Are kids learning? Given the time it takes to implement and grade the activity, do I get a lot of "educational moments" out of it? Does it fit into the culture of the classroom? Is there a great deal of "conceptually rich" material in the activity that students can build on? I believe that two activities I tried this week fit the bill.
It was Oregonians only (lucky me!) for PBS’s limited release of The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements in fall 2014. A national premiere is now at hand—mark your calendar for your local station’s broadcast.
Science is creative; it requires new ideas, new patterns, and new solutions to old problems. A deep understanding of the periodic table is the most critical knowledge in chemistry. I want my students to experience the table and conceptualize its trends in a deeper way. Combining creative ideas from an AP Lit project with my honors chemistry content, I am brainstorming about a more engaging, more challenging summative assessment on periodic table families. I would love to hear your ideas and collaborate to build an exciting assessment.
In this age of scientific inquiry, molecular modeling, digital classrooms, and differentiation, I felt downright guilty about any teacher-centered time. My classroom is flipped after all. I’m not supposed to be lecturing, right?
Here’s a great project to try with your students: build a periodic table out of Lego blocks. We did this a few years ago at Spring Arbor University, working with teachers and students from Hardin Valley Academy i
Having completed a unit on stoichiometry, I was looking to review with my HS students some key topics before Spring Break. I had received from FLINN scientific their "It's Elementary--March Madness" activity:
Changing the Landscape of Chemical Education
The December 2013 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/90/12. This issue of JCE plus the content of all past issues, volumes 1 through 90, are available to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/jchemeduc.
Students will proceed through a pre-lab engagement activity, organize element cards based on similarities & trends, discuss trends with the class and then produce a periodic table that includes the trends discussed within the lab. The teacher will check for student understanding at specific points as groups work together.
Two 60 minute class periods for procedure. You may wish to include more time for discussion. The assessment portion can be done as homework.
Students choose a topic and select items to incorporate into a periodic talbe. Students explore trends related to their own topic and relate to the trends on the actual Periodic Table of Elements.
I provide my students 1 and 1/2 weeks to complete this project. Most students do not need this much time. I provide the extra time for those students who do not have adquate internet/computer access.