Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Density Cube Lab

Do you have these Density Cubes in your school building?

My first year of science coach I found these density cubes in the science lab and in teacher's cabinets off mixed up. Some of them were easy to tell what was what, but for others I did exactly what I would want students to do. I knew what the volume was so I measured the mass and then calculated the density and labeled all the cubes with numbers. (It took forever.) Then I begged science teachers to keep them organized so we didn't have to do it again.

Here is a lab sheet for students to do the same process. They find the mass and volume and then calculate the density to identify what each cube is made of.

The measurements do not have to be 100% exact. (Well, volume can be, make sure they are measuring in centimeters)

If your triple beam balances are like ours, they may not be exactly calibrated. Things may be off by a few grams which is why the known densities have a range. 

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Magnetism Lab

I'm here to share an idea for students to explore magnetism.

Magnets are something that students have seen since kindergarten. By the time they get to 5th grade, most know that some things are attracted to a magnet.

The biggest misconception I've seen is students thinking that all metals are magnetic.

To set up this lab, collect a variety of objects. Make sure to included metals and nonmetals, and included both metals that are magnetic and non magnetic.

  • Some objects made of metal that are nonmagnetic: penny, key aluminum foil. 

  • Some objects made of metal that are magnetic: paper clip, an iron nail, iron filings

  • Also include various non-metal items: marble, rubber band, plastic toy, etc. 

This a is a lab where the teacher should do very little. You supply the materials, tell students to predict if an object is magnetic, and then test it.

Here is a lab sheet for students to fill out as they experiment.

After the students finish testing the items, ask them if they can determine if an object is magnetic or not without using a magnet.

You want the students to at least get to the point where they say only metals are magnetic--but not all metals.

Share with students what the metal objects are made of. Can they find a pattern and determine what makes a metal magnetic?

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Addition and Subtraction Doubles--Basic Fact Fluency

We needed some help with basic addition and subtraction. Any math teacher will tell you that when students struggle with basic computation, it is difficult for them to learn more advanced skills.

These two activities focus on doubles. It can be used as a station for students for student to practice together.

Download this for free here.

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