Yeah, sure. You can teach quantum chemistry like you always have. I did.
You can stand at the front of the classroom and explain about the location of an electron, how it is oriented in space, and the probability of finding it at a given time.
You can explain with no diagrams or some of the traditional, hard to understand diagrams.
You can say, "If you are in the s orbital there is only one option for l and also for ml. That should be obvious based on it being in the s orbital."
Or you could really break the topic down into tangible, bite size pieces for your students. You could make students SEE quantum chemistry easily. (#DoodleNotes are awesome for this)
Imagine quantum chemistry with bright colors, simplified instructions, and specific illustrations that inspire understanding.
Now, that sounds amazing!
Quantum Doodle Notes
This is my favorite set of worksheets for making quantum chemistry, energy, and electron configurations come alive for students.
When students see these Doodle Notes, they light up like light bulbs. It makes sense for them because doodle notes make the abstract concepts relatable.
They can see the subshells. They can see the orbitals, They can see what the principle quantum number and angular momentum number means. They can see and color it all.
Most importantly, with these new cutting edge diagrams, quantum numbers will make sense for the first time in high school history.
Doodle notes is a trademarked term and is used by permission. For more information please see doodlenotes.org.
Simplified Quantum Numbers
What is the number one thing students want from you as a chemistry teacher?
This worksheet does that for you. It takes quantum numbers and breaks it down into the easiest thing your students have seen.
Here's how it works:
When the students get this worksheet they need to write the abbreviated electron configuration and diagram valance electron orbital for each problem. Then, all they do is follow the instructions to figure out the quantum numbers.
It holds their hands as they learn quantum numbers.
Orbital Diagrams Practice
This worksheet gives your students practice writing electron configurations and practice diagramming electron orbitals.
First, students write electron configurations on one page. Then, they diagram those same elements.
The orbital shells are already written for your students. This way they just have to focus on filling in the diagram, and not drawing it from scratch. My students got so much more out of the orbital diagrams once I started them out with a predrawn diagram. You can always make it harder later by asking them to draw the diagram and fill in the electrons.
Electron Configuration Activity Packet
There is a shortage in the teaching world for activities that you can do with your students on the topic of electron configuration.
Sometimes you just want one worksheet that can be used 7 different ways. Right?
Here it is. This is a one page worksheet that you can use 7 different ways. So no matter your teaching style, one of these ideas will work for you and your classroom.
Learn the Difference in Shells, Subshells, and Orbitals
I think many of us accidentally use the word "orbital" when we mean subshell. Technically, it is fine to use orbital when referring to "the s orbital", because there is only one orbital there. But I think this creates confusion for students since there are 3 p orbitals and if you a referring to one of them it is okay to say orbital, but if you are referring to all three of them, it should be subshell.
So, orbital and subshell can be interchangeable sometimes, and that is confusing-to everyone.
To clarify the difference for students, use this worksheet to simplify and explain the difference in shells, subshells and orbitals.
Electron Configuration Game
Your classroom just got lit.
This electron configuration game is really fun and super helpful for students. The game board is a periodic table that has checkpoints for complete electron subshells. Students write down all the "checkpoints" they pass and then write down the location they land on.
Thus you can trick,
uh, I mean,
help your students write about 6 electron configurations per game round.
The best part? This game is a nearly no prep game! All you have to do is print the scorecards.
If you need a daily grade just have them turn in their scorecards and you can either grade them (electron configuration key included) or offer bonus points on a test.
Quantum Chemistry Reimagined
Adding in one of these worksheets will dramatically liven and enlighten your classroom.
Picture your students in small interactive groups really getting it because of these step by step approaches for the more visually inspired student.
Correcting each other. Collaborating with each other. Asking relevant questions.
If you hate teaching quantum numbers and electron configurations like I used to, make a change. Make it real for your students like I did.
Hi! I'm CoScine Creative. I have developed and run a tutoring center at a small college. I also teach some of their algebra and chemistry courses. And I will neither confirm nor deny pranking my students by pretending to be one.