Reflection: Classroom Setup Chemical Reactions are Real - Section 5: Application


There are labs in which students are completely responsible for obtaining and measuring out every chemical they use. However, this learning opportunity comes with a cost. In order to make sure that there is not a bottleneck, I need to have several weighing and pouring stations. When dealing with chemicals that react with air, or when time is a factor, this is not practical. This was the case with this lab. Exact quantities are not that important in this lab; experiencing numerous reactions is.

So, I decided for this lab to distribute chemicals. Students came to me and I was able to quickly pour and measure chemicals for that they could then take back to their lab tables to conduct their reactions. It went so much more smoothly than if I had asked students to get all the materials themselves.

On the other hand, when students conduct their final stoichiometry lab for this unit, I will expect them to measure out their own chemicals. This will mean that I have several weighing stations and several pouring stations. I will do this because stoichiometry is about being able to predict the amount of product obtained or reactants needed, and inherent in that process is accurate measurement. When students analyze their results for this lab, part of what they will need to consider is how well they measured.

  To Weigh or not to Weigh
  Classroom Setup: To Weigh or not to Weigh
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Chemical Reactions are Real

Unit 5: Stoichiometry
Lesson 3 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to write and balance chemical equations to represent reactions they conduct in the lab.

Big Idea: Chemical equations represent real chemical reactions. Balancing chemical equations is necessary due to the Law of Conservation of Mass.

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