Highly Effective Teaching Strategies Using Low Cost Models to Support Deep Conceptual Understanding

Presented by Deanna Cullen & Angie Slater
Thursday, June 9, 2022 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Many chemistry topics can be intimidating for both teachers and students, but guiding students to make connections between the macroscopic, symbolic and particulate levels can make these topics more accessible. Target Inquiry activities have been found to be highly effective. The extensive teacher notes guide even novice teachers to support their students in learning the concepts addressed and the teachers that created them were very thoughtful toward using materials that are accessible for teachers with even the smallest budgets. Participants will work through the particulate level models of two Target Inquiry activities “All Things Being Equal” (related to equilibrium), and “Energizer” (related to electrochemistry). Although these models are content specific, the workshop will focus on strategies for facilitating guided inquiry labs, addressing common misconceptions, and helping students merge the three types of chemical representation through all of the course content.

A variety of methods of visualizing the particulate level (including the use of handmade colored magnets) will be shared. Participants will take home classroom kits of the models explored, along with a set of colored magnets that can help make chemistry visible for students throughout the entire school year.

Target Audience: High School, Chemistry, AP Chemistry

NGSS SEP: Developing and Using Models, Using Mathematical and Computational Thinking, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Engaging in Argument from Evidence
NGSS CCC: Energy and Matter, Stability and Change

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Deanna Cullen and Angie Slater are both veteran high school chemistry teachers from Michigan. Both completed the Grand Valley State University’s Target Inquiry Program (visit https://www.gvsu.edu/targetinquiry for more information) and have shared many of the resources resulting from that program at state, regional, and national conferences.

Angie is now an Affiliate Professor at GVSU teaching chemistry content as well science pedagogy for pre-service teachers.

Deanna is the high school editor for the Chemical Education Xchange website and serves as an adjunct professor for GVSU.