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Facilitating the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry The June 2014 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/91/6. The June issue includes articles on using the senses and esters to teach chemistry, developing student-centered activities, introducing the periodic table with puzzles, teaching visual literacy, and exploring thermochromic materials.
I was at a chemistry teacher workshop recently and we participated in a common Hess’s Law laboratory. Part of the procedure required us to measure about 2 grams of solid NaOH and add it to 100 mL of 0.5 M HCl. We also added 50 mL of 1 M NaOH solution to 50 mL of 0.5 M HCl solution. We then compared the energy change of both containers.
Toward the end of the school year we inevitably have disruptions to our normal instructional day. On one day in May, our classes were shortened to only fifteen minutes to accommodate for a series of school wide exams. On this day, I decided to choose some of my favorite chemistry-themed YouTube videos and share them with my students.
In my previous blog post I described some problems I encountered when beginning my instruction on energy this year. From the misconceptions fostered by the biology textbooks using the phrase “high-energy phosphate bond” to idea that energy comes in different forms, the Modeling community recognizes the challenges of teaching the energy concept and has developed a way of talking about energy designed to help students construct a consistent and cohesive model.
Chemists Celebrate Earth Day—The Wonders of Water The April 2014 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/91/4. The April issue features water and environmental chemistry.
I have long felt that teaching directly to the test is not the best way to approach education. Therefore I often include topics in my AP Chemistry classes that are not directly tested on the exam. More complex topics often help my students with building their grasp of fundamental ideas and leads to a better ability to understand simple and complex theories.
Teaching Chemistry and Making a Difference The March 2014 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/91/3. The March issue features: changing the curriculum to make connections, forensic chemistry, computer-based learning, hands-on activities and labs for introductory chemistry, teaching physical chemistry, organic and biochemistry labs, and the mole concept.
In my last article I described several different strategies you could use in your classroom to integrate the use of whiteboards. Whiteboarding can be a powerful tool for increasing student engagement when it is implemented well. The success of a whiteboarding activity greatly depends on how well the instructor focuses the student interaction and guides the discussion.
Robert H. Hill, Jr., Ph.D., Chair, ACS Committee on Chemical Safety asked us to post the following alert about the Rainbow Demonstration. I hope chemistry teachers will share the alert with their networks.