Back to School

Hi all! As the weeks of my summer vacation are winding down I wanted to take a moment to update you on all the great Teachers Pay Teachers products I have uploaded since June. 

It has been a very busy summer especially since I have been prepping for my new course this fall: AP Chemistry.  But if there's anything you all know about me by now I believe that the earlier I can get stuff done, the better. So here's a few AP items to get excited about:

How about guided inquiry? 

Are you sitting down for this one? My entire college prep chemistry course:

AND BEST OF ALL... It's on sale! Come join me at the Teachers Pay Teachers back to school sale - Today and tomorrow! Enter BTS13 and save 28% on every single one of my products! Start this school year off as painless as possible!

MsRazz ChemClass

It's already August... do you know where your chemistry textbook is?

This summer has been anything but relaxing!  Between buying and moving into a new home, to preparing a new set of materials for a new course I am teaching, oh and planning a wedding - I have been busy.  Really, really busy!  But, I'm not complaining - getting a jump on the materials I will be using for next year's classes definitely makes me feel more at ease going back in September.  Plus - it's an extra bonus for you if you need well planned AP chemistry lessons since I'm working hard to put them all on my Teachers Pay Teachers site.

So what has been keeping you busy this summer?  Hopefully you've been relaxing and enjoying some fun in the sun!

Thanks for reading.  To check out my new AP chemistry Power Points please head to:

(MsRazz ChemClass)

It's been 3 long years...

...But I finally have earned my masters degree.  So for all of you who may be wondering why I haven't blogged in so long it's mostly because my masters degree has seemed to be eating up any of the extra time I have had to do anything besides grad school and teaching. 

So, I've earned my Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton.  I took my cumulative exam and passed with flying colors.  The program was rigorous, but manageable enough to do while teaching.  For any teachers out there who are thinking about enrolling in a graduate program, I highly recommend this one. 

With that said, I am happy to be back.  A couple of weeks ago TeachersPayTeachers had a very special Teacher Appreciation Week Sale.  It was fantastic to see all the new customers come out and make this sale such a success!  Much thanks to all.

As the school year begins to wind down, I wish all of you a wonderful end to the school year and a very restful summer.  You deserve it.  In the meantime, my plan is to post more lesson plans on my TpT site, including more guided inquiry lessons!  So stay tuned.  It's going to be a busy summer for me - with hopes of bringing you the very best to your classroom in September.

Relax, rejuvenate, and reflect.

Karen (MsRazz ChemClass)

Science with m&ms!

This week's lab in my honors and academic (college-prep) chemistry classes I separated the dyes on m&m candies using paper chromatography.  I love this lab - especially because the equipment and chemicals are all non-hazardous.  Enough to make a high school chemistry teacher have piece of mind while this lab is taking place in their classroom - and now a days, that's HUGE!

The students love it because they get to see the colors migrate up the paper and it's applicable to their everyday life.  Some teachers who have done this lab before recommend using coffee filters, but I find that because they are usually so thin it can be hard to see the color separation.  That's why I use filter paper.  I cut the edges of the circles to leave a rectangle, and it works like a charm.  Here are some pictures of my students completing the lab - I'm always amazed how well the NaCl solution separates out the dyes! 

The students really did a nice job.  And clean up is a snap - no messy chemicals or glassware to clean.  The post-lab questions make assessing your student understanding easy.  This product is available on my TeachersPayTeachers site - and great for younger students all the way up to high school.  It even includes a helpful teacher prep guide that tells you everything you need to carry out this lab with ease.  Instruction for setup and making the solution are provided as well.  Try it - your students will really enjoy this activity as mine have!

Thanks for reading!
MsRazz ChemClass

Teaching Students, Helping Teachers

The title of my post says it all - while I absolutely love teaching students, I love helping my fellow teachers.  This past week I had a great week of feedback from my TeachersPayTeachers site.  One of my very loyal customers was thrilled with my Net Ionic Equations lesson plan.  Not only did she comment about how much better the lesson went this time around, but she also commented on my work.

"Just saw your new update. Thanks for posting. Look forward to trying out the lessons! Did you ever get the molarity lesson together? I am teaching solutions and then Gas laws. Thanks again! You are my favorite! The students enjoyed your net ionic equations lesson. It was a a breeze to teach versus last year!" -WchsChemTeach

As teachers we wait all year to hear "thank-you" and "you've made a difference."  Fortunately I didn't have to wait till June to hear it this time around.  When my customers buy my products on TpT, they recognize teaching is such a personal and meaningful thing to me, and each lesson plan I write is solely for the purpose of enriching my students lives.  My gift to my students it to consistently provide an organized and efficient classroom environment.

While I so much appreciate the feedback, I am even happier that my "act of love" is finding its way into your classroom.  In the end, I'm sure your students will thank you for it.

Karen (MsRazz ChemClass)

A Stoichiometry Lab that *Yields* Good Results

Hello again!

This week I started the stoichiometry unit with my chemistry classes.  A great intro to stoichioimetry lab to do with students uses the single replacement reaction of copper (II) sulfate and iron.  I love this lab because I can use it with both my honors and college-prep classes.

Students will dissolve enough copper (II) sulfate  into water so that it is in excess and will heat to dissolve.  Then the students slowly (if not, I feel sorry for your hot plate!)  add the iron and there you have it, COPPER.  Many times they say "that looks like rust."  So you often will have to gently correct them.

This year wasn't any different than any other year I have done this lab, except I used a new trick to help get rid of that nasty film around the bottom of the beaker that the copper leaves behind.  Regular old soap and water isn't cutting it here.  Instead I used 6M hydrochloric acid and it worked like a charm!  If you don't use this trick, I hate to break it to you, your arm may fall off from exhaustion AND you will be really upset because after all that, the brown stain just simply is not going away any time soon.  Here's a snap shot of my beakers after I did the lab:
Yikes.  Thank goodness for the HCl.  Posted below you can find this lab and many others at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  For this lab in particular I included a post-lab quiz for easy assessment.  Sometimes you need a break from grading those lab reports!

Lab Activity: Relating Moles to a Balanced Chemical Equation

Karen (MsRazz ChemClass)

Welcome all!

This is my first blog post.  My hope is that by starting this blog I will be able to collaborate with other educators around the world more effectively.  I am always reflecting on and reworking my chemistry resources. From power points to lab activities, my hope is to use this blog as a vice to bring you the best chemistry teaching resources that I can offer.  

Right now, I have 96 products posted on my beloved TeachersPayTeachers site.  A site that not only will save you time and energy, but will bring the highest quality teaching resources to your science classroom.  This site is sure to change your outlook on lesson planning.  

Which leaves me with one question... What are you going to do with all your extra time?

I hope you find my blog helpful and supportive of all the wonderful things you plan for your classroom.

Looking forward to sharing in this journey with you.


Karen (MsRazz ChemClass)