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Some of the terminology that we use in chemistry can be extremely confusing for students! One such example is when we talk about bonding. A bond is the name given when electrostatic forces of attraction between oppositely charged particles are balanced with the kinetic energy that would cause them to move away from each other... Continue Reading →

As Stern, Ferraro and Mohnkern point out in “Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding: Designing Lessons and Assessments for Deep Learning”, the biggest pitfall that teachers face when introducing a new concept is that they are tempted to introduce it as a fact. This means it becomes a definition to be memorised, rather than a concept... Continue Reading →

This time last year, I set myself the goal of being one of the most effective teachers in the school. I wanted to be one of the teachers that people would talk about when people ask them what are great examples of classroom practice. Needless to say, I failed. I am not the most effective... Continue Reading →

Magpies

In  European folklore, the "thieving magpie" is renowned for stealing shiny things (interestingly, this unfortunate perception of the bird has been debunked). This is, obviously, not a good thing for people! I sometimes feel like a magpie in my teaching and learning. I get attracted to shiny classroom ideas, tricks, books, thoughts and much more.... Continue Reading →

The equilibrium law is a tool used by chemists to help them work out how best to manipulate chemical reactions to achieve the greatest yield of the desired product. For a reaction mixture at equilibrium at a certain temperature, the ratio of the concentration of products to reactants will remain constant. We call this ratio... Continue Reading →

A growth mindset approach to timed assessments

So many students come into High School Science with an excitement for science. In Middle School, they have been tinkering, designing, experimenting and playing around with science (whilst still picking up some fundamental knowledge I hope!). Then, they sit their first timed assessment and get their first results. For some students, this sends them down... Continue Reading →

The Scientist’s Mindset

Education is set up in such a way that students are judged by their ability to perform a very specific skill which is completing timed assessments. Entire educations (mine was) can be set up with this in mind! With this being an end goal, we set up systems that equate performance in tests with mastery... Continue Reading →

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