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Dicentra last won the day on June 12 2013

Dicentra had the most liked content!

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About Dicentra

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee
  • Birthday 03/02/1972

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  1. Warm thoughts for you guys with cold, particularly if it's not common for you. We've had a somewhat bizarre cold snap up here for the past week or so, too. Take a look at the low for yesterday. I mean, we'll get colder than that in Dec/Jan/Feb but for the middle-ish of November, that's pretty darn cold even for us. But here's a pic I took today on my walk with our dogs. I wouldn't give this scenery up for anything. 🙂
  2. I just wanted to thank everyone for this thread. I needed it today - you can't know how much. I haven't been on the boards much lately (can someone please, please create a functional time-turner??) but the fact that there exists a place online where people are craving deep philosophical discussions about education (not to mention referencing ZPD and Harlow's monkey casually (which is FANTASTIC, by the way)) makes me so happy. I don't know if I have much to add or too much to add, if that makes sense. 🙂 I sometimes forget about the K-8 board as I don't have a student in this age range and don't primarily teach this age range but if these types of deeper conversations are going to be happening here, I'm going to need to hang out here more often. Thank you. Truly.
  3. My favourite has always been Chang. His AP text is just called Chemistry. When I taught AP Chem years ago, I used the 8th edition and my dd used the 10th edition when she did AP Chem 3 years ago. It's clean (not a lot of extra flashy/distracting stuff) and the explanations and questions are clear and at the appropriate difficulty level. Here's a free copy of the 10th edition on the Internet Archive: Because I taught AP before they started the whole syllabus thing, I don't have a syllabus to share but I'm sure that there are syllabi out there for the Chang textbook - it's very widely used. Here are two syllabi that came up when I googled "ap chem syllabus using chang":
  4. I'm sorry, Paradox5 - I'm the original poster of these pinned science threads and I really need to go through them and update and fix links! Someday soon, I hope, I'll get some hours free to do that. 🙂
  5. The above is one of the toughest parts of the lab program for any introductory chemistry course. Chemistry is weird in that it happens on a macro scale (i.e. I mixed vinegar and baking soda and it fizzed and bubbled and produced some kind of gas) and a sub-micro scale (i.e. 5% of vinegar is acetic acid, which is a weak acid. That means that only some of the acetic acid molecules will donate hydrogen ions (so a small percentage of the 5%). Those donated hydrogen ions are immediately picked up by water molecules to form hydronium ions. Those hydronium ions are the functional part of the "acid". The baking soda is actually a bicarbonate called sodium hydrogen carbonate. The hydrogen carbonate radical is an amphoteric species that is capable of acting as a weak acid or a weak base depending on the situation. In this case, it functions as a weak base and accepts the hydrogen ion from the hydronium ion and forms hydrogen carbonate. Hydrogen carbonate (when in water) is also known as carbonic acid which is a weak acid in its own right. It exists in equilibrium with carbon dioxide when in water (which is a weird bit of chemistry itself and I won't go into it here :)) so the gas produced by the vinegar/baking soda reaction is carbon dioxide.) The explanations for the macro and micro can be very different and what students see happening on the macro scale is often not terribly helpful in understanding the micro scale of things. The "why" of most simple chemical reactions can be surprisingly complicated and complex which is why introductory chemistry can be so darn difficult to teach - there is no "simple" starting point. 🙂 Glad to see that you want your students to understand the "why", though - very important!
  6. Thanks, kiana! That's on my "to read" list but I haven't gotten to it yet. Soon, hopefully! 🙂
