September 2014

Featured Article

Tech Tips

ChemMatters: A Wealth of Information

This article describes ChemMatters and highlights several ways to incorporate the magazine into a high school chemistry curriculum. It also features the Teacher's Guide that accompanies the award-winning magazine by ACS.

Classroom Commentary

Reflections and perspectives by teachers about topics that affect chemistry education.

Access is an AACT member benefit. Teaching Science in Elementary School

Elementary school teachers face challenges because of resources and testing requirements. This article features Patti Burns who teaches in a struggling city school, Lauren Schultz who teaches in an affluent school, and Allison Granish-Lee who teaches in a small school.

Getting Started

How do you plan to teach a new course or a course new to you? A teacher with 40+ years of experience provides some advice to map out the year, taking into account roadblocks you may experience along the way.

Nuts & Bolts

Functional tips you can implement in your classroom.

Access is an AACT member benefit. Standards Based Grading in the Middle School Chemistry Classroom

The purpose of grading is to give feedback about learning, but the traditional point-based system fails to do so. Standards-based grading is an alternative grading system that focuses on student understanding rather than a letter grade.

Access is an AACT member benefit. Formative Assessment—A Powerful, Quick Tool in the Classroom

Formative assessment methods can be a quick, topic-specific tool that teachers can use to discover students readiness for a topic. Formative assessment up-front can make a unit run smoother. These assessments do not have to be difficult to implement, and you will be glad you did it in the long run.

Tech Tips

How to incorporate technology into your chemistry classroom.

Access is an AACT member benefit. ChemEd X: Online Chemistry Teacher Community

An associate editor of the Journal of Chemical Education, Deanna Cullen, introduces ChemEd X.

Teacher 2 Teacher

We asked on Twitter:

What favorite chemistry activity do you do with students on the 1st day of school?

You answered:

Ziplocs w NaHCO3 and CaCl2 + phenol red solution—what combo causes what result? Hands on and think like a scientist—sets tone for year.

Separation of sugar, sand, and pepper mixture. Give no instructions other than "separate." Very open ended/inquiry.

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Welcome, Charter Members!

Well, it’s finally here. Something chemistry teachers have been anticipating for years. Welcome, charter members, to the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT)! This is the inagural editorial of Chemistry Solution and addresses the goals of AACT, including safety, building community, and embracing all teachers of chemistry.

Access is an AACT member benefit. A History of Chemistry Education and ACS’s Role To Support It

ACS Board of Directors Member George Bodner traces the history of chemical education leading up to the formation of AACT, emphasizing that ACS has supported chemistry education since the 1870s.


Balancing Chemical Equations

The simulation for the September 2014 issue comes from PhET and helps students practice balancing chemical equations. AACT helped fund the conversion of this popular simulation into a format that is compatible with all devices, including iPads. PhET provides teacher’s guides for many of their simulations, and teacher-generated activities that can accompany the simulations.