Stephanie O'Brien's blog

  Why is Chemistry so Difficult?

One reason so many students find chemistry difficult is the abstract nature of the concepts. Research based on the constructivist model of learning has shown that as an educator teaches, the learner makes meaning of the content by drawing from their background knowledge, attitude, abilities and everyday experience and this often results in a different construct than that of the teacher.

NGSS-ify Alka-Seltzer Rockets

Given a guiding question, students determined what they wanted to test, did the experiment and got their CER boards ready for review. Instead of a regular argumentation session, we had a glow and grow session, where students had to provide positive and negative feedback for each board.

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.

Arguing Density

In an effort to implement the science and engineering practices of the NGSS, I have tried to introduce argumentation as a practice into my chemistry courses. I share some growing pains and what I have learned through the process in this blog post.