ask the question and then let the kids struggle to figure it out.  Our role is to elicit student ideas, not give them answers, so have your set list of questions to address issues that you anticipate occurring.  It will help you facilitate learning in each group.

  Continuous Assessment: Predetermined Questioning Strategies to Check for Understanding and Challenge Student Conceptions
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Solidifying Our Understanding of Physical and Chemical Changes

Unit 7: Molecules
Lesson 9 of 9

Objective: YWBAT: Model and explain the different between a chemical and physical change

Big Idea: Sometimes students need the opportunity to reinforce their understanding of how matter changes. This lesson serves as a formative assessment strategy to assess students' abilities to explain the difference.

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Science, CER
  48 minutes
copy of students working together on the same example of a physical or chemical
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