collaborative/cooperative learning

So I wrote this project for my students - now what? Part 2: The group contract

group contract

Have you ever worked with someone on a project and you couldn’t get a hold of them? Or you realized, a bit too late, that they need extra reminders to get stuff done? Oh, and by the way, how did that guy get to be in charge? As adults, we can probably remember more than one situation where this has happened. Maybe it was in school, maybe it’s in your job.

JCE 92.08—August 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education August 2015 Cover

Using Models and Modeling To Teach

The August 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers.  This issue includes articles on modeling instruction; Lewis dot structure model; molecular models; using models to teach crystal symmetry; introductory activities and labs; organic chemistry investigations and tools for engagement; enabling chemistry training for low vision or blind students; chemical education research in the literature; celebrating the work of Melanie Cooper; forensic chemistry articles from past issues.

JCE 92.05—May 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education May 2015 Cover

Teaching the Relevance of Chemistry

The May 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at This issue includes articles on drugs & pharmaceuticals; health; food; plants; exploring viscosity; new approaches to teaching organic chemistry; computer-assisted learning; scents & flavors.

Periodic Table Board Game

periodic table game

This week I am on spring break. Before spring break, my honors and regular Chemistry 1 classes made it through our third unit called “Periodic Table and Periodicity.” During this unit, we take about 3 days to learn the content and another 3-4 days to practice the content (more for Chemistry 1, less for Honors). One way that I have my students review the content is by playing a board game that I recreated from an NSTA conference a few years ago. In this board game students are instructed to place words on their proper line/location (including names of families/groups and regions of the periodic table) and arrows on yellow dots pointing in the direction that that periodic trend increases (trends include: Electronegativity, Ionization Energy, and Atomic Size/Radius). Feel free to create additional periodic trend arrows depending on what you’ve covered in class.