Appetizers heighten our tastes and interest in the main meal. The thought-provoking devices presented here (a.k.a. 'Lesson Openers') serve to prepare interest for the upcoming chemistry lesson.
Sharing anecdotes, personal experiences and current news items can help students transition into the world of chemistry and relate to the lesson. Quotes can be thought-provoking and made more effective if re-visited toward the lesson's end. 'Warm-up' and 'Equation-A-Day' questions challenge students to either express what they think they know or to realize something they haven't thought about before.
The “Equation-A-Day” is a ‘hard-core’ appetizer that should become more rewarding as the year progresses. Correctly balanced chemical equations kept permanently on display can serve as reference points in future lessons. Through repeated exposure, they provide for a building-up of this 'difficult-to-master' skill as they accrue throughout the year.
Starting lessons with a warm-up question can be an effective tool in dislodging misconceptions (hyperlink) if students are first required to express the concept they hold prior to discussion settling on a correct concept .(KWL?) A fun way to accomplish this would be to hold on-going raffles. On warm-up days, students pick-up slips of paper on the way into class with the warm-up question and without discussion, write down their answers. Discussion then follows and students formulate the correct version of the concept which they jot down on the back of the slip. Students submit their signed slips which go into a raffle box. Several warm-up questions later, for example just prior to a school holiday, the box is shaken, several entries read aloud and prizes awarded. Students must enter to win. No grades are involved and the teacher need not track students' work.
Construction Punch List