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Hello, and welcome back to my second blog about chemistry education in the tri-border region of California, Arizona, and Mexico. In my last article I described the area and students who attend the two institutions in Yuma, AZ- Arizona Western College (AWC) and Northern Arizona University-Yuma (NAU). In this second post I will talk briefly about my experiences teaching an upper-division biochemistry course. I presume that what I observe in my classes is not much different than what you observe in your classes.
The beginning of the school year is almost here.
The thought of being videotaped while teaching could make me break out in a cold sweat. Will I say the right things? Will I stumble over my words? Will I look awkward? Will my students behave the way I hope they will? Aaaaah! Deep breaths!
More students use YouTube than any other demographic. Considering this reality, I began creating my own video content on my YouTube channel, The Science Classroom. As a seasoned YouTube content creator, I offer tips for getting started with your own science tutorials.
Use Mega M&Ms, M&Ms minis, and regular M&M’s in this activity to examine the concept of isotopes and average atomic mass. The color of the M&M’s represent that they are the same element and have the same number of protons. The size represents, in a relative sense, the different numbers of neutrons.
Organic Chemistry is overlooked as a first year chemistry topic in most areas, but it can be a very valuable and fun experience for students. This is an activity that can be used to introduce students to functional groups.
Check out several whiteboarding techniques that can be used to reduce and distribute the cognitive load carried by our students.
At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a bank of released NGSS assessment items that we can draw from to use in our own classes, especially for traditional Chemistry classes. This means, that we as teachers may need to write some of our own assessment prompts to use in our classes.
Jenelle Ball, the AACT Past President, highlights the resources available in the AACT multimedia collection
For dynamic equilibrium, I like to use a physical analogy that pits students against each other in a classroom-wide “snowball” fight. Not only is this activity great for building students’ conceptualization of dynamic equilibrium, it is also really fun!