Today I got a gentle reminder to look through my students eyes a little more often that I do. It was timely as all those classroom routines and tasks start to bog down all that beginning of the year energy.
On Tuesdays I have my delicious yr 13 Chemistry class, followed by my energetic yr 8 Science class. Yr 8 start the year looking at weather, and today I had planned to boil some water so they could learn, be reminded, or I could check that they could read a thermometer. It also gives a chance to practice drawing a graph. But really, in my eyes, boiling water is as dull as a dull thing, and I remarked to my yr 13 Chem class about how I wasn’t especially looking forward to yr 8’s and boiling water, pondering how else I could practice using thermometers. And one chap piped up with
‘I loved doing that in year 8’
I looked at him to see if he was being sarcastic, and he wasn’t. In response to my raised eyebrows he reminded me that back then Bunsen burners were super exciting, and it was new to him and he did really enjoy it. Lighting a match was fun, and they all used to fight over who got to.
I suppose it was also a timely reminder that just because you have done something before, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it again. Obviously there might be tweaks or changes you make, but making sure I make those changes for the correct reasons.
So, when the year 8’s filled the room as my yr 13’s left it, I had an increased spring in my step. We set up gear, lit matches and measured, and compared tap water with water with ice cubes. The students did love it, as they do every time. And I enjoyed it more than I might have, because I remembered to look through the eyes of a year 8 learning new skills rather than a 36 year old teacher who has done it before.
2 thoughts on “Boiling water”
I know! Do it every year with my year 9s. Heating ice with a bunsen burner. I think its the fire aspect that gets them going, but always amazed how they see this as fun! Plotting the graph, now that is where all the action is.
I’ve not done much y9 since being at this school, and when I got told I was getting a class this year, I thought “oh no, boring!” I’m actually having fun because I am looking at ways to make the learning more interesting and trying to get that excitement going in the kids!
Today was using Bunsen burners, which they taught themselves to light by using the Pearson animation, then when they had finished a Google Form was used to assess their learning. Once the form was completed in the correct order, a script ran to send them a “Bunsen burner safe user certificate” which they really loved! So much fun.