Science: the study of… blobs?

Hey everyone, how are you guys doing?  I’m doing great, as my field experience this week went really well.  For our field experience, my partner and I decided to try team teaching a science lesson.  Our lesson revolved around mixing different household items, specifically water, cooking oil, and alka seltzer tablets to form what looks like a homemade lava lamp.

It was a very simple experiment to conduct, but still very fun to walk the students through it and observe the results together.  If you want to conduct the experiment yourself, we got all our resources from Science Bob, as seen in this video:

And though it was a lot of fun in the end, there were still some significant hiccups that could be improved upon.

For example, we had a very significant time delay because of technical difficulties.  Our coop was trying to figure out the problem, and so it became very awkward and unproductive in the room while we waited for the issues to be dealt with.  It was a good lesson though, not that technology is bad, but that a teacher should always be prepared with a Plan B because we all know that technology has a tendency to not work from time to time, we just need to prepare for that inevitability.  But, despite that difficulty and others besides, there were some really good things that we set in place.

For example, to get the students attention, we had set in place that when my associate teacher or myself would care to speak, then we would raise our hand and count down from 5, expecting that the students would be paying attention and listening by the time we reached 1.  You know what, it really worked.  The students almost always stopped talking and paid attention to whoever was speaking.  It was pretty cool.  Another thing we tried our best to accomplish was to encourage questioning and further experiments.  When we had finished the lab we still had a few minutes so one of the groups put the cap on their bottle and shook it, wondering what would happen.  Initially I was hesitant to allow this, but then reminded myself that this is science!  In science we ask questions, form hypothesis, experiment on said hypothesis, observe the results, and conclude, so why should I stop students from wanting to learn?  I then proceeded to encourage the other groups to do the same and write down the results.  It was really cool.

All in all, the students learned, and they had a lot of fun doing it, which is something I’ll want to hang on to for my future teaching experiences.


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