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.
Last year, I worked hard to teach my students how to fail and I believe it was the most important lesson they could have taken away from my class.
Recently, I saw this really funny meme on facebook about the creative process. I think it also sums up designing and sustaining students in long term inquiry:
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.
Check out this overview of what a PBL unit has looked like in my classroom. I provide concrete examples and an outline of how I plan a project.
During our recent chemistry summer camp, we used some electrochemistry activities. We had some logistical issues, but they were an overal success!
My goal with this summer camp was to expose students to the chemistry of things around us - plants, food, batteries, fuel, etc. Fortunately, by studying plant pigments and photosynthesis, students were able to learn about and utilize common lab techniques.
Teaching the Relevance of Chemistry
The May 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/92/5. This issue includes articles on drugs & pharmaceuticals; health; food; plants; exploring viscosity; new approaches to teaching organic chemistry; computer-assisted learning; scents & flavors.
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.