Hours of design, research and years of classroom experience... Every worksheet that I have designed has met with the scrutiny of my colleagues and the trials of what does and does not work in the classroom. Over the years I have removed what falls flat and expanded upon whats works. My goal with every worksheet is to maximize student engagement and comprehension while minimizing teacher frustration. Chemistry is a challenge to teach at all levels. This is evidenced by the attrition rate of a semester 1 general chemistry course. That said, it is an even greater challenge to effectively teach in a high school classroom. I have heard it said before that a man is only as good as his tools. While I do not completely agree with this saying, I do believe it applies to classroom preparation. This is why I have poured so many hours into my worksheets.
I start each class day by debriefing the students on what is expected of them during the 50 minute block. I introduce the basic topic that will be covered while I pass out the worksheet/study guides. Some of my lessons will require the students to follow a "reader" and others require a lecture from the document cam to get them moving. For the lessons that require a "reader", I let my students find answers as best they can for a period of about 25 minutes. At which point, I step in and help them solve some of the more challenging questions on the worksheet. For lessons that open with a lecture, they follow along on the worksheet until I reach a "practice" point at which I believe they can go forward on their own or in groups. I usually follow up each lesson with a short quiz either that day or the next. My worksheets provide a framework for each daily lesson and I try to take a completion/daily grade for every worksheet. This method ensures the students do their work and allows them to get credit/gratification each day. I collect the worksheets everyday and pass them out as a study packet a few days prior to exams. I will not start a class without a worksheet for my students to complete. Even "free days" (of which there are few) will have paperwork. Experiments will have paperwork. For this reason, I have devised over a 100 engaging worksheet activities all of which I am in the process of making available for sale on TPT. Ultimately, my goal as a chemistry teacher is to give my students the skills to navigate college chemistry and not fall victim to the daunting statistics!
I have a chemistry composite and I am certified HQ to teach secondary chemistry.
General Chemistry Organic Chemistry Biochemistry
I started teaching in order to give back to my community. If you took away my paycheck today I would show up and teach tomorrow. Why do I teach chemistry? Chemistry is a foreign language of terms and symbols. It is simple math wrapped in complexities. It is a quirky history about a tiny object with enormous ramifications on humanity. It is a plethora of mental hurdles disguised as a high school elective... Yet it is required. Every student has to endure it and only the elite excel at it. Chemistry is a gymnasium for the mind. That is why I teach chemistry.