Is this thing still on?
Much has changed in my life since I last posted. Rather than being overwhelmed by trying to including everything, I’ll just tell you what I’m doing for the rest of the summer.
I’m currently attending an AP Chemistry workshop at Taft School. Its the third workshop I’ve attended here (I did a 2-week AP Biology workshop in 2007, and a 1-week advanced AP Chemistry workshop in 2009). I’ll post a bit more about this year’s workshop as the week goes on.
In two weeks I’ll be attending and presenting at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Grand Valley State University.
I’m creating a workbook/”textbook” for my advanced chemistry course. I’d been fiddling with iBooks Author for a few years. I doubt current school will ever be able to move towards 1:1 iPads, so I’m doing it old school (pdf/print).
I’m preparing to begin my fourth year with Modeling Chemistry. I would like to adapt some version of Science Writing Heuristic (Claim-Evidence-Reasoning) for lab reports. I may attempt the alternate sequence re: atomic structure. Has anyone done this? (atomic structure after unit 4)?
We’re excited to have Ramsey Musallam present this week at Global Chemistry Department. He’s blogged extensively about his use of the Explore-Flip-Apply learning cycle in his AP Chemistry course. At Thursday’s meeting, he will describe what this looks like in a typical unit, and how he assesses student understanding.
We’ll begin at 9:00pm EST/6:00pm PST. I hope to see you there!
If you miss a meeting, you can find the recordings at the Global Chemistry Department site.
The Global Chemistry Department will meet biweekly on Thursday nights at 9-10:00pm EST. Its an opportunity for chemistry teachers to meet for free, real-time professional development.
The Flip Class concept has been a education buzz word for the last several years. If you’ve been to any educational conference, someone has been talking about it. There are now tons of resources to learn easy ways to make video lectures. But I believe that something is tragically missing from these discussions . . . pedagogy.
In my talk, I will show how you can expand the use of video in your classroom, as well as options to make those videos more effective.
If you haven’t signed up yet with BigMarker, click here. You can easily sign up with your Google, Facebook or Twitter account, or an email address. Then, you can join the Global Chemistry Department, and receive email reminders of our meetings.
I hope to see you at our first meeting!
This summer #chemchat (a twitter chat for chemistry teachers) launched on Wednesday nights at 8:30-9:30pm EST. Its a great opportunity to tweet with fellow chemistry teachers about a specific topic (inquiry, project design, dimensional analysis, demos, etc) to talk about the “why,” best practices, specific ideas that can be carried into the classroom. You can access the archives here.
I think there is room for a different kind of chemistry education discussion. Inspired by the Global Physics Department and the Global Math Department, Corey Kilbane (@CentralScience) and I are working to launch the Global Chemistry Department.
A non-twitter, multimedia platform will allow us to share and collaborate in whole new ways. Using BigMarker as our platform, we can usetext chat, audio, webcam as well as uploading files or presentation for easy sharing. The Global Chemistry Department could be a place to have live discussions, such as:
- Lesson Spotlights: A teacher shares the details of a successful lesson, lab or unit, or of a unique way of approaching a traditionally difficult topic
- Tech Tools: A teacher sharing how a particular tool is used effectively in their classroom.
- Curriculum Strategies: A teacher shares experience with cross-curricular project-based learning, or experiences with spiraling own curriculum.
- Lesson Feedback: A new or experienced teacher might share a video of a lesson in their class, and solicit feedback on their teaching.
What we need from you
- You can create a free account on BigMarker.com, and join in on the launch of the Global Chemistry Department.
- Weigh in: What weeknight would you prefer to hold Global Chemistry Department? It will be held at 9-10pm EST/6-7pm PST.
- What would you like to see at the Global Chemistry Department? Weigh in in the comments here, at BigMarker, or on twitter (#globalchem).
- If YOU would like to present at Global Chem Department, contact –> me AT msbethea.com.
I got wrapped up in my excursion to WV, so I’m just getting around to posting about the final days of BCCE.
WV is BEAUTIFUL, by the way.
Day 4 was a big inquiry day. Most of the talks I saw in the morning were a part of the Target Inquiry program out of Grand Valley State University. They’re teacher-created guided inquiry activities that cover almost all of a first year chemistry curriculum. Their materials are available for free to teachers. If you’re looking to move from cookbook to inquiry, the materials are a great place to start.
While none of the activities really jumped out at me, there was one nugget that I might be able to apply: using universal indicator with alka-seltzer reaction (or perhaps baking soda/vinegar) at different temperatures to compare CO2 solubility. Not sure where that will fit, but something I’ve never considered.
The afternoon symposia on Day 4 were mostly “ho hum.”
Day 5 was surprisingly quite interesting. A couple of the talks dealt with finding a balance between traditional and inquiry-based approaches in lab. Though presented for a college audience, I got some good ideas for modifying my Mg/Al/Zn-HCl lab. Also, a good framework for a possible dead-week practical:
Produce x pieces of experimental evidence that a piece of metal is not aluminum
Main take away from BCCE2012: Modeling Chemistry needs a strong presence at BCCE 2014 (and ChemED 2013)! While I stumbled upon a few modelers at this conference, there were no presentations about modeling chemistry. Even if you don’t do modeling chemistry, you should consider sharing some of your best practices at an NSTA, ChemED or BCCE conference.
ChemED 2013 is at University of Waterloo. I hope to see you there!