Notes:

The Collision Model of Reaction Rates Concept Builder is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Concept Builder can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.

 

Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

We're going to be honest: we do Physics. That's why this is called The Physics Classroom website. And when we do the Teacher's Notes section for our Concept Builders, we typically have a lot to say ... and a lot of resources to point you to. We're not claiming to be ignorant of chemistry; we just don't have a lot of resources here at The Physics Classroom to point you to. And so this page is going to be a lot shorter than our usual page that accompanies our Physics Concept Builders. That's our honest confession.

Many teachers of Chemistry do a unit on Kinetics and the study of reaction rates. Others spend may spend just a couple of days on the topic as a springboard into a study of equilibrium. This Concept Builder serves the role of meeting the needs of both groups of teachers. The three activities included in the Concept Builder are scaffolded in such a manner that all three can be completed byt those teachers spending a unit on the topic. Those teachers who are spending only a couple of days on the topic will appreciate having the first two activities of the Concept Builder.

The Collision Model of Reaction Rates Concept Builder is comprised of 53 questions. The questions are divided into 18 different Question Groups and spread across three activities. Questions in the same group are rather similar to one another. The Concept Builder is coded to select at random a question from each group until a student is successful with that group of questions.

The three activities are differentiated as follows:
 
  • Reaction Rates: Question Groups 1-6 ... Identify how changes in concentration, surface area, temperature, and catalyst use will affect the rate of a reaction.
  • The Collision Model: Question Groups 7-12 ... Use a particle view to explain the underlying reason why concentration changes, surface area changes, temperature changes, and the use of a catalyst will lead to changes in the reaction rate. 
  • Energy and Orientation: Question Groups 13-18 ... Relate the orientation of colliding particles and the activation energy (and related energy-factors) to the likelihood of there being an effective collision.

The questions from each group are shown here. Teachers are encouraged to view the questions in order to judge which activities are most appropriate for their classes. We recommend providing students two or more options. 

Like all our Concept Builders, this Concept Builder utilizes a variety of strategies to make each student's experience different. The ordering of questions is random. The Question number assigned to each question is scrambled. For instance, two side-by-side students will not have the same question for question number three. And questions are organized into "groups" with questions within the same group being very similar (for instance, they have the same type of information as "givens") but not identical. And finally, the answer options for Multiple Choice questions are always scrambled.

The Concept Builder also keeps track of student progress. It requires that students demonstrate a mastery of questions in each Question Group. If they miss a question from one group, then they will have to answer two consecutive questions correctly in order to demonstrate mastery. Progress is displayed in the progress report on the right side of the Concept Builder. A star indicates a demonstration of mastery. A question with a red background indicates that the student has missed the question. And a question with a yellow background means that thestudent must get one more questoin from that Question Group correctly answered in order to obtain a star. When an activity is completed, the student will be awarded a Trophy. This Trophy is displayed on the Main Menu screen. These strategies make the Concept Builder an ideal addition to the 1:1 classroom and other settings in which computers are readily available. 

In order to complete an activity, a student must correctly analyze each question of that activity. If a student's analysis is incorrect, then the student will have to correctly analyze the same or very similar question twice in order to successfully complete the activity. This approach provides the student extra practice on questions for which they exhibited difficulty. As a student progresses through an activity, a system of stars and other indicators are used to indicate progress on the activity. A star is an indicator of correctly analyzing the question. Once a star is earned, that question is removed from the que of questions to be analyzed. Each situation is color-coded with either a yellow or a red box. A red box indicates that the student has incorrectly analyzed the question and will have to correctly analyze it twice before earning a star. A yellow box is an indicator that the question must be correctly analyzed one time in order to earn a star. Once every question of an activity has been analyzed, the student earns a Trophy which is displayed on the Main Menu. This system of stars and trophies allows a teacher to easily check-off student progress or offer credit for completing assigned activities.

The most valuable (and most overlooked) aspect of this Concept Builder is the Help Me! feature. Each question group is accompanied by a Help page that discusses the specifics of the question. This Help feature transforms the activity from a question-answering activity into a concept-building activity. The student who takes the time to use the Help pages can be transformed from a guesser to a learner and from an unsure student to a confident student. The "meat and potatoes" of the Help pages are in the sections titled "How to Think About This Situation:" Students need to be encouraged by teachers to use the Help Me! button and to read this section of the page. A student that takes time to reflect upon how they are answering the question and how an expert would think about the situation can transform their naivete into expertise. 
 

 
 
 


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