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McCaman text Analysis
Part 1: Material Description
Date of Publication: 1995
Authors: Robert E. Smoot, Richard G. Smith, Jack Price
Specific Subject: General Chemistry
Ability Level: College Prep
Part 2: Select and unpack a learning goal
(I focused on C 4.8A : Identify the location, relative mass, and charge for electrons, protons, and neutrons)
Part 3: Analyze selected features of the materials
Here, I looked at the three criterion from Project 2061 and how they were shown in the text book relating to our sub standard.
Category III, Criterion A: Provide a Variety of Phenomena
This textbook provides a variety of phenomena to deal with the structure of the atom. The first is on page 81, where it discusses J.J. Thomson's cathode ray tube experiment. Following that, it discusses Millikan's oil drop experiment. These two phenomena deal with determing the properties of electrons, as well as the charge of electrons.
The next phenomena the book uses is on page 83, when it shows a diagram of Henry Moseley's oil drop experiment, which concluded that there are isotopes of given elements, meaning elements could have different number of neutrons in the nucleus, and these elements would have a neutral charge.
On page 100, the book shows a picture of a rhinoceros and bird. This picture is used to relate the mass of protons and electrons with the mass of rhinos and birds.
These are the phenomena included in this chapter dealing with the location, relative mass and charge for electrons, protons, and neutrons. I feel the book does an average job with displaying the phenomena to the students. A lot of the phenomena shown are simply recreations of experiments done by the scientists to discover the atomic properties. While these phenomena are important, it will be difficult for studetns to understand what is being done in the experiments, thus the phenomena dont truly help teh students out, as it does not give them an easy way to relate to the concepts
Category III Criterion B: Providing Vivid Experiences
There is one example of this in the textbook, and this is on page 79, which is a minute lab called Think Small, Very Small. It involves inflating a balloon and putting some drops of vanilla flavoring into the balloon. Then students are to observe what the weight of the balloon is like by the vanilla flavoring and away from it. This is used to teach students about the make up of the atom, and where the majority of the weight is found. This acitvity is a good activity for students as they can relate what they learn to the hands on activity. However, this is the only activity the book presents on providing vivid experiences, and more could be included, so I would rate this as poor.
Category IV Criterion B: Representing Ideas Effectively
This book provides many represenations from ideas, the first being on P. 81 with representations of Thomson, and Milliken's experiments. Both of these representations are accurate, and linked to the real thing. However, I do not think these applications will be comprehensible to the students, as the experiments are very extensive, and may be difficult for students to understand what is going on
Table 4.3 on page 85 as well as the sample problem on page 85 are good ways to represent the idea of neutrons in atoms. They both show that an element can have multiple neutrons, and deal with the weight of the neutron on the atom. The representation is accutate, and is easy for students to understand. Also, it is explicitly linked to the real thing.
Page 89 has a picture of a uranium ore. This representation is not a good representation for this section as it does nothing to further explain the phenomena of atomic structure. Rather, all it states is that uranium can be mined above ground and below ground. This representation does not meet any of the criteria.
Finally on page 100 is the rhino/bird picture described above. While this is an accurate way to compare the masses of protons and electrons, and it easy for students to comprhend , I dont know if it explicitly linked to the real thing. While a good representation, i dont know that students will fully grasp the concept, and i think possibly by adding a drawing of an electron and proton next to the photo, students would get more out of this.
Part 4: Modifications based on evaluation
After reading the chapter there are a couple of modifications I would make. The first would be to include more vivid experience examples in the book. This could be done in two ways. The first is to have students "recreate" the experiments in some sort of way, and then in doing so explain it to the rest of the class, in some sort of project based inquiry from the book. A second would be more examples like the balloon example to assist students in their learning. Also, the phenomena inserted in the book, should either be better explained, or there should be more examples included. This is because a lot of the phenomena are pictures of the experiments with a small caption, however with some of these experiments needed an upper level understanding, and this being a general chem. class, there should be better examples or at least better explanations. The last thing I would change does not deal with the phenomena but rather where the phenomena are placed. In this book, the atomic structure is first talked about for 10 pages, then it is split up for 10 pages with information about sub atomic particles and radioactivity, before finishing with more about properties of the atom. I would include all of this in one section, then go onto everything else. Thus, I would combine all the information needed for C4.8A into one section.
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