- The Variables Kit Contains
- Kit Inventory List
- Materials Supplied by the Teacher
- Materials from the Measurement Kit
- Storing Equipment
- Preparing A New Kit
- Preparing The Kit For Your Classroom
- Ordering Replacement Parts
1 Teacher Guide
1 Teacher Preparation Video
• Equipment for 32 students working in 8 collaborative groups of 4 students
• FOSS Science Stories Variables
A new kit contains enough consumable items for at least two classroom uses before you need to restock.
FOSS modules use central materials distribution. You organize all the materials for an investigation on a single table called the materials station. As the investigation progresses, one member of each group gets materials as they are needed, and another returns the materials when the investigation is completed. You place items at the station— students do the rest.
Each part of each investigation has a Materials section that describes the materials required for that part. It lists materials needed for each collaborative group and for the class.
Be aware that you must supply a few items. These are indicated in the materials list for each part of the investigation with an asterisk (*). Here is a summary list of those items.
You must have access to FOSS measurement tools. Items preceded by
a delta (Δ) in the materials list for each part of the investigation are in
the Measurement kit. You will need the items listed below.
16 Plastic cups
8 Graduated cylinders, 50-ml
If you are preparing a new kit for classroom use, you can do several things initially that will save time during routine preparation for instruction.
1. GATHER PENNIES
Collect 400 pennies from 1983 or later and store them in a plastic bag. These pennies are made of zinc with a copper coating and will have the same mass. Pennies dated earlier are all copper and have a different mass. Mass is an important variable in Investigation 2.
2. PREPARE A NUMBER LINE (INVESTIGATION 1)
Copy the Swingers Number Line (duplication master no. 4) and cut the three strips apart. Glue or tape them to a long strip of cardboard. To make the strip durable, cover it with wide, clear strapping tape or laminate it. Punch a hole under each number. Hang a paper clip in each hole to act as a hook. Fold the strip in thirds or roll it for storage.
3. FOLD AND TEAR SANDPAPER
Fold and tear the two large pieces of sandpaper into four pieces each. These are used in Investigation 3.
4. ORGANIZE INVESTIGATION MATERIALS
Some teachers like to organize the small kit materials into zip bags to facilitate management and distribution of materials. Here are a few suggestions for subpackaging.
For Investigation 1:
For Investigation 3:
For Investigation 4:
Some preparation is required each time you use the kit. Doing these things before beginning the module will make daily setup quicker and easier.
1. CHECK ALL CONSUMABLES
Inventory the supply of consumables, remembering that the original kit supplies two class uses.
2. PLAN FOR DIRECTING CONSTRUCTION
All of the investigations in this module call for students to construct a piece of equipment that they will use with their group. A student sheet guides each construction sequence. Decide how this can be most effectively used in your classroom. Here are some suggestions.
• Make a transparency of the construction sheet, and use an overhead projector to help students work through the assembly step-by-step.
• Transfer the information from the sheet to a set of posters or charts. Use them sequentially to guide construction.
• Make copies of the sheets for collaborative groups to use, working at their own pace.
3. CONSTRUCT SAMPLES OF EQUIPMENT
Make a swinger (Investigation 1), a set of lifeboats (Investigation 2), a FOSS plane (Investigation 3), and a flip stick (Investigation 4). Students can refer to these samples when they are making their own equipment.
4. INVENTORY PROPELLERS AND HOOKS (INVESTIGATION 3)
Inventory the 16 propellers and 16 hooks and check their condition. Each collaborative group will make one plane using one propeller and one hook. Depending on your class, you may want to have pairs of students make a plane. Consider the logistics of the 8 or 16 flight lines and the supply of materials.
5. MEASUREMENT TOOLS
Tools from the FOSS Measurement kit (syringes and graduates) are used in Investigation 2 to measure fluid volume. If your students have not used these tools, do the Take Me to Your Liter investigation in the Measurement Module before using the Variables Module.
6. STUDENT SHEETS AND OVERHEAD TRANSPARENCIES
You will need to make copies of student sheets before each
investigation. If you use an overhead projector, you may want to
make transparencies of a few sheets to help students become
familiar with them. A projector is also useful for displaying group
data for class discussions. Make overhead transparencies of the
following sheets for displaying data:
• No. 7—Swingers Two-Coordinate Graph
• No. 10—Lifeboat Inspection
• No. 16—Two-Coordinate Graph
7. PREPARE STUDENT JOURNALS
Students will record data two ways during this module: on the
structured student sheets, and more informally in a personal
journal. Make a copy of the sheet called Variables Journal for each
student. This sheet can be used as a cover for several sheets of
lined paper stapled together or as the first sheet in a binder or
8. WORD BANK AND CONTENT/INQUIRY CHARTS
Throughout the module, you will be adding new vocabulary
words to a word bank and summarizing content learned and
questions still to be answered on a content/inquiry chart. Use
large pieces of paper for each chart.
9. THINK ABOUT EXTRA MATERIALS FOR PROJECTS
You can limit student projects to the materials available in the kit;
there are plenty of materials for interesting projects. However,
you may want to gather a few extra materials for student projects
at the end of the module. When students turn in their project
proposals, let them know what materials you can provide. You
may need to suggest substitute materials for hard-to-get items.