Everyone loves a good hack. Especially students and teachers. Imagine your student’s delight when you teach them these two shortcuts.
They will know that your purpose is to make learning chemistry easier on them.
Read on for the sanity saving tricks.
#1 Are the Two Elements Far Apart?
When I have students come to me after class super lost, I oversimplify chemistry for them sometimes. I think, if I can get this student to where he or she understands 80% of what I am teaching, they will be okay. I don’t want them stuck in the details. I don't want them overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed students learn nothing.
So when students are trying to learn ionic and covalent compounds, and electronegativity is making about as much sense to them as someone teaching me how to replace my radiator in my car, I tell them that if the elements are close together on the periodic table the bond will usually be covalent. If the elements are far apart on the periodic table the bond will probably be ionic.
They usually blink at me and say, "Really? That's it? That's easy!".
What's more important to you for this student who needs to learn in your class? That they get the tiny details? Or that they learn that you’ve got their back and will teach them what they need to know about life in your classroom?
#2 Is There a Polyatomic Ion
I also tell them that if there is a polyatomic ion, there is probably going to be an ionic bond. If there is an ionic bond the naming rules will not include prefixes or -ide.
So, while you have their attention, make sure they have memorized the polyatomic ions. Check out this blog post for helping them with that.
Best Hacks Ever
Students love these two hacks because it simplifies a complicated topic. They will look at you and think, “Yeah. She’s got our backs. She’s going to make learning chemistry doable.”
And that is so true.
Now, go make ‘em think harder than ever all the while making chemistry learnable, you teacher rockstar you.
Hint: All my "Intro to..." worksheets are color coding worksheets.
Hi! I'm CoScine. I write chemistry worksheets for visual learners. They are fun, easy to follow, and most of them are quick to grade. Since I started my teaching career at the college level, these are just simple chemistry. These worksheets are hard core science.