Demonstrating the Colors of Transition Metal Complex Ions

Just the other day within my IB Chemistry HL classes, we were discussing the color of transition metal complex ions in solution. It's a bit imperfect, because they are not yet dissolved, but I set up a number of metal chloride salts in order to help students see the pattern. They are arranged according to the position of the metal in the periodic table. It ends up being quite obvious to the students that the only metal salts with color are in the d-block. I'm now in the process of ordering more chloride salts so I can complete the pattern even more the next time I teach this topic.

 

Kathy Kitzmann 2014 Conant Award Winner

The citation included on the plaque presented to the 2014 recipient of the James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching reads “For her creativity, enthusiasm, and love of chemistry, inspiring students and teachers alike for over 35 years.”1 Kathy Kitzmann is all of that and more.

Hach Grant

I teach AP chemistry and general chemistry at Hudsonville High School in the Grand Rapids area.  I applied for the HACH grant last spring and was very excited when I was one of the recipients that was accepted.  The process of applying is very easy.

Conceptual Chemistry Questions

The new AP Chemistry Curriculum and the NGSS both focus on developing deep conceptual understanding. In order to achieve this, teachers must identify the objectives they need to teach to and stockpile a good assortment of conceptual questions for formative and summative assessments to support those objectives.

Blind People Can't Do Those Things

One of the mantras in the article was “Blind people can’t do those things.” Blind people can’t walk without a cane. Blind people can’t climb trees. Blind people can’t go to a regular public school. Blind people can’t do various jobs. Blind people can’t pursue certain careers.

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.

JCE 92.02—February 2015 Issue Highlights

The February 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/92/2. The February issue includes content on: metal-organic materials, assessment, acid–base chemistry, game-based approach to teaching, chemical structure and properties, luminescence, inquiry-based teaching, nanochemistry, synthesis, and computational chemistry. This latest issue of JCE plus the content of all past issues, volumes 1 through 92, are available at http://pubs.acs.org/jchemeduc.