Friday, November 7, 2008

Of 11th Graders and Electron Configurations

I am glad I have a job that sends me home evening after evening feeling as though I made some minor difference in the world. A week ago I began quantum numbers and electron configurations with my Chemistry students. Many were very distraught at how hard it was and how they had to "unlearn" things they had learned in middle school. I got comments like "I don't even know what an orbital is!" and "I'm so far lost one more day of being lost won't make a difference..." 

2 and a half block periods later, I'm sitting on my desk in the front of the room while one student writes electron configs on the over head and a second students points out where the representing elements are found on the periodic table. Then I set the class loose, each student with a slip of paper with an element on it in hand. They were to quiz each other and initial the papers of their classmates who got their electron config correct, all to practice for the real thing next class. 

I figured worse case they would have no idea what I was asking them to do and wouldn't be able to do the configs orally. I figured best case it would entertain them for 20 minutes, but I would have to keep the slackers on task and answer a lot of questions. 

They surpassed my expectations. For over 30 minutes they moved around the room, quizzing each other, helping each other, being proud of themselves when they got it right, laughing when they screwed up, and trying to stump the teacher with their element. All you could here was the drone of 10 people saying various parts of 1S^2, 2S^2, 2P^6, 3S^2, 3P^6... etc. It was beautiful!

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About Amy

I've been playing WoW since Easter Sunday 2005, coincidentally the same day I became engaged to my forever husband and tank Chad, aka Yakra. I have held the roles of druid class officer, healing role officer, and general secretarial type officer in two guilds. Currently, I am not playing WoW. When I'm playing, my blog, like my life, is casualcore PvE healing focused. (I love gear math!) When I'm not playing WoW... well, I can't quite tell you what this blog will be about since I have never blogged while not playing WoW! Expect to see reflections on being a married WoW player and on just being married, stories from my other RP adventures (LARPing and table top), and accounts of my life's most meaningful activity: teaching chemistry.

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