Category Archive for: Activities

#27 – How to Use 12 items to make 1 Awesome CER Intro Activity

How do you introduce CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) to your students? Fact is, there are many ways, and they all depend on personal teaching styles. Some use class discussion questions to as a CER intro activity to help students develop and support some fun claims. Some use quirky science examples to illustrate CER in real,…

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#26 – Getting Big on Instagram (and other inquiry questions for variables practice)

Are you looking for an activity for students to practice identifying independent and dependent variables? Most independent and dependent variables practice activities tend to provide a statement and have students identify the independent and dependent variables. A typical practice question goes like this: The problem with Typical Questions Typical practice questions are fine if you…

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#24 – How to make Graph Analysis Practice fun (hint: include lightsabers and Matt Damon)

Are you constantly looking for interesting, fun, and relevant ways to practice graph analysis and other science skills? Typically, we have students graph lab data or analyze charts from the textbook or lab manual. Although these strategies are solid ways to practice graph analysis or production, both are missing the “fun factor.” Also, textbooks and…

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#20 – How we use Chocolate Milk and TV Snacking as CER practice examples (note: real science examples!)

Do you know about the Four Stages of Competence? One of its claims is that getting better at a skill (to go from “conscious” to “unconscious competence”) requires practice. Of course, this is nothing new. To get better at sports, reading, writing, or arithmetic requires practice to hone the craft. Using CER – Claim, Evidence,…

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#18 – How Redesigning a Face Mask can teach Biology (and student empathy too!)

Teaching arts and sciences together can make science more applicable and exciting. That is one of the suggestions in the article My Wish List for University Science Education published on Medium.com. At its core, the article suggests ways in which we can alter university science education to make it reach more learners, to show more…

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#17 – How We Use Gift Cards for an engaging KMT activity (and teach Sustainability too!)

How can I make an abstract concept – one where I may not be able to look at close up – engaging and applicable? For example, the kinetic molecular theory (KMT) is one of the most important concepts for high school students to learn. Demos like adding food colouring to hot and cold water or…

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#15 – An Awesome Density Lab Fresh from the Oven (hint: Baking is involved!)

Density is an awesome property of matter. Density can help identify unknown materials (circa Archimedes and the Gold crown). Differences in density determine the relative position of objects (ie. Which objects sink and which objects float). Unfortunately, students too often learn that density is just a formula. A calculation. That it’s not applicable to the…

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#12 – Red Jellybeans are the best ones (and 10 other intro CER examples)

CER (Claim Evidence Reasoning) is an effective way for students to structure their conclusions by wrapping together their lab evidence and science reasoning. However, do you need a simple, low-barrier-to-entry example to intro CER (Claim Evidence Reasoning)? I do. Even though I have CER infographics from Blog 4 to show my students fun science CER…

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#11 – How We do Science Curriculum & Team Building by playing “Telephone”

Team building is an important part of running a class. And, it requires constant upkeep. If I want my car to run smoothly throughout the year, I can’t change the oil once a year and expect it to last. Similarly, I can’t just do a science team building activity at the beginning of the year…

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#10 – Why we use gas prices to teach unit conversions (and why you should too!)

Unit conversions is important to learn, but to teach unit conversions is boring because most examples are irrelevant to life. Sure, we can teach students to convert kilometres to millimetres (and that might be important for certain science applications). But, when is a student really ever going to need to know how far the distance…

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