Many teachers assess engagement with video lectures by inspecting students’ notes at the start of class. However, notetaking doesn’t necessarily prove the comprehension of the material.
It is back-to-school time! I started school on September 3rd so I am just getting back into my school “groove.” On August 1st, College Board released its new AP Classroom platform (myap.collegeboard.org). While exploring this new online resource, I couldn’t help but reflect on how I teach AP Chemistry and what changes I will make in light of AP Classroom to ensure this year will be a great one!
Chemistry Education: A Bridge to the Future
The August 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: authentic chemistry laboratories; student motivation, sustained interest, and student success; student understanding of fundamental concepts; aids to assessment; computer-based learning; active learning activities; engaging polymer chemistry activities; experimenting with flavor and food; organic chemistry laboratories; spectroscopy laboratories; acid-base chemistry; from the archives: polymer properties.
I have been using magnets of elements and subatomic particles for some time to help my students visualize what is happening at the particle level of chemistry. I now have more tools to use and I hope you follow me and explore what we can do with them to help our students.
Since 2013, I have been creating video tutorials for use in a flipped classroom setting. Over the years, the format of my videos has evolved as I’ve uncovered the best practices in technique.
When it comes to the best approach for student learning, there seems to be two very divided camps: those who promote direct instruction and those who favor inquiry. I have been thinking a lot about this issue for several years now and decided to finally write my reflections down, based on 6 years of experience as a science teacher.
I facilitate a working group of chemistry teachers in the New York area and we recently created our own activity surrounding the topic of oxidation. The goal of the probe was to force students to think about what the meaning of oxidation is, as well as to allow students to engage in the science and engineering practice of argumentation. This was an introductory lesson to my oxidation and reduction unit prior to students learning the terms oxidation and reduction.
The thought of being videotaped while teaching could make me break out in a cold sweat. Will I say the right things? Will I stumble over my words? Will I look awkward? Will my students behave the way I hope they will? Aaaaah! Deep breaths!
At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a bank of released NGSS assessment items that we can draw from to use in our own classes, especially for traditional Chemistry classes. This means, that we as teachers may need to write some of our own assessment prompts to use in our classes.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the June 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education of special interest to our ChemEd X community.