chemistry

My teaching evolution (2012-15)

Posted on Oct 4, 2015

My teaching evolved every year in the past three years, hopefully for the better.  Here I want to share some of my experiences, which may be interesting for both other teachers and also my students, current and past. 2012-13 In 2012-13 I spent much energy in discovering what works for good teaching.  The first part of the survey was fruitless and confounding.  Many things work to improve learning, indeed, everything works to improve learning.  Giving detailed notes help to improve learning...

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Paper 2 Analytics: first explorations

Posted on May 4, 2014

Paper 2 Analytics: first explorations

I’m a connoisseur for chemistry exams.  (I need a life!)  Writing good exam is an art, where the final paper need to represent an optimal blend of objectives (skills required), topic distribution, chemical theme, and algorithmic complexity, all within a constraint of points.  It’s quite sad that this intricacy is invisible to most. IB chemistry paper 2 is distinctive in that while the format is preserved over the past 20 years — 135 minutes, 90 marks; 40 marks compulsory,...

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IB chem 2016-22: topic changes

Posted on May 4, 2014

IB chem 2016-22: topic changes

Comparing the 2016-22 IB Chemistry syllabus with the 2009-15 syllabus, written for an audience of IB teachers.

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Jmol chemical element swatches

Posted on Feb 11, 2014

Jmol chemical element swatches

Here is an RGB swatch palette for chemical elements, using the Jmol/JSmol convention as defined on its wiki page.  This is an ASE (Adobe Swatch Exchange) file and should be of use across the entire Creative Cloud suite (including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign).  Download here  ; details, installations, and caveats follow. Jmol/JSmol is meant for screen, so the colors were given as RGB values.  Quite a large number of the colors falls outside the CMYK gamut, and there will be a...

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The BATCHEM project

Posted on Feb 9, 2014

Chemistry is the study of matter, and the bedrock upon which studies of medicine, materials, energy, and the environment lies.  As such, introductory chemistry is a required subject for all scientists, and a solid mastery of chemistry gives deeper insight and appreciation to many other matter. It is a challenging subject to study, as the “central science” demands from its student unusual versatility.  Proficient chemists seamlessly transition between the symbolic, microscopic, and...

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Our “Course Outline” Display

Posted on Nov 6, 2012

Our “Course Outline” Display

I teach chemistry, but I am a kindergarten teacher by heart.  I favor the bright, vibrant, tactile, and physical.  I’m also deeply of the meta persuasion, believing that one must care about the details but never lose sight of the bigger picture. As the school year kicks off, I mused about how to present the course outline.  Do I send off two pages of PDF?  Do I send off a spreadsheet?  Should it be “moodle-lized”?  The progress should be planned, and the plan clearly...

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