A Teaching Practicum

Now comes the main body of the lesson, where students work together in small groups to construct the atomic structure for atoms of the first 20 elements of the periodic table. In one sense, it is quite an open-ended task, as I have not specified exactly how they are to represent these structures - they can use one or a combination of tables, diagrams or pictures. I want students to choose their own method, constructing the nucleus and electronic arrangement of atoms in such a way that when they see an element listed in the periodic table that can deduce it's atomic structure in ways they best understand.

I see my task in this - the majority of the lesson - to circulate and work with students individually or in small groups. So the lesson has moved from being teacher-directed to student-centred and directed. This is the best way to differentiate and address individual students' learning needs.

Watch what happens as I work with this pair of Malay Muslim girls.

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