12 Dec 2017

Top 10 In-Class Activities

Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

There is nothing like an end of the year report to remind you of the past. In this case it reminded me to the Top 10 lists that I said would be semi-regular contributions to BITeS. It started with a list of the Top 10 Lit Discussions and was followed up with the Top 10 Problem Sets. It seems that I then forgot about this feature for a while, but the combination of an annual report and not wanting to grade have motivated me to bring you this list of Top 10 In-Class Acitvities as decided by you, our loyal VIPEr users, and how many times these have been adopted and favorited. I must admit, I went into this thinking the numbers would be low; I was very happy to be proven wrong. Without further ado, here we go...

8) Yes, once again we have a three-way tie to make it on to the list.

Symmetry Scavenger Hunt - Lori Watson sends students around campus to take pictures of objects with different point groups.

Generating LGOs (SALCs) - Adam Johnson has students construct Ligand Group Orbitals (LGOs) and use them to develop MO diagrams for small molecules.

The 18 Electron Guideline: A Primer - Nancy Williams has students work on counting to 18 in the context of organometallic compounds.

7) The Iron that Keeps and Kills Us - No, Kathy Franz is not suggesting discipulicide. In this activity students apply their knoweldge of chemistry to an article written for non-scientists.

6) First Day Review of Atomic Orbitals - Maggie Geselbracht has her students review what they remember about atomic orbitals early in the semester.

5) Athletic Periodic Trends - Lori Watson gets your blood pumping and your brain working as students need to organize themselves in the proper order for a variety of periodic trends.

4) Periodically Periodic - You might sense a trend here. This time Barb Reisner gets her students thinking about periodic trends.

3) The Nature of Science - I'll admit, this LO from Lori is a personal favorite. I started using it four years ago and I now have seniors that have seen me on campus and asked 'What's in the bag?'.

2) Introducing Inorganic Chemistry - First Day Activities - Honestly, I would have bet money that this one would be at the top of the list when I first started looking into it. Barb asks her students to define inorganic chemistry at the very start of the semester.

And the most adopted/favorited In-Class activity is...

1) IC Top 10 first day activity - In this LO from Sheila Smith, students look at the most read articles in Inorganic Chemistry to get a feel for the breadth of our field.


And there you have it. Hopefully it won't be quite as long until I come up with the next top 10 list, perhaps it will be the top 10 biggest spoilers I can give away for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which I am beyond excited to see the evening this BITeS goes live.