I found some great Physics resourcers on www.scoilnet.ie recently and I wanted to plan a class to incorporate/try them out. Aoife McDonnell works in the PDST in ICT and as a Physics and Science teacher, she is assimulating wonderful resources, and I am a particular fan of the simulations that she has organised on the website. It is very easy to search by type and by topic. The site has really improved over the past year. In my double class today, I decided to set up six stations, three practical stations and three interactive simulations. I rearranged the lab tables and writing spaces to suit this arrangement.
I set up the following stations:
Station #1: Filtration - Rock sand,water, filter, filter paper, retort stand, labels (beaker , filtrate, funnel, solute, solution, solvent, retort stand). I also threw in a few appartus to throw them: test tubes, graduated cylinder, and a hot plate. Task: Invetigate methods to seperate the sand from the water so that if you were on a desert and this is all you had, you could get drinking water.
Station #2: Simultion 1: A4 whiteboard per student: reflect and record what you learned by completing this simulation. http://www.eduplace.com/kids/hmsc/content/simulation/
The students love the simulations, and they were very engaged moving from station to station. I set the timer to 8 minutes. When the buzzer went, they moved on.
Station #3: Evaporation - salt water solution, hot plate, evaporating basin, water, beaker, funnel, filter paper. Task: Your dinner is tastless and you would like some salt. Please seperate it from the water!
Station #4: Simulation 2: A4 whiteboard per student: reflect and record what you learned by completing this simulation. http://www.physics.org/interact/physics-life/web/physics_life/
Station #5: Distillation: Coke is a solution. I wonder if we could seperate them using our knowledge of states of matter and thermal energy. I set up the Liebeg condenser and I put a can of coke beside it. I asked them to reflect, record and explain their learning, in particular, explaining how the liebeg condenser works and how it interacts with the states of matter.
Station #6: Simulation #3: Virtual Physics Lab. The students loved this activity and when I asked them to complete a sentence strip as an exit pass for the 'what I learned today' board, many students mentioned something that they learning about physical observables from this virtual lab.
This was one of my favourite classes with First years so far this year. They were all engaged and on task. The stations allowed me the freedow to rotate, facilitate, support and probe the students learning. I will definitley be using this again. I had sixth year biology after and it worked so well, I left the lab set up as it was and I used theory flash cards at stations 1,3 and 5 and I used the following Biology simulations for human reproduction. They also experienced enjoyment and deep learning. They also commented how fast the class went by - I always think this indicates a high level of engagement.
Female reproduction simulation http://www.123esaaf.com/Atlas/Reproductive_01.swf
body map http://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/stomach
menstrual cycle https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/images/menstrual-cycle.swf