How Implementation Went

Description

During Explore Your World Day we implemented the transformation unit by doing the “Oobleck” project. We created the “Oobleck” by having cornstarch, water, zip lock bags and food coloring. “Oobleck” is usually done in bowls but for the environment of Explore Your World Day we wanted the kids to be able to create it, see how it was made and also get to take it home with them.

One of the big selling points to get the kids to come to our table was asking if they wanted to make slime. To begin, we gave the students a zip lock bag. Then we put the water in first and then the cornstarch. Finally, we added the food coloring. Then the children had to mash it together to make the three ingredients come together to make the “Oobleck”.

We found out through trial and error that putting these three items in that order made it easier to make the “Oobleck”. We also found out that the proportion of the water and cornstarch we had to use almost always changed. It was never a consistent proportion. The children also noticed when it wasn’t working well and we would tell them that as a scientist it is okay to make mistakes and keep trying until you can create the correct mixture.

We asked the children many questions throughout our experiment. For example, if they knew what a solid, a liquid, or a gas was? The majority of the students would answer by giving us examples of what each of the states of matter were. We also asked if they would want to open up their zip lock bag and play with the “Oobleck”. If the students responded yes, then we asked them what it felt like. Following that we would have them hold the “Oobleck” in their hands and ask whether it was a solid or liquid. The majority of the children would say a solid. Then we would have the students flip their hands around and ask again. The children then responded that it was now a liquid. Lastly, we had a humidifier that was showing the air coming out of it and we would ask the students if the air was a liquid, solid, or gas.

The students, for the most part, responded gas. The children all seemed to really like our activity and question. They also wanted to play with it after they created, which allowed them to further explore liquids, solids, and gases.

Reflections and Critical Analysis

This activity was effective in engaging children and also having them learn without them knowing it. All the children who came in the room participated in the making of “Oobleck”. When making the oobleck the children were wondering how the three ingredients could make something that could be both a liquid and a solid.

Through doing this activity at Explore Your World Day versus in the classroom you can get many different results that you might not see in the classroom. We had students at our station for about 5 minutes, this means we got to see a variety of children in a short amount of time. In the classroom you have the children all year to engage them in learning and also to teach more information on solids, liquids and gases. You could build up your student’s knowledge of solids, liquids and gases whereas at Explore Your World Day we only had a short about of time because students had the option to go to many different learning stations. This activity would be much more effective in the classroom for that reason. You would have more time with your students in a classroom setting and could thereby engage students more in the learning of solids, liquids, and gases rather than only “Oobleck”.

Too add, the zip locks were a great idea for Explore Your World Day but in the classroom I think you would need to do this activity in bowls. With bowls you can make it more engaging. Also, students could play in the bowls with the “Oobleck”. By playing with it more they would better be able to understand whether it is a solid or a liquid and you would have the opportunity to ask them more questions regarding it.

Explore Your World Day would have also been better if more kids came but it was a really good learning experience to know that you could do so much with these activities in the class room in just a one day event.

Recommendations for Future Implementation

To make this lesson more effectively implemented in the classroom you would need to make it extremely engaging and fun. There are a ton of different activities that you can do with you students to make the unit of transformation interesting for students. For example, in the future I think that students should first learn about solids, liquids, and gases in detail before creating the “Oobleck”. I think doing that would make the “Oobleck” a more meaningful concept for students. Truthfully the “Oobleck” portion of the unit could be done with children of any age, in any region. The main thing is to make sure that students truly understand what is being taught in the classroom.

With each section in the unit of transformation you simply need to be ready to adapt your lesson depending on the grade level of the students. For example, when teaching about Atoms in the unit, you do not want to be teaching a difficult form of that to a first grader because that will go over their heads.

The only cultural differences that you may have when teaching this unit may be in where water is found in their society. This would come into play during the Water Cycle portion of the unit. For example, some students may come from somewhere where they have never seen an ocean. In this case you will need a lot of visuals to make up for that.

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