I just finished my first week of school, like many teachers in the Midwest. I work hard to get my Honors Chemistry students in a lab setting as soon as possible. It is difficult to find a perfect lab to do on the first or second day of school. In my mind, the ideal first chemistry lab would require no prior chemistry knowledge, involve interesting chemistry, address an NGSS standard, be relatively safe, not require expensive glassware or lab tools, and reinforce positive class norms. I have found engineering labs fit the bill! I don't know if I have found the "perfect" lab, but I have found something close I want to share!
In order for students to be fluent enough with the CCCs and core ideas to use them to support their arguments, we teachers need a way to help students become familiar with them.
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.
For dynamic equilibrium, I like to use a physical analogy that pits students against each other in a classroom-wide “snowball” fight. Not only is this activity great for building students’ conceptualization of dynamic equilibrium, it is also really fun!
Like most concepts in chemistry, intermolecular forces takes a bit of imagination and critical thinking to fully comprehend and apply when explaining a variety of situations. Though demonstrating the presence of these forces in a simple and explicit manner can easily be done, I wanted to change how I introduced IMFs a bit this year by focusing on a more data-to-concepts approach.
Whiteboards are great learning tools in a science classroom. With these instructions, you can make eight 24-in x 24-in whiteboards for less than $2.00 each! Instructions for simple whiteboard stands are included.
How many of you could recite, word for word, a definition you learned in school? When you first memorized the definition, you could state “inertia is a property of matter”, or “density is mass over volume.” However, you struggled to apply it to a new situation and maybe you were unsure of how to construct a model of what it meant.
Like many members of the ChemEd X community, I am working with colleagues to teach and assess the Next Generation Science Standards in our high school’s general chemistry course. We are invested in engaging our students in Three-Dimensional Learning. This article aims to introduce readers to four of the high-impact shifts in mindset and practices we believe are helping our students learn to be better scientists.
This strategy has been very helpful in establishing relevance to topics taught and in making connections between topics taught within a unit. It also provides a way for students to ask questions and make written explanations of phenomena, which are “Science and Engineering Practices” of NGSS.