The Problem:Students don't like learning 60% of the time
I've created this line of worksheets called "Color & Learn." I tried to take ideas in chemistry and a few in math and make them more simple by color coding topics in chemistry. All cations are yellow, anions are blue, metals are gray, nonmetals are red, polyatomic ions are also blue because they behave the same as anions...etc. Check out my ideas below.
#1 Color and Learn: Intro to Cations and Anions
Students understand the idea of cations and anions right away, but somehow the idea seeps out of their brains while they sleep and they've completely forgotten where we look to figure out where cations and anions are. (Hint: Is the element on the right or left side of the periodic table?)I like this worksheet because you can just look at it to grade it and you can spot an error really quickly. Who doesn't like easy to grade homework?
The Problem: First Time College Students Don't Know What They Need Because They've Never Been to College
If your son or daughter is going off to college for the first time, I have no doubt they will tell you all about the laptop, iPad, and smart phone that they absolutely need. While they do need some of those things, this is a list of smaller, very helpful, 100% academic things that help my students.
I am not affiliated with any of these companies or products. I just like what they do.
1. Wolfram Alpha
If your first time college student is going to be taking precalculus, calculus, or beyond, check out Wolfram Alpha. I would purchase their pro for students for $4.75 a month. What is great about it is that it breaks problems down step by step so they can get help even when the tutoring center is closed.
If you don't purchase the pro version, still go check it out because it can help you in Biology 1107K by helping you compute homozygote frequency using the Hardy-Weinburg equation.
Still not impressed? They can also help you write electron configurations for your Chemistry 1211. Yes! Seriously.
That is all in addition to the math help they can offer you. It's a really great tool to have in your back pocket!
The Problem:Students have trouble knowing what to do with trig. expressions and problems using identities
So many students know what they need to do to simplify or solve a trig identity, but they do not understand how to solve or simplify the problem. So, I've tried a few different solutions, and these work for most students.
The Problem: Students have trouble balancing charges in chemical compounds
The first MAJOR hurdle students come to in chemistry is when they have to start writing chemical formulas when given a chemical name. They seem to do better if you give them a chemical formula and have them write a name, but give them a name and they seem to have a harder time.
#1 Solution: Dive deep into subscripts and charges
I think it is because students are just really uncomfortable with subscripts at this point in their chemistry knowledge.
Draw it out for them using circles for the cations and anions. Explain that if you have to draw more than one circle for each cation or anion then you would use a subscript. Two cations would equal a 2 subscript, 3 cations would equal a 3 subscript etc.
When you start out explaining how to name compounds you probably use HCl or NaCl or something like that because they each have opposing charges of one and (1+) and (1-) equals zero, right?
The Problem: Students confuse subscripts and coefficients
In theory, I only help with the chemistry labs this semester. But, I or one of my tutors, teach a recitation for Gen. Chem 1 or Gen Chem 2 every other week. They have been learning how to balance chemical equations and it just wasn't clicking for them. So, at this week's recitation I explained the concept of having the same amount of each type of chemical on the left as you do on the right.
But, they kept making the same mistake. They were just slapping on 2's for coefficients where there should have been a subscript to balance the charge on the molecule.
Solution #1: Do they know how to properly balance charges on chemical compounds? If not, click here for the explanation and here for the worksheet on that topic.
Chemistry is hard. I mean really, it is one of those sciences you can't see without lots of expensive equipment. So, I began trying to make chemistry(and other sciences and math!) more real to my students.
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.