One of the hardest parts of chemistry is understanding how electrons orbit the nucleus and fill in their shells (S, P, D, and F). On top of that you add the spin (up or down) to model uncertainty.
It was hard for me to organize and process how to combine all these facets of the electron.
For this I combined an orbital diagram worksheet with other orbital diagrams to show how the electrons fill in order.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPDptc0wUYI has a great video on orbitals.
While you can waste paper filling out orbital diagrams, I figured a way to model the shell levels, numbers and spin into one manipulative. If you have the Photographic Card Deck of the Elements (periodictable.com) you can use the cards to help your class study, or challenge and review the elements with this board.
THIS IS A WORK IN PROCESS
This will require 118 (16 mm) marbles.If you can find decent quality marbles that have a consistent size, that will help.
This is good for a AP Chem or College chem class. Print 2-6 sets for a class to do as a small group activity. Speed games can be developed as well to test students
The lesson plan will be for sale on TeacherPayTeacher.com.
Overview and Background
Explore the shell shapes, then the order in how they fill.
Explore the numbering system, and the Up and Down spin of electrons.
Lesson Plan and Activity
1-5 class periods based on depth of lesson.
Watch students to make sure they don't inhale marbles. Tape down to table if you worry about students knocking them off.
To prevent flying marbles, have a rule like "It fly's you fail ".
This would make for a small group (3-4 students) activity. They can challenge others to find the element and label the electron orbitals.