Session S55a (Monday, 5:15pm, Willaman Gateway)

P325: What are we talking about?

Elena Colicelli (College of Saint Elizabeth, USA)

When teaching introductory chemistry to underprepared students, I have in the past, assumed more about student understanding of the vocabulary I take for granted. In response, I have developed some useful ways to communicate early concepts.  Students seem to be helped by using a variety of hands-on activities. Using a variety of everyday objects and non-USA items they seem better able to see how the metric system is used. When students perform metric measurements they have a better grasp of significant figures. Using sets of objects that students hold helps with density. Kitchen observations concretize the idea of specific heat. When model kits can be checked out of the library they build and feel the 3-dinensional aspects of molecular shape. Depending on class size these methods are best used in either lecture or in the laboratory.


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