February 2015 ChemEd X Newsletter

Chemical Education Xchange


Dear Readers,

I have heard the word "transformative" in many ways over the past few months in relation to lessons, curriculum, professional development and pedagogy. Do you feel like you are in the midst of a transformation in the way you are teaching? What steps have helped you? What does that mean to you and your students? If you don't feel you are in the midst of transformation, what can ChemEd X do to help you get there? What steps can you take to begin making changes now? Science and society are constantly changing, so I expect we will never reach a goal of the “perfect lesson” that will stand the test of time indefinitely. But, we can use research data to help us meet goals on a short term basis.

When I endeavored to transform my teaching and reach beyond teaching the way I had been taught, I began with baby steps. Allison Tarvin's post, highlighted below, gives suggestions for using educational jargon to transform a tired lesson. There are many professional development opportunities posted under "Events" at ChemEd X that are great opportunities to network and enhance your pedagogical toolbox. ChemEd 2015 is one of those events. This “summer camp for chemistry teachers” will be held in Georgia this summer. Consider presenting and sharing your own expertise at ChemEd or another venue if you are already on a path of transforming your teaching. If you have an innovative idea, but lack materials or equipment to put it into place, consider applying for a Hach grant. There are many helpful resources available. Ryan Schoenborn obtained equipment this way and shares some tips in a recent post. The Journal of Chemical Education offers over 90 years of valuable material and the February issue has just been released.

Of course, joining in and asking questions or posting comments on ChemEd X posts is an excellent way to begin engaging in educational conversations. It may help you gain some confidence to submit your own ideas.

Wishing you a Sweet February,

Deanna Cullen


Allison Tarvin shares her strategies for transforming lessons by walking readers through how she modified her lesson plan for Significant Figures. These are useful tips for transforming any lesson.


Ryan Schoenborn of Michigan, discusses one way that he was able to obtain equipment by winning a Hach Grant. You have until April 16 to submit your own Hach grant application for the 2015/2016 school year.


Doug Ragan shares his review of the Cymbal app.


Read this piece to find a discussion of how teachers provide quick feedback to students. Join the conversation and share your own thoughts and tips.


Check out this brain teaser that involves liquid nitrogen and balloons.


The February issue has just been released. Adam Boyd's editorial highlighting AACT may be of special interest to high school teachers.


ChemEd is specifically designed for high school level chemistry teachers. Consider attending this summer in Georgia! There is still time to and present!


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