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  • Sketchnotes listimage4
    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 | 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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    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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    Resource Feature | May 2019 My Favorite Demonstrations for Teaching Chemical Reactions

    In this article, the author describes a series of seven demonstrations she uses to help students understand how to identify that a chemical reaction has occurred. Additionally, students use their observations to write word equations and formula equations.

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    Nuts & Bolts | May 2019 Addressing Scientific Literacy through a Demonstration

    A chemical demonstration can be repeatedly utilized in a curricular unit to bolster scientific literacy. A series of classroom activities in a chemistry classroom is presented to illustrate the demonstration's usefulness as a central and ongoing instructional strategy.

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    Resource Feature | March 2019 Magic Monday: Inspiring Students to Observe and Question in Chemistry

    The article describes the author’s use of demonstrations to spark interest and investigation in chemistry. This teaching strategy has been both valuable and popular with her students.

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    Resource Feature | March 2019 Teaching Essential Concepts … with T-Shirt Chromatography

    In this article, a teacher shares about her colorful classroom activity for teaching chromatography.

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    Resource Feature | September 2018 Chemistry of Lightsticks: Determination of Activation Energy, a Guided Inquiry Approach

    Lightsticks, with their eerie glow, capture the interest of students of every age. Capitalizing on this, the authors describe how they developed and used a guided inquiry approach to help students determine the activation energy of the chemiluminescent reaction in a lightstick. They also describe how they used a Vernier LabQuest 2 system, while acknowledging that any data collection system that allows simultaneous collection of data from light and temperature probes may be used instead. In addtion, they explain how they employed the natural logarithm form of the Arrhenius equation and spreadsheet software.

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    Resource Feature | May 2018 Embracing Chemistry in the Elementary Classroom

    This article discusses why it's important for K-5 teachers to overcome the fear of teaching chemistry, and gives some simple suggestions on how to start.

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    Tech Tips | May 2018 Experimenting with Electronic Lab Notebooks

    The author describes her efforts to implement and effectively use electronic notebooks to capture lab work in regular, advanced, and AP chemistry classes.

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    Resource Feature | March 2018 Recasting Chemistry Labs with Forensic Themes

    This article discusses several examples of how forensic scenarios can be added to tried-and-true chemistry labs. The author also provides several example lab activities for the audience to use in their own classrooms.

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    Classroom Commentary | March 2018 Part II: Rethinking Common Practices in High School Chemistry

    This article is Part II of a series that aims at rethinking common practices in the high school chemistry curriculum. The first article in this series was published in the November 2017 issue. This article describes the shortcomings with the “5 Reaction Types” classification scheme and provides an alternative organization to the study of chemical reactions.

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    Resource Feature | March 2018 Teaching Beyond the Cookbook

    Inquiry lab experiences provide students with a wider context for understanding the material presented in the classroom while improving student engagement and giving them a more authentic science experience. If you want to include more aspects of inquiry in your laboratory experiences, but lack the time and money to test brand new labs, this article provides specific tools and ideas for adding inquiry experiences to your own labs.

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    Classroom Commentary | November 2017 Part I: Rethinking Common Practices in High School Chemistry

    The physical vs. chemical change dichotomy and criteria for classification often taught early in chemistry courses should be removed or delayed until students have a more thorough understanding of the particulate nature of matter.

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    Resource Feature | September 2017 Introducing the Chemistry of Color: A Resource Collection

    This article highlights a set of lessons developed by a team of content writers, sponsored by PPG, using color as a general theme. The lessons use chemistry to explore various aspects of the science behind paints and coatings.

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    Nuts & Bolts | March 2017 Four Strategies for More Effective Labs

    Learn four strategies for effectively connecting chemistry lessons to lab activities. This article will explore flipping the pre-lab, incorporating claim-evidence-reasoning in the hypothesis and conclusion, implementing a class discussion during inquiry labs, and developing lab quizzes.

  • Take home cover
    Resource Feature | March 2017 Take Home Labs: Making Science Real

    It’s an ongoing question: how do we provide students with more lab time? One answer is to introduce take home labs. In this article, the author explains how take home labs can fit into your curriculum to cover new material, review material, or provide extra credit, and how they provide increased exposure to science in our everyday world.

  • Web wiki
    Tech Tips | November 2016 Using Wikis to Promote Engagement in a Chemistry Lab

    Wikis can be used as a technology tool for differentiating a chemistry lab so it's engaging to all students. In this article the author explains how to build a classroom wiki page to use with students. He also explores ways to assess students’ tasks completed during the lab.

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    Tech Tips | November 2016 Simple Technology Strategies to Improve the Lab Experience

    Learn how to incorporate a few simple strategies to improve data sharing, pre-lab preparation and post-lab discussion in the chemistry lab. The author discusses the use of Google Forms, and the integration of videos and simulations.

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    Resource Feature | September 2016 Tools and Strategies for Teaching Lab Report Writing

    One of the critical skills expected from any science graduate is the ability to write coherent and meaningful laboratory reports. Many chemistry students come to their first- and even second-year classes with an incomplete understanding of how to write high quality formal lab reports. We have developed some tools and strategies that may be helpful in this endeavor.

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    Resource Feature | May 2016 Getting Young Students Excited about Science

    Have you considered teaching chemistry to your elemenatry students? This fifth grade teacher shows how easy it is to introduce chemistry into the elementary school classroom. She reviews several You Be The Chemist® activities, and explains why her students love them.

  • Wow factor flame
    Nuts & Bolts | September 2016 Keeping the Wow Factor, and Controlling the Risks

    This article reviews the safety problems inherent in the “traditional” rainbow experiment and similar demonstrations, the responses from various organizations, and safer alternatives.

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    Resource Feature | March 2016 Keys for Success in Teaching Chemistry

    Teach fundamental chemistry concepts using common items, and discover clever options for finding teaching supplies on a limited budget.


  • Flame jar
    Resource Feature | November 2014 A Cracking Good Reaction

    Eliminate safety concerns of cracking hydrocarbons in a classroom setting by doing the reaction with a microscale set up.

  • Kids goggles
    Nuts & Bolts | November 2014 Strategies for Increasing Student Engagement

    Increase student engagement and promote critical-thinking skills through positive student–teacher relationships, chemical demonstrations, and student discussions.