In Primary School science syllabus, the pupils need to know chemical potential , gravitational potential and elastic potential energy.
I just started this topic and took a very different approach. I started this topic by emphasizing on the “potential” energy. From my last year experience, I feel that pupils might have difficulty grasping the concept of potential energy. Perhaps, such energy is too abstract for the pupils as it is not observable. On reflection, perhaps, I did not provide them with enough activities on potential energy as I assumed it was easy for them
Thus, for this year, I started the energy topic with hands-on activities on potential energy. I allow them to play with toys (elastic potential energy) and connect circuit (chemical potential energy). I emphasized how such potential energy was not “observed” at first but stored. Today was just my second such session with the kids. I would see if they were able to demonstrate understanding of potential energy in the subsequent lessons.
It has been two weeks since school reopens and of course, I have been teaching for the past two weeks. For this year, I have made a conscious efforts to get my pupils to reason out their working. I have been observing my pupils at action and found that they would just “anyhow” put the numbers together without much reasoning. In essence, they were not thinking about their working.
I had to stop myself from giving them the answers and “interrogated” them why they were doing that. Their answer were very vague and not precise. Currently , I am teaching them geometry and they would give reasons like “angles in a straight line” and ” angles in a triangle”. I pushed them further and wanted them to tell me the exact straight line and the triangle.
It has been two weeks and I hope that my pupils could slowly pick out this habit. And , I must also stay strong and should resist the temptation to go back to the “old way” (e.g., dishing out of the answers due to “time no enough”). I would go for less now so that my pupils can have more in the future.
My class did a e-experiment today. In this e-experiment, pupils were to submit their responses via Google Form. I projected their results “live” on the screen (with the graph). This would help me to gather their response immediately and offer feedback (FA: Feedback) . Also, the use of e-experiment would help them to focus on the analysis of the data (higher-order thinking) rather than the “mechanical” collection of data
Pupils get to work like a scientist . Collect the date repeatedly and using ICT tools to process the data. ( I seriously do not think any scientist actually plot the data on the graph paper anymore)
2. Some of them submit very large numbers (for very naughty reasons of course). This is a very good teachable moment as I discuss with them about outliers in the data collection. Again, this is how the scientist work. Data is collected and we also need to look out for abnormal point. I guess I need to think thank the mischievous boy for providing with this teachable moment:-)
3. The data collected also highlights the gap in students’ knowing about data collection. They tend to focus on the extreme two sets of the data and were less likely to collect the “mid point” data
What comes after?
I am going to make use of this learning experience an focus on the scientific method (e.g., data collection). It is only 1 hr lesson today and I have not done enough to make them reflect on what they have learned.
I have just bought the Asus ZenFone 2 recently and know about Gorilla Glass. They say that the glass is scratch-resistant and strong. That gets me petty excited as I can use that in Science. Yes, it is all about property of material. Hope to get my pupils to see the relevance in what they are learning.
Another video that we can use is the comparison of Gorilla Glass and Sapphire. In this video, there are both hardness and strength test.
Hardness is one of the property that the Primary School pupils need to learn. Pupils usually use the word hard and strong interchangeably. However, this is not accepted in Primary School Science as hardness and strength re two very different concepts. For hardness, we are talking about how “scratchable”. As for strength, we use the “put-weight-until-it-break” test. Here are some of my ideas on hardness
Check out this article on the screen on most mobile phones might be scratch-resistance and there might not be a need for screen protector . Thanks to Gorilla Glass. We can use that article as a starter to discuss about the property of materials