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When it comes to student laboratory/apparatus setup, one thing is sure to help—visuals. However, many of us suffer from a disorder that makes all our test tubes resemble things we wish they didn’t. In addition, it is often hard to find that perfect image using the trusted Google search. However, it turns out there is a free and incredibly easy tool that allows you to assemble and customize almost any chemistry related setup you wish. Say hello to Chemix!
I am sharing a list of YouTube videos that I have used with my students. I am interested in finding more. Please share any that you use in the comment section below.
Decorative beads are tested for the presence of iron pyrite, or FeS2, in an activity well-suited for the National Chemistry Week theme of "Chemistry Rocks!"
Face to face professional development provides the opportunity for teachers to learn from and share with other teachers. This post provides an example of one of the many great ideas that I have learned from other teachers.
I allowed my students to choose between two separation type laboratories. About two thirds of the class chose to separate the flavoring out of a grape of cherry soda. The rest of the students used paper chromatography to determine if red-40 dye was in a specific type of candy.
Check out these experiments that are very easy to perform and also related to the themes for National Chemistry Week in both 2017, Chemistry Rocks and 2018 Chemistry is Out of this World!
As I began to prepare my labs for this upcoming year, I decided to put a bit of a twist on a previous density of a block lab I had used in the past entitled the Measurement Challenge that is sold by Flinn Scientific. It can also be used to find the mass of a block given the materials density and requiring students to measure and calculate the blocks volume. My added twist resulted in great scientific discourse.
The first chapter of every middle and high school science textbook I have ever seen contains an oversimplified section on “the scientific method.” I wanted my students to gain an understanding of science by doing science, as best as we can replicate in a classroom, though inquiry labs, class discussions, and defending claims with evidence.
The research says the best way to make your school better is to encourage teachers to participate in professional learning teams that unpack the standards to determine what each student should learn and how the learning will be measured, build a useful warehouse of evidence that learning is occurring, and critically review data collected to determine useful instructional strategies versus ineffective strategies.
When I first started teaching I was very fortunate that a local teacher invited me to a high school chemistry teachers meeting. I was really young and really motivated to be a better teacher. I registered immediately and went to an all day event. I think I learned more that day than I did in all of my teacher training.