With a desire to increase curiosity and enthusiasm in my classroom along with ideas gleaned from Twitter, I have shifted my curriculum to a lab-first approach.
Students Using and Understanding Chemistry
The March 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: demonstrations of magnetism and oxidation; the peer-review process; understanding how students learn organic mechanisms; multimedia- and computer-based learning; real-life chemistry activities; using games to teach chemistry; teaching kinetics; spectroscopy; analytical determinations; organic synthesis laboratories; distilling the archives: chemistry and paint.
Inspired by Ben Meacham's post on stoichiometry, I looked to modify the lab sequence for my IB Chemistry class for our unit on stoichiometry. I will describe my experience modifying a typical empirical formula lab, along with using a modified version of the lab Ben shared.
Curricular Alignment for Student Success
The February 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: diversity within the classroom; assessment and curricular alignment; innovations in laboratory curriculum; electrochemistry; analytical chemistry labs; exploring materials science; engaging teaching approaches; historical perspectives; distilling the archives: lab-on-a-chip and microfluidic devices.
A simple laboratory experiment in which students simply measure the wavelength of light is described. An LED light, diffraction glasses, and a meterstick are the only required materials.
Whether you are looking to add a bit more scientific inquiry to your labs or simply looking for a great stoichiometry lab that can be added to your collection, I encourage you to try something like this with your students!
In the embedded video, I will walk you through a kinetics experiment we use in our Chemistry 2 (and Honors Chemistry 2) courses. The lab is called Disappearing X.
Celebrating Ninety-Five Years
The January 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: exploring magnetic properties; examining outreach practices; spectroscopy; understanding chemical changes over time; laboratory curriculum reform; teaching scientific communication; analytical chemistry activities; biochemistry laboratories; 3D printing molecular models; from the archives: chemistry outreach.
It was close to the end of the semester and we were covering gas laws. Students were stressed over the idea of finals, final projects due, tests before finals and the holidays. Since we were finishing up the topic and it was important to end with one last assessment and/or lab but the timing was not good and the stress level for everyone was at an all time high. A different course of action was needed.
Improving Student Perception and Performance
The December 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: functional nanomaterials and chemical detection; improving student performance; peer-led instruction; simulations and computer-based learning; engaging and interactive instruction; synthesis laboratories; NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry; innovative physical chemistry investigations; ConfChem Conference on select 2016 BCCE presentations; from the archives: music and chemistry.