November 2016 ChemEd X Newsletter

Dear Readers,

Our November issue of the ChemEd X newsletter highlights popular contributions from the past three months written by chemical educators that we don't want you to miss. The willingness of our authors to share their lessons and ideas speaks to their desire and commitment to improve chemistry education. A side effect of sharing is that many of our authors have expanded their network of chemistry teacher colleagues and they continue to have supportive collaborations on and off the site. You can find an example of this in Tom Kuntzleman's . We hope you will consider ChemEd X as your professional learning community. We welcome your comments, suggestions and questions. Is there a particular topic for which you are having trouble finding the right resource? Do you have an idea for a contribution, but you need support polishing it for publication? Whatever it is, please use our to communicate with us.

I am thankful to be a part of this growing network of chemistry education colleagues and friends.

D. Cullen


Erica Jacobsen regularly highlights JCE articles that are of special interest to high school teachers. This month she discusses an article that may not initially grab the attention of a high school teacher. It does not always matter what the level of the course is or the number of students in attendance. 

If you would like to explore the whole issue in more depth, check out Mary Saecker's


Many teachers are using more molecular models to help students develop better conceptual understanding. This activity is intended for the end of an organic unit. Students will observe premade models, identify the functional group represented in the model and then name the structure. You may also be interested in a similar activity by the same author: .


Tom Kuntzleman offers another Mystery! Check out his colorful demonstration.

Read about his collaboration with a reader that commented on his post and take on his challenge if you wish in his followup


A teacher trained in Modeling Instruction created a timeline of scientists to display in her classroom that fits perfectly into the way chemistry Modeling follows a historical timeline. She shares the files so that you can create your own visual display with the flexibility to add other steps that you wish to highlight.


If you are looking for culminating lab practicums for each chapter or unit, read this post for a long list of ideas. A typical lab assesses the student's lab technique and ability to collect and analyze the data. These lab practicums assess a student's understanding of content and their problem-solving skills by completing a hands-on challenge.


Isotopes Matter is a digital learning tool, developed by IUPAC Isotopic Periodic Table, designed to explain isotopes as well as their importance. This post offers an activity that can be used along with this powerful resource. You can also find an extension to this activity: .


Lowell Thomson shares his experience with an equilibrium lab that he uses. He likes this one "for its simplicity and easy comparisons to the original equilibrium mixture". He provides a student handout as well as an instructor document.

The same author recently published another lab: .


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