1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

ideas for teaching structure determination Chem A2 AQA

Discussion in 'Science' started by neeny468, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. neeny468

    neeny468 New commenter

    I am in my nqt and have been teaching year 12 AQA Chemistry this year. They have all come back from exams and are starting year 13 with structure determination, looking at mass spec, IR, NMR and chromatography.
    My knowledge is shaky and I don't like just lecturing at them anyway... any ideas on how I can teach this in order that it is enjoyable (?) and that they are doing most of the work....
    any ideas appreciated!

  2. First of all, you need to sort out your own knowledge so that you are confident.
    Much of this work is of a problem-solving nature so you need to be able to explain how the conclusions were arrived at as well as just knowing the answer. In such a situation, your lack of confidence might be an advantage because you will have to work out the answers to the questions in much the same way as the students whereas longer-serving teachers can draw on their experience to guide them.
    I would read a decent textbook or two, probably starting with one of the course-linked ones (maybe chemsheets / chemguide etc too) and then hit past paper questions so that you get good at seeing your way through what the exam board are after.
    IR and MS are the more straightforward ones. When you do nmr, I would keep H- and C-nmr separate at first because otherwise you (and they) will get confused.
    If you are not already committed to this course of action, maybe consider doing rates first and give yourself more time to sort out the other stuff.
  3. This worries me quite a bit. Structure determination is a fairly weighty topic that appears in every paper, If you're not entirely sure what you're teaching then you can be really causing them some problems when it comes to the CHEM4 exam. Better to spend the summer mugging up on it and teach it in september when you know what you're doing than have to keep going back to it because they've not grasped it well enough.
    To be honest we tend to start them on rates as it is something that most can grasp quite easily and it doesn't take long to recover it in september when their heads have been filled with summer holidays etc. Plus there are lots of nice practicals you can do in preparation for the ISA.
  4. neeny468

    neeny468 New commenter

    thanks for the replies.. unfortunately I have to start it on thursday and have 3 hours of lessons to prepare for....I can't do anything else as this is what has been assigned by the teacher I work with, apparently it is the best one to do as it is a whole unit that stands alone from other sections and the other teacher is covering the pracs.. so I have to do it now really..
    when I say shaky I have a chem degree but the last time I did this was 10years ago so I need to swot up.. I will use the chemguide and the questions as suggested but any suggestions on interesting ways of actually teaching it?..
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Quite a lot of years ago, the rsc sent out a brilliant spectroscopy cd rom - with problems and sample spectra. I still use it.
    The most recent version of it is online at:
    I would work on the basis of how each of the techniques work, then get the kids solving problems.
    Best wishes,

  6. neeny468

    neeny468 New commenter

    Hi P,

    Thank you very much that was a really helpful site, I like the idea of the SIAS! spectroscopy in suitcase!

    I also found a bunch of vids on you tube that have made the swotting up a lot quicker! :)


    just for info if anyone else is in a similar position..

    will have to see what I can come up with on the activities.. I like the idea of making spider fragmentation diagrams with the atoms lost on the arrow and the remaining fragment and mass at the end.

    thanks again


Share This Page