JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.

Demonstrating the Colors of Transition Metal Complex Ions

Just the other day within my IB Chemistry HL classes, we were discussing the color of transition metal complex ions in solution. It's a bit imperfect, because they are not yet dissolved, but I set up a number of metal chloride salts in order to help students see the pattern. They are arranged according to the position of the metal in the periodic table. It ends up being quite obvious to the students that the only metal salts with color are in the d-block. I'm now in the process of ordering more chloride salts so I can complete the pattern even more the next time I teach this topic.


Hach Grant


I teach AP chemistry and general chemistry at Hudsonville High School in the Grand Rapids area.  I applied for the HACH grant last spring and was very excited when I was one of the recipients that was accepted.  The process of applying is very easy.  Your request obviously has to be well thought out.

A Post-Inquiry Activity: A Tiered Significant Figures Lesson

sig figs

Historically, my students report significant figures as one of the most confusing concepts in honors chemistry. My recent blog post described the process of transforming my introduction into an inquiry activity. I’ve also re-worked my practice activities to be more directed to specific student needs, more focused on spending time with small groups, and more dedicated to active learning. This four step tiered plan works for me.

JCE 92.02—February 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education February 2015 Cover

The February 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers at The February issue includes content on: metal-organic materials, assessment, acid–base chemistry, game-based approach to teaching, chemical structure and properties, luminescence, inquiry-based teaching, nanochemistry, synthesis, and computational chemistry. This latest issue of JCE plus the content of all past issues, volumes 1 through 92, are available at

Getting to Know You

M Morgan

Hello and welcome to my new blog. I am Michael Morgan and I teach AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, Chemistry, and pretty much all things NErDy at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching for almost 30 years. In Los Angeles I am a rare bird, a chemistry teacher that actually studied chemistry in college.

A “Buzzing” Introduction to Significant Figures


Education “buzz words” can be meaningless jargon, or they can challenge us to consider new approaches to teaching and learning. Don’t let the jargon be a buzz kill!

“Significant figures are so confusing,” says my former student, who is currently taking AP Chemistry. My PowerPoint lecture with lab to follow didn’t work. Convicted, I wrestled with transforming my tired lesson. I embraced the buzz words. Let’s look at a significant figures lesson that changed my compliant, quiet learners to ENGAGED COLLABORATORS.