Saturday, August 29, 2009

Burning Magnesium

Combustion is an important chemical change and whether a substance is flammable or combustible is an important chemical property. It's hard not to look directly at the bright glowing flame.

Special thanks to lab groups who let me photograph and record their experimental results. Special thanks to Mrs. Woodward for setting this lab up for chemistry class and letting us perform the lab in her classroom.

Lab Week

Sorry I haven't been on top of posting, but we have been performing some exciting labs to examine physical and chemical changes. Students did an excellent job following directions and practicing safe lab procedures.

This first video is one of the most exciting examples of a chemical change and it actually had two different chemical changes. The elemental copper (Cu) reacts with Nitric acid releasing nitrous oxide (the brown gas - more commonly an ingredient in smog). A brown liquid was left in the erlenmeyer flask. Water was added and another chemical reaction occurred resulting in a blue liquid.

Another fun chemical change involved the combustion of Magnesium. This chemical change produced a blinding white light. All that remained after combustion was ash. Sometimes magnesium is used in fireworks.

Students were able to see a precipitate form when mixing lead nitrate and potassium iodide. A precipitate is a solid that forms when two liquids are mixed and a double replacement reaction occurs. Two clear liquids were mixed and formed a bright yellow precipitate with a clear liquid (it looked yellowish because of all the precipitate.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review Day II

Students started by reviewing lab equipment and then some dimensional analysis (train tracks math). We went over the review sheet and and answered any questions.

Students practiced scientific method with two more random scenarios and again the K kids dominated.

There was not enough time to properly take the test so it has been moved to tomorrow (Wednesday). Students finished class by working on a sheet designed to see their knowledge on the phases of matter. After the test tomorrow, students will be looking at different phases of matter as well as physical and chemical changes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Scientific Method

Today students practiced with numbers to see if they remember significant digits and scientific notation. Tomorrow is their test!

Because students were having trouble with the scientific method we practiced with some odd scenarios like the one below. Students had to write a hypothesis in If/Then form, identify the independent variable and dependent variables, control, constants, and possible sources of error. Teams were awarded points for correct answers and coached along the way. All teams improved by the end and all the K teams Kicked Butt! And there are 6 K's in this class - so that's a heap of kicking!

SAMPLE SCENARIO: Albert thinks that if he licks his pencils before sharpening them, they will stay sharper longer. He tests 10 pencils and licks half of them before hand. He then uses them and then compares their sharpness. During testing he dropped three pencils on the floor, but he doesn’t know which ones.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Truck Activity

You can do this activity in this window or go directly to the site.

Part II Friction

Part III Melting Points

Gummi Bears - Day 2

Today started with reviewing the dimensional analysis homework. We discussed how to think about it and how to get started even if you aren't sure what to do. The jump in for the day was a math challenge to see how everyone was doing (and to make some students realize that they may need to focus). Congratulations to Katelyn (did I pick the right one) for being the only person to get all ten of the challenge questions correct. Rock on!

Then it was time to check on the gummi bears. The gummi bears had been sitting in water for 24 hours by this time and it was time to see how that time affected them. Some students hypothesized that the bears would dissolve; others that they would grow even bigger. Even though students made a hypothesis, I don't think they were prepared for the slimy jiggly monstrosities that awaited them.

The students and I realized that the bears had grown in size, but it wasn't that apparent until you compared them side by side. Here is Angie's giant yellow gummi bear compared to a normal sized red gummi bear.

Because the bears were bigger and slimier they were a little bit harder to work with. Students still had to take length, height, width, and mass measurements so they could scientifically and quantitatively measure the difference between the original gummi bear and the giant swollen gummi bears. Tayler measured her bear and like most found that it was now about 10 grams - more than 7 grams of gained weight.

Kyle was absent and I was going to measure his bear for him, but his group decided that it would be better to take the experiment a little bit further and see what happens to a gummi bear after 48 hours! Justin wanted to see if his bear would shrink back to normal so his bear (minus the water) is sitting out to dry. Hooray for science inquiry!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Math stuff and Gummy Bears

Today we discussed proper lab write-ups and started a new lab with Gummy Bears. The students measured and weighed the gummy bears to find mass, volume, and density. Then the gummy bears were put in a cup full of water for one hour to see what would happen. Students hypothesized that the bears would shrink and dissolve or the color would leak out or the bears would get squishier.

In the hour interim, students practiced identifying significant digits and reacquainted themselves with scientific notation.

