By: William C. Robertson, Ph.D.
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Chemistry Basics: Stop Faking It! Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach it
2008 Winner of the AEP Distinguished Achievement Award
The Distinguished Achievement Award, from the Association of Educational Publishers, recognizes each year’s most outstanding materials in the field of teaching and learning.
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
based on 5 reviews
|Publication Title:||Stop Faking It! Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach It Series
|Grade Level:||Middle School, High School, Informal Education
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: Simple Models
|Podcast:||An interview with Bill Robertson, author of Stop Faking It: Chemistry Basics, conducted by Tyson Brown, Director, New Products and Services, NSTA.
Play / download podcast (mp3 format, 6'13'')
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
[Read the full review]
Do the words “periodic table” send chills down your spine? Are you anxious about atomic structure? Confounded by chemical equations? Relax! The cure for chemistry confusion is within reach, courtesy of this newly available book in the Stop Faking It! series.
Best-selling author Bill Robertson takes a fresh approach to chemistry fundamentals by helping you understand them from the ground up. Instead of hounding you to memorize the characteristics of atoms and the periodic table, Chemistry Basics will help you see those characteristics as a natural consequence of our understanding of atomic structure.
You will learn not just that atoms behave in certain ways, but why they behave in that way. You will learn not just how to balance chemical equations, but why in the world you would want to! You will also learn not just that carbon is a building block of thousands of organic compounds, but why carbon is suited for this purpose.
Ideas For Use
Too many teachers, parents, and home-schoolers are faced with helping other people understand science that they don’t really understand themselves. With accurate explanations—spiced up with Robertson’s irresistible irreverence—Chemistry Basics will help you grasp chemistry at a level deep enough to teach it to others with confidence and comfort.
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Conservation of mass
|Intended User Role:||Curriculum Supervisor, High-School Educator, Informal Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Parent, Teacher
|Educational Issues:||Classroom management, Curriculum, Informal education, Inquiry learning, Professional development, Teacher content knowledge, Teacher preparation
•About This Book
•Chapter 1. Simple Models
•Chapter 2. Better Models
•Chapter 3. Periodicity
•Chapter 4. Let's Get Together ... Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
•Chapter 5. Balancing Act
•Chapter 6. Organic, Dude
This Title Also Available as Part of a Set:
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National Standards Correlation
This resource has 24 correlations with the National Standards.
- Physical Science
- Structure and properties of matter
- An element is composed of a single type of atom. (9-12)
- When elements are listed in order according to the number of protons (called the atomic number), repeating patterns of physical and chemical properties identify families of elements with similar properties. (9-12)
- The "Periodic Table" is a consequence of the repeating pattern of outermost electrons and their permitted energies. (9-12)
- Bonds between atoms are created when electrons are paired up by being transferred or shared. (9-12)
- A compound is formed when two or more kinds of atoms bind together chemically. (9-12)
- The physical properties of compounds reflect the nature of the interactions among its molecules. (9-12)
- The interactions among molecules are determined by the structure of the molecule, including the constituent atoms and the distances and angles between them. (9-12)
- Solids, liquids, and gases differ in the distances and angles between molecules or atoms and therefore the energy that binds them together. (9-12)
- Carbon atoms can bond to one another in chains, rings, and branching networks to form a variety of structures, including synthetic polymers, oils, and the large molecules essential to life. (9-12)
- Structure of atoms
- Matter is made of minute particles called atoms, and atoms are composed of even smaller components. (9-12)
- The components of atoms have measurable properties, such as mass and electrical charge. (9-12)
- Each atom has a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. (9-12)
- The electric force between the nucleus and electrons holds the atom together. (9-12)
- The atom's nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons, which are much more massive than electrons. (9-12)
- When an element has atoms that differ in the number of neutrons, these atoms are called different isotopes of the element. (9-12)
- Chemical Reactions
- Chemical reactions occur all around us, for example in health care, cooking, cosmetics, and automobiles. (9-12)
- Chemical reactions may release or consume energy. (9-12)
- In some reactions, chemical bonds are broken by heat or light to form very reactive radicals with electrons ready to form new bonds. (9-12)
- Reaction rates depend on how often the reacting atoms and molecules encounter one another, on the temperature, and on the properties--including shape--of the reacting species. (9-12)
- Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism
- Heat can move from one object to another by conduction. (K-4)
- Interactions of energy and matter
- Each kind of atom or molecule can gain or lose energy only in particular discrete amounts and thus can absorb and emit light only at wavelengths corresponding to these amounts. (9-12)
- Science as Inquiry
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
- Mathematical tools and models guide and improve the posing of questions, gathering data, constructing explanations and communicating results. (9-12)
- History and Nature of Science
- Nature of science
- Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly in the future. (5-8)
- Process Standards for Professional Development
- Build on the teacher's current science understanding, ability, and attitudes. (NSES)
“Aimed at teachers, parents, and home-schoolers who lack advanced training in the subject, this accessible text uses plain language to explain the fundamentals of chemistry….”
SciTech Book News, March 1, 2007
The book is focused on making science fun and on helping students and teachers understand not only formulas and rules, but their underlying implications. It manages to present scientific information simply—while at the same time diving to an impressive depth of knowledge…. [T]his book does a genuinely fine job of breaking down difficult concepts for students struggling with chemistry. It should be utilized as an additional resource or companion guide for any chemistry textbook. Stop Faking It! Chemistry Basics is strongly recommended to anyone with an interest in basic chemistry.
Reviewed by Parker M. Nelson and Hani Morgan in Chemistry International, Vol. 30, No. 5, September-October 2008.
||Readable and informative
||Reviewed by: Janet C (, ) on July 15, 2008
||I have three other volumes in this series as well, and have found them all useful for planning homeschool science lessons in the middle school years. Like the other books in this series, it presents concepts in a thorough yet non-intimidating fashion.
The physics books I needed for review, but I did take it in college. I haven't had chemistry since high school, and the lack of a bibliography or suggested books for further reading is more noticeable. I learned a lot from this book, but I could use pointers to further reading as well.
||Helps My Mentoring New Chem Tea
||Reviewed by: Franklin Boulineau (Hephzibah, GA) on July 15, 2008
||The simplicity of this resource very nicely assists me in helping a fist year Chemistry Teacher. I'm quite pleased to have access to this work. FB
||Simple and Helpful
||Reviewed by: Margaret Williams (Pampa, TX) on November 28, 2007
||Having taught middle school chemistry and intregrated chemistry for years, I was impressed how this little book clarified the chemical concepts of electronegativity,polarity, and ionic and covalent bonding for me. Some of the examples were very simple- however, that is the purpose of the book. I'm anxious to see how other topics are approached in the next volume.
||Reviewed by: Donna Costa (New Castle, DE) on November 3, 2007
||This book contains information that even 7th & 8th graders can read and understand. It is very helpful when creating notes for non-English proficient students bridging high content with easily understood language.
||A Great Resource
||Reviewed by: Christine Bertko (Flagstaff, AZ) on November 1, 2007
||This has been a great resource for our work with elementary teachers. Bill Robertson makes chemistry accessible, interesting and narrows the subject down to important concepts and ideas. The illustrations are great and the writing is entertaining and compelling.
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