manipulatives

JCE 95.05 May 2018 Issue Highlights

New Perspectives on Teaching Chemistry

The May 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: electrochemistry and corrosion; textbooks; research on the chemistry teacher pipeline, argument-driven inquiry, and online homework; using everyday objects to teach; teaching organic chemistry with games; communication and writing; examining and creating innovative curriculum; computer-aided discovery activities; exploring kinetics; interdisciplinary laboratory investigations; from the archives: applications of 3D printing for teaching chemistry.

JCE 95.04 April 2018 Issue Highlights

Placing Chemistry into a World Context

The April 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: service-learning, safety, investigating student understanding of solutions, environmental chemistry, green chemistry, waste management, acid-base chemistry, natural products, materials science, activities and laboratory investigations, teaching resources, diving into the archives: marine chemistry.

JCE 95.03 March 2018 Issue Highlights

Students Using and Understanding Chemistry

The March 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: demonstrations of magnetism and oxidation; the peer-review process; understanding how students learn organic mechanisms; multimedia- and computer-based learning; real-life chemistry activities; using games to teach chemistry; teaching kinetics; spectroscopy; analytical determinations; organic synthesis laboratories; distilling the archives: chemistry and paint.

JCE 95.02 February 2018 Issue Highlights

Curricular Alignment for Student Success 

The February 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: diversity within the classroom; assessment and curricular alignment; innovations in laboratory curriculum; electrochemistry; analytical chemistry labs; exploring materials science; engaging teaching approaches; historical perspectives; distilling the archives: lab-on-a-chip and microfluidic devices.

JCE 94.12 December 2017 Issue Highlights

Improving Student Perception and Performance 

The December 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: functional nanomaterials and chemical detection; improving student performance; peer-led instruction; simulations and computer-based learning; engaging and interactive instruction; synthesis laboratories; NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry; innovative physical chemistry investigations; ConfChem Conference on select 2016 BCCE presentations; from the archives: music and chemistry.

An Elemental Understanding of Isotopes

In this activity, students can look inside the model that resembles the atom and find information that reinforces what an isotope actually is. Furthermore, the quantitative data forces students to examine beliefs about different types of averages and what the numbers really mean. This takes a bit of effort to set up but is inexpensive and can be used year after year.

Time required: 

About 30-40 minutes for the activity. This depends on how many balances are available to share and how many different isotopes are made for a single element. We had 5 balances for 12 or 13 teams of two students. Students can work in groups of 3 as well.

That’s What Scientists Do!

As I began to prepare my labs for this upcoming year, I decided to put a bit of a twist on a previous density of a block lab I had used in the past entitled the Measurement Challenge that is sold by Flinn Scientific. It can also be used to find the mass of a block given the materials density and requiring students to measure and calculate the blocks volume. My added twist resulted in great scientific discourse. 

My Research: Unpacking Active Learning

Does flipping the classroom actually enhance students’ learning, above and beyond just incorporating collaborative activities into classroom instruction? John Moore, one of the chemistry professors at my university, the University of Wisconsin - Madison approached me with this question. We ended up conducting a research study on one of his chemistry courses.

An Activity to Demonstrate the Principles of Chemical Kinetics and Equilibria

A classroom activity to demonstrate the principles of chemical kinetics and equilibria and the utility of the mole concept is described here. The activity involved no hazardous materials or complex equipment and can be enjoyed and appreciated by general studies students as well as chemistry majors.

Time required: 

30 - 45 minutes of class time