April 2020 Xchange

Much has happened around world since our last Xchange newsletter. First and foremost, we hope that you are weathering this crisis well. Since many educators have found themselves teaching remotely there are many posts highlighted here that specifically address this new situation. You will find two articles pinned on our offering a variety of helpful resources that are freely available for at least the next couple of months. We hope you will take a moment to check in to see what you may have missed over the past month.

Wishing you peace and good health,

D Cullen



With the current global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much discussion of “flattening the curve” by social distancing. This blog post (including videos) will help you demonstrate these ideas chemically.


March came and went, and our whole world—individually and as an aggregate—was turned upside down with COVID-19 and its radically imposed isolation. Face-2-Face instruction is now online and remote. Remote teaching. Remote learning. This post is based on the simple question—How does remote teaching change our ability to teach?


As COVID-19 spreads rapidly across the globe, life is drastically different. Schools, in particular, have been forced to adapt to the new norm of social distancing, closed facilities, and virtual learning. Josh Kenney shares how he has structured his new Virtual Chemistry Course.

Also by Josh, : Gameful learning isn’t about playing educational games; instead, it’s about creating a highly motivating and engaging learning environment by implementing proven game design elements into a course structure.


No one really knows how to immediately transform an in-person class to a distance learning environment. We struggle to provide an equitable education, whatever that looks like, for all our students and make accommodations for differences in learning abilities, home lives, internet access, in addition to mental and physical health.


Card sorts are a great way to bring powerful retrieval practice into your classroom. You will find several Card Sort Hacks you can use to step up your game! You can even share these digitally to students to cut and complete at home.


As teachers, we can leverage fruitful discussions about chemical control with students to elicit more about students' initial ideas and ways of reasoning. From asking students to clarify their own thinking, we can identify students’ own productive ideas that we can capitalize on to advance their thinking.

Also from ACCT, the application deadline to apply to participate in their Cohort 4 Professional Development Program has been extended to May 22. This PD is for New England area (including part of New York) high school chemistry teachers and middle school teachers that teach some chemistry in their classes.


Michael Morgan, is the president of the Chemistry and Physics on Stamps Study Unit. He has collected stamps and shared his interest with others for almost 30 years.

Editor Note: The whole ChemEd X team is pleased that Michael is the 2020 Awardee! The award is sponsored by the Journal of Chemical Education and ChemEd X and it is intended to recognize, encourage and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry.


"Let's Learn About Chemistry", written by chemistry educator, Stephanie Ryan, introduces chemistry to kids through the use of comparison activities.


With millions of teachers and students facing remote-learning because of COVID-19, a global experiment may be a great way to engage students at home.


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