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  • Thinking list img v4
    Nuts & Bolts | September 2020 Engaging Students with a Thinking Routine in Chemistry

    Thinking Routines are an effective way to increase engagement and understanding during distance learning. In this article, the author shares about how she uses this tactic to help students think more deeply about the complex content they are actively learning.

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    Editorial | September 2020 We Didn't Plan for This

    2020-2021 AACT President Jesse Bernstein welcomes teachers to the beginning of an unusual school year. Understanding that every teacher is in a unique situation right now, he encourages educators to share with one another, stay positive, and do their best to adapt during this unprecedented time. He highlights several helpful resources and points teachers to the latest content from AACT.

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    Classroom Commentary | September 2020 The Importance of Teacher Training and Mentorship

    In this article, the author reflects on his experiences related to mentorship and teacher training throughout a 32-year (and counting) career with the Los Angeles Unified School District. He examines several milestone events that led him to serve as a mentor and become involved in teaching training. He emphasizes the importance of both types of support networks, and encourages readers to get involved in their own areas.

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    Resource Feature | September 2020 Using an Online Meeting Scavenger Hunt to Offer Kinesthetic Learning

    In this article, the author describes her use of an online scavenger hunt activity during remote learning. This activity offers students an engaging opportunity for kinesthetic learning and class discussion, while learning about the chemistry in their everyday life.

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    Nuts & Bolts | September 2020 Using Sketch Notes in the Chemistry Lab

    Sketch noting is an alternate method of flowcharting for chemistry labs. In this article, the author shares about the implementation of sketch notes in her chemistry classroom. Additionally, she highlights specific areas where she has seen improvement by her students, including student safety, laboratory skills, content knowledge, and confidence.

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    Nuts & Bolts | September 2020 Mole of Reaction: Application in Limiting Reactants

    In this article, the author describes the use of mole of reaction in limiting reactant calculations in first-year advanced chemistry. In addition to describing how mole of reaction was used in limiting reactant calculations (including advantages and drawbacks), the author also describes how introducing mole of reaction in first-year chemistry impacts students’ subsequent use of this unit in AP Chemistry.

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    Tech Tips | September 2020 My Favorite Technology Tools for Teaching Chemistry — Remotely and In-Person

    In this article, the author highlights her five favorite technology tools for teaching chemistry, both in-person and remotely. She includes examples and tips for effective use — and encourages teachers to incorporate these tools into their own lessons!

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    Resource Feature | September 2020 Lab Safety Teaching Resources for the Chemistry Classroom

    This article provides an introduction to the ACS lab safety videos and demonstrates ways to implement the videos into a 5E lesson plan. Specific resources and activities are provided to integrate safety into chemistry lesson plans.

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    Nuts & Bolts | May 2020 Assessment of Student Modeling and Stages of Thinking

    The author shares her experience with modeling in chemistry, and specifically focuses on the assessment of a student´s individual progress with a model. She offers examples and rubrics that address specific components of the model for teacher assessment.

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    Editorial | May 2020 Making the Most of an Unwelcomed Interruption

    Heather Weck reflects on the successes and challenges of the 2019-2020 school year, as her term as AACT President comes to an end. She shares some of the strategies and resources that have been valuable to her online teaching since the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools across the country. Although it has been an unexpected ending to this school year, she is hopeful in her outlook for the future.

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    Resource Feature | May 2020 Molecules that Changed the World: A Molecular Modeling Project

    In this article, the author shares about a successful culminating project that she uses in her classroom. Students select from an approved list (that ranges in level of difficulty) a molecule that has changed the world. Each molecule is one that they encounter in the real world, and students are asked to research about its uses, physical and chemical properties, structure, synthesis reaction, by-products, environmental issues, related current events, and more. Additionally, students build a three-dimensional model of their molecule, which they present to the class with an accompanying oral presentation.

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    Nuts & Bolts | May 2020 The BOSSO: A Tool for Enhanced Comprehension and Retention

    In this article, the authors share about the BOSSO, a highly effective homework assignment that is used specifically with reading assignments and is designed to help students organize their learning.

