Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Study Card Rings

There are a tremendous amount of great sites online for creating online study aids
(see - quizlet.com), but nothing beats creating and working through your own set of study cards.   Whether it is a full stack of 3 x 5 cards wrapped in a rubber band, or one inch strips cut from 3 x 5 cards and hole punched on a snap key ring.  The actual pocess of creating hand written study cards is a study staple for most students.

I demonstrate this process to my chemistry students when they need to learn the cations and anions that will be used in naming and creating inonic formulas.  To assist students in learning the ions, I create three sets of twenty ions that students are responsible for knowing.  On one side of card stock I have the names of the ions neatly organized in a four card by five card grid created on an excel spreadsheet.  On the opposite side I have the ion formulas with their ionic charge.  On this side I do not put grid lines.  When students cut them out, they only use the name grid lines and that way the lines do not need to match up (for some students this is a distraction if there are random lines on their cards).

I take part of a class period for the students to cut out and punch the cards and place them on a snap ring that I provide for them. It is worth the class time to have students complete the task.  This garauntees every student has the complete set and leaves the student with the idea that they are of some importance since you gave up class time to make the ring card sets.

I have divided the ion sets on three separate color cards and quiz the students on each set separately.  I find that ionic naming, writng balanced chemical equations and stoichiometry all go more quickly and smoother when the students know these ions from memory.

I then suggest that students can create their own study sets in any of their classes by cutting the
3 x 5 cards into one inch strips or they can by the pre-made blank sets at most bookstores or teacher supply stores.

Half the job, is having the correct tools.

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