In an effort to align an old VSEPR lesson to NGSS, I told my students that we were going to look at the data available from the real molecules on the pHET simulation we were using and specifically look for patterns. Finding patterns is a cross-cutting concept; one of the three dimensions of NGSS.
Promoting Engagement in Critical Thinking
The December 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: wetting modification by photocatalysis, innovative approaches to promote student engagement, connecting concepts with real-world applications, examining outreach and peer-led team learning, exploring polymer chemistry, understanding kinetics, computer-based learning tools, cost-effective equipment, exploring the archives: carbohydrates.
Increasing Authenticity of the Student Experience
Several teachers I know have had circumstances present themselves in which they may not always be able to provide lab experiences in a traditional lab setting. They still want to provide students with rigorous problem solving situations that require students to use the scientific method. Could rigorous take home labs possibly be the answer?
You are likely aware that diamonds are converted - albeit slowly - to graphite under normal conditions. Thus, diamonds don't last forever, in contrast to the popular advertising slogan. However, did you know that you can use chemistry to prove that diamonds are not forever? It's simpler than you think...
The Human Side of Teaching and Learning
The October 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: research on: AP chemistry reform and writing instruction; novel teaching approaches; demonstrations: safety and effectiveness; augmented reality and technology for teaching; using stories and history to teach; exploring acid-base chemistry; understanding energy; biochemistry in the laboratory; teaching resources; astrochemistry resources for National Chemistry Week 2018.
Tom Kuntzleman presented a story titled "Charred Marshmallow Souffle" during The Mole Storytelling Jam held as part of BCCE 2018. Listen to his podcast.
The September 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: reticular chemistry; laboratory research experience for students; historical perspective; chemistry and the environment; laboratories using color to understand chemistry; electrochemistry laboratories; DIY instrumentation; organic semiconductors; orbitals; computer-based learning and computational chemistry; from the archives: paper chromatography.
Relevant Topics for Instruction and Assessment
The August 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: the chemistry of candy and sugar, examining virtual learning for laboratories, strengthening student understanding of acid-base chemistry, building scientific communication skills, emphasizing learning, sustainability and green chemistry, cost-effective resources and techniques, laboratory investigations, ConfChem conference on mathematics in undergraduate chemistry instruction, erupting from the archive: soda geysers.
The summer is an ideal time for reflection, a time to process and grow as an educator. This summer I was fortunate enough to attend the POGIL® National Meeting at Washington University in Saint Louis as well as assist as one of the facilitators at the Northeast Regional Meeting at Manhattan College. While there are numerous ways to spend your summer vacation, I wanted to share some reasons why POGIL® draws me in time and again.