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Category: Chemistry

Periodic Table

The beginning of the school year for chemistry teachers means… #1: atomic structure, and #2: how to read the periodic table. Looking for some fresh ideas? Here is a list of resources you can use to introduce and explore the periodic table.  1. ORGANIZING A STORE: Before diving into the

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Periodic Table Bingo

While I’m not a fan of making students memorize anything on the periodic table, the more familiar they are with it the easier it is for them to use. Do I expect them to know the atomic number of carbon is 6? No, but it’s helpful if they know the

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Conservation of Mass Experiments

The law of conservation of mass states that mass in a closed system will not change before and after a chemical reaction. Mass isn’t created or destroyed, it just moves places. Seems simple enough, but this law can be difficult to demonstrate. It seems nearly impossible to get PERFECT data

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Introducing Diffusion with Smelly Balloons

Diffusion is a topic that is covered in biology (when we introduce cell membranes) and chemistry (particle movement and kinetic theory). I came across this “smelly balloons” activity on Flinn’s website and thought it was such a fun way to introduce diffusion. In this activity, students will smell balloons that have

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States of Matter and Phase Changes

States of matter is a topic that is covered in middle school, and reviewed again in high school chemistry with more depth. I’ve compiled some resources to help you teach this concept! Take a peek! FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL 1. I created this powerpoint when I taught phase changes to my

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Polarity and Electronegativity Teaching Resources

Even though I have taught life science most of my career and not physical science, I still feel it is important for students to understand polarity and electronegativity. If students don’t understand polarity, they won’t understand why the cell membrane has a hydrophobic and hydrophilic region. Understanding polarity also helps

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Case Study of Lake Nyos

One of my favorite case studies to examine with students is the tragedy that occurred at Lake Nyos. Located in Camaroon, Africa, Lake Nyos is a lake that formed in a volcanic crater. While villagers thought the volcano was dormant, it was slowly releasing carbon dioxide into the lake. One

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Teaching pH in a snap!

pH…. one of those chemistry topics that us biology teachers get to teach. In biology I don’t make my students calculate pH and pOH values, but they need to understand what pH is and why maintaining a healthy pH in your body is so important. You may love biochemistry, or

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