In honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table, Tom Kuntzleman decided to write a song, sing it, and shoot an accompanying video to honor 150 years of the Periodic Table of Elements. Enjoy his song and video: Chemistry is Everywhere!
Chemistry Teacher Tips and Tricks
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.
Chemistry is difficult to learn. Walk into any chemistry classroom, and you’ll be soon confronted with many abstract concepts. Abstract ideas have no physical form, and as a result, they are difficult to understand.
Did you know there is a simple test you can do to see if an alkaline battery is fresh or dead? All you need to do is bounce the bottom of a battery onto a hard, flat surface. Guess what causes this difference in bouncing ability between fresh and dead batteries? Chemistry, of course!
Did you figure out how the experiment in Chemical Mystery #14 was performed? The solution is presented here!
Face to face professional development provides the opportunity for teachers to learn from and share with other teachers. This post provides an example of one of the many great ideas that I have learned from other teachers.
I decided to take the time and to do some needed inventory. I wanted to match equipment to its designated table. Next, I wanted to make sure that each of my eight lab tables had the proper equipment needed to eliminate no more missing equipment. Sure enough, as I began the inventory project, I had several tables missing equipment, so once everything was laid out and counted and organized then I had to make sure it was going to stay that way. I had several rolls of colored tape and it was easy to then begin marking each of the pieces of equipment and glassware with tape.
If videos are the method of choice for my students’ free time learning, then why do they sometimes struggle to hear and make sense of the chemistry content in my short teaching videos?
Answer: Students need guidance in developing video-viewing skills that foster understanding complex concepts.
Chemistry teachers face many challenges. One of those challenges is providing our students with the equipment and resources they need to be successful. Many teachers find themselves in schools that cannot afford to properly outfit their chemistry courses. That is exactly the situation I found myself in as a new teacher.
As the trimester comes to an end, I have the chance to reflect with my chemistry students and ask them about course likes and dislikes. A major "like" that came out was the use of the Expo brand neon markers. I had heard about their use from Brian Bennett @bennettscience and how well they show up on the black lab tables.