Reflection: Student Grouping Mixtures: Characteristic Properties - Pre-requisite - Section 5: Center Mini-Experiments


Centers are a great way to compact curriculum and give students an engaging experience.  Students like centers because there  is a built in novelty of getting to try different activities.  I like them because you can use the centers to tie several ideas to a bigger concept.  

Students are very used to centers in Elementary school but for some reason they are harder to manage in middle school.  I feel like Elementary teachers do a great job at setting up routines and norms that followed day in and day out.  Sometimes in middle school, teachers assume that students will do the "right" thing.  This is probably an assumption you don't want to make because often times kids don't know the right thing to do or more likely simply have some built in habits that can cause problems.  

I like to set my students up with strong norms to follow so that they can focus on the work.  My center norms are;

 1. Follow the directions at each center exactly.  Don't add or leave anything out.

2.  Collaborate with the people in your group.

3.  Concentrate on learning.  

Another step you should take to make sure that your centers are successful is to make sure that all the tasks are appropriate for students to do an an independent level.  If the tasks are too complex or don't have enough clarity, students will be confused and are apt to act out or not work.  Sometimes I use videos at the desks to give instructions or clarity.  There is a really fun app called voki that allows you to create an avatar that can talk and give directions.  This adds another layer of engagement for the students.  

  Student Grouping: Centers
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Mixtures: Characteristic Properties - Pre-requisite

Unit 8: Mixtures: Characteristic Properties
Lesson 2 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to understand basic concepts of matter like mass, volume, and conservation of mass.

Big Idea: Matter can change shape (volume) but not amount (mass).

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3 teachers like this lesson
Science, density, solids, liquid, gas, mixture, property
  87 minutes
melting ice cube
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