Posts filed under ‘The Problems with Oil Project’

“All we have to fear is fear itself.”

Truman’s famous quote from the depths of the depression rings true today in the classroom, and in the wider world.

Continue Reading September 11, 2011 at 8:32 PM Leave a comment

Problems with Projects – TAP and POP come home to roost.

Posters for TAP are in. POP multi medias are supposed to be. Here are some things students needed more help with…

Continue Reading May 31, 2011 at 2:50 PM Leave a comment

Problems with Oil Project – The movie

This is the whole thing in pictures with music, captions and pics of the people who might solve some of the problems with oil.

Continue Reading May 29, 2011 at 6:46 AM Leave a comment

The Carbon Court is IN SESSION

Running a class room court is not quite as easy as I’d hoped but really teaches the value of reliable evidence and helped us celebrate the end of the Great Carbon Race by crowning the true king or queen.

Continue Reading May 18, 2011 at 2:59 PM Leave a comment

Student Choice vs Culture.

The subtle art of enabling student choice versus the 8th grade coolness culture.

Continue Reading May 16, 2011 at 10:33 AM Leave a comment

The Great Carbon Race, evidence and the A, B, Cs of the working world.

A wild diversity of ways to approach saving carbon and showing what they did, from amazing to a parent note saying ‘My son saved carbon, signed, Mom’. How well do 8th graders understand the concept of ‘evidence’, and how this kind of project relates to the working world?

Continue Reading May 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM Leave a comment

8th Ocean acidification and neutralization…

Well, it’s a nice idea, just dump in a load of baking soda, right? We used the issue of acidification to run a lab on neutralization in a short but very colorful titration lab.

Continue Reading May 9, 2011 at 7:54 PM Leave a comment

The Acid Test

What do kids REALLY think about how carbon cycles through us all? A test reveals some persistent mis-understandings. And acid tests reveal the pH of all kinds of chemicals, leading into ocean acidification. Student sheets and pics provided 🙂

Continue Reading April 29, 2011 at 3:27 PM Leave a comment

Beads -> Balanced Chemical Equations

C + O2 -> CO2, right? No problem.

Collecting gas from a burning coal:

Using bromothymol blue to see if the collected gas is carbon dioxide.

And we are always safety-conscious:

But some students didn’t realize that the atoms themselves re-arrange and are the SAME atoms that just change their bonds from one side to the other side of the equation and IN REAL LIFE too, that chemical reactions conserve matter. They can slide by with memorizing and learning the ‘turn-the-crank way to balance equations well enough to do okay on the state tests (in OMG 2 weeks…). But they really needed time to think about what was going on at the atomic and molecular level. So glad I cancelled the lab and took this slowly.

It’s kind of fun too, using white boards and markers, working together and ooh, bright, clinky counters. I had no idea that $7 of vase stones from the craft shop would be my best learning tool all year.

The conservation of matter, of atoms, in a chemical reaction is a profound law of the universe – it’s why they are stardust, how we are all connected with the earth and sky, and why we all contain bits of carbon that were once part of Einstein, or Marilyn Monroe. The carbon emphasis on the lab sheet: 3. Investigate chemical reactions stochiometry makes the connection to the Problems with Oil and the Great Carbon Race that has woven through this year’s curriculum and through 7th grade life science too. It’s a really nice realization, an ah ha moment with a little fizz of awe and wonder at the universe.

After letting them have some time to think through the methane + O2 reaction, I had students share their thinking.

And finally, shock, horror…

They did the chapter in the text to consolidate what they were learning.

April 27, 2011 at 11:15 AM

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