ChemEd X contributors offer their ideas and opinions on a broad spectrum of topics pertaining to chemical education.

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by Lowell Thomson
Tue, 04/17/2018 - 21:18

Based on some interactions here on ChemEd X and Twitter, I have been looking for ways to have students generate more questions, ideas, and investigation methods. (See a list of relevant links below.) Some of this is inspired by Argument Driven Inquiry, while some of it is simply my own quest to move further away from being the sole source of information in the class. In this blog post, I would like to talk about how I addressed gas laws using Atomsmith Classroom Online as an investigative tool in place of lab work I did previously using the Vernier gas pressure sensor.


Recent activity: 2 hours 11 min ago
by Ben Meacham
Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:27

Recently, my district made a commitment to helping its teachers reflect and rethink their grading and assessment practices. One of the phrases I kept hearing throughout our staff professional development sessions was authentic assessment. I understood (and agreed with) the basic premise—create more opportunities for students to perform tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills. Doing so involves going beyond, or even potentially replacing, traditional summative assessments at the end of each unit.

Comments: 1
Recent activity: 1 day 4 hours ago
by Jordan Smith
Thu, 04/05/2018 - 15:35

A solid grasp of proportional thinking is crucial to being able to solve all sorts of problems in chemistry as well as “real life” situations. While many students seem to intuitively understand that one mole is equal to 6.022 x 1023 particles when the analogy is drawn to a dozen eggs, for some, this sort of equality is a puzzling mystery.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 1 hour ago
by Tom Kuntzleman
Thu, 04/05/2018 - 10:19

I ran a multi-day poll on Twitter that was designed to be a fun way to determine the “best” element on the periodic table. I’m sharing about the poll here on ChemEdX in case others might want to try something similar in their classrooms. The poll was run tournament-style, fashioned after NCAA Basketball’s March Madness. The event was called #MarchMatterMadness. Just like basketball’s March Madness tournament, four different “regions” were set up, and each element was seeded into brackets according to atomic number.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 3 hours ago
by Deanna Cullen
Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:51

he Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) will be held at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana from July 29 through August 2, 2018. This is an excellent professional development opportunity for high school and college chemistry instructors.

Recent activity: 3 days 10 hours ago
by Ann Lambert
Sun, 04/01/2018 - 22:07

A greener procedure that you might consider to replace the traditional "formula of a hydrate lab" that has typically used copper II sulfate.  

Comments: 4
Recent activity: 1 week 5 days ago
by Dustin Williams
Wed, 03/28/2018 - 11:11

NGSS crosscutting concepts and core ideas are intended to be used as evidence to support explanations and arguments. I have found several lists of Chemistry core ideas online, but I don’t think I would give the ones I have seen to my students because they are either too long or written with language that I don’t think is suitable for novice learners of Chemistry. I have compiled a list of the crosscutting concepts and 12 core ideas for high school Chemistry that my students could use to support the explanations and arguments I will be asking them to write. 

Recent activity: 2 weeks 3 days ago
by Dustin Williams
Wed, 03/28/2018 - 09:47

I attended a professional development session on the NGSS earlier this week by Brett Moulding and Nicole Paulson based on the book they wrote with Rodger Bybee, A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning. The authors propose the “gathering-reasoning-communicating” (GRC) structure as a simplified way of thinking about the Science and Engineering Practices. Reasoning is the keystone of the GRC structure and the primary thing we want science students to be doing. “Gathering” provides the raw materials for reasoning and “communicating” helps us know that reasoning has taken place.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 3 days ago
by Chad Husting
Tue, 03/27/2018 - 14:43

A discussion of how students solve stoichiometry problems.

Recent activity: 3 weeks 1 day ago
by Ryan Johnson
Sun, 03/25/2018 - 12:42

Students can sometimes struggle to grasp gas behavior, as it’s much harder to visualize gases rather than readily available solutions, solids, or mixtures. Indeed, for many labs, if gas is a product, we’re often relegated to using balloons or gas columns to capture and measure the gases produced by reactions, which can be tricky or expensive. So this year, I tried something a little different when starting my intro chemistry students’ gas laws unit, and was very happy with the results – start with an inquiry approach, allowing students to discover gas laws on their own, thanks to easily producible gas phenomena in the lab.

Comments: 4
Recent activity: 3 weeks 1 day ago