  7. I think it's a good kit. 🙂 If you store the kit at room temp and make sure all the vials/dropper bottles are tightly closed, it should be fine. There really isn't anything in there that would decompose over time - the only worry is the solutions evaporating. If the dropper bottles are tightly closed, that shouldn't be a problem. Because it's microchemistry, the student won't get the experience with various pieces of lab equipment that they'll encounter in college chemistry but, then, most public/private high school chem labs don't necessarily have that equipment, either. 🙂 To me, the most important part of the lab experience in introductory chemistry is analyzing the data, not the doing of the labs themselves. I have my Honors Chem students do a formal lab write up (and I mean FORMAL as in they learn how to write an abstract, etc. :)) on a thermodynamics lab where they, literally, watch ice melt. 😄 Difficulty at the high school/undergrad level of chem labs is always going to come from the analysis, not from the topic of the actual lab. 😉 Having said all of that, I wrote up my own lab handouts for the labs I assign from that kit. The procedures and results questions from their manual are fine but I wanted more/different analysis than what they provide in the manual. The only experiments that I've found to be fiddly and hard to get to work are the two gas law experiments but I've had students run them as bonus labs and they find them OK so it might just be my older, clumsier fingers. 😉
  8. I'll let others speak to time committment. (And please - no one hesitate to speak out 'cause I happen to be a member here! Give the good, the bad, and the ugly - I can learn from all feedback on how to make the courses better! 🙂 ) For typing - it's not that I don't allow typing (I do :)) but it becomes difficult for chemistry when students have to start typing in solutions to chemistry math problems or typing in formulas and chemical equations. If we can figure out a way that doesn't drive your kid bonkers with all the superscript/subscript stuff that has to go on with chemical formulas and with being able to show work in math-type problems, then typing is just fine. Don't worry about me reading handwriting, though - my husband is a pharmacist and if I can read his handwriting, I can read ANYONE'S handwriting. 😉 😄
  9. 😄 I think it helps to work with teens when one is a night owl one's self. 🙂 Hope your dd is doing well this year! Tell her that Chemistry Mole and I miss her!
  10. Might I have an invite, too? I have a 19 1/2 year old dd. Thanks for this, fairfarmhand!
  11. This is quite possibly the BEST software find OF MY LIFE. For those of you who teach or write about science and/or math, this could be life changing. Particularly those who need to write out chemical formulae all the time and who are so sick of “Shift-C-shift-H-subscript-3-off subscript-shift-C-shift-H-subscript-2-off subscript and on and on…” or “Shift-H-subscript-2-off subscript-shift-P-shift-O-subscript-4-off subscript-superscript-1-off superscript“, etc. that they could scream. I present… And if you already knew about this, WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME?!?!? 😜😁 The above is the link to the science tools but if you go up to “Products”, then FX Draw is their math tool product. But back to the science tools… The FX Chem and FX ChemStruct tools are BRILLIANT. You can download the trials for free and check it out. The trials have all the functionality of the paid version but have a watermark over any structure or equation you export. The paid version is only $40USD for a year. If I open up FX Chem and just type in h2po41- with no capitals, subscripts, superscripts – NOTHIN’ – it gives me a fully formatted formula. If I type that (but slightly altered as poohoho :)) into FX ChemStruct, it gives me a Lewis structure like the one below. I didn't even need to tell it that there would be a charge or where the double bond would be. BRILLIANT.
  12. It can be used for drawing and art but not in color. And it doesn't actually do normal tablet stuff (surf the net, etc.). 🙂 Here they talk about sketching:
  13. The thing I use most and like best is that you can upload PDFs and write and scribble all over them. So if you have curriculum in PDF form or anything else in PDF format, you can upload it and annotate it to your heart's content. 🙂
  14. Very true. It is. 🙂 It can do more than just replace notebooks, though. I tend to not want to purchase or read non-fiction on my ereader because it's awkward to take notes and scribble things. As long as you can get the book in epub format, you can download it to the tablet and write all over it like you would a paper book. The tablet is marketed to "paper people". 🙂 It also has handwriting recognition software so that you can handwrite stuff and it will turn it into text. I think I'm just really enamoured with this thing... 😉
  15. I know - the price tag seems high given the fact that it does less than many other tablets. I don't have any experience with the Echo - have you used it, @Arcadia? The reMarkable tablet has zero lag when writing and that's a huge plus for me. I swear I'm not affiliated with the company - I just really, really like the tablet. 🙂
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