I use HOLY MOL-EE! in my own Classroom
I first began developing these materials years ago when I was teaching
full time. Then I moved back home and began private tutoring while
working on my emerging "business" of creating chemistry
and other academic curricula based on multiple modality learning.
After several years, I have now returned to the classroom to teach
chemistry full time at a high school just east of Los Angeles. (2007-2008)
I introduced HOLY MOL-EE! materials slowly at first, being new
to the school and wanting to test the waters before I jumped in.
I could not be more pleased with how HOLY MOL-EE! is working in
my own classroom. From as unbiased a point of view as I can give,
I find my own materials extremely helpful. There is a wealth of
material in the HOLY MOL-EE! package, so much that I cannot even
use it all, but the parts I have used have worked very well. And
there is plenty of flexibility, too, because I can choose worksheets,
activities, songs, dances, slide shows, whatever I think will work
for any particular class of students.
My students generally respond positively to the materials and I
see the benefit to my students in terms of their learning. What
I have determined so far is that I should incorporate my materials
more freely in the future. I also see the need for the creation
of even more materials to take care of all those little confusions
chemistry students have and cannot easily get over.
We have recently studied the gas laws. I started by having the
students color and cut out the little
variable cards for homework and bring them to school. (Of course,
not everyone did that, so I let them take 15 minutes to color and
cut them out in class, so we could use them. From this I learned
that it is better to have the sets available pre-made for the students,
so time is used more effectively in class.) I showed the students
the Teaching Slide show "Manipulation of the Gas Law Variables."
Then we did the physical activity in which the students moved their
own variables around to find the answers to an accompanying worksheet.
I was very pleased with how clearly everyone understood and was
able to solve the gas law equations. Of course several students
did not need this kind of activity, but I see that it worked extremely
well, because I did not have to go back and correct even one student
in terms of solving for the various gas law variables. The problems
came with interpretting the word problems and finding the values
and recognizing that "STP" gives you temperature and pressure.
But every student was confident in variable manipulation. Generally
my students did very well with the gas laws. To help with the "STP"
problem, I showed the slide show and played the song, "Gas
Volume at STP."
I taught the movements to the song, "Three
State Variables," which emphasizes the difference between
inverse and direct proportionality in application to Boyle's and
Charles' laws. The students liked the song and movements. I showed
them the slide show and finally the video. I also taught them the
song and movements to "A
Variable is Something that Changes." Many seemed to like
this song better. It also discusses inverse and direct proportionality
in relation to the gas laws. Finally, we did "Rational
Gas Laws," which cleary in the video impresses the combined
and ideal gas laws upon the minds of the students. I promised one
class 5 percentage points on the upcoming gas laws test if they
followed the video and did the Gas Laws Dance. Everyone except one
student participated. Response afterwards was positive.
I am generally very happy with how my students performed with the
gas laws unit.