Why does sodium chloride dissolve?

I recently came across a question on Twitter about sodium chloride (salt) dissolving in water. The question was effectively: “If the bonds between the Na+ and Cl– ions are so strong, why is water able to break these bonds?”  There are probably several ways to answer this question and the most satisfying will probably involveContinue reading “Why does sodium chloride dissolve?”

Using a Chemistry Glossary

In this short post, I will briefly discuss how I use a glossary of chemistry terms to support student learning. You can find the glossary here. Feel free to make a copy and use as you see fit (please note that it is a live document and so is constantly updated as I teach!). WhyContinue reading “Using a Chemistry Glossary”

How to quickly make retrieval practice tasks…

Research suggests that fill in the blank questions are more effective at helping students encode knowledge into long term memory than multiple choice quizzes. This is because they have to actively retrieve knowledge from their memory in order to answer them, rather than just select that correct answer. This blog post gives a quick andContinue reading “How to quickly make retrieval practice tasks…”

Effective Learning and Revision Strategies

This post is designed to give parents and students a really brief insight into some practical strategies that might improve learning and make time spent on it more effective. It is split into two parts. Part 1 looks at a how you might get started with revision and what the cycle of revision certain contentContinue reading “Effective Learning and Revision Strategies”

Using Google Quizzes for Retrieval Practice

I’m finding the quiz function in Google Forms is awesome. If you don’t know what I’m talking about or how to get to this, check out this video! I use this primarily for retrieval practice and quick formative assessment. Here are some of the top benefits I find when using the quiz function in googleContinue reading “Using Google Quizzes for Retrieval Practice”

Using the group 1 metals demonstration more intentionally

Throughout my teaching career, I have often found myself doing demonstrations because they are in the unit plan. I have, at times, not really used them with great intentionality. One of my goals this year is to be much more intentional with the demonstrations I use. This includes thinking carefully about the conceptual understanding IContinue reading “Using the group 1 metals demonstration more intentionally”

Developing better internal schema in chemistry students

Pre-warning. This is a bit of a long read and gets a bit heavy. If you want to skip to the final summary, scroll down! Disclaimer: A lot of this article is based on the work of Talanquer (2015). Barely any of it is my own so please do take a look at his articleContinue reading “Developing better internal schema in chemistry students”

War journalism is a well known and historical profession. Images of reporters risking their lives to report from conflict zones are known to many. However, this type of journalism is often propaganda like in delivery, focuses on the violence (and sometimes glamorises it), focuses on the suffering of one side and the actions of elites,Continue reading

40 day breathing and meditation challenge

I recently completed a short course on breathing and meditation techniques. I really enjoyed the experience and so I am going to try to complete at least 20 minutes of practice for the next 40 days (and hopefully longer if it’s of benefit). My aim is to find some “calm in the chaos”. Over theContinue reading “40 day breathing and meditation challenge”

Conceptual understanding of epistemological issues in chemistry As discussed in this post, epistemological components make up part of the complex cognitive processes that help students to understand threshold concepts. The epistemological components are to do with how arguments and explanations are built in a discipline. In chemistry, this is mainly to do with the useContinue reading