Features

AN ATOMS FIRST APPROACH: By taking an atoms first approach, the authors provide students with a unified story built around an organizing principle--start the course with the smallest element, the atom, and build from there. Building their explanations around this structure, the authors consistently show the importance and relevance of studying chemistry.

A FOCUS ON CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING: Rather than focusing on memorizing, the book gives students the tools they need to become critical thinkers: to ask questions, to apply rules and develop models, and to evaluate the outcome.

A STRONG PROBLEM-SOLVING ORIENTATION: Throughout the text, problem-solving strategies help students learn to solve problems by thinking them through rather than brute-force memorizing. Section 5.3 “Learning to Solve Problems” emphasizes the importance of thoughtful, creative problem solving, demonstrating that thinking through a problem produces more long-term, meaningful learning that can be applied to “real life” than memorizing steps that apply only to a particular type of problem. The problem-solving process is organized in terms of “Where are we going?”; “How do we get there?”; and “Reality Check,” which prompts students to check whether their answer makes sense.

STUDENT-ORIENTED LEARNING AIDS: Problem-solving strategy boxes help students focus on particular aspects of problem-solving; concept summary boxes help students organize their thinking about crucial concepts; critical-thinking questions help students to contemplate various atoms first concepts; chemical connections boxes present applications of chemistry in various fields and in daily life; and atoms first boxes provide an overall summary at critical junctures that ties together concepts to enhance student understanding.

INTERACTIVE EXAMPLES encourage students to think their way through the example instead of passively reading through the solution. Electronic versions of select examples are assignable in OWLv2. To help in mastery of the problem-solving process, students can work these Interactive Examples multiple times, receiving slightly different examples each time they attempt an Interactive Example.

END-OF-CHAPTER VISUAL EXERCISES provide students with opportunities to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of fundamental chemical principles. Many take an "atomic view" of matter to help students appreciate the usefulness of the atomic model in understanding macroscopic properties. Other problems ask students to interpret graphs or to explain figures.