Reflection: Accountability Balancing Chemical Reactions--Part 2 - Section 4: Independent Work


I do hear the cries of students during these paper and pencil tasks... "Miss, this is so BORING" and "Ugh, another one of these?!" echo through my classroom at times.  Honestly, this is the boring stuff!  These activities are crucial for developing student understanding and building their problem solving skills, but they are not the fun part of chemistry.  What is a chemistry teacher to do?

I have always been a fan of break time during long tasks that require attention.  As an adult, I have learned that I can tackle tasks (i.e. lesson writing) with renewed vigor if I schedule a short, timed break after which I return to working.  My friend, fellow Master Teacher Jamie Ewing, told me about his classroom Disco Parties for his 5th graders.  When students need a quick break to recharge, why not have a disco party break?  Now, I do not have a disco ball in my classroom (yet), but I do have speakers that connect to an iPod or phone.  When I see attention waning, I ask students for a cued up song on a device (that is clean and school appropriate) that I plug in to the speakers.  I announce "DANCE BREAK" and let the song play (I'll cut it at 2-3 minutes if it is a long song.).  This is something that I do somewhat regularly, so students are used to it.  We take a mental break--some students do use the opportunity to get up and move around--and then return to work renewed.   

  "Miss, this is BORING!"--How I Keep Students on Task
  Accountability: "Miss, this is BORING!"--How I Keep Students on Task
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Balancing Chemical Reactions--Part 2

Unit 3: Chemical Reactions and Stoichiometry
Lesson 6 of 14

Objective: SWBAT balance complex chemical reaction equations using a charting method learned in class.

Big Idea: Atoms of one element may be present in multiple reactants and/or reactants and must be accounted for accurately when balancing a chemical reaction equation.

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balancing eqn 2
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