5 Minutes Of Learning

Today in my science class, I wanted to get kids thinking about the different states of matter but in a different context then water vapour – water – ice. It just seems like that is their “go-to” example, and it is hard to get them to think about changing states of matter in any other context.

I found a video that shows glass artists melting glass in extreme heat and shaping their pieces of art. That alone might have made this video effective, because it provided great visual displays of what melting glass looks like, and how knowledge of changing the state or matter is necessary for all of these glass artists. The artists had to carefully cool their finished work to avoid the glass breaking, because of what is occurring with the particles in the glass. It was a real world example of what I was trying to teach.  What made this video even better was that it was interactive, in that it cued students with questions that made them think and gave them a visual countdown of how long they had to decide their answer. They weren’t always great examples of inquiry, but they definitely got students interested in what the answer was, and it also surprised them with the results. Glass was being melted at an insane 2400 degrees Fahrenheit. A 1 pound ball of melted glass was stretched to a distance of 40 feet on the screen. After the first couple of questions, I started to hear discussions at tables, reactions to right and wrong answers and genuine engagement from most, if not all, in the room. Check it out:

Video is a great learning tool, we all know that, but it can result in students tuning out. I think I know what videos will grab students’ attention and keep them involved, but I am sometimes wrong. This video, because of the way it had students thinking and answering thought provoking questions, made for 5 minutes of learning instead of 5 minutes of zoning out.

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