Welcome back y'all! The beginning of the year is so exciting! I feel energized and look forward to meeting my new students. My classroom is neat and tidy, even my lab is organized and clean. And then, it begins. We do a lab, the students get to experience chemistry through some hands-on work, and I need to see what they have learned. Oh, the lab reports!
JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.
CLEAPSS is a subscription service, but our YouTube Channnel is an open source. The videos are designed for teachers and technicians in schools. They may just give you ideas. I have just put one up about electrostatics and the effect of magnets on water and oxygen. In a couple of weeks I hope to have a sequel showing the effect of magnets on precipitates and complexes.
Get ready for a splash of color during this year’s National Chemistry Week (NCW) celebration, October 18–24, 2015. The theme “Chemistry Colors Our World!” gives a chance to explore the chemistry of dyes, pigments, and light. An upcoming free webinar can get you started with resources.
PBS has a wonderful new mini-series titled, "The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements". At the time of this post, the series is freely available to stream through your local PBS station. (The series is also available for purchase.) The series is broken into three episodes which track the evolution of Chemistry in different time periods through the eyes of seven scientists.
Throughout my 21 previous years as a teacher, I have really struggled to provide meaningful (and timely!) feedback to my students on their lab reports. Teaching IB Chemistry has really forced me to get better - and I have. Yet I still feel like this is an area for more improvement.I've got a series of blog posts planned to share some ideas with you - and hopefully garner some discussion that will be helpful for me also! First I'd like to share the mechanics of how I provide feedback.
What is your definition of the term “mole” in chemistry? Many articles have been written about the term and the confusion surrounding it. It was not considered an SI unit (with an IUPAC definition) until 1971. IUPAC is considering a change to the 1971 definition. There has been discussion about whether the SI definition of the mole as determined by IUPAC necessarily needs to be identical to the definition used by chemists and teachers. This article provides a short list of some recent JCE articles discussing the change and what it might mean for teachers while also considering some misconceptions related to the mole in chemistry class.
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.
Earlier in the summer, I was shopping around for a standards-based gradebook. As the lone teacher at my school venturing into this unchartered territory, I did what any responsible techie teacher would do. I turned to the twitterverse for suggestions. I quickly identified the two most recommended platforms.