In this issue:
The Periodic Table - Location, Location, Location
Elements - More Than a Symbol
Using Models to Introduce New Concepts
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Welcome to the second issue of Teacher Connection, a free online monthly newsletter to provide teachers with effective teaching techniques and helpful ideas and tools for explaining chemistry and mathematics concepts to students of all levels.

The Periodic Table - Location, Location, Location
Getting students to use the trends on the periodic table isn't always easy. They frequently rely on memorized information rather than doing an analysis based on an element's location on the chart. To encourage students to apply the periodic trends, try covering up a few blocks on the periodic table with index cards of appropriate size. Using this technique, your students must look at the location of the hidden element in order to reach a decision. Ask them to predict some of the element's physical properties based upon the properties of the surrounding elements. Ask them to comment on the size of the atom or activity based on its location in the series. This will require them to apply their knowledge of the families and how the properties change as they move up or down within a vertical column.

Elements - More Than a Symbol
Can your students list four uses for the element Vanadium? We use the symbols for the elements so frequently and freely that we develop an illusion of familiarity which suddenly bursts when a curious student asks "What is vanadium, anyway?" Well, the Quantum Elements Tutor not only helps your students learn the symbols for the elements but also explains their common uses. Even if your students know the symbols well, they can still benefit from reading the accompanying information in the Elements Tutor. You'll find your students enjoy this more than you might expect. If you would like to try the Elements Tutor along with other Tutors from Quantum, please email [email protected] and we would be happy to set up a FREE 15-day trial for you.

Using Models to Introduce New Concepts
The value of models in the chemistry classroom is very effective for helping students visualize and illustrate new concepts, whether it's a complex model of a chemical system or a simple ball and stick model of a molecule. As teachers, we often become so familar with the subject matter that it's easy to forget that these topics are completely new to the first-year chemistry student. Over the years, I have realized that no concept is too simple to illustrate with a model and no demonstration is too difficult to prepare if it helps the student better understand a topic.

More Teaching Tips from Quantum coming in August

Have a great summer!


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Al Renshaw Director, Education Programs
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