Standards based grading (SBG) is a method of assessment that is gaining in popularity. There is ample research to suggest that students who participate in SBG do just as well or even better than those students in traditional classrooms
Celebrating National Chemistry Week 2019
The October 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: marvelous metals; safety; engaging activities on nuclear chemistry and self-healing hydrogels; chemistry activities for students studying nursing; fostering community; mathematics and computer models in chemistry; innovative experiments; challenges of demonstrating the atmospheric greenhouse effect; chemical education research; resources for teaching.
As teachers, we know how important it is for students to practice what they are learning and we are ever aware of the limited class time we have to provide those opportunities. We also know that our students have a full schedule of classes, are involved in extracurricular activities, work after-school jobs and may not have a strong support system and structure at home. That leaves us with the difficult question of “what do we do about homework?”
Chemistry Education: A Bridge to the Future
The August 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: authentic chemistry laboratories; student motivation, sustained interest, and student success; student understanding of fundamental concepts; aids to assessment; computer-based learning; active learning activities; engaging polymer chemistry activities; experimenting with flavor and food; organic chemistry laboratories; spectroscopy laboratories; acid-base chemistry; from the archives: polymer properties.
Having presented on the topic several times over the summer, I am sharing strategies for helping support diverse learners. As we teachers prepare to go back to school, I have summarized my presentation into a list of ways to help your classroom be inclusive for all learners.
I facilitate a working group of chemistry teachers in the New York area and we recently created our own activity surrounding the topic of oxidation. The goal of the probe was to force students to think about what the meaning of oxidation is, as well as to allow students to engage in the science and engineering practice of argumentation. This was an introductory lesson to my oxidation and reduction unit prior to students learning the terms oxidation and reduction.
At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a bank of released NGSS assessment items that we can draw from to use in our own classes, especially for traditional Chemistry classes. This means, that we as teachers may need to write some of our own assessment prompts to use in our classes.
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.
In our freshman Chemistry laboratory course at Nicholls State University, tutorials (with embedded quizzes) are used as pre-lab assignments. The text and graphical information provide a sufficient basis to answer all the questions, but YouTube videos are embedded for students who may need additional help. The tutorials could be easily adapted for flipped instruction in high school and college lecture courses.
I am sharing a hack I use in my standards based grading (SBG) classroom to help things run more smoothly.