Once students have learned how to write electron configuration, one of the next steps in understanding behavior of the atom is applying spin notation of the valence electrons. This will help identify the unpaired valence electrons. What do the unpaired valence electrons do to the behavior of the atom? Will the atom want to gain or lose electrons to be happy and stable? It is easier to identify gaining or losing electrons using the spin notation which will show the unpaired electrons in the pathways of the atom.