This five puzzle mystery aligns with my chemistry curriculum after instruction on the properties of elements and electron configurations. I use this mystery as a review to prepare for assessments over the properties of elements, symbols on the periodic table and the difference between groups and periods. Also incorporated within the puzzles are basic trends such as the number of subatomic particles, mass number, melting point, and other characteristics of specific elements.
The Human Side of Teaching and Learning
The October 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: research on: AP chemistry reform and writing instruction; novel teaching approaches; demonstrations: safety and effectiveness; augmented reality and technology for teaching; using stories and history to teach; exploring acid-base chemistry; understanding energy; biochemistry in the laboratory; teaching resources; astrochemistry resources for National Chemistry Week 2018.
I recently did a short activity with these cards and I am so glad I have them now. Being able to quickly take them out and have students look at the features of strong scientific arguments when they felt stuck writing their evidence or reasoning was powerful.
The September 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: reticular chemistry; laboratory research experience for students; historical perspective; chemistry and the environment; laboratories using color to understand chemistry; electrochemistry laboratories; DIY instrumentation; organic semiconductors; orbitals; computer-based learning and computational chemistry; from the archives: paper chromatography.
Relevant Topics for Instruction and Assessment
The August 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: the chemistry of candy and sugar, examining virtual learning for laboratories, strengthening student understanding of acid-base chemistry, building scientific communication skills, emphasizing learning, sustainability and green chemistry, cost-effective resources and techniques, laboratory investigations, ConfChem conference on mathematics in undergraduate chemistry instruction, erupting from the archive: soda geysers.
A favorite demonstration is to boil water by lowering the pressure in a bell jar using a vacuum pump. Unfortunately, purchasing a bell jar, vacuum plate, and vacuum pump can run upwards of $1,000 which poses a hardship for many teachers. Here are two simple and inexpensive demonstrations of phase equilibrium and vapor pressure.
Setup: 5 minutes
Execution: 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on level of inquiry
For the last two years, the district I worked for has been tirelessly working toward curriculum changes that would better line up with the new state science standards. Michigan hasn’t officially adopted NGSS, instead adopting the Michigan Science Standards (based on NGSS). The Michigan Science Standards (MSS) has a lot of similarities with NGSS in terms of how we would teach the content.
Innovation and Scholarship
The July 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: connecting art and energy, solar cells, examining organic chemistry students’ understandings, computer-based learning, molecular symmetry and visualization, inquiry-based learning, safety management, biochemistry, watching the archive: chemistry goes to the movies.
A variety of activities performed at a science camp that relate to the chemistry of the solar system are reported. These activities could prove useful in the chemistry curriculum or in planning for National Chemistry Week in 2018, the theme of which is Chemistry is Out of This World!
The June 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: investigating nanoscopic structures, innovative curriculum, inquiry-based investigations, using games to teach, outreach on climate change and research ethics, instrumental analysis, organic chemistry laboratory experiments, scientific data analysis, chemical education research, from the archives: food dyes.