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    In My Element | May 2020 The Periodic Table of Teaching Experiences

    A pre-service teacher's perspective on the challenges and rewards of teaching chemistry, using aspects of the periodic table as analogies.

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    Classroom Commentary | May 2020 Part 4: Teaching Earth Chemistry

    This is the fourth and final article in a series about teaching earth chemistry. It is an examination of how earth materials break down physically and chemically, resulting in new chemistry and creating landscapes around us. The author provides an accompanying activity that directs students on how to examine their local earth chemistry.

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    Resource Feature | May 2020 Using Escape Rooms in the Chemistry Classroom

    In this resource feature article, the author describes her use of two escape room activities in the chemistry classroom. One activity was used in AP Chemistry as an assessment, while the other used in a first-year chemistry class as a test review. She shares her successes, challenges, and lessons learned, and encourages other teachers to try these and other escape room-themed activities in their own classrooms.

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    Resource Feature | March 2020 Designing a Greener Le Châtelier's Principle Lab

    Are you interested in teaching core chemistry content with safer materials? This article discusses the importance of green chemistry and features a safer replacement to traditional Le Châtelier’s Principle labs, which often use hazardous chemicals that pose a risk to students and the environment. The concepts of Le Châtelier’s Principle can be effectively demonstrated using household materials of starch, iodine, butterfly pea tea, vinegar, and baking soda.

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    In My Element | March 2020 Exploring the Elements of my Life

    Linda Cummings describes her challenges and successes as her identity evolved over the years. Follow her journey as her job description changed from musician, to high school chemistry teacher, and ultimately to university chemistry instructor.

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    Classroom Commentary | March 2020 Part 3: Teaching Earth Chemistry

    This is the third article in a series about teaching earth chemistry. The focus of this piece is discussing and investigating how the partial melting of rocks related to plate tectonics occurs, and its effects on volcano behavior.

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    Nuts & Bolts | March 2020 The Benefits of Culminating Tasks

    In this article, a teacher shares her experience implementing culminating tasks in the chemistry classroom. She shares her insight for best practices, and offers suggestions for hands-on lab experiences that can be completed at the end of a unit or a semester.

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    Editorial | March 2020 Instilling Engagement in Chemistry

    AACT President-Elect Jesse Bernstein shares about his most engaging chemistry memories from both his childhood and early teaching career. He is a passionate advocate for integrating engaging, hands-on teaching methods in the chemistry classroom, and encourages all teachers of chemistry to provide their students with similar engaging learning opportunities.

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    Classroom Commentary | March 2020 The Importance of Teaching Literacy Strategies in High School Chemistry

    In this article, the author discusses rationale for teaching chemistry literacy and offers strategies to be successful in the classroom. Since teaching students how to read and write is the responsibility of all teachers, the author aims to help chemistry teachers focus on these important skills in their content area.

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    Resource Feature | March 2020 Teaching Periodic Trends with a Popular Card Game

    In this article, the author describes how she was inspired by the rules and spirit of the well-known card game, War, to help her students test their knowledge of the periodic trends. She shares about how she uses her version, which she calls Periodic War, in the classroom, and discusses student learning outcomes, as well as difficulties and successes that she has encountered when using it as a teaching activity in her classroom.

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    Resource Feature | November 2019 Navigating the Periodic Table Guided by Nested Russian Dolls

    The authors describe a lesson they developed collaboratively to teach elementary students about the structure and shape of periodic table using a set of Russian “nesting dolls.” Building on that understanding, they teach students how to navigate the periodic table, identify specific elements by atomic number, analyze several element samples, and determine the identity of a mystery material.

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    Nuts & Bolts | November 2019 Drawing Exit Tickets: A New Way to Formatively Assess

    The author uses a modified version of traditional exit tickets as a useful strategy to formatively assess student understanding at the end of the lesson. Her students are asked to summarize what they have learned by creating drawings. She shares that recent research has shown that drawing can be more effective than writing as a tool for remembering concepts. Read this article to see how you can use this strategy in your own classroom!

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    Nuts & Bolts | November 2019 Developing the Skill of Modeling to Reinforce Complex Topics in Chemistry

    In this article, the author explains the progression of skill development in particulate modeling in the chemistry classroom to help students better understand complex chemistry.