December 2019 Xchange

The December 2019 Xchange highlights some of the contributions that have been published on ChemEd X over the past month. We hope you will take a moment to check in and see what you may have missed.

     

Chemistry and lasers can be used to create a demonstration that includes several colors and flashing lights. This demonstration connects to topics in quantum chemistry and phase changes.

     

In this lesson, students are offered a variety of alternative versions of the periodic table. Students will identify trends that are consistent from one table to the next in order to understand why the tables they are working with and Mendeleev's version are organized in the manner that they are.

     

One reason so many students find chemistry difficult is the abstract nature of the concepts. Research based on the constructivist model of learning has shown that as an educator teaches, the learner makes meaning of the content by drawing from their background knowledge, attitude, abilities and everyday experience and this often results in a different construct than that of the teacher.

     

This experiment in chemical kinetics can be conducted using materials as simple as a smartphone, hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate solution, and blue food dye! The experiment is useful when discussing the order of rate laws with respect to reactants.

     

Flipped classrooms are a popular pedagogical technique, delivering lectures before class so that students can engage in active learning and problem-solving activities during class. Although the response from students and teachers is mostly positive, the approach is not without its challenges. This post outlines some common challenges and how teachers might work through them.

     

Teacher burnout - it is real.  How can teacher's adopt more sustainable grading practices to improve their work-life balance?

 

Stephen Wright, an Associate Research Fellow at Pfizer Inc., has completed his series outlining the Element of the Month program he presented to students in Marsha Folgers high school classroom. Follow the link to find a list of all 8 elements highlighted in the program, including , and .

     

The post-Thanksgiving excessive calorie-consumption 'blues' have arrived. How is it possible to eat so much? For a bear, it's easy. Easy as pie. Bears are champion eaters, spending about half the year eating non-stop in preparation for winter's foodless landscape. How can this calorie consumption observation about the bear world be used to teach certain chemistry concepts routinely covered? This post includes discussion and two classroom activities about the following common general chemistry topics/concepts—thermochemistry, unit conversions, and interpretation of numerical data. Enjoy...

     
     

Inspired by her young daughter and equipped with an education in chemistry, a mother publishes chemistry themed books and other resources for children.

     

For High School Teachers: 

The ACS Hach Grant is open for applications from high school teachers. The grant funds professional development that will enhance your teaching skills and improve the learning of your students. The deadline for 2020 funding is January 4, 2020.


 

     

The December 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from this issue of the Journal of Chemical Education of special interest to our ChemEd X community. You might also be interested in Mary Saecker's .

     

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