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Ideas for a "reward" class practical

Discussion in 'Science' started by missbiologygeek, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I'm a student teacher currently on second placement. I've been having some issues with a Year 7 class - they're nice kids but they're very noisy and there is a lot of low level disruption when I'm trying to talk to the class. I've started doing "secret student" as a way to combat this, where one student is picked at random at the start of the lesson (the students don't know who it is but the teacher does) and then the whole class is rewarded if the secret student meets the stated expectations. Works well with a younger group as they're all convinced it's them, and it's been working a treat this week!
    I've given them vivos and mini eggs this week but after Easter I want to move to a cumulative points approach so I'm not forking out money for rewards or feeding them sweets every lesson. The idea is that if they "win" in 80% of lessons in the next half term then I'll reward them with a "fun" lesson before the half term holiday. (Not that all Science lessons aren't fun [​IMG]). I think this'll work well because they LOVE practicals and demonstrations, particularly chemistry, and my last lesson with them before ending my course will be the lesson in question.
    Phew! A lot of background there to get to a fairly simple question - I apologise! I've got some ideas for a couple of demonstrations (screaming jelly baby, thermite) but I would like to incorporate an exciting class prac for the majority of the lesson, maybe one with a competitive element? Does anyone have any ideas for a class prac or maybe suggestions for relatively simple demos that go down well?
     
  2. Hi all,
    I'm a student teacher currently on second placement. I've been having some issues with a Year 7 class - they're nice kids but they're very noisy and there is a lot of low level disruption when I'm trying to talk to the class. I've started doing "secret student" as a way to combat this, where one student is picked at random at the start of the lesson (the students don't know who it is but the teacher does) and then the whole class is rewarded if the secret student meets the stated expectations. Works well with a younger group as they're all convinced it's them, and it's been working a treat this week!
    I've given them vivos and mini eggs this week but after Easter I want to move to a cumulative points approach so I'm not forking out money for rewards or feeding them sweets every lesson. The idea is that if they "win" in 80% of lessons in the next half term then I'll reward them with a "fun" lesson before the half term holiday. (Not that all Science lessons aren't fun [​IMG]). I think this'll work well because they LOVE practicals and demonstrations, particularly chemistry, and my last lesson with them before ending my course will be the lesson in question.
    Phew! A lot of background there to get to a fairly simple question - I apologise! I've got some ideas for a couple of demonstrations (screaming jelly baby, thermite) but I would like to incorporate an exciting class prac for the majority of the lesson, maybe one with a competitive element? Does anyone have any ideas for a class prac or maybe suggestions for relatively simple demos that go down well?
     
  3. Walking on custard? I'd need to check with someone else the instructions but might have the necessary ewww etc factor?
    Diet coke and mentoes- can they rig up some kind of 'dominoes' effect where one sets off the next etc
     
  4. You could try each lesson the secret student gets the point putting their name in secret on a raffle ticket which goes into a pot to be drawn at the end of the time you are doing it over. Then just give one reward to the successful secret student that was drawn.
    If you have done separating mixtures you could do a practical to separate a mixture out and the person with the highest quantity of salt wins. You could make the salt (e.g. copper sulphate) to start with, all starting with the same weighed amount of copper oxide. Emphasise that the most careful workers get the most, not the fastest.
     
  5. missmunchie

    missmunchie New commenter

    Elephant's toothpaste demo? My year 7s loved this and one group actually gave a round of applause when the experiment was finished!
    From your name I'm assuming you are a Biology specialist! I found the RSC website really helpful as I teach Physics and they have a list of 100 classic Chemistry experiments.
    http://www.rsc.org/Education/Teachers/Resources/Books/CCE.asp
    I'm working my way through some of the more fun / silly ones now with year 9 as they have finished their checkpoint exams. Making glue from milk, iron in breakfast cereal, smarties chromatography etc. I've chosen most of the food related experiments, but there are loads more.
     
