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Outstanding GCSE and A level chemistry resources

Having taught GCSE and A level chemistry for 6 years and being an examiner I have developed a solid understanding of what makes a lesson outstanding and seek to share this with other teachers.

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Having taught GCSE and A level chemistry for 6 years and being an examiner I have developed a solid understanding of what makes a lesson outstanding and seek to share this with other teachers.
Reproduction millionaire quiz KS3
rs007

Reproduction millionaire quiz KS3

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This is a Who wants to be a millionaire? reproduction quiz for year 7 students based on a template designed by Terri Street. Topics include plant and human reproduction and fertilisation. Feedback to my TES inbox please.
Foundation Maths GCSE mindmap for revision
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Foundation Maths GCSE mindmap for revision

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I have used Mac mind mapping software MyThoughts to design a visual mind map for foundation Maths GCSE. There are 4 main categories: Shape, Number, Graphs and Algebra. Each category has branches - these are by no means exhaustive but do cover the main topics. Pupils can annotate it with pictures and equations from memory - e.g. as a starter. Alternatively they can put their confidence level next to each branch - as a happy/ neutral/ sad face or as a score out of 10. This can be printed clearly in black in white and displayed in the classroom as colour.
Science comprehension task - diabetes
rs007

Science comprehension task - diabetes

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This is a detailed comprehension task that will push able students. The text on the discovery of insulin was taken from the Nobel Prize website. A brief glossary is provided. There are 4 levelled questions (Level 7 = A*).
Infrared spectroscopy AS level chemistry
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Infrared spectroscopy AS level chemistry

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This is a lesson graded C to A on infrared spectroscopy. Expected prior learning is functional groups and how to draw organic molecules such as carboxylic acids. Students could write on the laminated sheets using whiteboard pens. The lesson provides extensive differentiation. The starter is a crossword created using a program on The Teachers Corner and IR data used is from the NIST Chemistry WebBook. Both of these resources are referenced at the beginning of the lesson. A data sheet needs to be provided as this is a lesson that uses the Edexcel GCE Chemistry data book. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Condensation polymers GCSE - 2016 specification - includes bioplastics class practical
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Condensation polymers GCSE - 2016 specification - includes bioplastics class practical

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This is chemistry lesson designed for the 2016 specification for the exam board AQA and topic 4.7 organic chemistry. This lesson covers content that is new to GCSE and was previously covered only in A level chemistry. The challenge with planning this is that students are greatly limited by what they learn at GCSE. For example they do not learn about terms such as 'arene', 'carbonyl', 'amine' and do not recognise that (CH2)6 = CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2CH2. The lesson recaps addition polymers then introduces condensation polymers as polymers that are found in nature as well being man-made. There is an exam of an easier A level past paper question on identifying the monomers. Most A level questions on this topic are far too challenging to be put into the 2016 GCSE specification. Students then compare the environmental impact of natural vs manmade polymers (RSC paper cups activity - link has been provided) and answer a 6 mark exam question. They then peer mark the exam question using a student friendly marking grid. There is the option of carrying out a bioplastics practical that I have created - note that the bioplastics take at least 2 days to dry out. Please rate these resources and leave feedback.
Paper chromatography GCSE Chemistry tarsia - use as starter, plenary or revision
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Paper chromatography GCSE Chemistry tarsia - use as starter, plenary or revision

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This is a fun yet challenging GCSE Chemistry tarsia for revision of the paper chromatography. There are 16 triangles with 18 pairs of questions and answers that make a parallelogram. I suggest that the A4 tarsia is printed on card and then the outline is cut out. Students can then quickly cut out the individual triangles. Included are the following topics: Rf value, adsorb, solvent, soluble and uses of chromatography. The 'fjsw' file can be opened and modified with tarsia software. The tarsia software is free to download but there is not currently a version for Mac computers.
Entropy lesson - A level chemistry - outstanding
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Entropy lesson - A level chemistry - outstanding

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This is a lesson on entropy for A level chemistry that has been thoroughly planned and resourced. The lesson starts by getting students to classify reactions as endothermic or exothermic. This is required knowledge so please read through these before the lesson and make sure that students have covered this content. This starter activity could be printed and laminated to be used as a card sort. The concept of entropy is introduced along with the first and second laws of thermodynamics. A stack of Jenga bricks or a stack of cards could be used to illustrate that disorder is a more likely arrangement (gases) than order (solid). The custard powder combustion demo is used to illustrate that entropy changes in the system help predict whether a reaction is spontaneous (whether it happens). Details of how to carry this out can be found online at the RSC wiki and other websites. Students then are introduced to the three formulae needed and complete a worksheet that I have created where they calculate entropy of a system, entropy of the surroundings and total entropy. This is used to predict whether the reactions happen (i.e. whether there is a positive value). Note that balanced equations have not been provided and students at this level should be capable of writing these and sharing them with the class. Markschemes are provided for the entropy calculations. The lesson ends with a comparison of the importance of entropy and enthalpy. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Equilibrium -  A level chemistry - writing an expression for Kc - 2016 specification onwards
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Equilibrium - A level chemistry - writing an expression for Kc - 2016 specification onwards

