Senioritis. Seniors come down with it. Underclassmen claim it's contagious. Teachers do not appear to be exempt. Let's face it: Summer is coming and we all know it. We all want it. We are all ready for it! However, the calendar declares it is not here yet. What do you do when your students are unmotivated?
Sarah Kong's blog
Just as our lives and various circumstances have a story, so do our laboratory experiences. Often the labs we do lack context but we expect students to buy in to the experiment without knowing the what, where, or why of the story. What makes this lab worth doing? What question(s) are we trying to answer? Why was someone exploring this in the first place?
As we pilot new laboratory activities in the classroom, my students and I are in constant dialogue. Not only do they leave feedback at the end of each lesson (what did you learn, what was your favorite part, what was you least favorite part), but we talk throughout the experiment. Recently our discussion was focused on the questions.
As a new semester begins, I am excited again. Starting fresh, introducing new people to the amazing world of chemistry, and putting my newly edited labs to the test! In addition, another instructor is trying my labs.
This month I spoke with Debra Johnson who teaches a variety of science subjects, chemistry and AP chemistry among, them at North Muskegon High School in North Muskegon, Michigan. Below she tells us how inquiry works in her classroom. Let us know what it looks like in yours!
One challenge I have is knowing how to evaluate labs properly. In writing my new lab manual, I am setting up rubrics for each lab. The ultimate goal is for this manual to be used by all instructors across the chemistry department at our community college, so they need to have a consistent grading system. Writing these rubrics has been challenging.
Every October I get excited; not as much for halloween, but rather for Mole Day! I have been a member of the National Mole Day Foundation (NMDF) since the beginning of my career and enjoy celebrating with my students. My first year of teaching we (the chemistry classes) hosted a Chemistry Carnival. My students did demonstrations for the elementary and middle
Teaching is so collaborative! That's why periodically I will interview a fellow instructor and post the questions and answers here. It benefits all of us when we discuss what works, what doesn't, and how we can improve. This month's feature is Sharon Geyer from Pomfret School in Connecticut.