SUBJECT AREA(S)/GRADE LEVEL(S)
Grade Level(s): 10, 11, 12
RESEARCH ON CONTENT & PEDAGOGY
Teaching and Learning Research and Resources:
Nurrenbern SC Pickering M, (6/1987)., Concept Learning versus Problem Solving Is there a Difference, Journal of Chemical Education, 64, 6, 508 to 510.
Research Summary: To get through most tests in freshman chemistry, the student has to be able to solve problems. Chemistry teachers have assumed implicitly that being able to solve problems is equivalent to understanding of molecular concepts. This study examines whether this widespread assumption is justified.
Sawery BA, (3/1990)., Concept Learning versus Problem Solving Revisited, Journal of Chemical Education, 67, 6, 253 to 254.
Research Summary: This article is a follow up to the Nurrenbern and Pickering article sited in this resource kit.
Sanger M, (1/2005)., Evaluating Students Conceptual Understanding of Balanced Equations and Stoichiometric Ratios Using a Particulate Drawing, Journal of Chemical Education, 82, 1, 131 to 134.
Research Summary: In 1987, Nurrenbern and Pickering demonstrated that chemistry students who can solve mathematical problems often have more difficulty answering particulate-level conceptual problems covering the same topics. Since that time, several researchers have corroborated these results using the particulate drawings used by Nurrenbern and Pickering, while others have identified additional areas of student difficulty using other particulate pictures. This research study will determine whether students leaving unreacted chemical species in the balanced equation recognized the proper reacting ratio of the starting materials.
Dorothy L Gabel, (3/1993)., Use of the Particle Nature of Matter in Developing Conceptual Understanding, Journal of Chemical Education, 70, 3, 193 to 194.
Research Summary: This study has much to say about how students learn chemistry and about how chemistry is taught. There are three levels on which chemistry can be taught: atoms/molecules (microscopic level), sensory (macroscopic level), and the symbolic level. Using an equilateral triangle with a level at each vertex, any point within the triangle can represent the percentage of time allocated to using a given level in the teaching of chemistry.
Mary B Nakhleh, (1/1992)., Why Some Students Dont Learn Chemistry Chemical Misconceptions, Journal of Chemical Education, 69, 3, 191 to 196.
Research Summary: Many students at all levels struggle to learn chemistry, but are often unsuccessful. Answering the reasons has been the target of many studies. One possible answer that is beginning to emerge is that many students are not constructing appropriate understandings of fundamental chemical concepts from the very beginning of their studies.
Nurrenbern SC Pickering M. (6/1987). Concept Learning versus Problem Solving Is there a Difference. , 6, 508 to 510, 64, Journal of Chemical Education
Sawery BA. (3/1990). Concept Learning versus Problem Solving Revisited. , 6, 253 to 254, 67, Journal of Chemical Education
Sanger M. (1/2005). Evaluating Students Conceptual Understanding of Balanced Equations and Stoichiometric Ratios Using a Particulate Drawing. , 1, 131 to 134, 82, Journal of Chemical Education
Dorothy L Gabel. (3/1993). Use of the Particle Nature of Matter in Developing Conceptual Understanding. , 3, 193 to 194, 70, Journal of Chemical Education
Mary B Nakhleh. (1/1992). Why Some Students Dont Learn Chemistry Chemical Misconceptions. , 3, 191 to 196, 69, Journal of Chemical Education
EXEMPLARY UNIT & LESSON PLANS
- Unit Objectives:
Students should develop the ability to relate macroscopic properties of substances to the unseen sub-microscopic/atomic structure of those substances. This development advances student learning through three areas of cognition—the macroscopic world of observable properties; the microscopic world of atoms, molecules, ions, and subatomic particles; and the symbolic world of chemical formulas, equations, and symbols.
At the present time most chemistry courses are taught at the symbolic level with little emphasis on the microscopic and the macroscopic levels. Researchers have found that when chemistry problems emphasizing either the microscopic level or the symbolic level were administered to students in an introductory chemistry course, significantly more students were able to solve the problems that used symbols and numbers than could solve those depicting particles.
The objective of this unit is to develop a particulate view of chemical changes by giving each area of cognition equal weighting rather than focusing solely on the symbolic level and problem-solving.
- Essential Pre-req Knowledge Skills:
• Use significant figures in calculations
• Use the factor-label method for problem solving
• Recognize that atoms are neither created nor destroyed in chemical reactions, merely rearranged.
• Distinguish between an atom and a molecule.
• Distinguish between an element and compound.
• Write chemical formulas of binary molecular compounds from their names.
• Use the mole concept and molar mass to convert mass of a pure substance to moles, or moles to mass
- Unit Objectives LearnignProgression Across Grades:
• SC.8.P.9.1: Explore the Law of Conservation of Mass by demonstrating and concluding that mass is conserved when substances undergo physical and chemical changes.
• SC.8.P.9.2: Differentiate between physical changes and chemical changes.
• SC.8.P.8.5: Recognize that there are a finite number of elements and that their atoms combine in a multitude of ways to produce compounds that make up all of the living and nonliving things that we encounter.
AAAS 6-8 grades:
• When substances interact to form new substances, the elements composing them combine in new ways. In such a recombination, the properties of the new combinations may be very different from those of the old.
• All matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope.
• Atoms may link together in well-defined molecules, or may be packed together in crystal patterns. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances and determine the characteristic properties of substances.
- Learning Progression Within Grades:
Questions raised by this unit of study for further consideration later in this course:
• Why do atoms rearrange at different rates?
• Why do atoms bond in predictable ways?
• Why are some chemical reactions spontaneous, while others are not?
- Materials Technologies:
Students will use:
• triple-beam or digital balance
• various reagents for chemical reactions
• standard laboratory equipment
• student response system
- Supported Teaching Unit:
To support development through the three areas of cognition (macroscopic, microscopic, symbols), students will observe the macroscopic properties of chemical changes, use diagrams and symbols to model these changes at the atomic level, develop quantitative relationships between reactants and products, and test the predictive power of the Atomic Theory.
To monitor students' progress through these three areas a pre-test is given at the beginning of the unit that reflects the learning goals for the unit. Students' progress will be monitored by the teacher using:
• In-class independent student practice
• Quizzes aligned to the learning goals that should be mastered at that point in the sequence of instruction.
• Out-of-class independent project.
This lesson study toolkit is designed for a high school chemistry class. It contains the material to start a lesson study cycle for a unit on stoichiometry.
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* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.