self instruction

Elements, Compounds, and a Vocabulary Card Sort

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.

JCE 96.01 January 2019 Issue Highlights

Ninety-Six Years New

The January 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: chemical biology, innovative curriculum for the classroom and laboratory, promoting effective teaching methods in organic chemistry, improving student conceptual models, cost-effective and low-waste equipment and experiments, using instructional videos to teach, exploring materials science, instrumental analytical experiments, organic chemistry laboratories, research on success in chemistry, from the archives: anodizing.

Some Like it Hot

In my class, I use the illustration of a mountain to help students push through the challenges of chemistry. Stoichiometry is the top of chemistry mountain. As we progress through the year, I say things like “the mountain is getting steep here!” or “there is not a lot of oxygen up here!” or “I will carry you up chemistry mountain if I have to!” to keep students motivated. When students finally get to the top of chemistry mountain (mid quarter 3), the air is thin, they are tired and they are ready to base jump off the mountain (see illustration from a former student below).

JCE 94.08 August 2017 Issue Highlights

Teaching Chemistry from Rich Contexts

The August 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: visualizing the chemistry of climate change; environmental chemistry; chemistry education for medical preprofessionals; tools for learning and student engagement; training laboratory teaching assistants; biochemistry; forensic chemistry; nanoparticle experiments; materials science; resources for teaching; from the archives: climate change.

JCE 94.02 February 2017 Issue Highlights

Fostering Creativity in Chemistry

The February 2017 online issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now to subscribers. Topics featured include: surface chemistry; chemical identity thinking; conceptual understanding; communicating science to the general public; activities and labs linking chemistry and art; history and chemistry; early access to research; technology as instructional support; synthesis laboratories; from the archives: bottle chemistry.

JCE 94.01 January 2017 Issue Highlights

Ringing in Volume 94

The January 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: NMR spectroscopy; examining assessment; inquiry-based practices; cost-effective instrumentation; miscibility demonstrations; innovative laboratory experiments; from the archives: lightsticks.

Concept Mapping in Chemistry

It's been a few days since my summer break began. I have had a few days to decompress, relax, and think about my next post. I have been planning to write about concept mapping since the end of our first semester. I first recognized the effects of concept mapping in the classroom when I read Shannon Bowen's blog post last December.

Blending a Periodicity Unit

Previously I wrote about taking part in a district-wide high school blended learning pilot. You can read about it here. I received my Chromebook cart near the end of February/beginning of March. A little late but just in time for the periodicity unit I was planning as a blended unit. The following is a breakdown of how I designed the unit.