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”

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”

Read this article if….you are a concept geek who just loves…well…concepts… I recently wrote about threshold concepts in this post. As stated in the article, threshold concepts are often troublesome for learners. However, they have the potential to be so transformative in their understanding of a discipline that they are worth the pain. Indeed, onceContinue reading

There are certain concepts in chemistry that students must understand if there are to develop an expertise in the discipline.  We can call these “threshold concepts”. These threshold concepts should be considered as a portal to further understanding and, according to Meyer and Land (2003), should be: Transformative – once understood, it should cause aContinue 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 ratioContinue 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 masteryContinue reading “The Scientist’s Mindset”