Welcome to my blog where I will share some Chemistry notes, tips, strategies, acronyms, mnemonics, etc concerning the study of high school chemistry as well as .... Body, Mind and Soul issues - environmental, health, mental, ... that are dear to me.
The percentage of Passes for the Chemistry paper at the level of the Secondary School Examination is the lowest compared to Physics and Biology.
This programme is very much needed to demystify the learning of Chemistry at the High school level of the Malaysian education system where Science and Technical stream students need to study Chemistry for 2 years before sitting for a public examination.
It can also be used to help Arts and Social Science stream students who are required to study science as a core subject of which Chemistry is approximately 1/3 of the science syllabus. Besides chemistry, some of the strategies mentioned in this programme can be implemented for the study of other subjects such as Biology, Physics, History, etc..
A comprehensive and effective programme is needed to equip students with the tools and methodology to master Chemistry and approach it in a fun, exciting and manageable way. In short, this programme aims to make the students ‘Love Chemistry’ and henceforth inculcate a strong ‘Chemistry’ knowledge giving them a solid foundation in Chemistry which is very crucial for careers in the science and technology fields such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, etc.
Scientific research has shown that the Probability of Recall diminishes with time – as evident from the Ebbinghaus Curve of Forgetting.
Also there is the “Secret of the Ancient Chinese” which relates the % Probability of Recall to the Type of Activity used while studying.
Conceptualization and Design:
The ‘I Love Chemistry’ programme encompasses 7 mechanisms which include: i. The ‘Chemish’ Language ii. ‘Chem Smart’ Notes iii. ‘Chem Maps’ iv. ‘Chem Charts’ v. ‘Ezy Chemrithmetics’ vi. ‘Chem Tubes’ vii. Chemistry Kit
i. Mastering the ‘Chemish’ Language: Students starting to learn Chemistry need to be introduced to the abc’s of Chemistry which I call the ‘Chemish’ language.
The existing textbooks and syllabi do not give enough emphasis to the ‘Chemish’ language at the beginning of the course of study.
There are three steps to mastering the ‘Chemish’ language : 1. Students need to master the symbols of the chemical elements and their ions(‘ABC’). 2. With the ‘ABC’ they will then be able to write the chemical formulae of chemical compounds. 3. With the correct chemical formulae, the students will then be able to write chemical equations which are the ‘sentences’ for effective communication in chemistry.
I introduce a. Mnemonics and acronyms to students to help them master the formulae of elements and their ions and compounds. b. the “Open-Close method” and the “Macho/Not-Macho method” which enables students to grasp the mechanics of writing balanced chemical equations easily.
ii. ‘Chem Smart’ notes: The ‘Chem Smart’ notes incorporate the memory technique of ‘chunking’ whereby the chemistry notes are categorized into 6 documents summarized by the acronym ‘SEEDER’ :
Syllabus: The majority of students do not consciously try to remember the flow of the Chemistry Syllabus – the topics, subtopics, etc. In this programme, the students are required to list out the topics that make up the syllabus like a road map to guide them through the course.
Experiment: Chemistry is one of the sciences which emphasizes experimental findings and it is imperative that students are familiar with each and every experiment pertaining to their course.
Other documents include Equations – to note down all equations learnt Chapter by Chapter; Definitions – to note down all the meanings of chemical terminology Chapter by Chapter; Essays – keywords are enough to guide a student to write essay answers for examinations; Reflection Notes – notes taken down during class lessons that must be reviewed within 24 hours.
iii ‘Chem Maps’: In this age with the mountains of subject matter to be studied and digested, learning becomes easier when the teacher can summarize the whole chapter in ONE page(A4 size) of notes – which I call Cluster Maps or “Chem Maps”.
When the student gets a Bird Eye’s View of the chapter as a whole, then the details or facts can be easily mastered. There are blanks here and there for students to fill in key words with coloured ink (Right Brain friendly) as the teacher explains the lesson in class.
iv ‘Chem Charts’: I have published a set of coloured Chemistry notes in the form of8 pages of charts which I call “Chemistry Facts Made Easy!” for use by Malaysian students.
These charts are in colour and contain very essential notes for the Chemistry syllabus which come in handy as a constant companion for quick reference by students.
v ‘Ezy Chemrithmetics’: All over the world, calculations in Chemistry pose a phobia to students studying chemistry. With Ezy Chemrithmetics, I help students to overcome this fear of calculations by introducing a “Back to Basics” calculation process that students can use with 100% success replacing the various mathematical formulae they need to master to do calculations in Chemistry.
vi ‘Chem Tubes’: This module is a Display corner whereby chemicals used for the chemistry syllabus as well as the products of reactions in Qualitative Analysis are placed into plastic tubes and sealed – resembling the glass test tubes used in the laboratory.
The tubes are labeled accordingly and placed on permanent display so that students can refer to them to remind them of the colours and formulae or chemicals.
vii Chemistry Kit: This is another innovation I had introduced based on the Microscale technique of carrying out chemical analysis. I had invented a “Palette” which consists of a laminated chart with grids to replace the use of test tubes, reagent bottles, test tube racks and enormous amounts of chemical solutions.