Putting your course together

This blog post is primarily aimed at teachers new to the course …. But that said, even if you are an experienced teacher it is always worth reviewing how you do things.

There are always lots of things to consider when setting up the course. Do you teach by yourself or do you share your group with another teacher?

First things first I’m aiming this blog post at teachers who teach a class by themselves as in my experience, this seems to be the most common way of teaching the course.

I’m also assuming this is a HL course.

The first question I think is worth considering is what topic comes first – do you do Stoichiometric relationships or Atomic Structure. Personally, I would go for Stoichiometric relationships but this is a personal choice. The reason for this is it allows you to start lab work straight away – and let’s be fair, that’s what the course is all about.

However, I wouldn’t teach Stoichiometric relationships as a stand alone subject. I would include some redox (oxidation numbers and half equations) as this allows you to factor in redox titrations to your quantitative work. I would also cover topic 11 (Measurement and Data Processing) as this ties in with lab work as well.

So, if you like, the firs topic you teach can be quite a big one!

Then I would move onto Atomic Structure. No controversy here I hope!

Personally, my third topic would be Bonding and Structure, but I would also tie in some of the aspects of Periodicity that complement it nicely (for example, trends going down a group and electronegativity) and then go back to Bonding and then back to finishing off Periodicity. So really, this becomes a hybrid unit and I think it is important to think of it that way and not as two separate topics.

Next, I’d put in Organic as it does tie in with some of the Periodicity that you will have just covered and right at the end of the organic I would tie in topic 21 Measurement and Analysis.

After this, it should be plain sailing with Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acids and Base and then the part of Redox that you didn’t teach earlier.

But what about the option? Well, if it works with your school timetable I’d finish off the first year of IB with this – but you need to plan things so you don’t finish too early or too late.

So, how do you do it? I’d love to read other approaches to the course so please do post them below.

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