Blogs

Boltzmann Bucks—Helping Students Conceptualize Entropy

If you are looking to go beyond using traditional, arguably misleading, definitions of entropy involving “disorder” and “messy bedroom” analogies, the Boltzmann Bucks game fits the bill. The game, pulled from a Journal of Chemical Education article, provides a wonderful opportunity for students to more accurately conceptualize entropy.

The Blue Butterfly Effect

The June, 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education contains an article that describes a simple, yet fascinating experiment that you and your students are going to love! It involves the use of butterfly wings from the genus Morpho. I obtained some of these wings and enjoyed experimenting with them. You will too!

Improvisation in the Classroom

I recently attended a workshop at my state conference about improvisation techniques to use in the classroom. As a teacher we are challenged to constantly adapt our pedagogical techniques to meet the needs of our learners, and this workshop provided some new strategies to do just that.

A “Science Reasoning Rubric” to Support Argumentative Writing

I put together a Science Reasoning Rubric that can be used for many writing prompts in a Chemistry class. It can be used whether a prompt is more suited toward a claim or an explanation. I like that the rubric can be used for lots of the writing tasks students will encounter in a Chemistry class. This means students get used to seeing it, and this consistency is helpful as students write explanations and claims throughout the year.

Chemistry ROCKS!

With a Master's degree in geology, I have a deep and abiding love for rocks and minerals. The great thing about geology is, it's all about chemistry! I want to share one of my favorite links between geology and chemistry that my students think is pretty cool too. 

Review Lab - Better than a Worksheet

It can be difficult to engage students in reviewing for semester exams by using worksheets or practicing problems on the whiteboard. If you are looking to change up your review plans, you might consider using a lab activity that provides opportunity to revisit many of the topics that need to be covered.