Friday, March 18, 2016

Not on the List


8th grade science. (No, not that class.) They were making "Wanted" posters for atoms. (Cute assignment, really, but a bit too involved to go into explaining.)

Each student was to be assigned an atom. The teacher had helpfully provided a page that was easily cut into small strips of paper, so each student could draw an atom rather than having me assign one. A lottery, as it were.

Knowing their usual tricks, I explained they'd get to pick their atom, but there were no redraws. Because if I allowed that, we'd spend the entire period with them trying to pick a "good one".

Students who ended up with larger atoms were not pleased with this. (They had to draw out the diagram, so the students who got stuck with iodine had to draw out 53 protons, 53 electrons, and 73 neutrons.) Although, I made one girl happy when she picked arsenic. I informed her it was a poison. She was quite content with that atom after learning that.

Several had turned in their posters. One boy put his in the pile, but something about it caught my eye. He had helium.

Funny, helium wasn't on the list...

(The smallest atom on the list was carbon.)

I asked the boy about it. He admitted that he had lost his slip and had forgotten what atom he had.

Um, okay... Well, he could draw another from the left over slips I had.

I suppose I should be grateful he didn't try to get away with hydrogen. I wish I could tell you which atom he then drew, but I don't recall. It wasn't one of the bigger ones, though.

16 comments:

  1. At least he tried to do something I guess.

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  2. I think it is safe to assume we are in trouble with these kids being the future leaders of our country!

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    1. I don't know. At least he tried something. Even if he was taking the easy way out.

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  3. better something than nothing! And I'm with Paula, especially thinking of the poison fan girl

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  4. Ugh, what a boring project. I would have tried to get away with Helium, too. Learning about the element wouldn't so bad but the diagrams! How tedious.

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  5. What a great assignments! Helium is one of the inert gases on the element table. He was totally get away with minimum work.Husband and I are total geek people.

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    1. There were a couple noble gases on the list. Krypton and argon. He was going for the #2. At least he didn't try hydrogen.

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  6. That is actually a cool assignment. This boy could have just goofed off but he didn't - that's commendable.

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  7. I like the assignment; we never did anything cool like that when we were learning atoms :) Got to give him credited, at least he was ingenious to come up with something to work on.

    betty

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    1. Yes, he at least tried to do something. I commend him for that.

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  8. LOL at him trying to be slick. That sounds like a fun project :)

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  9. Sounds like a fun assignment. Convenient (and possibly clever) for the kid to forget which atom he'd selected. Pretty sure I wasn't that quick-thinking at that age—or now. :)

    VR Barkowski

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  10. Very interesting assignment. We never did anything like that in school.

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    1. Neither did we. I would have loved that assignment in 8th grade... No, wait. I wouldn't have.

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  11. It's a great way to teach kids about atoms. I can imagine the poor kids' dismay when they drew out a complex one :)

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