Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Teaching Tips: Ice Experiment

Hello Teachers!

Last year I was on my first teaching placement for my University course. Even though I had spent time in classrooms a lot the idea was so scary and daunting. I was placed in a Year 2 class and one of my observations had to be a Science lesson. Now I've never planned my own lesson before and I had to fit in with what the children were already studying. The topic was 'Fire and Ice', however my focus was on 'Ice'. Obviously, I picked to do a melting ice experiment.

'Save The Penguin' Experiment

The children were learning about animals in Antarctica and their favourite was the Penguins. I decided to freeze a picture of a penguin (which had been laminated) using the 6 paint palette trays. The ice cubes were a lot bigger for the children to see them melt and when they saved the penguin they could take him/her home.

We used 5 different materials to test melting these ice cubes. I used Sugar, Table Salt, Road Salt, Pepper and Sand. Due to the size of the ice cubes I had made up some word searches which focused on getting the children to find our key words. This allowed them to stay on task and wait to see which one melted the fastest.

I did this in table groups, 5 to a table. Each child on that table had a bowl and an ice cube and they each had a different material. This allowed everyone to be involved and in charge of something.

This experiment was done in Summer which was the worst time to do it in. It was good to talk about the misconceptions children had, as some thought pepper/sand was best to use, however this had melted faster because of the temperature. This was introducing the children to the idea of how some factors can affect our experiments and give us wrong results (anomalies).

The children loved this experiment and I would say it was a success. Of course like every lesson there would be somethings I would do differently. The most important thing is to keep children engaged and the best way to do this is to do practical work where possible. Children in Early Years and KS1 love being active and involved. This ice experiment was allowing children to explore and see what they found. We could then discuss the table results as a class and talk through the problems we faced e.g. the affect the temperature had on the ice cubes.

It was really nice to see some children had taken their penguins home and made bigger ice cubes and tried to melt them. We discussed in the morning how bigger ice cubes would take longer to melt than the size we had in the lesson.

Do you have any ice experiments that worked well with your children?

"The rest is still unwritten"


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