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Lab reports for Apologia Chemistry- Do or Don't do?


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#1 Hunter's Moon

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 04:26 PM

I plan on doing lab reports for the Chem. labs I do with Chemistry, but not until they begin to get more complex and actually involve some sort of thinking.

The first one was dipping a cup into water to show air took up space and the other was measuring a book to show the difference between precise and accurate.

They completely write everything out and what the outcome will be before the experiment will even be done.

Did you require your children to write out a lab report for labs like that?

Would I be missing something if I didn't write the lab reports out for 3 or 4 labs?

Thanks.

#2 Big Buckin' Longhorn

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:16 PM

I had my son always do a lab report just for the practice/experience.

He considered the easy ones GPA boosters :001_smile:.

I would think as long as you plan to do more detailed reports for the "real" labs, it would be all right to skip the first few . . . but my type "A" personality wouldn't let it slide in this house :lol:.

#3 Maryalice

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 08:57 PM

I have taught Chem at co-op for years. I always make them do lab reports. It is the process that is important. I specify the format, what content I want in them, etc. I grade them according to a rubrics so they know what is expected. If they do the labs, it boosts their grades. If they move onto college lab classes, following format instructions is very important, even if the experiments are 'lame'. Don't wait for complicated labs to begin doing lab reports.

#4 Hunter's Moon

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 10:46 PM

I've done lab reports before.

My Biology teacher last year was very strict about them.

#5 periwinkle

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 06:32 AM

I didn't consider them labs; really, they are more like demonstrations (and simple ones at that!) There are a handful of these sprinkled in the book. Fortunately, plenty of labs are scheduled that lend themselves to the more traditional lab report.:001_smile:

#6 Rhondabee

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 07:25 AM

I have taught Chem at co-op for years. I always make them do lab reports. It is the process that is important. I specify the format, what content I want in them, etc. I grade them according to a rubrics so they know what is expected. If they do the labs, it boosts their grades. If they move onto college lab classes, following format instructions is very important, even if the experiments are 'lame'. Don't wait for complicated labs to begin doing lab reports.


We'll be doing Apologia Chemistry this year, and I have to confess - science labs are the bane of my homeschool existence. (Actually, of my entire educational experience since fourth grade. :glare:)

Is there a way you could share your lab report requirements (formats and contents, etc.) and rubrics? I know that's a lot to ask.

(Do you by *any* chance have Answer Keys for Apologia Chemistry Labs?)

Thanks for any help you can give!

#7 rockala

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 11:55 AM

Here is a sample report:

Formal Lab Report


A. Purpose:

The purpose of this experiment is to visit a pond and observe the life around it. Also, specimens will be collected for the purpose of further experimentations. However, mostly the macroscopic organsims living in pond ecosystems will be studied in this experiment. By understanding this experiment, the life in and around a pond will be comprehended.
Many organisms from all Kingdoms live in a pond ecosystem. Everything from the tiny algae producers to the larger consumers such as frogs and turtles are important to the pond. The ecosystem in and near the pond is a delicate, well-balanced system. All the organisms are very important, and each one must do its job.
This experiment hopes to show some of the observations made when looking at a pond ecosystem. It hopes to show the intricate system God has created, and how the creatures work together for the good. Also, this experiment is very important for the sake of collecting specimens for future study. These will also be observed and evidence will be found for the Creator.
This topic is of interest to others because it will show evidence for the Creator. It will be of interest to many who seek the Father. Those who seek evidence against evolution and for creation will be fascinated with the suprisingly logical evidence for the Creator, and His creation. Maybe this topic will even be of interest to evolutionists who like to believe that their theory holds true, and need to be convinced otherwise.
Hypothesis: Observations will be made when the pond is looked at, and more will be known about ecosystems when specimens are collected, they will be saved for further study, and the microscopic world will be better understood.

B. Equipment:
1. Four dark jars with lids
2. 1 tablespoon of chopped hay or dried grass.
3. 1 teaspoon of uncooked white rice
4. 1/4 teaspoon of cooked egg yolk
5. 2 teaspoons of soil
6. A long-handled ladle
7. A pond or small body of water
8. Something to rest a lab notebook on while it is being drawn in
9. Colored pencils
C. Procedures:
1. Locate a pond or proper body of water.
2. Before leaving, prepare your four jars as follows:
a. Label one jar "hay" and place a tablespoon of hay in it.
b. Label one jar "rice" and place a teaspooon of rice in it.
c. Label the third jar "egg yolk" and place 1/4 teaspoon of egg yolk in it.
d. Label the last jar "soil" and place 2 teaspoons of soil in it.
3. At the pond, use the ladle to collect pond water. Take samples near the bottom of the pond. Fill each of the four jars half full of the water. Put the lids back on the jars.
4. Set the jars aside and walk slowly around the pond, sitting occasionally to observe everything that is around the pond. Make sure to not only look, but also listen carefully.
5. As these things are noted, draw them. Don't foreget to look under rocks and other hiding places.
6. Take the jars home and place them in a reasonably warm (never under 60 F) area with subdued light.

