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    Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Chemistry Semester Exam Redesign

    In this article, the author shares about her experience redesigning a traditional multiple-choice chemistry semester exam to an authentic assessment for her Honors Chemistry students. Motivated to create an assessment made up of more thought-provoking questions, and encouraged by the style of the AP chemistry exam, she shares example questions, grading rubrics and overall feedback related to the redesign and implementation.

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    Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Remote Teaching Strategies that Will Outlast the Pandemic

    In this article, the author reflects on four new teaching practices that he has successfully implemented in response to the current remote learning environment, and shares about how these strategies can continue to be valuable in the future.

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    Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Beneficial Classroom Strategies for Teaching in a Pandemic and Beyond

    Teaching during the pandemic has challenged teachers to find new ways to help students learn chemistry. In this article, AACT Middle School Ambassador Jennifer Smith describes several teaching methods that have been successful in her classroom. These strategies include weekly student check-in surveys, providing students with audio feedback, and creating video instructions for labs. All are easy-to-implement practices that teachers can leverage both during and after the pandemic

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    Editorial | March 2021 Bringing Chemistry to Life through the Story of Madame Curie

    AACT President-Elect Greta Glugoski-Sharp shares about her passion for teaching about the historical significance of important chemists — in particular, the great contributions of Marie Curie. She encourages teachers to integrate the important history of scientific pioneers, such as Curie and others, into their own teachings.

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    In My Element | March 2021 Teaching is a Journey

    The author describes her journey from the industrial lab setting to the classroom. Originally inspired to pursue a future in chemistry by her high school chemistry teacher, many experiences throughout her life have positioned her to thrive as an educator. Her journey has come full circle, and as a high school chemistry teacher, she now hopes to inspire bright minds to be life-long learners and to be excited about science.

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    Tech Tips | March 2021 How to Use Online Forms and Surveys to Enhance Remote Learning

    In this article, the author describes how the remote learning setting can be challenging for teachers. The inability to observe students’ body language and other types of real-time feedback can make it difficult to plan ahead and adjust lessons on the fly. With this in mind, the author shares some practical ways to use online forms and surveys to both engage students in remote learning and gain more real-time feedback on lesson comprehension.

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    Classroom Commentary | November 2020 Online Chemistry: My Top Five Ingredients for Success

    In this article, the author discusses the five main ingredients that led to success when she was forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to quickly redesign an in-person accelerated summer chemistry course to instead be delivered online. Twenty students participated in the seven-week accelerated class, which covered the same amount of content as an entire school year of chemistry. Their feedback, as well as that of their parents, is included in this article.

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    Resource Feature | November 2020 Creative Ways to Conduct Traditional Labs in a Homeschool Environment

    In this article, the author shares about creating meaningful lab experiences for chemistry students in a virtual homeschool environment. She discusses how she transformed a traditional lesson plan into a virtual project-based experience for students, following basic four rules. The author encourages other teachers to transform their own content for remote learning, and reassures teachers that doing so is not as difficult as one might think.

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    Classroom Commentary | November 2020 Getting the Facts Out About Secondary Chemistry Teaching

    Misperceptions about careers in STEM secondary school teaching keep interested students from pursuing teaching and also explain why some chemistry educators may not recommend that their most successful students explore careers in teaching. The U.S. has a shortage of STEM teachers in middle and high school, and highlighting the facts about STEM teaching can help to address this predicament. Get the Facts Out is an NSF-funded project designed to give chemistry educators the tools to explain and correct misperceptions, with data on salary, benefits, and career satisfaction of STEM secondary school teachers. Chemistry educators at all levels can access the Get the Facts Out toolkit that includes resources to share with students, colleagues, and administrators — and in the process, become change agents in this crucial conversation.

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    Resource Feature | November 2020 A Green Chemistry Guided-Inquiry Lab

    In this article, the authors share insights about how they used a guided-inquiry lab about biomimetic preen oil to expose students to the topics of green chemistry and biomimicry, topics not commonly covered in high school chemistry curricula. While preen oil occurs naturally when birds secrete it to protect their feathers, it can also be created by reacting waste cooking oil in a blue cheese slurry, with the mold Penicillium roqueforti producing methyl ketones, an important antibacterial compound. The authors discuss the implementation and results of a guided-inquiry lab in which students design, test, and evaluate their own procedure using biomimicry and green chemistry principles.

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    Editorial | November 2020 Tackling Change and Challenges

    In this editorial, AACT Governing Board SOCED Representative Amy Nicely shares about her experience teaching chemistry labs in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although her lab looks a little different today, she feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach students in-person. Learn about the modified procedures and new protocols that have been essential to her success.

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    Tech Tips | November 2020 Remote Technology Resources in a COVID-19 World

    In this article, the author describes three specific technology resources — Flipgrid, Collisions, and Gizmos — that she relied on when the Covid-19 pandemic forced schools to switch to remote-teaching. She highlights the benefits of each platform, and shares examples of her successful experience using each. She concludes that Flipgrid was valuable as it allowed for asynchronous class connections, while Collisions and Gizmos allowed for inquiry-based learning experiences.

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    In My Element | November 2020 I Was Always Meant to be a Teacher

    Meet Jonté Lee, chemistry teacher. In this article, read about his non-traditional path to a traditional career. Lee started out in corporate America, but now finds himself loving a career as a high school chemistry teacher. Additionally, learn about his inspiring transformation of his kitchen into a chemistry lab to overcome challenges of virtual teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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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    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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    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 | 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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    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 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 | 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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    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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    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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    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.