The Saratoga science classes are now several weeks into our chemistry unit. We started our journey be reviewing gas laws and how odors move as particles that connect with the air. Students completed several readings, labs, and activities that illustrate these properties. As a focus for the unit, we have been working on scientific modeling and how we can illustrate characteristics that we may not always see. For our first formative assessment, students completed a model of how an odor travels by incorporating images, labels, titles, and explanations as to what is happening. The model is a culmination of our all the work and knowledge students should have so far in our unit.
Where we are going
Our next step will be to start focusing on the periodic table and how elements are organized. As part of our study, students have already participated in an element activity aimed at building understanding on how our periodic table operates. This next week, students will be selecting an element to study further through an Element Project Design Brief (assignment #11). During their research, they will be identify chemical and physical properties, historical uses of the element, how it was discovered, and the implications of its properties on how it is used in industry. The design brief and all expectations are attached to assignment #11.
For All Rubrics Reminder
Now that we are several weeks into our chemistry unit, we have asked students to reflect using For All Rubrics on the progress they are making to ensure they are staying caught up. Since we are back into a content unit, there are more smaller check-ins required, which allows to know how students are progressing with their work. We ask that students show their parents on a regular basis their For All Rubrics status and to reflect on the next steps required to either maintain their momentum or the steps needed to catch up. Remember that all late work requires a personalized check-in with one of your student’s facilitators to ensure that all aspect are complete and done well. Check-ins can occur daily during class or a Connect session or during one of our two weekly FLEX periods. Only assignments with “red” check marks should be of a concern as they indicate that we reviewed the students work and it was not complete or not fully developed. See the example below for what our current For All Rubrics assignment list looks like.