Friday was my first day of teaching CHEM 20, where I will be starting off with teaching the bonding unit. Today, the main goal was to discuss ionic and covalent bonds. We looked at these two bonds and how we can use electronegativity to determine which type of bond will be formed between two atoms. At first, I was nervous … but then I started talking and all of that went away. I absolutely love to teach and be in a classroom with students.
I began by telling them a little about me and then we dove into the meat. I found the students to be quite receptive to my questions, which were very focused to help me formatively assess whether they were understanding the concepts I needed them to, so we could move forward in future lessons.
As we went through the lessons, we encountered some technical difficulties and some technical awesomeness. I was able to complete a polleverywhere with one class and the feedback was fantastic, they thought it was so cool that they were allowed to use their cellphones to text in class! Unfortunately, due to the less than reliable Internet, the second period missed out on this experience, but we will try again next week! For teachers, polleverywhere is fantastic way to quickly engage students in a formative assessment that can be done pre and post unit to show the student growth.
To end off the class, we played bonding tug of war. I had two students come to the front of the room and play tug of war, with a rope that has two Ping-Pong balls in the center (the electrons), and the rest of the class judged what kind of bond was demonstrated. I incorporated kinesthetic learning into this lesson by having all students who were not involved in the actual tug of war get up and move around the room to one of three areas designated as “polar covalent, non-polar covalent, or ionic”. Once the class had determined the type of bond, I continued to question them. I asked, “which atom would be more electronegative and how do you know? Where will the partial positive and negative exist and how do you know?” I continued to focus on the why. I felt it was important to engage my class at a higher level of blooms, so that they were able to think critically to defend their bond choice.
Overall, I was extremely pleased with how the class went for my first lesson. I will continue to work on using the tablet to create legible notes, my movement around the classroom and involvement of all students in the class.
I’ve attached my lesson plan below, which contains details of “Bonding Tug of War”. I can’t wait to get back into the class next week.
Until next time,