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Teaching Methods

Alternatives to Traditional Midterms

Started over 2 years ago by Christine Scanlon.

Before winter break I will have about 1 week of time to do something with my class.  We will have finished density, sigfigs, states of matter, energy, gases, atomic structure, types of matter, empirical and molecular formulas, and mole conversions etc., but have not gotten to nomenclature, chemical reactions, and stoichiometry (this is the bulk of the spring semester.  Does anyone have any recommendations for cumulative projects?  I have lots of projects that I do at the end of the year, but they all require content the students have not done yet.  Thanks


  • Jeremy Wolf

    Posted over 2 years ago

    I know it is a little late for this, but I have borrowed a 14-bottle lab from another chemistry teacher on the web and modified it slightly for my class and available chemicals. Hopefully it will work for you, maybe sometime in the future.

  • Heather Weck

    Posted over 2 years ago

    Hi Christine,
    While I don't have any project ideas, per se, I can envision a multi-part lab practical. Perhaps a different mini-lab could be set up at each lab table. When I do things like this, I look at the labs that I "passed over" during units and try to incorporate them for review, so that students aren't simply repeating what they've already done. I would also have more open-ended questions for them to answer, give them less background info, and ask them to make connections to what topics are addressed in the lab (instead of just telling them). It's not exactly cumulative, though.

    Additionally, students could develop a lab around one of the topics they've covered thus far. Again, it wouldn't be fully cumulative, but would certainly demonstrate the critical thinking, analysis, and lab skills they've practiced thus far.
    Good luck!

  • Matt Perekupka

    Posted over 2 years ago

    Good morning,
    I attached two activities I like to do as end of unit challenges. I believe either can be easily expanded to fill one week of time. The thermochemistry activity would definitely take a week in class if you build the device in class. The composition challenge can be expanded use the mole activity I included at the bottom of the composition challenge. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
    (Note: I will post the thermochemistry activity tonight, it is not saved on my work network)