August 2018 Xchange

The August Xchange highlights just a few of the posts that have been published at ChemEd X over the past two months. 

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. ~ Winston Churchill


The author, Michael Farabaugh, shares his thoughts about building positive relationships in his classroom as well as some of the activities he does with his students on the first couple days of school. 

If you are interested in reading what other educators have shared about creating a classroom culture, check out our 2017



Are you up for trying an ambitious experiment that combines archeology, instrumental analysis, and a search for patterns in data? Then this activity might fit the bill! The 2003 Conant Award winner, Linda Ford, outlines how she uses the experiment.


Learning targets are typically written as “I can” statements. Because our level of understanding is so much different than our students’, it is far too easy to write a target that you think is easily interpretable, while at the same time, remains unclear to your students. This article provides some information that will help teachers write meaningful learning targets.


A favorite demonstration is to boil water by lowering the pressure in a bell jar using a vacuum pump. Unfortunately, purchasing a bell jar, vacuum plate, and vacuum pump can run upwards of $1,000 which poses a hardship for many teachers. Here are two simple and inexpensive demonstrations of phase equilibrium and vapor pressure.


A variety of activities performed at a science camp that relate to the chemistry of the solar system are reported. These activities could prove useful in the chemistry curriculum or in planning for National Chemistry Week in 2018, the theme of which is Chemistry is Out of This World!


Michael Morgan's post from July of 2015 has received a lot of attention lately on social media as well as on ChemEd X. Check it out if you would like to excite your students with chemical reactions on day #1.


Erica Jacobsen regularly highlights JCE articles that are of special interest to high school teachers. If you would like to explore the whole issue in more depth, check out Mary Saecker's .


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