Tag: Electricity

Implementing Our Electricity Understandings

We have been working very hard in LC5B learning about electrical mechanisms, circuits, batteries and just how electrical circuits operate.

This is a fairly in-depth unit and the students and I have approached it with inquiry in mind. We are surrounded by electricity, but just how does it work and how dependent are we on it? LC5B had come up with so many questions which we have taken the time to research and learn about what we wondered.

Last week we had failed attempts at implementing a working circuit, but our focus at that time was on the process and how to continue to try alternatives when coming face to face with a failed attempt. This week we focused on applying the skills and knowledge we had learned about functioning circuits and attempted to put them to test with our circuit boards.

Students chose partners they felt they could work best with and each group was provided with an operating circuit board and the cell batteries students were asked to bring at the beginning of the year. I didn’t provide them with any further instructions other than to make their circuit operate. We had built the foundations of what an effective circuit requires in order to function, and now they had to apply this knowledge. This was the best piece of assessment of learning as students were quick to begin and were incredibly focused and determined on getting their circuits to operate, and they applied their understandings of insulators, conductors, switches, cells and voltage. They were also 100% comfortable in explaining how and why their circuits were or were not working, which allowed me to see their understandings in a natural setting.

They explored, they pushed, they clipped, unclipped and re-clipped….and may have burnt some bulbs…but they were learning!

I hope you can see and hear their excitement below:

What happens if.....
What happens if…..
Let's see what this does...
Let’s see what this does…
So excited about his group's completed circuit!
So excited about his group’s completed circuit!
Is this going to work...
Is this going to work…
Concentrating in their groups
Concentrating in their groups!
We think we got it!
We think we got it!
Thumbs up and all smiles!
Thumbs up and all smiles!
Success and pride!
Success and pride!
What happens with more voltage?
What happens with more voltage?

 

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Classroom Learning – September 30, 2014

Science lends its self very well to the process of inquiry and we have been working very diligently on asking questions and fostering the conversations that arise from our wonders.

We are learning about electricity and its applications in our world. Students have discussed how electricity impacts their lives on a daily basis and the importance of safe practice. I pushed their thinking and we brainstormed a variety of questions we had about electricity ensuring that all questions asked would be honoured.

The start of our electricity discussions.
The start of our electricity discussions.

One question that arose sparked a heated debate (no pun intended) “Is fire the same as electricity?” Students were so intrigued by the abstract qualities of this question that we separated into groups and students were asked to ask more questions but also provide reasonings for why they did or did not believe they were the same. Most groups decided to create two separate lists and write down the similarities and differences, which then led us to these deeper questions:

1. Is electricity hot?

2. What about lightning? Is it hot or cold?

3. We can get burned by fire, and also by electricity, but is it the same?

Debating whether electricity and fire are the same.
Debating whether electricity and fire are the same.

Their discussions were rich and lively, which began the process of connection for them with our inquiry unit into the impact that electricity has in our lives.

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