My questions is: What is an easy tutorial or method that assists in breaking down the process of balancing a chemical equation?
I am currently a student but am looking to further my knowledge for when I get into a classroom to student teach.

Tags: chemistry

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The safest way to approach a chemical equation is to balance one element/ion at a time. Start with the first element/ion on the left and see what must be done to balance it with the like element/ion on the right side. (By ion I mean it could be a polyatomic ion that appears unchanged on both sides of the equation.) Continue until you think that you have balanced each element/ion on the left. THEN, and this is the important step, go through the equation a second time. Sometimes when the last element/ion is fixed it "unfixes" another element/ion. Finally, make sure that all coefficients are in the lowest ratio possible.

Once a student gets the feel for balancing, they might be able to forego the step-by-step method for balancing and begin to "inherently" know what to do.
Here is a cool site I used when teaching balancing chemical equations to my middle schoolers. They were able to pick it up after several days of practice.

http://funbasedlearning.com/chemistry/chemBalancer/default.htm
I use what I call the inventory method

1. write beginning equation
2. put boxes where coefficients can go (so they see that other numbers cannot change)
3. make an inventory grid below equation on left side
4. exactly copy inventory to left side (so that comparison is easy)
5. look and think
6. avoid O at first; do metals first,
7 put in a coef. then do inventory
8 put in another coef--usually on other side
9 when making changes in inventory draw a line thru previous # so you can see history
10 if things go badly start over

If you start with easy equations first, most students pick it up after a few examples. Then I do matches of student vs student at board.
I can send a pic if you want. brent@brentjones.org
Brent Jones

Try Stinks and Bangs -- the tutorial on balancing equations. I use it with my students.
this is the best one I've found: http://www.wfu.edu/~ylwong/balanceeq/balanceq.html There's also practice problems from the same person: http://www.wfu.edu/~ylwong/balanceeq/combust.html
Once you get the hang of it, try this for even more practice: http://www.creative-chemistry.org.uk/gcse/revision/equations/02.htm

Good Luck!
you can always search videos on www.youtube.com
also, i have another site in mind you might wish to consider its topperlearning.com its free for first 14 days and then becomes paid so just get everthing you want in chem, physics and mathematics and also bio resources from there

GOOD LUCK !

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