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This is a thoroughly planned A level lesson writing an expression for the equilibrium constant Kc. The 2016 specification DOES NOT include Kp - partial pressures and thus students must ALWAYS write their expressions using SQUARE brackets (Kp uses curved brackets). The lesson starts with a recap of equilibrium then moves on to heterogeneous and homogeneous reaction systems. The lesson then moves to students writing expressions for Kc for a variety of reactions. Note that solids are left out of the expression for Kc as their concentration hardly changes during at equilibrium (they occupy a small volume). Answers are provided. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Photosynthesis GCSE tarsia - challenging
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Photosynthesis GCSE tarsia - challenging

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This is a fun yet challenging GCSE Biology tarsia for revision of photosynthesis. This can also be used as an assessment for learning tool at the end of the lesson. There are 16 triangles with 18 pairs of questions and answers that make an equilateral triangle. I suggest that the A4 tarsia is printed on card and then the outline is cut out. Students can then quickly cut out the individual triangles. Included are the following topics: organs of a plant, minerals, formulae of chemicals in the photosynthesis symbol equation, limiting factors and chlorophyll. The 'fjsw' file can be opened and modified with tarsia software. The software is free to download but there is not currently a version for Mac computers.
Enthalpy changes - Q = mc delta T calculations lesson with tips
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Enthalpy changes - Q = mc delta T calculations lesson with tips

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This is the second lesson in a an Energetics scheme of work for the first year of A level chemistry. The starter is an enthalpy change definitions match up activity and therefore knowledge of different types of enthalpy change is required learning. The lesson then moves into writing symbol equations for different enthalpy changes. There are various demo practicals that could be shown at this point in the the lesson - such as the hydrogen balloon or the ethanol rocket. There are then tips given about using the formula q = mc delta T with two worked examples. Students then answer three questions. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Mass spectrometry for A level Chemistry
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Mass spectrometry for A level Chemistry

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This is a thorough set of structured resources on mass spectrometry . The starter is a fun Just a Minute literacy activity that recaps GCSE understanding of mass spectrometry. There is then a highly structured series of slides that discuss how bond enthalpy (bond strength) data can be used to determine which bonds in a molecule will break. Slide 14 (bond enthalpy data) can be printed as a handout for the students to use for the grade C task. The grade B/A task is where students identify molecules from their mass spectrometry spectra. The mass spectra to be identified can be laminated and students can annotate the laminates using whiteboard pens. The answers and a markscheme is provided on the PowerPoint. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.
Relative formula mass and relative atomic mass GCSE tarsia
rs007

Relative formula mass and relative atomic mass GCSE tarsia

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This is a fun GCSE chemistry tarsia for revision of calculating relative formula mass. There are 16 triangles with 18 pairs of questions and answers that make a parallelogram. I suggest that the A4 tarsia is printed on card and then the outline is cut out. Students can then quickly cut out the individual triangles. Included are the following topics: relative atomic mass of atoms and isotopes (isotopes are limited to isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen) and relative formula mass of different compounds. The 'fjsw' file can be opened and modified with tarsia software. The software is free to download but there is not currently a version for Mac computers.
Metals alloys lesson GCSE - independent learning through role play, creative task and using data
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Metals alloys lesson GCSE - independent learning through role play, creative task and using data

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This is an independent learning lesson on alloys for GCSE chemistry. It is designed to promote independent learning and higher level thinking through role play, designing an aeroplane and justifying the choice of metals used by using data from a data table. The lesson starts by getting students to think about what three properties metals used to make the worlds fastest jet engined plane (SR-71 Blackbird) would need. Students could be shown a short video from YouTube to prompt their thinking and write their answers on post-it notes. They they then discuss what alloys are and could be asked identify the alloys in the metal trump cards pack (this would need to be printed in advance). They are then introduced to the 4 person role play task where they design an aeroplane. Limit their on this task to around 20 minutes. At the end they could either present their work or answer the 6 mark exam question at the end of the lesson. There is a student-friendly marking grid provided. The lesson menu is available for weaker students. Please look carefully at each of the resources provided before the lesson and decide which ones would best suit your group and length of lesson. Please rate this resource and leave feedback.