Thursday, May 16, 2013

Physical and Chemical Changes

I hope everyone is enjoying their week and ready for Through time and Space Thursday! This week is focused on a science topic! This week I wanted to talk about physical and chemical changes. This concept can be very confusing for students and teachers. It always comes with question after question and tons of "what if scenarios". There are times that even us teachers can get confused on what changes are physical and which ones are chemical.
When my class discussed these changes while student teaching we quickly realized that just talking about these types of changes wasn't going to cut it. We decided to devote a week in science to centers that focused on exploring chemical and physical changes. The room was split into several stations and students were split into small groups. We then rotated to different stations and did this everyday until all groups had rotated to every station. These stations allowed students to explore with materials and by following the directions or getting help from a teacher students changed these materials. They did things such as melting a candle, crushing potato chips, and oxidizing an apple. After exploring with these materials and changing them in some way students had to decide what type of change it had and explain it. The students gained such a great understanding of the difference in a chemical change and a physical change. I think it was a great idea to give them such a hands on experience with this topic.
What do you think? How do you cover this topic with your students?
If you would like more info on the centers let me know and I will post more info about them.
Thanks guys!

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