Thursday, November 13, 2014

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Zeis does the Wave!

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Zeis, 8th Grade Science


What are the students doing?  
The students were investigating sound waves by using inquiry to listen and investigate the behavior of sound waves through inquiry.
First, students who played string or wind instruments played in class so that we could investigate amplitude (volume), tone, and pitch (frequency/hertz). Students discussed their observations with the class.

Next students visited several stations around the room in small groups.

At Station One students had a device that they spun around. As it spun, they heard different pitches. Students determined that the movement of waves caused a different pitch. This is the Doppler effect.


At Station Two, students had two different sized glass containers and they had different amounts of water in each. Students had to predict the order of these container from the lowest pitch to the highest when tapped with a metal spoon and then students had to explain their prediction. Next students tested it and explained the results, supporting their findings with evidence. If they had time, students were encouraged to make familiar tunes.


In Station Three students had a tuning fork. Students hit the tuning fork on the counter and placed the vibrating metal into a cup of water. They observed that the water splashed from the waves. This allowed students to visually see the movement of waves.

In Station four, students had a tuning fork, an upside down plastic container and a handful of used staples. Students had to predict what would happen to the staples when the ringing tuning fork lightly touched the plastic container, with the staples on top. Students were able to observe the movement of the staples when this was done. Students were required to explain why this happened.

Station 5- Students had a metal spoon tied to a long string. Students placed the string over their pointer fingers while a partner hit the spoon on the counter and then let it hang. Students had to explain what they felt (vibrations) and why.



What do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity?
A.) Students are expected to understand that waves move energy but not matter as it travels.
B.) Students are expected to understand that waves are energy that are there even if we can't see them.
C.) Students are expected to learn that waves behave differently in a different medium.
D.) Students were expected to start to understand the behavior of waves.
E.) Students learned about wave frequency and volume and what/how it is affected.



How did this activity tie to your standards?
In eighth grade science students are expected to learn about the world around them by inquiring, testing, and analyzing, which they had the opportunity to do in this activity. The received the opportunity to collaborate with peers.
Instructionally, students are expected to understand the behavior of waves, including sound waves, how they work, and what affects them. Students studies the effects of different mediums. Students used simulations and models to explore the wave properties. Students began to explore the concept of amplitude.



How did this activity promote student learning?
This activity promoted student learning because students took ownership of discovery and sharing. They did not know ahead of time what they were looking for. Students were able to test sound and sound is a part of our everyday lives. This created a higher interest in sound as we began studying this portion of our unit which is sound and hearing.

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Make Common Sense Common (MCSC) by Tyler Abernathy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.