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Can Mole Calculations Be Fun? A New Game for Chemistry Students


Game based learning resources for chemistry

 

The mole concept is a topic that our chemistry students often struggle with for various reasons. In this blog post, I discuss the importance of practice problems for student mastery, the drawbacks of solely relying on mole calculation worksheets, and the utilization of game-based learning as an alternative. Additionally, I describe the BOING-A-MOLE Mole Revision Game to help you engage your chemistry students and assist them in mastering mole calculations within an enjoyable learning environment.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Revision worksheet for mole calculations


Why the Mole Concept is Difficult for Our Chemistry Students

Admittedly, grasping the mole concept and mastering mole calculations poses a challenge for our chemistry students. Several factors contribute to this difficulty. In my classes, I've identified three primary reasons:


The abstract Nature of the Subject: Understanding that a mole represents a specific quantity of atoms, molecules, or ions requires a shift from tangible objects to conceptual units, which can be challenging.


Mathematical Complexity:  Mole calculations often involve mathematical operations such as conversions between moles, mass, and volume, and using formulas like the mole ratio in stoichiometry. Students may struggle with the mathematical manipulations required to solve these problems, especially if they lack a strong foundation in basic arithmetic and algebra.



Lack of Practice: Mastery of mole calculations often requires repeated practice. Without sufficient practice, students may struggle to internalize the concepts and algorithms necessary to perform mole calculations accurately and efficiently. Additionally, the variety of problems that can arise in mole calculations, each requiring a slightly different approach, can further complicate the learning process.


significant figures, dimensional analysis and scientific notation worksheets




Some of The Disadvantages of Worksheets for Mole Problems


When considering ways to provide practice for our students, we frequently turn to worksheets, and I understand why. Worksheets are convenient and straightforward to use, and I'm not proposing that we abandon them altogether. However, there are a few drawbacks to using worksheets, especially when dealing with challenging topics like the mole.


1.Limited Engagement: Worksheets typically involve passive learning, where students work independently to solve problems without much interaction or engagement with the material. This can lead to boredom and disinterest, especially among students who prefer more hands-on or interactive learning experiences.


2. Inflexibility: Worksheets tend to follow a standardized format and may not accommodate different learning styles or pace. Some students may find the repetitive nature of worksheets monotonous, while others may require more varied instructional approaches to grasp complex concepts effectively.


3. Limited Opportunities for Collaboration: Worksheets typically encourage individual work rather than collaboration or peer interaction. As a result, students may miss out on valuable opportunities to learn from their peers, discuss ideas, and engage in cooperative problem-solving activities.



The Advantages of Game-Based Learning for Mole Calculations

If you have been reading my blog for a while or subscribe to my email list, then you know I am a strong advocate for Game-based learning.


Gamifying my learning content has made a big difference in my student’s performance in Chemistry. Some of these advantages include:

moles and stoichiometry worksheeets

1. Engagement: Games are inherently engaging and enjoyable, which can motivate learners to actively participate in the learning process. The immersive nature of games can maintain interest over extended periods, leading to better retention of information.


2. Active Learning: Games often require active participation, problem-solving, and decision-making from players. This hands-on approach to learning can deepen understanding and encourage critical thinking skills.


3. Immediate Feedback: Games can provide immediate feedback on players' actions, allowing learners to understand the consequences of their decisions in real-time. This feedback loop promotes a sense of accomplishment and helps learners adjust their strategies as needed.


4.  Collaboration and Social Interaction: Multiplayer or cooperative games promote collaboration and social interaction among players. This fosters teamwork skills and allows learners to exchange knowledge and ideas in a supportive environment.



A Game-Based Learning Approach for Mole Calculation Practice


Boing-A-Mole: the Mole calculations Revision Game Your Chemistry Students Won’t Get Enough of:


BOING- A- MOLE is a game of strategy where each player must attempt to BOING! Their opponent’s moles by answering a series of mole questions of varying levels of difficulty.  


the mole concept revision game worksheets to make chemistry more fun

How to Play:

Each player will be given two game boards and a series of tokens. One game board it the player’s board and the other board is their opponent’s board. 


On each player's board is a grid with 25 mole questions  which covers the following mole conversions:


  • Moles to mass

  • Mass to moles

  • Moles to number of particles

  • Number of particles to moles

  • Mass to number of particles 

  • Number of particles to mass

Each player’s board will contain the answer key for each question which they can use to tell their opponent whether they answered the question correctly.


N.B There is also a version of the game which covers moles and gas volume calculations which can be purchased here.


Boing-A Mole a revision game for mole calculations in chemistry focused on moles and volume of gases




At the beginning of the game, the player will assign moles tokens to 10  questions on their board. The tokens come in groups of 4, 3 , 2 and 1 and can  be placed vertically or horizontally on the board.  Similar to the battleship game, the opponent will not know which questions have been assigned moles. 


Their opponent must then attempt to answer different questions on the board in order to answer a question that has been assigned a mole. And use the various tokens given to mark off their progress.


The Game Tokens and How to Use Them


Game tokens for the mole concept revision game

BOING ! : This token is used if a player  CORRECTLY answers a question that has been assigned a mole on their opponent’s board.


Knock Out: This token is used if a player INCORRECTLY answers a question that has been assigned a mole on their opponent’s board.


OOPS: This Token is used if a player answers a question that is NOT assigned a mole. 


Players will continue answering questions until they correctly answer all assigned mole questions. No Knockouts Should be left on the game board.




Why Students Love This Game


As mentioned, game-based learning fosters collaboration, social interaction, critical thinking, and immersive engagement. Additionally, students often find that they forget they are doing work and are less likely to give up when the competitive edge is introduced to the game.


If you're seeking to make mole calculations more enjoyable for your chemistry students, grab the BOING-A-MOLE BUNDLE from my TPT store now!


Revision Worksheets for mole calculations

Featured Resources

THE MOLE & VOLUMES OF GASES REVISION GAME

the mole and volumes of gases worksheets

This Resource includes Boing-A Mole with questions centered on using Avogadro's Law to calculate the volume and moles of gases at (STP) Standard Temperature and Pressure







THE MOLE MASS AND NUMBER OF PARTICLES REVISION GAME

the mole and molar mass worksheets

This Resource includes Boing-A-Mole with questions centered on using Avogadro's Number to calculate, moles, mass and Number of particles.







BOING-A-MOLE RESOURCE BUNDLE

mole calculations worksheets

Get Both Games at a Discounted price from my Teacher's Pay Teachers Store.


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