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.
Like most concepts in chemistry, intermolecular forces takes a bit of imagination and critical thinking to fully comprehend and apply when explaining a variety of situations. Though demonstrating the presence of these forces in a simple and explicit manner can easily be done, I wanted to change how I introduced IMFs a bit this year by focusing on a more data-to-concepts approach.
In honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table: A familiarity with the chemistry of some of the elements more commonly encountered in everyday life is a valuable learning experience for all students. Sulfur is the fourth in this series of elements to be discussed as part of the Element of the Month program. #IYPT
My district recently provided a professional development session focused on utilizing three dimensional formative assessments in the classroom. The ideas I learned in the session as well an an activity for students to engage in formative assessment are outlined.
How many of you could recite, word for word, a definition you learned in school? When you first memorized the definition, you could state “inertia is a property of matter”, or “density is mass over volume.” However, you struggled to apply it to a new situation and maybe you were unsure of how to construct a model of what it meant.
My experience with the National Board Certification process was much like a Hero’s Journey plotline utilized in popular movies like Star Wars. Through my National Board Certification in Chemistry journey, I was able to navigate all the highs and lows to transform into a stronger teacher than I had ever thought possible.