After the hour, the bears were retrieved with difficulty for more measurements. There was a lot of complaining about not being able to grasp the bears because they were now much more slippery and slimy. Most of the bears did swell in size and become less dense... except for Kristina... she used hot water and her bear shrunk because it dissolved.

There's one more set of gummy bears hanging out in water til tomorrow. What do you think will happen to the bears overnight?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dimensional Analysis

Today students learned how to set up conversions using dimensional analysis. I did not make it easy on them... instead of using units like kilograms to grams... we converted from A to E or from hearts to stars.

The students performed amazingly. They set up the conversions correctly, calculated the answers correctly, and did conversions up to seven sections long. Awesome!

The real test will be to see if they understand their homework and if they can still do it tomorrow.

Homework was three practice problems involving shoes and laces.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy FrIday - it's the first lab!

Today students discussed their Mission Impossible Measurement Homework. Scary objects that were measured included knives, guns, tarantulas, and a fist! We discussed how you can use anything to measure and how some things are easier or harder to measure with because of size.

Students watched a Brainpop about accuracy vs. precision and then got set up for a lab. Today's lab entitled the rainbow lab, is a trial run for lab safety and also measures the accuracy and precision of their liquid measurements. Patrisha and Ryan finished first and after discovering the error of using different diameter test tubes, had fairly accurate results.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Safety Day

Students started the day by trying to identify different pieces of lab equipment. They weren't allowed to use a word bank and that did not stop them from excelling at this task.

Students then played Fact or Scat, a review game for safety concepts and to help them get to know each other a little better. Safety tests were then taken and graded.

We discussed the meanings of different root words and made a couple of interesting lists.
Mill - millimeter, millisecond, millenium, millipede, million, millionaire, milliwatt
Kil - kilobyte, kilowatt, kilohertz, kilocycle, kilocalorie, kilometer
cent - century, centipede, centigram, centiliter, celcius
dec - decade, decagon, dodecagon, december, decimate, decimal, decibel
Based on these words we discussed that mill meant thousandth; kil = thousand; cent = 100; and dec meant 10. December used to be the tenth month until Julius Caesar and Augustus got involved with the calendar.

Tomorrow students will be finishing up with precision and accuracy and doing a lab to demonstrate it.

Homework tonight is to measure a few objects using a special tool that the student chose at random. Do you know how many bandaids high your table is? Well tomorrow someone should know.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lab Equipment

Students started the day by identifying descriptions as qualitative or quantitative and quickly got the hang of it. Homework for this evening is five words each that contain the roots mill, kil, dec, and cent.

Today students drew a map of the classroom and located safety and lab equipment. Students learned about a few specific lab techniques and then identified different types of lab equipment. Once identified, students sorted the equipment by use.

Tomorrow students will take the safety quiz and learn the difference between precision and accuracy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting to know each other and Safety!

Yesterday students filled out a first day survey and today they get to try to identify each other based on the people they drew. Do you know these students?

Yesterday students drew safety cartoons and we reviewed their cartoons on the big screen using the document camera. Check out these cartoons!

Today the students will look at the monster cartoon that I drew to see if they can identify the rights and wrongs as well as the safety rule number in preparation for Thursday's safety test.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday August 10th

Today we learned about new rules and classroom procedures. This will streamline classroom activities to maximize learning. Students filled out a first day survey so I can learn more about them.

We went over safety rules and learned the dangerous spots in class. We also drew safety cartoons and shared them with the class to go over key safety rules. There will be a safety test on Thursday.

Homework - get the syllabus and safety rules signed; get a composition book

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Necessary Paperwork

Greetings students, parents, and guardians.

At Open House or in class, each student will receive a course syllabus, safety rules, and a breakage sheet. Each of these sheets need to be read and signed by both the student and parent guardian.
  1. The course syllabus outlines what the course will be like and what topics will be covered. It also contains contact information.
  2. The safety rules are rules designed to keep the classroom safe and orderly to maximize learning and prevent accidents and injuries. These rules need to be studied because there will be a Safety test on THURSDAY and infractions of these rules can lead to disciplinary action.
  3. A breakage sheet is a contract holding students accountable for the items that are broken if the student is acting a manner that is unsafe for themselves or those around them.
Please have these papers signed and returned by Thursday. Students not returning signed safety rules and breakage sheets will not be able to participate in labs and activities until the contracts are signed and returned.