particulate level

Lesson to determine the relationships between acid strength, Ka, pH, Molarity, and percent ionization

After teaching the concepts and calculations for acid and base strength, concentration, percent ionization, and pH I noticed many of my students were struggling to make meaningful connections between these calculations.This lesson was created to strengthen the understanding of the relationships between these concepts and skills.

Kasi: A Multi-Sensory Modeling System

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.

Creating Interactive Particle Diagram Activities for Online Instruction

Many teachers have students draw models and diagrams to help them illustrate how matter behaves. Teachers can uncover and address possible misconceptions quickly using this strategy. The author describes how to create interactive particle diagram activities that are easy for students to use online. This strategy is applicable to almost any particle diagram and should be useful for teachers during virtual lessons.

Salt vs. Sugar – A Dissolving Problem

This formative assessment looks at two household chemicals (table salt and sugar) and compares their properties while looking at how they dissolve in water. The “Salt vs. Sugar” formative assessment explores students’ thinking about the question “How does structure influence reactivity?” The main idea that is being targeted is for students to think about what is happening at the molecular level during the solution process. This activity is important for students because it helps create a context for what some of the vocabulary and concepts mean by providing tangible examples of these concepts (such as the concept of saturation).This formative assessment looks at two household chemicals (table salt and sugar) and compares their properties while looking at how they dissolve in water. The “Salt vs. Sugar” formative assessment explores students’ thinking about the question “How does structure influence reactivity?” The main idea that is being targeted is for students to think about what is happening at the molecular level during the solution process. This activity is important for students because it helps create a context for what some of the vocabulary and concepts mean by providing tangible examples of these concepts (such as the concept of saturation).

How strong of acid is Vinegar (Acetic Acid)?

In “How strong an acid is vinegar?” the students explore the nonlinear relationship between the concentration of a weak acid and the pH of the solution. This formative assessment targets the question “how does structure influence reactivity?”  Students need to understand the behavior of strong and weak acids to comprehend phenomena like buffering capacity.

Frying ice

In the Frying Ice formative assessment students explore the three phases of matter. This formative assessment targets the question “What cues are used to differentiate matter types?” The target of this formative assessment was for students to demonstrate their understanding of the three states of matter and how the particles in each state react when heated. 

Why Do You Make Us Draw so Many Particle Diagrams?

Living at the macroscopic level, it’s no surprise that understanding and effectively communicating chemistry concepts can often be a challenging endeavor. Attempting to rationalize our observations through particle-level interpretations requires us to think in less intuitive ways that often create a cognitive barrier for our students. And for good reason.