Reflection: Student Ownership Concentration and pH - Section 3: Mini-lesson and Guided Practice


The student question I find to be the biggest waste of my time is “Is this right?”

Don't get me wrong—I understand that students want to know if they are doing their work correctly—this of course is laudable. However, what I have come to realize this year is that I should not be the sole person with the answers.

Giving students the ability to check their work at their pace when they are ready is good for them. For one, it forces them to get up and move, which from a physiological perspective is good for learning. This is not my opinion--there has been a groundswell of evidence that supports this claim. See, for example, see Chapter 4--Movement and Learning in Eric Jensen's book Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd Edition.

Second, it frees me up to answer the more important questions. These include “How do I do this?” or “Why did I get a different answer than the one posted?” These latter questions I love—I get to meet with an engaged student and help him or her get back on track. And when students find that they are getting correct answers, they experience success and they confer affirmation upon themselves.

Getting the right answer is not always the most important activity, but in a lesson like this one, getting it right feels good to students.

  Is this Right? Posting Correct Answers
  Student Ownership: Is this Right? Posting Correct Answers
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Concentration and pH

Unit 7: Acids and Bases
Lesson 4 of 12

Objective: Students will be able to use hydronium and hydroxide concentrations to calculate pH.

Big Idea: The pH is derived from the negative log of hydronium concentrations and the pH of bases can be found from adding the log of hydroxide concentrations to 14.

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  60 minutes
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