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.
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Teaching Chemistry and Making a Difference
The March 2014 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/91/3. The March issue features: changing the curriculum to make connections, forensic chemistry, computer-based learning, hands-on activities and labs for introductory chemistry, teaching physical chemistry, organic and biochemistry labs, and the mole concept.
Have you ever been curious about the chemistry of a lemon? What about the chemical structures of adrenaline, dopamine, or serotonin? Would you like to share with your students the elements that make up their smartphone? Or what how about a beautiful “infographic” representing each of the families of the periodic table? Then Compound Interest at www.compoundchem.com has you covered and then some.
In my last article I described several different strategies you could use in your classroom to integrate the use of whiteboards. Whiteboarding can be a powerful tool for increasing student engagement when it is implemented well. The success of a whiteboarding activity greatly depends on how well the instructor focuses the student interaction and guides the discussion.
As chemistry teachers, there are many ways we can relate our subject to the world around us. Linking with an effort to increase literacy at my school, I've started reading a non-fiction book with one of my chemistry classes titled, “The Case of the Frozen Addicts: Working at the Edge of the Mysteries of the Human Brain."
It's interesting to me how a word can define a class. The longer I teach, the more excited and quickly I can cover a concept. However, this pace does not necessarily fit well with my students, so we have a code word: Traxoline (thanks to Judy Lanier).
“How Much Turmoil Does the Science Project Cause Families?” reads the tongue-in-cheek science-fair-style poster illustrating parent Susan Messina’s views on science fairs. Her materials list includes: at least 1 grudging parent, half-baked idea of very dubious merit, and procrastination.
The nail bottle demonstration is one that many of us have conducted in our classes. To perform this demonstration, 2 – 3 mL of ethanol is placed into a plastic bottle that has two nails punctured into opposite sides of the bottle. After stoppering the bottle, a Tesla coil is touched to one of the nails. A spark jumps from one nail to the other, which initiates the combustion of vaporized ethanol inside the bottle. We recently filmed this reaction with our high speed video camera.
Robert H. Hill, Jr., Ph.D., Chair, ACS Committee on Chemical Safety asked us to post the following alert about the Rainbow Demonstration. I hope chemistry teachers will share the alert with their networks.