02092019, 04:16 AM


First, check to be sure they have all the underlying skills:
Do they know the names and symbols of elements?
Can they use the periodic table to determine charges of monatomic ions?
Do they know names, formulas, and charges of common polyatomic ions?
Do they understand the system for indicating oxidation numbers of transition metals?
Do they understand how to use subscripts to write a formula that has a neutral overall charge?
I used to find the most common issue was using the skills in the context of a balanced equation. Students would forget how to write formulas and try to balance the equation before having correct formulas. It helped them to first make a vertical list of names and formulas, and only then to plug the formulas into the equation. I would have them write a blank before each formula in the equation where the coefficient would go.
If you can offer more specifics about situations where students have trouble, perhaps I can be more helpful.
