Now that the 2018 administration of the AP Chemistry Exam is in the books, all of us AP Chemistry teachers now have an opportunity to reflect on the year as we turn our attention toward preparing for the fall.
Recently, my district made a commitment to helping its teachers reflect and rethink their grading and assessment practices. One of the phrases I kept hearing throughout our staff professional development sessions was authentic assessment. I understood (and agreed with) the basic premise—create more opportunities for students to perform tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills. Doing so involves going beyond, or even potentially replacing, traditional summative assessments at the end of each unit.
Over the last two years, the Official AP Chemistry Community forum on the College Board website has been largely, though not completely, displaced by the formation of a Facebook group called National AP Chemistry Teachers that now boasts 1,962 members.
It was close to the end of the semester and we were covering gas laws. Students were stressed over the idea of finals, final projects due, tests before finals and the holidays. Since we were finishing up the topic and it was important to end with one last assessment and/or lab but the timing was not good and the stress level for everyone was at an all time high. A different course of action was needed.
In this blog post I will summarize my use of EdPuzzle as an online platform for delivery of video content to my IB Chemistry students. It's an alternative to YouTube or your CMS/LMS that offers some unique features, such as inserting questions into the video and tracking student viewing habits.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the July 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education that are of special interest to high school chemistry teachers.
I will share how I use the Target Inquiry activity, Change You Can Believe In. I have realized that I need to include particulate models within the assessments after the lab to fully evaluate my student's conceptual understanding.
I have had a variety of students with a broad range of academic abilities in my class at once. This hook doesn’t feel particularly deep until I stop and reflect for a moment on what that looks like.
As many chemistry teachers know, grading lab reports can be a very time-consuming task. For me, the lab report that has required the most time to grade is a stoichiometry lab that I have been doing the past couple years. Though we do at least four “formal” lab reports each year, what makes this one different is that it involves a lot more calculations and subsequent results than any of our other labs. Regardless of how well they organized their report or wrote their conclusions, their results need to be checked for accuracy. This takes time. Even after eventually being able to generally eyeball their work, it still takes more time than I would like. So, this year I finally decided to sit down and generate a tool for me to expedite this process—the stoichiometry calculator.
Each week I decided to put on paper, or in a blog, one concrete action that I could take that I was pretty sure would help at least one student. After almost three years and close to a hundred entries, the entries were separated into categories by multiple people. The result was pretty clear....my biggest struggles were with assessment.