D. Obsevations:
All of the materials required for the experiment were gathered before the procedures began. Each of the four jars were labeled. The first was labeled, 'Soil' the second, 'Rice'. The the third and fourth were labeled, 'Egg yolk' and the last one had the title, 'Hay'.
Labels were attached to the jars to indicate their particular specimens. After the pond water had been collected, the water was carefully poured into each of the four jars until they were all filled half-way with water. Then the lids to each of the jars were twisted on tightly. The jars were placed in a dark area with the correct temperature, (60 F).
When the pond was looked over carefully, obsevations were made. First, the water was very murky, and muddy. The water was also very stagnant. Not to mention the surface of the water had been covered with leaves.
Once in a while, water bugs appeared on the water and the surface of the water rippled. It was observed that there were some water plants. Some of those plants were coated in a slimy, algae-type substance. There were also many plants such as tall grasses, and lots of trees around the pond.
The trees around the pond were covered in green and blue moss. The temperature around the pond was cool and breezy, and the whole area smelled like dirt and mud. Some of the things that could be heard were the trees blowing in the wind and the birds chirping. When rocks were searched under, there seemed to be a white, hair-like substance.
Thus, when the pond was looked over, many different thing were observed. There was not a whole lot of life around the pond at the current time of year. However, if observations were made in a warmer season, the pond probably would have been full of life. Concluding, then, many things were learned about pond life and ecosystems.

E. Conclusions:
Concluding then, the hypothesis states that, "Observations will be made when the pond is looked at, and more will be known about ecosystems, and, when specimens are collected, they will be used for further study, and the microscopic world will be better understood." This sounds consistent. Thus the hypothesis is consistent with the observations.
First, much has been learned about aquatic ecosystems. Symbosis was experienced first-hand, as the pond was carefully observed and the specimens were collected. It was also observed that there are many organisms living in a pond, and that the specimens will be studied so that more is learned about the smaller organisms when the other experiments are completed. Certainly macroscopic organisms were observed, but it is required in the next few experiments that we study in depth the organisms that are not able to be seen with the naked eye.
Perhaps this experiment could be further improved. For instance, the pond could have been visited in a warmer season. This would result in more fish being seen in the pond, and also more plants would have been dwelling in and around the pond. Thus, the experiment would have been better if the pond was visited in a warmer season, because more life would be seen.
For further research, a book could be read and internet resources could be reviewed. One other idea is to visit the pond in early spring, when a new season is begginning. Life would be starting to grow, and reproductive elements could be observed. These things would provide more research, resulting in knowledge being gained.
Also, evidence for creation was found, beacuse it was realized that symbosis and all of the other complicated systems in creation could not be created by random chance, and that God must have created them. Thus, conclusions were made about ponds and the organisms that they contain, and samples of pond water were collected for further investigation of the smaller organisms. Also, we found data that supports and honors our truly amazing creator. Pond ecosystems are so complex and perfectly designed, that there must be a creator, beacuse surely random chance could not configure something so complex.


F. Bibliography:
Pond Ecosystems, Sandhyarani, Ningthoujam 1/30/09
Domain: http://www.buzzle.com
Document; http://www.buzzle.co...-ecosystem.html
Rosenoff, Steven. Classroom Lecture. September 25, 2009.
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
Domain: http://en.wikipedia.org
Document: http://en.wikipedia....uatic_ecosystem
Wile, Dr. Jay. L. and Durnell, Marilyn F. Exploring Creation with
Biology, 2nd Ed. Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 2008

#8 Teachin'Mine

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 01:41 PM

Great lab report!!! So what happened differently in the four jars??? Please don't make me wait two years to find out!!! :lol:

#9 Rhondabee

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 04:57 PM

Ok - I have to admit that we did that same experiment, and even *I* couldn't have written a lab report about observing the pond that made it actually sound like an experiment. LOL, (I think - IDK - I might cry...)

How in the world do you teach a 14yo boy to write a lab report about going to "look at a lake" and make it sound like that without finding someone else's lab report (didn't have yours at the time - LOL) and saying, "Here, make a Key-Word Outline and re-write this." Isn't that what we used to call cheating? Although, if I could get really good reports for him to compare his to for several labs in a row, then that might help. He could re-write his using the model, and (hopefully) not need the models after a while.

Honestly, my ds is a good writer for a 9th grader. But, if I put his lab report beside his literary analysis paper - you wouldn't think it was the same "thinker." Does that make sense?

I'm sorry - I've completed robbed this thread....


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