Chemistry/Physical Science Advice

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by calister23, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. calister23

    calister23 Guest

    Nov 4, 2016


    I am set to take over chemistry and physical science courses on Monday. The students have had multiple subs from the start of school. My background is in life science. So what I am needing advice about is I don't know how to prepare for Monday. I met with the current sub but didn't really get any information other than that the students have been shuffled around due to the subs not having a science background. I tried reaching out to other teachers today but didn't get any results.

    I'm nervous going in on Monday because I won't have any lessons left behind for me and I'm just overall not sure where to even start since I don't know where they are at. Any tips on how to get started or how to at least get through Monday until I can meet with the other science teachers and hopefully get an idea of where they are at or where they should be. I would be less overwhelmed if the class I was taking over was biology but since it's something I'm less familiar with I am extremely nervous jumping in with no idea how to get started.

    Thank you in advance!
  3. Puppet Debris

    Puppet Debris Rookie

    Nov 16, 2015
    Likes Received:

    Nov 5, 2016

    Sounds like a class no one else wanted. Sad that many students who hate school are forced to take Chemistry, Algebra 2, physics, etc. Sad that many teachers have to water these subjects down and still give credit as if legitimate Chem, Alg.2, Physics courses. Maybe you should not follow the text. Maybe you should show what you know. I am guessing the following will get you by for a week.
    Show the anatomy of atoms - proton mass = about 1 amu, electron mass is practically zero, neutron mass = about 1 amu. Explain the charges of nucleons: proton is positive, electron is negative and use magnets to demonstrate as long as you tell them the magnets are an analogy to electrical forces. You might make a conical pendulum with a stack of disk (circular) magnets from Radio Shack to represent the nucleus and one or two disks for the bob. Use drawings of the Bohr model to talk about how only two electrons will "fit" in the first "shell." Show that 3 won't fit because of the repulsion. Well, can't they fit by making the shell bigger? No for two reasons: The first shell is a certain size and the next shell is a significant size bigger. There is no in-between because the "waves" don't fit. (Electrons have both particle and wave nature.) To add another "wavelength," you have to go out to the second shell distance.
    So start with H, then He, then the jump to Li, etc., using the Bohr model. Include the octet rule: atoms like to have a full outer shell. Yes Li likes 3 electrons, but will also be happy to lose that 2nd shell electron so its full first shell will be its outer shell. The motivation to lose that e might be a nearby F atom which would be happy to gain an e to get 8 e in its second shell. If Li loses a negative electron, it will have a positive charge. If F gains that e, it will have a positive charge and then Li (+) and F (-) will attract each other and form an ionic bond (not a true molecule, but many allow it to be referred to as one). Then show how 2 Li are needed to keep one oxygen happy - because O wants two electrons.
    So, yeah, you might jump into it like this so that students get the idea and will be able to get into fitting the "molecular" puzzles together using atoms from H up to Ca. Yes, I can see the embellishment of this getting you off to a good start for the week. For example, you will see why Al2O3 is happy and will not attract to another Al2O3 to make Al4O6. You can ask things like what might be a reasonable guess for the result of mixing 15 Al atoms with 15 O atoms.
    Most important though, let's pray to God that you are encouraged and doing His will.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Aug 10, 2010
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    Nov 5, 2016

    I'd start off with a pretest. At least covering the material that should have been covered this far into the year. See where they are and then go from there.
    Peregrin5 likes this.
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Aug 25, 2011
    Likes Received:

    Nov 8, 2016

    A pre-test sounds like a good idea. If you have textbooks that would make things a lot easier. You could assign them a textbook scavenger hunt, or have them read and answer questions in the text.

    Maybe you could do a getting to know you activity, or do some activities around teaching them your classroom rules and expectations, and the classroom management plan.

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