What is your definition of the term “mole” in chemistry? Many articles have been written about the term and the confusion surrounding it. It was not considered an SI unit (with an IUPAC definition) until 1971. IUPAC is considering a change to the 1971 definition. There has been discussion about whether the SI definition of the mole as determined by IUPAC necessarily needs to be identical to the definition used by chemists and teachers. This article provides a short list of some recent JCE articles discussing the change and what it might mean for teachers while also considering some misconceptions related to the mole in chemistry class.
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.
Using Models and Modeling To Teach
The August 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. This issue includes articles on modeling instruction; Lewis dot structure model; molecular models; using models to teach crystal symmetry; introductory activities and labs; organic chemistry investigations and tools for engagement; enabling chemistry training for low vision or blind students; chemical education research in the literature; celebrating the work of Melanie Cooper; forensic chemistry articles from past issues.
Earlier in the summer, I was shopping around for a standards-based gradebook. As the lone teacher at my school venturing into this unchartered territory, I did what any responsible techie teacher would do. I turned to the twitterverse for suggestions. I quickly identified the two most recommended platforms.
Check out this overview of what a PBL unit has looked like in my classroom. I provide concrete examples and an outline of how I plan a project.
Build a propane gun for your students! Construction is inexpensive, easy, and the effects are spectacular.
As school districts across the country approach the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, students will be required to develop models to illustrate what occurs at an atomic level as well as apply various mathematical representations in order to explain a science-based concept. However, what opportunities are we providing our students to allow them to explain what they know about a concept? Students should be provided with regular opportunities to develop and explain concepts, which in turn will allow teachers to formatively assess and address misconceptions.
I have a first day routine that I am very proud of. I have used it for 25 years and I think I finally have it down pat. I have spoken to students from 20 years ago at reunions and they tell me that they still remember the first day of chemistry so I think it is pretty good.
A great book for summer reading is "Rust: the longest war".
Cars rusting! Bridges collapsing! Rust, and corrosion in general, is probably the most important topic that is not on most people's radar. This is definitely something people should be paying more attention to.
What a mole-riffic time we are having here in Kennesaw, Georgia! Some highlights from my time here include:
~ The very appropriate cooling towels (Chill-its) we (ChemEd X) handed out to folks who stopped by our table, ran the Mole Run, or we saw between sessions. Several teachers have been diving in to research how they work. Chemistry in action!
This book is not about chemistry, and it probably is the most "literary" book that I have written about in these pages. It is a beautiful story about the lives of a blind French girl, Marie-Laure, who escapes during the Nazi occupation of France with her father, the master locksmith of the Paris Museum of Natural History, to St. Malo, where lives her great-uncle in a grand house by the sea.