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Using the REACT strategy to understand physical and chemical changes

Issue: March 2017 364

Author: Neslihan Ültay, Seda Çavuş Güngören and Eser Ültay

Extract: Students often struggle to determine whether changes in matter are physical or chemical; for example, they may have difficulty labelling a candle melting as a physical change but a candle burning as chemical change. Here we describe a lesson that we used to integrate conceptual learning about physical and chemical changes using the ‘REACT’ strategy (relating, experiencing, applying, cooperating and transferring) using daily life examples. The activities cover one REACT cycle delivered over two lesson periods. In the activities, examples of physical and chemical change are taken from daily life. Students are actively involved in the activities and at the end of the experiencing stage, they should be able to distinguish physical and chemical changes and to define the changes occurring in the matter at the molecular level.

Heat transfer in a paper cup

Issue: March 2017 364

Author: Carla Ribeiro

Extract: The double-wall paper cup is an everyday object that can be used in the laboratory to study heat transfer. The experiment described here has been done by physics students aged 12–13 years; it can also be used in a different context to prompt debate about environmental issues.

The use of force notation to detect students’ misconceptions: mutual interactions case

Issue: March 2017 364

Author: Ahcene Serhane, Abdelhamid Zeghdaoui and Mehdi Debiache

Extract: Using a conventional notation for representing forces on diagrams, students were presented with questions on the interaction between two objects. The results show that complete understanding of Newton’s Third Law of Motion is quite rare, and that some problems relate to misunderstanding which force acts on each body. The use of the terms ‘action’ and ‘reaction’ in this specific context, compared with their general use, was also found to be misleading.

The ripple tank: management and observation

Issue: March 2017 364

Author: Geoff Auty

Extract: This overview is intended to help colleagues achieve successful and satisfying observations using a ripple tank. There are many observations to consider that can effectively illustrate reflection, refraction, interference and diffraction, but the most important consideration is to make every effort to enable students to see the effects we want them to see. Some of the content is based on articles written many years ago. This update is offered especially to help younger teachers develop confidence in the use of this equipment.

Optimal learning in schools – theoretical evidence: Part 2 Updating Piaget

Issue: March 2017 364

Author: John Crossland

Extract: Part 1 in this four-part series of articles discussed Piaget’s theories of learning and development (Crossland, 2016). Part 2 explores how post-Piagetian researchers have addressed criticisms of Piaget’s theories by linking recent evidence including that from neuroscience. The outcomes show that good teachers make a difference by implementing classroom-based optimal learning strategies. This new evidence brings Piaget’s theories into the 21st century and leads to a clearer definition of optimal learning in the classroom.

Optimal learning in schools – theoretical evidence: Part 3 Individual differences

Issue: March 2017 364

Author: John Crossland

Extract: Parts 1 and 2 in this four-part series of articles (Crossland, 2016, 2017) discussed the recent research from neuroscience linked to concepts from cognitive development that brought Piaget’s theories into the 21st century and showed the most effective provision towards more optimal learning strategies. Then the discussion moved onto Demetriou’s latest thinking that explored the relationship between the developing mind and the developing brain. Part 3 outlines individual differences in learners with further implications for classroom practice leading to additional characteristics of optimal learning in the classroom.

Learning Landscapes: a form of formative assessment supporting assessment without levels

Issue: March 2017 364

Author: Brian Matthews

Extract: Learning Landscapes are assessment tools that can be used formatively to map progress in specific skills in the classroom and can contribute to learning without levels. Learning Landscapes can help both teachers and students recognise specific aspects of behaviour linked to a specific skill that provide evidence of their success in that skill. They can also be used to target next steps and therefore have a strong formative potential and can contribute to assessment without levels. Issues of gender and other diversity concerns can also be incorporated.

Lab Equipment Special - During challenging times schools require trusted partners

Issue: March 2017 364

Extract: Promoted Feature - These are challenging times for school budgets. We at the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) have been tracking school spend on education resources for over two decades, and haven’t seen a situation like this since the last recession.

Reviews

Issue: March 2017 364

Author: Reviews published in School Science Review are the opinions of individual reviewers, and are not an official Association for Science Education (ASE) view or endorsement of the resource.

Extract: • 117 This Book Thinks You’re a Scientist London Science Museum (llustrations by Harriet Russell) • 118 The Kew Plant Glossary – An Illustrated Dictionary of Plant Terms Henk Beentje • (illustrations by Juliet Williamson) • 118 50 Things You Should Know about Space Raman Prinja • 118 Calculating the Cosmos: How Mathematics Unveils the Universe Ian Stewart • 119 Teaching Secondary Science: Constructing Meaning and Developing • Understanding Keith Ross, Liz Lakin, Janet McKechnie and Jim Baker • 120 How to Teach Secondary Science Catrin Green • 120 Science Formative Assessment Volume 1: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, • Instruction and Learning Page Keeley • 121 Specific Learning Difficulties: What Teachers Need to Know Diana Hudson • 121 ioLight portable microscope ioLight Ltd

App Reviews

Issue: March 2017 364

Extract: • NAMOO Lite – Wonders of Plant Life • Paper by FiftyThree • GCSE Physics

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