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Alternatives to molymods

Discussion in 'Science' started by Cosmic_Rainbow, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Cosmic_Rainbow

    Cosmic_Rainbow New commenter

    Sweets are deffo the way to go. Also can use cocktail sticks and different coloured balls of plasticine
     
  2. Call me a boring old f*** but I simply produced an A4 sheet with lots of coloured circles in different sizes, with element symbols inside, using a computer.
    Each pupil had their "own" set and after 20mins cutting (using a plastic "bank envelope" to store the "parts"), pupils could place NaOH + HCl on one side of their exercise book and another set of identical atoms as NaCl + HOH on the other side of their book.
    We "balanced" equations, modelled structures and used a wide variety of elements for approx 5p per pupil.
    Some took them home to explain to parents about chemistry - a good link and if the resource didn't come back, it wasn't the end of the Earth!
     
  3. I do something similar. I don't recommend that the fire alarm goes off in the period between cutting and sticking. Especially when students do not return to your lesson but go straight to the next one leaving hundreds of 'atoms' scattered around the room. Sigh.....
     
  4. Sweets are a really good idea. I use them to model the structure of DNA and find it really engages the students.
    I use plastecine when teaching KS3 Atoms, elements, compounds as I can't stand moly mods, although it would be very difficult to make bonds between atoms so you can see the 3D structure of the molecule.

    I think sweets are the way to go.
     
  5. MrsBridgewater

    MrsBridgewater New commenter

    We had marshmallows and straws and midget gems and cocktail sticks and we had a ball!


    I wanted to get the 3D nature over to them, and this certainly did the trick. Graphite worked well as we could pile up layers. Diamond was best made with short bits of straw and marshmallows or it was hard to get it to stand up, and we couldn't make it too big.

    Extension activities included making silicon dioxide, those at the lower end of the ability range carried out an experiment to work out how many marshmallows one can get in one's mouth at once. I did point out that they should repeat this three times to ensure it was a valid test - but was told 'No Miss, we'll be sick!'


    All in all a very enjoyable lesson.
     
  6. I do worry that many teachers TALK about healthy eating and living an appropriate lfestyle, then dish out sweets as attractive articles.
    Personally, I always found little items like pencil sharpners, pens, post-it notelets etc or bicycle reflectors, fluorescent strips etc to support my attempts at bribery and corruption - one should have moral standards, you know! [​IMG]
     
  7. I'm confident that the general public would quickly give an ID tag to an adult found bribing children with sweets!!! Seems perverse to me and, as a parent, I'd like to be made aware of a teacher doing this kind of thing in my daughter's school.
    Same thing goes for any other bribery.
    Maybe MrsBridgewater, teachsci1 and others who do this kind of thing could try 'Teaching'?
     
  8. What a rude response from green-maggot to Mrs Bridgewater!! I am teaching polymerisation to my Year 10 Triple Scientists and use winegums for Carbon and mini marshmallows for hydrogens, with cocktailsticks to bond. I can't think of many other lessons in which I use sweets, other than the ue of M&Ms to model the probability of radioactive decay. After tomorrow i will have used sweets twice in the space of a week. According to green-maggot's standards I should probably have a restraining order! Never mind the fact that I can't recall using sweets since last year when I taught the same topic. There always seem to be some self righteous, holier than thou person who chips into forums with negativity. I totally agree that I would be concerned if my children were being given sweets on a regular basis in school, but have absolutely no problem with the occasional sweet being used in a constructive way. I have no concerns that this would turn my Year 7 daughter into a sugar crazed, gap-toothed, delinquent who only does things for bribes, but then of course it depends on the culture at home. Calm down and lay off teachers who do 'this type of thing'.
     
  9. MrsBridgewater

    MrsBridgewater New commenter

    Wow, I should try teaching? Didn't realise that was what I was supposed to be doing! Also didn't realise that helping children to learn shouldn't involve fun or something a little off the wall at times! I have been away from this forum for a while and had forgotten how supportive *everyone* here can be! So the fact that this activity (the only time I have taken sweets into school this term) got two low ability sets to discuss the differences between the properties of graphite and diamond in terms of their structure had nothing to do with the fact that I found a way to engage them in the task?

    Yes a few were eaten - but you now what the children were pretty sensible and didn't eat the ones that had been used for modelling. My mentor and the school co-ordinator both observed this lesson (taught to parallel groups) and both said it was an outstanding lesson. My mentor (HoD) in particular mentioned that it was a really creative way of conveying a dry subject.

    As to parents worrying about their children being force fed sweets in school - I think most year 10 and 11 pupils are probably buying plenty of their own sweeties outside school. The Tescos next to school is depleted of sweets and junk food every morning as the children stock up for the day ahead.

    I have seen several teachers who use sweets as prizes and bribes and often wonder how they can afford to buy so many multipacks of sweets each week. I know I couldn't - and if I want to spend money of sweets on a regular basis it will be for my own children.
     

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