Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Putting It All Together: Making Visual CER to Explain States of Matter - Section 3: Students Create Final Version of Visual CER


The NGSS emphasizes that students use evidence to explain phenomena in our classes.  As we use backwards lesson planning (UbD Model), it is important to think about how we plan to have students use evidence to demonstrate understanding and, most importantly, how can we craft student-centered lessons that allow them to collect evidence to be used later.  In the series of lessons about phase changes, I focused on planning time for students to investigate and used the visual CER as my method to assess their understanding of basic information about matter and energy.  In the past, we may have been tempted to give kids a graphic organizer, have them read about phase changes and then fill in their organizer with basic information.  This often resulted in misconceptions and shallow conceptual understanding.  As a result, I now explicitly plan experiences that result in my students gathering evidence first and then finding meaning/building conceptual understanding second.

As you begin to plan lessons, try to think of what you want your students to be able to do with data and then plan lessons that allow them to collect it.  If you find yourself planning lessons where they are getting more information from you than they are from investigations, then you have to alter your approach.  Evidence-based lesson planning ensures that students are doing the heavy lifting, while deepening their conceptual understanding.

  Evidence-based Lesson Planning
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Evidence-based Lesson Planning
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Putting It All Together: Making Visual CER to Explain States of Matter

Unit 7: Molecules
Lesson 5 of 9

Objective: SWBAT correctly create a graphic organizers that depicts the factors and results of changes to states of matter and observe/explain the structure of water in solid form.

Big Idea: This activity gives students the ability to closely observe the structure of matter and identify the processes that cause each change of state. They will also observe and explain why ice acts as it does.

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