August 8th, 2018
Dear Students and Parents,
Welcome back! During this semester, I will try to open up the fascinating world of Chemistry. To gain the maximum benefit from my teaching style, I ask students to be prepared and work with me in the ways outlined below.
1 scientific calculator (Recommended – Casio fx-260 solar. It’s reliable and inexpensive!)
3 plastic folders with pockets and prongs (Bring 1 to class!)
2 packs of notebook filler paper (Place about 20 sheets in the folder you bring to class)
1 pack of dividers (Place 3 in the folder you bring to class)
36+ pencils, NO PENS! (Bring 2 daily!)
Please note that the above quantities take into account that school supplies are seasonal items and will be much more expensive if they are purchased later.
1. Tardies interfere with learning. All students should be in their assigned seats with needed materials out, ready for instruction, when the bell rings. If possible, restroom needs should be fulfilled before or after class. As the end of class nears, students need to be sure all lab areas are clean and equipment is replaced to the proper positions. Everyone needs to be seated and quiet before dismissal so as not to miss any announcements.
2. If a student is absent, please check with the teacher for the work missed or assignments due. Carefully read the Douglas County policies printed in the student handbook regarding attendance, tardies, and make-up work. You must have an excused absence to receive credit for make-up work.
3. The science laboratory can be a source of unlimited learning. I spend an enormous amount of time planning, preparing, and fostering the safest laboratory conditions possible. Due to equipment, glassware, chemicals and heat usage, hazards do exist. Students unable to employ safe lab conduct will be excluded from these activities and receive a zero. A LABORATORY SAFETY CONTRACT will be sent home by each student. It must be signed by a parent or guardian and returned for participation in laboratory activities. Please read it carefully, and then sign it.
4. Students are expected to maintain high standards of conduct. Failure to maintain these standards will result in disciplinary action as outlined in the online Student Handbook. Students who damage school property, including books, furniture and lab equipment will be required to repair, replace, or pay for the damage done. Writing on desks and in books is considered damage to school property.
5. The final semester average is computed as follows:
Major tests, Reports, Projects 50%
Classwork, Labwork, Quizzes, Homework 30%
Final Exam 20%
The school publishes grades on a secure website. Contact the school’s media center regarding information about accessing grades/attendance in Infinite Campus portal.
6. At the end of the semester, students will be allowed to drop their lowest “daily” grade (classwork, labwork, quiz, or homework). Those students exhibiting good attendance (less than three absences - excused or unexcused - less than three tardies; and not assigned ISS or OSS for any reason) will be allowed to drop a major test, report, or project grade. Quarterly assessments, which are district-mandated assessments,
7. Students who elect to leave the classroom for any reason without the teacher’s permission are required to have a face-to-face teacher conference with his or her parent(s) in attendance. While the conference is being scheduled, the student may be placed in another science class where they will continue their chemistry studies independently. Any unsatisfactory chemistry classwork performed by the student will receive no credit for the assignment. Additionally, the student will also forfeit the ability to drop their lowest score in the major test/projects area of their grade at the end of the semester.
8. Punctuality is critical in the ‘real world’ of work and careers, as well as high school and college. Students are expected to adhere to deadlines and turn in all assignments on time. Make-up work for an absence will follow Douglas County policy. If a student is absent the day of a test, they may be expected to take a make-up test the day they return to school, if the absence is an excused absence. Make-up work (test, labs, etc.) will be done at the discretion and convenience of the teacher, which is usually after school and not during class, the absence is an excused absence. Please note that no make-up work will be assigned for unexcused absences. Make-up work will cover the same concepts, but may not be the same document as the original one. For example, make-up tests may be fill-in-the-blank, not multiple choice. In accordance with Douglas County policy, long-term assignments and projects will not be accepted after the due date even if a student has an excused absence. They may, however, be turned in before the due date for bonus points.
9. Academic honesty allows students to benefit from learning opportunities, while cheating undermines this purpose. Cheating includes but is not limited to: copying worksheets from other students or from other sources; allowing others to copy your worksheets; revealing the content of tests, quizzes or other activities that involve earning class credit; copying answers from another student’s test or quiz or allowing another student to copy your answers; talking during tests or sharing information with another student in any way or form during a test or quiz; using materials other than that expressly permitted during tests and quizzes; and the unauthorized use of electronic devices.
Cheating on any assignment, test or quiz will result in no credit for the assignment. The opportunity to make-up the assignment, test or quiz is forfeited. Furthermore, cheating may result in other academic penalties, detention and a parental contact.
A FINAL NOTE...
If you have not done so already, set aside a firm, designated study time. This should be away from TV, stereo, or phone calls. Extensive research has proven the benefits of reviewing notes and textbook material with 8-12 hours of its initial presentation. Master the concepts presented in school by rereading notes and/or book pages every night. Tutoring will be offered afterschool at a time and day to be announced later.
I put a tremendous amount of time and effort into planning lessons and creating activities to help students understand science concepts. I am your guide and facilitator through a fascinating field of study. I ask that students put in the effort to practice and learn, to the best of their abilities, that which I present to them.
Please note that changes may be made to this document contingent on instructional and/or logistical necessity to ensure the best experience in this Chemistry course for all students.
Yours in education,
Mr. Ernest Kelly
Douglas County High School
Expected Student Competencies
The Chemistry curriculum is designed to continue student investigations of the physical sciences that began in grades K-9 and provide students the necessary skills to be proficient in chemistry. This curriculum includes more abstract concepts such as the structure of atoms, structure and properties of matter, and the conservation and interaction of energy and matter. Successful completion of Physical Science, Biology, and Algebra are prerequisites for this course. By the completion of the coursework, the student should be able to...
- Use science process skills in laboratory or field investigations, including observation, classification, communication, metric measurement, prediction, inference, collecting data and analyzing it.
- Use traditional reference materials to explore background and historical information regarding a scientific concept.
- Use on a regular basis standard safety practices for laboratory or field investigations.
- Give examples of industrial processes that have been derived from scientific research and describe the impact on society.
- Analyze the nature of matter and its classifications, describe nuclear fusion, chemical and physical properties of elements and compounds, use IUPAC nomenclature for chemical compounds.
6. Relate how the Law of Conservation of Matter is used to determine chemical composition in compounds and chemical reactions (writing and balancing chemical equations, evidence of chemical reactions, molar quantities and ratios, stoichiometry, and limiting reactants).
7. Use the modern atomic theory to explain the characteristics of atoms (subatomic particles, orbital configurations, isotopes, chemical bonding, and light emission).
8. Use the organization of the Periodic Table to predict properties of elements (periodic trends in radii, energy, and chemical and physical properties)
9. Understand that the rate at which a chemical reaction occurs can be affected by changing concentration, temperature, or pressure and the addition of a catalyst.
10. Understand the effects motion of atoms and molecules play in chemical and physical processes (phase changes and thermochemistry)
11. Characterize the properties that describe solutions and the nature of acids and bases (solubility, dissolving, molarities, colligative properties, acids, bases, neutralization and pH)
12. Enhance their studies by reading appropriate books and articles that contain informational, technical, and fictional content; students will also develop skills for discussing books & articles while building vocabulary knowledge.
13. Explore opportunities to improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills through various laboratory applications using the processes of scientific inquiry; students will also improve their ability to analyze how scientific knowledge is developed.