Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Day 2 The Chemical Side of Matter - Section 3: Evaluate


     In this lesson, I worked with my students on two NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: #4- analyzing and interpreting data and #5- using mathematical computational thinking.  First, my students took part in investigating how temperature affects how long a reaction takes by setting up three different temperature waters, a cold, room temperature, and warm. Next, they gathered data by placing an alka seltzer tablet in water and recording the time it took from the start of the reaction to the end. Once they recorded the reaction rates in the table, I asked them to analyze the times each tablet took to completely dissolve and encouraged them to compare their outcomes to their predictions. I want them to examine what they initially thought to what actually happened.  Some students struggle with make sense of what it means to analyze, so I try to model by doing a think aloud. I tell them when I am looking at data, I ask myself questions to help me think about why I got the results I did.  I use questions like “What are some possible causes for the different reaction times? , What temperatures made the table dissolve faster than others? slower than others” What does my data show me about the effect of different temperatures.”  I tell them these are just some questions to get them thinking about what the data is telling us.”  I move on and explain to them, that graphing the data will provide them with a pictorial way of comparing the changes in temperatures and reaction rates times. I add on, telling them a graph is an effective way to summarize all the data/ information into one image. Once my students graph the data, I present them with the question: How does temperature affect how long a chemical reaction takes?  I explain their responses should be evidence based, meaning their explanation needs to include data from their graph to support their thinking and reasoning.

Graphing the data helps students visually identify the relationship between reaction times and different water temperatures. This visual is an organized way to support students thinking as they construct a written explanation about why the outcomes occurred.

Overall, my students did well transferring the data from the table to a graph. I noticed they were attentive in accurately creating their bars to exact reaction times they recorded. Most were able to use the graph to write a response to the questions: How does temperature affect how long a chemical reaction takes? and as I checked in with them, they could verbally provide me with reasons for why the tablets dissolved the way that they did.  One area they need continued reminders is including more of the data from the graph.  Most did include it when they shared their thoughts with me as I checked in, but did not transfer it into the written response.  It is an area that students need more development and practice doing.

  Drawing Conclusions from Data on a Graph
  Grappling with Complexity: Drawing Conclusions from Data on a Graph
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Day 2 The Chemical Side of Matter

Unit 2: Structure, Function, and Properties of Matter
Lesson 17 of 19

Objective: SWBAT recognize how temperature affects the rate of a chemical reaction.

Big Idea: Students will use data to create a graph and a written analysis showing how increased temperatures affect the rate of a chemical reaction.

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Science, Chemical Reactions in Matter, matter, structure, function
  60 minutes
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