Did you know that sand can be converted into a mixture of gases that spontaneously ignites in air? The procedures involved are relatively simple to perform, spectacular to observe, and relate to a rich assortment of chemical principles.
In this ChemBasics Talk, Nora Walsh offers everything necessary to plan a unit on the topic of chemical bonding and naming including introductory and discovery activities, manipulative activities, practice problems, her favorite online teaching resources and more. Watch the recording and access resources she shared.
Stephanie O'Brien shares lessons learned and strategies for utilizing choice boards in chemistry classroom.
Doug Ragan has been working with the Alchemie team -- founded by a former chemistry teacher, Julia Winter -- for a number of years. They have been working over the last year on a new project, named Kasi, which delivers sound-based feedback to students as they learn with tactile pieces on a magnetic whiteboard. The goal is to build an accessible learning system that helps ALL students learn, and is particularly important for those with visual impairments.
A Soviet era stamp featuring a quadruple bond.
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 an effort to align an old VSEPR lesson to NGSS, I told my students that we were going to look at the data available from the real molecules on the pHET simulation we were using and specifically look for patterns. Finding patterns is a cross-cutting concept; one of the three dimensions of NGSS.
When describing abstract concepts like chemical bonding, it always seems to feel far too easy for both teachers and students to resort to the “wants” and “needs” of atoms. After all, we understand what it means to want, need, or like something, so it often feels appropriate (and easier) to use a relatable metaphor or subtly anthropomorphize these atoms to accommodate our students’ current reasoning abilities. While predicting the types of bonds that will form and the general idea behind how atoms bond can be answered correctly using such relatable phrases or ideas, the elephant in the room still in remains—do our students really understand why these atoms bond?
In this blog post, I'll discuss how I've expanded my use of model kits within my chemistry class to help explore a variety of topics with my students.
Chemical bonding can be a confusing topic for teachers and students. Chad Husting shares his struggle.