  6. Mini-rockets/ exploding 35mm film canisters. Mix calcium carbonate and hydrochloric acid, in a 35mm film canister, firmly attach the lid and stand back! Messy - protect bench tops with newspaper.
    Who can get the lid the highest? Who can get it to explode after 30 seconds?
    Obviously, restrict the amounts of chemicals and their concentrations (WEAK) - carry out a full risk assessment and try the experiment well before you let the kids loose on it! NO RESPONSIBILITY ACCEPTED BY ME [​IMG]
     
  7. ict04

    ict04 New commenter

    For the exploding 35mm film canisters you can also use vinegar and sodium bicarb... I did this in our back garden (test run) and blew the canister into the next door neighbour's garden!
     
  8. I've had a lot of success recently with the exploding custard tin and the whoosh bottle, the pupils really seem to enjoy the demos. You could do making copper sulphate and have a prize for the biggest crystals. a method we recently started using forms the crystals in about 10 minutes rather than leaving for a few days.
     
  9. Alka seltzers and water in film canisters also works well!
    chem1st - what's the method for forming crystals so quickly? I do this practical a couple of times a year and sometimes they lose interest before the crystals have grown!
     
  10. Nothing better than Methane bubbles. sooo dramatic.
     
  11. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    The burning 5 pound note trick can be good, also the alkali metals are always a nice one to do and i've got a brilliant digestive system demo you could do. PM me if you want the details, it can be compressed or dragged out and it's really icky and messy and you'll gross half of them out.
     
  12. I'll look the method up when I get back to school. It only works well if the instructions are followed to the letter. Which is why it would make a good competition.
     
  13. shughesbio88

    shughesbio88 New commenter

    I did a really good practical with food tests, you make a vomit(!) mixture and they have to carry out food tests to determin what molecules are in it. [​IMG]
     
  14. HI chem1st, if you have found the method for this it would be fab please! thank you!
     
  15. See below, the 1.4 molar acid is a bit of a bind. I tend to make it quite roughly with bucket chemistry type dilution from 2M.
    <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width:474.9pt;border-collapse:collapse;border:medium none;" class="MsoNormalTable"><tr style="height:272.65pt;"><td style="padding-bottom:0cm;background-color:transparent;padding-left:5.4pt;width:226.65pt;padding-right:5.4pt;height:272.65pt;padding-top:0cm;border:windowtext 1.5pt double;"><u>Outline</u> instructions
     
  16. is it just my screen, but can't quite read the instructions?
     
  17. You can copy and paste from the above post

    Outline instructions: 1 Half-fill a 250 cm3 beaker with hot (just boiled) water from a kettle.2 Measure 15 cm3 of 1.4 mol dm&ndash;3 sulfuric acid into a boiling tube. Stand the tube in the hot water.3 Weigh out between 1.9-2.0 g of copper(II) oxide powder.4 Add half of the copper(II) oxide to the warm acid. Leave for about 1-2 mins &ndash; agitate gently then add the other half of the copper(II) oxide. Agitate gently for 3&ndash;5 mins.5 Filter into a 100 cm3 narrow-necked conical flask. [Use a fluted filter paper.]6 Boil the clear blue solution for ~2-3 mins.7 Pour the hot solution into a Petri dish and watch what happens!



     
  18. Word of caution re "methane" bubbles - if you're not on mains gas DON'T do the version which involves igniting a floating column of bubbles - it's a little TOO exciting (luckily I tried it OUTSIDE!) with bottled gas! The version using bubbles on the hands is fine, but make sure your hands are REALLY wet!
    Also, because of the advent of the digital camera - anyone got a good replacement for film canisters??
     
  19. rachel_g41

    rachel_g41 Occasional commenter

    Re replacement film canisters
    Do Smarties still come in tubes? Here in Spain there's a similar version called Lacasitos and the tubes are perfect for this kind of thing.
     

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