Science Sampler: Enhancing student understanding of physical and chemical changes by: Julie McIntosh, Sandra White, and Robert Suter

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Students within the Findlay, Ohio, City School District, as well as students across the country, struggle with understanding physical and chemical changes. Therefore, in this article, the authors suggest some standards-based activities to clarify misconceptions and provide formative assessments to measure your students’ progress as they determine the difference between chemical and physical changes.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:18 PM

The article explains more deeply how a change would be chemical. It provides many ways you can show a chemical change. I use some of these examples, such as an alka seltzer in water and milk and vinegar, to show what happens in a chemical reaction. Some of the examples ae too dangerous for my third grade classroom (for instance, the one that use fire). HOwever, I like having the list of ideas and products that produce chemical changes so the students and I can discuss them and "see" some of them. I would recommend reading this article, if only to get the list of chemical reactions that could be discussed. This article helps me with my solids and liquids kit from STC.

Susan Grandick
Susan Grandick

  • on Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:46 AM

Students have a hard time understanding the difference between physical and chemical changes. Through a series of simple hands-on activities and some demonstrations students correct some misconceptions. This article provides a list of what to do and questions to ask to generate understanding. This article takes the guessing out of what to use to prove the difference between the two changes for student understanding.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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