Bond with James: Gas Laws Manipulative

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gas Laws Manipulative

Today I held a content workshop for the chemistry teachers in my district. Actually, I should say we - the curriculum specialist and I, contracted to an outside party to deliver materials for the teachers as preparing for these workshops ate up our time and took us away from our district-wide duties as science specialists.

However, I was able to share something that I had I learned from an AP Chemistry teacher about 8 years ago. I was surprised that many of the teachers there, including the external facilitator, did not know about this great instructional strategy for gas laws. I was happy I could share what had been shared with me a few years ago. 

On a Popsicle stick or sheet of paper (e.g. sentence strip), write and space out: P   T   V (as shown  below)

P = pressure,  T = temperature,  V = volume

How to  use:
  • Hold the stick by the letter of the variable that is held constant.
  • Then move the stick so that the variable you are changing goes up or down, the other variable will move as well to increase or decrease accordingly
    • For example,  if the temperature is constant [hold by T]:
      • If volume is decreasing [move the V side down], the pressure will rise [you will see that the P side is now up]

This is a great visual to assist all students, especially ELL and SPED students, in understanding the various gas laws – in addition to helping solve problems. I would suggest embedding this strategy with the Chemistry EOC reference chart (Texas teachers)


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