Worksheets for Gen Chem I & II

1 0 4,622

In the Fall of 2016 I posted that I was making my Flipped General Chemistry I worksheets available on my website,, for teaching professionals. Now, with the close of the Spring 2017 semester, I have just finished putting the General Chemistry II worksheets up as well (eighty three worksheets in I & II). My Flipped General Chemistry Page contains a description of how I use the worksheets. The worksheet are posted on a separate password protected worksheets page. If you are a teaching professional and send me link to your school so I can verify your position, I will send you the password. All materials are free. Contact me at John<no space>Osterhout<at>John<no space>Osterhout<dot>com or look me up in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Angelo State University and email me there.

The worksheets have three sections: the Daily Quiz, the Introduction Page(s), and Key Questions. Here is Worksheet 25 pH of Salt and the Common Ion Effect. The Daily Quiz is usually seven questions, two covering the previous day's material and five on the current material. I try to make the five current questions correspond exactly to the learning objectives. After class, I post the Introduction Page for the next class as an assignment on Blackboard.

The Introduction Page(s) consist of several sections:

  • Why?, a short section to put the material in context. My Why? sections are very short because the student don't read them.
  • Learning Objectives. This section contains the learning objectives as a bulleted list. For instance: Students should be able to: Predict whether a salt solution will be acidic or basic. As mentioned, these learning objective guide the content of the daily quiz.
  • Resources. This sections contains the reading assignments, usually two sections of our textbook, Chemistry Fourth Edition by Gilbert, Kirss, Faster and Davies.
  • ChemTours. ChemTours are very short, topical videos provided through the SmartWork homework system.
  • Videos. This section contains links to video content.  Links in the Videos sections are to any content I can find that seems suitable. Sometimes these are Khan Academy videos and sometimes they are random videos I found by searching the internet. If I were a young chemist, smart and energetic, I would make my own. However, I am old, tired, and ugly so I doubt that any self-respecting student would sit through any video I'd make.
  • Prerequisites. This is a short list of ideas from previous work that are needed to understand the material coming up.
  • Vocabulary. As you might have guessed, this is a list of the new vocabulary in the section.
  • Focus Information. The Focus Information section contains information from the reading that might prove particularly useful. I put important equations here and very short explanations of important ideas. As far as I can tell, the students don't read this section either, but it comes in handy for exam preparation and I can refer to it in class.
  • Potentially useful information. When present, this section contains information that is usually necessary to solve problems in the worksheet. An example is the density of some liquid. The student must recognize that the problem requires the density and go find it.

The final part of the worksheet is Key Questions. This section contains the problems for the day. I usually start with simpler problems and build up to more complicated ones, but I can't always do this depending upon the material. I try to make the worksheets long enough that the groups do not finish during my fifty-minute classes.

Each link on my worksheets page will download a folder as a zip file. The folder contains everything you need:

  • PDF files of the Assignments (the Introduction Page(s)), Worksheet, and Worksheet Key.
  • Open document text files (.odt files) of the above for editing. I use LibreOffice on Ubuntu, but you can get LibreOffice or OpenOffice for Windows or Mac. These fully-featured office programs are free.
  • A folder of graphics files. (Use the GIMP (raster graphics) or Inkscape (vector graphics) both free.
  • A .png of a screen capture of the Smartwork homework assignment.
  • A wxmaxima file of the calculations for the worksheet. Wxmaxima is a algebra program (sort of like Mathematica) that is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac. It's free.

The worksheets are just one part of a classroom flipping strategy. However, it is daunting to contemplate making videos, developing classroom materials, and arranging homework assignments, all so you can give flipping a try. I have posted the worksheets for those who would like to try flipping without having to develop all of their materials from scratch. Since the files are editable, you can take the worksheets in any direction you wish.

Good luck and have flipping fun!

About the Author
John Osterhout received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Rice University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. John was a member of the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge Massachusetts for thirteen years before moving to the University of Arizona. Since 2008 John has been Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. John's research interests are in protein folding, Trojan horse inhibitors for HIV and snake venom proteins. He teaches general chemistry and biophysical chemistry. John uses flipped classrooms for both courses.