A key concept in Chemistry is how to balance equations. This can be a very daunting challenge for many Chemistry students. This week, year 9 students began to balance these equations as part of their GCSE Science course. To balance an equation, the number of atoms of each element must be the same on either side of the arrow. This is because no atoms are lost or gained during a chemical reaction.
Rather than just talking the students through how to do this, we have used Silent Teacher / Silent Student to teach this skill. It involves the students observing the teacher balance the equation using a visualizer and following the different steps involved. They then have a similar equation to balance for themselves on their whiteboards. The students benefit as they get to see the expert work and they also get to use a whiteboard, so any mistakes are easily corrected. It also allows for immediate feedback and correction of misconceptions.
Test yourself! Can you balance the following equation? C8H18 + O2 à CO2 H2O