Tips for teaching organic chemistry

Organic Chemistry can be a daunting topic to teach and many students will admit that it is their least favorite part of Chemistry. You may have heard the joke of the student saying that “the only thing I’ve learned in Organic Chemistry is how to draw hexagons”. But it can be so much more! I’m going to share some tips and ideas for teaching organic chemistry and hopefully make your prep a bit easier.

Notetaking

The content in organic chemistry can be overwhelming. There usually is a lot to memorize and visualize. I love using Scribble Notes when teaching organic chemistry. This method allows my students to add color, extra diagrams, and scribbles as needed. With Scribble Notes, I try to break down concepts in a step-by-step manner. This provides them with a framework to organize their notes and ideas and make everything look a little less intimidating.

Videos

Videos are a lifesaver when it comes to teaching Organic Chemistry. I always add links to YouTube videos in Google Classroom. This is great for my students to review sections that they are unsure of, or to prepare for a flipped classroom. 

I love using CrashCourse videos in my classroom, but you can also find great ones uploaded by teachers from all over the world. Let’s face it, sometimes they just need to hear the same thing from someone else!

Model Kits

Using model kits is probably my favorite part of teaching organic chemistry and my students always get super excited when they get to work with these. These are a must to help your students with visualizing the 3D models and to understand VSEPR Theory. It is a great way to explain rotation around single bonds, isomerisms, and much more.

You can also use online modeling sites like molview.org to view different molecules. This tool is perfect for distance learning! The search function is great to look up all kinds of fun molecules (caffeine is a personal favorite!).

Get some free Organic Chemistry Scribble Notes

I hope you got some new ideas for when you are teaching organic chemistry again. To help you, I am sharing some of my Organic Chemistry Scribble Notes for free here! I hope you find them useful. Please let me know in the comments and share any tips that you may have.

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