Lesson 3

A Work In Process: Improving Play a Dough Process

All Mixed Up / Grade 5 / Chicopee, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - A Work in Process: Improving a Play Dough Process, L3

Students create their own rubric for high-quality and low-quality play dough and perform controlled experiments to identify properties of play dough ingredient mixtures.

Reflection Questions

Where do you see Grace reinforcing a classroom culture that places value on scientific ways of thinking and expressing ideas?

Grace asks her students to provide support for how they know things, encourages descriptive language, and use of scientific terminology.

  • After one girl says that she thinks play dough is a solid, Grace asks, “How do you know that?” The student thinks for a minute and then explains, “It makes its own shape.” (1:24)
  • After one student describes the play dough as “bouncy”, Grace asks her how she knows it is bouncy. The student drops the play dough on the table to demonstrate and Grace adds, “That’s a good reason. You tested it!” (2:06)
  • Rather than asking what they notice about the low-quality play dough, Grace asks her students, “What are your observations of the properties of this?” (4:28)

What do you notice about the teamwork and cooperative learning skills that Grace’s students exhibit?

Grace’s students show evidence of training and practice with teamwork. They cooperate and collaborate well when handling and measuring materials.

  • When observing the flour and salt with a hand lens, teams share the lens and all contribute observations. (6:48)
  • Teams know how to assign roles. One boy says, “Now, I’m the mixer,” before reaching for the bowl. (7:08)
  • When measuring ingredients, one student holds the spoon while another scrapes the excess flour off the top. (7:19)
  • One girl takes on the role of recorder in her group, transcribing the observations of her partner who is stirring the mixture. (7:49)