Teach every detail as though your students have never heard or seen it before!
For the lower level students who have literally never heard any of it before, this is great! They are taught exactly what they need to know. You didn't make the mistake of assuming the students had prior chemistry knowledge. You teach. Students learn. Win-Win!
But what about the higher level student who already has some chemistry knowledge? Go ahead and teach the chemistry topic as thought your students have never heard or seen it before! Their knowledge will only be increased and solidified. The higher level students may feel like… “I’ve got this.” “I’m bored.” “This is easy” and so on. I realize this might seem like a bad thing, but I want this response from all of my students. If students feel this way about the material, then they have internalized it with confidence!
Teaching every detail builds confidence!
Increased confidence can help students retain and store knowledge!
Now please note that if ALL of your students already know the topic (and could pass a test on the topic), then teach the topic, but teach at faster pace and require less practice work. Personally, I have never experienced this in my own classroom. If students come to my class with prior knowledge, usually that knowledge is incomplete, and I still need to teach the full breadth of the topic.
Happy Teaching :)
- Founder of Chemistry with Confidence