Reflection: Vertical Alignment Building Atomic Models Simulation Investigation - Section 2: Explore


I made the statement, "Many students are able to access and collect data independently, but depending on the level of understanding going in, other students will need help navigating the program and understanding what is going on." Technically, students learn how to collect data in science and math throughout their elementary school years. The NGSS and Common Core Standards for Mathematics dictate data collection practices. However, there are several reasons students will arrive in your science class with a wide range of data collection skills:

1) NGSS and Common Core standards are recent adoptions, so many students have not come up through the "ranks" yet. For example, in my state, the Common Core is three years old. That means that I won't see 6th grade students who have had a complete elementary Common Core background for several more years!

2) Rigor and consistency in elementary science instruction is a challenge when elementary teachers aren't science specialists, don't feel comfortable with science instruction or are saddled with demands on time.

3) Data collection in science can be a very different than data collection in math. Science data collection is a messy scenario! Students need collaboration skills, measurements skills, comprehension of concept and the ability to synthesize it all to collect accurate data.

4) Data collection is a science practice that should transfer between different investigations. However, different contexts can disorient students. An example from language acquisition is: students can communicate in Spanish in their Spanish classroom, but ask them to order in Spanish at a restaurant and they freeze. This happens because of the confidence factor that exists in comfortable contexts. Ask students to apply a skill in a new context, and student confidence decreases - making it seem like they don't have that particular skill. 

No matter the reason, students may need additional instruction or support with data collection. Offering vocabulary tools (like the glossary in this investigation), practice with the technology (have students use and practice the technological tools often), someone to work with and teacher support during data collection can help students find more success.

  Data Collection and the Common Core Mathematics Standards
  Vertical Alignment: Data Collection and the Common Core Mathematics Standards
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Building Atomic Models Simulation Investigation

Unit 8: Atoms and Elements
Lesson 2 of 13

Objective: SWBAT describe the structure and function of parts of atoms by comparing the charge, location, and relative mass of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

Big Idea: Atoms are tiny! How can we observe the structure of individual atoms? Zoom in using technology of course!

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81 teachers like this lesson
Science, Physical Science, Atomic Number, Elements / Periodic Table, Atomic Mass, Atomic Nucleus, Atoms, electrons, neutron, proton, electron cloud, simulation, PACER, periodic table, atom
  90 minutes
screen shot 2015 06 11 at 2 38 49 pm
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