Separating Mixtures Challenge

Teacher: Adelyn Lyon
Subject and grade level: Science, 5th grade
Location: Mountain View, CA
Curriculum: Lesson plan (adapted from the FOSS Curriculum Mixtures and Solutions Unit)
Brief Description:

Science lesson on separating mixtures (physical science). Students have been challenged to designed a method for separating a mixture containing water, gravel, a powder (diatomaceous earth), and table salt (sodium chloride). In this lesson, we see the students testing out their designs and reporting on the results.

Classroom context: Diverse classroom with 31 students. Student demographics:  Latino(a): 16; Pacific Islander: 1; African American: 3; White/Asian: 2; Asian/Latino: 3; White (not hispanic): 6. There were 13 students classified as English Learners (ELs) and 3 as Fluent-English Proficient (FEP). Most of the ELs have intermediate level English skills.

Note: To honor the teachers and students represented in the video, please keep in mind the complex nature of teaching, and to be constantly aware that there is much information not available to the video viewer. Thus, it is neither respectful or helpful to jump to large generalizations about the practice viewed. We suggest using a language of tentativeness when discussing video records of practice, and cultivating a stance of questioning and inquiry when analyzing the teaching we observe.

Part 1: Lesson Launch (Clip length: 12:29 minutes)

Part 2: Lab Activity (Clip length: Clip 9:46 minutes)

Part 3: Writing Activity (Clip length: Clip 6:53 minutes)

Part 4: Closure (Clip length: Clip 14:49 minutes)

a. The total lesson time was 87 minutes. The lesson launch was 14 minutes, the lab activity took 36 minutes, the writing activity was 17 minutes long, and the lesson closure was 20 minutes.

b. Prior to this lesson, the class had several lessons about mixtures and solutions. Earlier in the week, the students spent time designing and writing a procedure for separating a mixture containing water, gravel, a powder (diatomaceous earth), and table salt (sodium chloride).

c. The FOSS science curriculum and kits are used in this school and district.