We teach it, some celebrate it, and we try to make it engaging for our students. What is it? The mole concept and Mole Day! So how do we make it engaging for our students? Let me introduce #molympics.
If you are on Twitter and follow #chemchat, you may have recently seen some beautiful, rotating 3D atomic and molecular models from Dave Doherty @atomsNMolecules. I was curious about these models and after contacting Dave, he introduced me to The Atomic Dashboard.
I want to learn more about the modeling approach to teaching chemistry, but have not yet found the time to attend training. It seems like modeling would be the next logical step after the flipped classroom method of instruction that I have used for the last four years. My goal in using modeling is to continue to move from a teacher centered classroom to an environment wherein students take on true ownership of their own learning. As luck would have it, I met some experienced modelers at a Biennial Conference on Chemical Education 2014 (BCCE 2014) Birds-of-a-Feather lunchtime chat and got to pick the brain of Erica Posthuma-Adams, and others, regarding this instructional approach. Their passion for modeling was clear and their willingness to share effective strategies for building a classroom around modeling was most appreciated.
On September 2, the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) launched its official website, loaded with lots of resources and member benefits. If you visit teachchemistry.org, you will find many great tools that K–12 teachers of chemistry can use in their classrooms; the new online periodical, Chemistry Solutions; professional development opportunities; and a community for you, in addition to many other benefits.
I am enrolled in a Modeling Instruction Workshop in Michigan. We have only four days left of the 15 scheduled days. I had planned to blog about the workshop every day, but I found that it was difficult for me to articulate my thoughts quickly enough to post daily.
Chemists Celebrate Earth Day—The Wonders of Water
The April 2014 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/91/4. The April issue features water and environmental chemistry.
In a previous post, I discussed the work of my grade 10 class as we read the non-fiction story, The Case of the Frozen Addicts. We've continued working our way through the book, taking one class every two weeks to delve into the issues presented. Just this week, we engaged in a fish-bowl discussion. To help steer the discussion, I started the class with a quick warm-up activity asking students to suggest topics or questions that they would want to talk through in the fish bowl.
I have long felt that teaching directly to the test is not the best way to approach education. Therefore I often include topics in my AP Chemistry classes that are not directly tested on the exam. More complex topics often help my students with building their grasp of fundamental ideas and leads to a better ability to understand simple and complex theories.
An independent study on the chemistry topic of coordination compounds and complex ions suitable for AP Chemistry and first-year college chemistry students is presented. This student activity accompanies the article "A guided group inquiry lesson on coordination compounds and complex ions" and is suitable for use by the student to guide their activity.
5 class periods for entire independent study project