A Post-Inquiry Activity: A Tiered Significant Figures Lesson

Historically, my students report significant figures as one of the most confusing concepts in honors chemistry. My recent blog post described the process of transforming my introduction into an inquiry activity. I’ve also re-worked my practice activities to be more directed to specific student needs, more focused on spending time with small groups, and more dedicated to active learning. This four step tiered plan works for me.

A “Buzzing” Introduction to Significant Figures

Education “buzz words” can be meaningless jargon, or they can challenge us to consider new approaches to teaching and learning. Don’t let the jargon be a buzz kill!

“Significant figures are so confusing,” says my former student, who is currently taking AP Chemistry. My PowerPoint lecture with lab to follow didn’t work. Convicted, I wrestled with transforming my tired lesson. I embraced the buzz words. Let’s look at a significant figures lesson that changed my compliant, quiet learners to ENGAGED COLLABORATORS.

Great Lakes Bioenergy Educational Programs

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center offers educational programs for teachers and students. Teachers may apply for a 7-week bioenergy research opportunity in which they also develop curriculum to bring back to their classrooms. The programs runs from June 22 - Auust 7 and offers a $7000 stipend. Deadline to apply March 20, 2015.

Teachers Needed for Assessment Field Tests - Project 2061

Project 2061 is a long term initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) focused on improving science education. Among other things, Project 2061 produces assessment items and concept inventories to support science educators.

Project 2061 is currently recruiting teachers to field test multiple choice tests relating to energy. Students must be enrolled in grades 4 through 12. 

Deadline to apply is March 31, 2015.

Chemistry Topics

acids/bases applications of chemistry aqueous solution chemistry Atomic Properties / Structure conductivity consumer chemistry Demonstrations density electrochemistry electrolysis equilibrium Food Science gases General Chemistry kinetics Laboratory Instruction liquids metals noncovalent interactions Outreach Oxidation / Reduction oxidation/reduction Phases / Phase Transitions / Diagrams Physical Chemistry physical properties Polymer Chemistry precipitation/solubility Public Understanding reactions solids stoichiometry thermodynamics