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)