May 2021 Xchange

The May 2021 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. 

     

In order to teach chemistry effectively, we must ascertain what our students are thinking about chemistry and make a decision regarding what to do with what we learn. Formative assessment questions provide a useful lens into students' minds regarding what they are thinking about chemistry. Let us consider then, how categorizing formative assessment questions could help us plan out our classes more deliberately, in order to better design purposeful written formative assessments that align with our curricular goals. 

     

ChemEd X Talks with members of ACCT, Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking about identifying what we want to know about our students' thinking. Read the blog post highlighted above to find out more about what they will share! Join us! Register for this 30 minute Zoom meeting to be held May 26th at 7pm EST. 

     

Beautiful, metallic mirrors of copper or silver can easily be formed in test tubes. Simply add the appropriate metal salt to a test tube, and heat! These reactions should be performed in a fume hood. 

     

Boredom needs no explanation; we were all (Chemistry) students. A bored student is not an engaged student, and likely not a student who wants to learn. How can we make our lessons more engaging? 

     

To help introduce students to organic nomenclature in a way that clearly summarizes the patterns that exist in the IUPAC system, a series of paper tools were developed. The paper tool in this activity can be used to introduce the IUPAC naming of major classes of organic compounds. These paper tools are easy to print and distribute to every student each semester.

     

Doug Ragan has been working with the Alchemie team -- founded by a former chemistry teacher, Julia Winter -- for a number of years. They have been working over the last year on a new project, named Kasi, which delivers sound-based feedback to students as they learn with tactile pieces on a magnetic whiteboard. The goal is to build an accessible learning system that helps ALL students learn, and is particularly important for those with visual impairments.

     

Chad Husting shares a microscale Reactions Lab and outlines his goals and plans for labs in his classroom as he prepares for next schoolyear. 

     

Evaluations are part of everyday life. This multi-part blog has aimed to expand the collective understanding on what is evaluation and what are some ways that it is done. 

     

Context-based chemistry aims to make chemistry learning more meaningful for students. With an emphasis on inquiry-based activities, context-based chemistry improves student interest and motivation in chemistry by linking content to real-world situations. Though the idea has been around for over 20 years, researchers are still learning the best strategies for teaching context-based chemistry. Here, we will explore some of the benefits and challenges unearthed up until this point. 

     

Interested in Chemical Education? Want to attend an international conference? Did you know that the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society (DivCHED) funds a Travel Award each year? The Chemical Education International Travel Award is in support of a division member who presents and fully participates in an international chemical education conference held outside the U.S.

     

The May 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: teaching biochemistry, assessment, learning to think like a scientist, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, surface chemistry, solution mixing, organic chemistry laboratory experiments and activities, computer-based experiences, research on promoting student success, from the archives: systems thinking.

     

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