ChemEd X articles address topics in chemical education ranging across the entire spectrum of the chemical sciences.
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Helping students develop abstract understanding is a universal goal. This article describes an activity that involves students developing and then solving novel quantitative chemistry problems following a MadLibsTM style framework.
Stacks of LEGO bricks can be used to illustrate the composition and pressures of various planetary atmospheres. Guides for the construction and use of these atmosphere sticks are provided.
Formative assessment questions provide a useful lens into students' minds regarding what they are thinking about chemistry. By ascertaining what students are thinking, teachers can make decisions regarding what to do with what they learn. The members of ACCT (Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking) presented a ChemEd X Talk on the topic on May 26th. You can watch the edited recording of this Talk and find more resources here.
Grades should provide feedback to students, parents, and teachers as to the progress students are making toward learning targets. Meaningful grades require good assessment practices. Erica Posthuma presented a ChemEd X Talk on May 11th, 2021, providing an overview of effective assessment design. She discussed writing and communicating learning goals, developing targeted questions and prompts, and scoring using a standards-based approach. You can watch the edited recording of Erica's Talk here.
The May 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: teaching biochemistry, assessment, learning to think like a scientist, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, surface chemistry, solution mixing, organic chemistry laboratory experiments and activities, computer-based experiences, research on promoting student success, from the archives: systems thinking.
POGIL activities can be used to engage students in chemistry lessons through the use of student teams, effective models, and tiered questioning. Kristen Drury and Stephanie O'Brien presented in a ChemEd X Talk on April 21, 2021 and provided teachers with guidance on fostering student buy-in, student role formation, and POGIL implementation. Additionally, information was shared on how to assess students' participation in POGIL activities holistically and through individual examination of process skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving. You can watch the edited recording of their Talk here.
Interested in Chemical Education? Want to attend an international conference? Did you know that the Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society (DivCHED) funds a Travel Award each year? The Chemical Education International Travel Award is in support of a division member who presents and fully participates in an international chemical education conference held outside the U.S.
The April 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: environmental chemistry; curriculum innovation; redesigning courses; representation in chemistry textbooks; public understanding of chemistry; teaching with models; visual and aural demonstrations; teaching chemistry with inks and pigments; examining the chemistry of beer; synthesis in the laboratory; improving student understanding of analysis; instrumentation; chemistry education research; from the archives: resources for celebrating Earth Week 2021.
Collisions is a system of eight digital games, grounded in the rules of chemistry, that can be used to introduce, teach, and review more than 50 key concepts in your chemistry classroom. Collisions makes abstract concepts tangible by allowing students to visualize and manipulate the building blocks of matter, while providing a safe space to make mistakes and learn by introducing content through gameplay. On March 24th, 2021, Jen Lee presented a ChemEd X Talk about how instructors can use these games with their high school and college students. Besides explaining how the games work and interconnect, she outlined how to find and use premade lesson plans and answered questions posed by participants. You can watch the edited recording of Jen's Talk here.
The session begins by asking participants to discuss teaching dilemmas and identify those that have come up for them at their school or in their instruction. Participants focus on examining and commenting on their videos, specifically with regard to eliciting and advancing moves. They then learn about the advantages and purposes for taking a dialogic or an authoritative stance when probing students’ chemical thinking. Time is set aside to support teachers with adjusting or modifying their final formative assessment and receiving feedback from their peers before they give the FA to their students.