Discussion today on CO plus using models

Today we had a great discussion in chemistry, in both sections, about CO and why it is deadly. This was in the context of the lesson on covalent compounds. I also couched today’s lesson with the idea of the performance expectations for NGSS, specifically designing and using models. We use so many models, physical, conceptual, and drawings in chemistry; these are essential for building the metal images of their knowledge.

It would be so cool if I could come up with a model of hemoglobin to show how this works. There is a website that had some expensive models for building proteins. These didn’t actually have individual parts for each amino acid but did have something to represent ones that had functional groups which relate to how the structures of proteins are built, i.e. primary, secondary, etc. Wow,  I just thought of something which can substitute. I will have to reason it out and see if they would work. I will update this if it works out. 🙂

It seems so frustrating to me that I cannot impart to students the understanding I have of how thing work in chemistry. I know it took a long time to build my schema; I know it takes time for them to do  so as well. I know that I do a better job than at first with bringing it to where they are. Some students don’t try and engage in the material, listen to the lecture,  or engage in the discussion of the material. It seems they plan on being lost and somehow learn this stuff all on their own.

In biology, we talked about basic atomic structure as it relates to making up molecules.  We worked on molecular models. The biology students didn’t  behave with the models as it is with the chemistry students, they sometime got playful. I used the models that one day and I think they have had enough of an introduction to that. I wish I had enough kits for every student. Maybe I can use some other things like the pipe cleaners and the plastic golf balls to build things again so it can at least be pairs of students. I don’t need the mess of marshmallows and toothpicks with 36 students in each class.


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