middle school science

Concept Mapping in Chemistry

It's been a few days since my summer break began. I have had a few days to decompress, relax, and think about my next post. I have been planning to write about concept mapping since the end of our first semester. I first recognized the effects of concept mapping in the classroom when I read Shannon Bowen's blog post last December.

PASCO Wireless Temperature Sensor, update on Classkick and with exams coming soon try High School Chemistry: Practice Tests and Flashcards by Varsity Tutors

This past week, as part of our Thermochemistry unit, my students were completing one of my favorite .  We were using calorimeters, dissolving ammonium nitrate, and my students were recording the change in temp

Ways to recharge during the summer...consider joining the AACT or getting involved in your local ACS

As with most conferences, even the small ones, there is way more than I could put in one blog. Here is what impressed me the most. Several people from the national and local ACS made a point of doing whatever they could to reach out to teachers. As Dr. George Bodner said (and I am paraphrasing), the ACS first looked at what they could do to teachers. They then examined what they could to for teachers. Now they are asking, "How can we work WITH teachers.

Is Your Department NGSS Ready? A Review of “What Professional Development Strategies Are Needed for Successful Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards?” by Brian J. Reiser

Although each individual educator has their own approach to improving their curriculum, many will be spending their time off aligning their curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards. The idea of revising curriculum for each and every course can be daunting as educators try to identify a common theme that can be applied throughout the entire department. So where do we start? How do we thread a common theme for the professional development provided in our subject area?

Blending a Periodicity Unit

Previously I wrote about taking part in a district-wide high school blended learning pilot. You can read about it here. I received my Chromebook cart near the end of February/beginning of March. A little late but just in time for the periodicity unit I was planning as a blended unit. The following is a breakdown of how I designed the unit.

Not All Periodic Tables are the Same?

Upon sharing my array of apps with some future chemistry teachers, they asked why so many Periodic Tables? My response was “Well not all periodic tables are the same”, upon which was followed by several blank stares...Let me explain: I currently have the following periodic table apps loaded on my iPad...

The Art of the Chemical Demonstration

One of my favorite things to talk about with my colleagues is the use of lecture demonstrations in teaching. There seems to be a push in my district to stop using chemicals whenever possible and get to computer simulations and video in place of wet chemistry. I don’t think they are thrilled with me since I can’t envision ever taking the chemistry out of chemistry.

Colligative Properties in Real Life

This year in the midwest United States, winter has been a fickle friend. I haven’t seen the same amount of snow or ice as in recent years, but I still made sure I was prepared for it at our home. I went to my local big box hardware store in December and contemplated buying rock salt (NaCl), and NaCl/calcium chloride mixture, or just calcium chloride. Growing up my dad had switched entirely to calcium chloride because it was less damaging to the brick pavers leading to our porch and backyard. In fact, calcium chloride is generally much safer toward plants and soil than NaCl. Even though calcium chloride is much more expensive than rock salt (it was about twice the cost for 10 pounds more), that what’s I chose. Why?