March 2015 ChemEd X Newsletter

Chemical Education Xchange




Dear Readers,

I have been to several science and chemistry workshops and conferences over the past few months. I have learned that I need to organize myself before I go, so that I get the most out of the time I invest. Large conferences have a lot to offer and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Early in my career, I would attend our state conference and gather as much information as I could. I would return to school excited to try all of the new ideas, but would find that I had so much catching up to do after having a substitute teacher that preparing to implement lots of new ideas turned into maybe performing a couple of new demonstrations instead. Now, I pick a goal before I head out. I limit myself to a couple of specific topics that I try to attend sessions for. I am picky about the activities and ideas that I select to experiment with in my own classroom. I am careful to avoid gimmicks that don’t specifically enhance deficiencies that I feel I want to address in my classroom. I hesitate to fill my whole day with sessions. Instead, I take a couple of scheduled breaks and work to find where the new material fits, so that the details are fresh in my mind.  

As we approach the end of the school year here in the states, many of us are considering our professional development summer plans. Many opportunities can be found at ChemEd X by searching EVENTS. You will also find a couple of recent blog posts with suggestions. If you are attending CHEMED in Georgia, I will be there along with several of the lead contributors from ChemEd X. I hope you will stop at our booth and say “Hello”!

Deanna Cullen


Shelly Belleau has some suggestions for summer professional development.


Lowell Thomson shares a method for grouping students for an activity. He provides a pdf of the cards he uses.


Erica Adams provides a synopsis of the AMTA Modeling in Chemistry Curriculum and asks teachers to reflect on how they build meaning in their classrooms.


Lecturing has gotten a bad reputation lately. Allison Tarvin discusses how she uses lecture in her classroom.


These small-scale dry ice explosions relate the melting of dry ice to the phase diagram of carbon dioxide.


The March issue has just been released. Mary Saecker highlights the manuscripts published in this months edition and also offers related resources from the JCE archives. She also provides helpful links that will be valuable to potential authors. You may want to consider a contribution related to next fall's National Chemistry Week theme, "Chemistry Colors Our World".


ChemEd is specifically designed for high school level chemistry teachers. Consider attending this summer in Georgia! . Early bird registration rate is available until May 1.


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