Our new administrative team now strongly encourages all core content teachers to provide a summer assignment to prepare students for the first day of school. Outside of the summer reading for literature classes, we’ve never done this. I see the potential for class time-savings and improvement of student understanding. Will the students see the possibilities? What should I assign? Is it realistic to expect next year to begin differently?
I have no idea what the title is of the first Journal of Chemical Education article that I want to highlight this month. That’s because you haven’t written it yet.
Thinking Like a Chemist
The May 2016 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: assessment & learning theories, science literacy & chemical information, engaging young chemists in chemistry, analysis of real-world samples, organic chemistry in the classroom and lab, computational chemistry in the laboratory, thermodynamics, kinetics projects, understanding hydrophobic & hydrophilic materials.
Organic chemistry was when I fell in love with chemistry. Also known as Chem 210 at the University of Michigan, it was the first time I actually started to connect what was going on at the nanoscopic level to the macroscopic world. Since then, I’ve been hooked.
I have been on a mission lately to make scientists out of my students. I am long past my fears that they are not capable of discovering the world for themselves or that they won’t learn the content if we spend too much time on science practices. What I have to work on now is orchestrating the experience. The pedagogy underlying Modeling Instruction has become the backbone for much of my instruction lately. This method of instruction not only gives my students an engaging, authentic scientific experience but has resulted in deeper content knowledge.
With the end of the school year approaching, educators are not only developing their semester exams, they are preparing for the upcoming school year as well. Although each individual educator has their own approach to improving their curriculum, many will be spending their time off aligning their curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards. Currently eighteen states have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, with additional states developing their own modified version. The idea of revising curriculum for each and every course can be daunting as educators try to identify a common theme that can be applied throughout the entire department. So where do we start? How do we thread a common theme for the professional development provided in our subject area?
Senioritis. Seniors come down with it. Underclassmen claim it's contagious. Teachers do not appear to be exempt. Let's face it: Summer is coming and we all know it. We all want it. We are all ready for it! However, the calendar declares it is not here yet. What do you do when your students are unmotivated?
A raspberry pi is the one of the world's cheapest computers. It is a $35 computer that runs off of an eight gig SD card. Anyone can program it with Python (a relatively simple coding lanquage) and it can do small things.
It is really hard to get to know THAT kid especially when I have classes of other kids who are important and have needs also. Stack on top of this teenage hormones, spring, nice weather, prom, AP tests, state testing and trying to sell as hard as I can how fun "stoichiometry" is....I now run the risk of turning a bunch of other kids into THAT kid pretty quickly.
I wonder how many of the ChemEdX readers are also members of AACT? The American Association of Chemistry Teachers has been a long time coming and is in its second year of operation now. It is currently being supported by the American Chemical Society and is a separate, and much more affordable, membership than ACS. One year of membership is only $50 and includes a subscription to Chem Matters Magazine.