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Ms. Michele Caton

10th Grade Regents Chemistry

Email: mcaton@school.edu


Welcome To Regents Chemistry!

 I am so excited to explore the hidden world of atoms and molecules with you this semester!  In this course, we will delve under the surface of everything around us to uncover how matter works.


We will investigate the Big Idea that: “Atoms come together in ordered ways to form the countless things in our physical world” ---- we’ll use our math skills and powers of observation and inference to figure out how atoms work.





Course Lessons:


Unit 1:  Lab Safety and Lab Skills

            “How do we measure that which we can’t see? (and how do we do it safely?)”

             We’ll learn how to measure different properties of matter such as temperature and volume, and we’ll understand how to record                 our measurements in a way that is scientifically accurate.


Unit 2:  Matter and Energy

            “How do we make dissimilar things out of similar building blocks?”

            We’ll learn how the interaction of atoms gives matter its properties (such as density and solubility), and we’ll learn how to                          measure, compare, and contrast those characteristics.


Unit 3:  Gas Laws

            “How does one use known properties to predict unknown properties?”

            We’ll use gases as a model to explore the relationship between the properties of temperature, pressure, and volume.



Unit 4:  The Atom

            “Why should we believe in that which we cannot see?”

            We’ll explore the inner workings of the atom and the history behind its discovery.


Unit 5:  Nuclear Chemistry

            “How do you break apart something that is considered a fundamental unit?”

            We’ll investigate what happens when atoms are dismantled and combined, and we’ll explore the properties of radiation and                      isotopes.


Unit 6:  The Periodic Table

            “Why do we tend to group things, and how do categories serve us?”

            We’ll learn the history behind the Periodic Table and determine how it might be useful for predicting the properties of matter.


Unit 7:  Chemical Bonds

            “How do you determine the rules governing that which you cannot see?”

            We’ll investigate the ordered manner in which atoms connect to each other to form molecules and matter.





Exams (5 exams)                    45%

Lab Reports (1 lab/week)       30%

Homework                              10%

Final Project                            15%


We will incorporate a Final Project into our semester, which will allow you to relate your passion and interests to the world of chemistry.  Perhaps you have always wondered why toothpaste behaves the way it does, or maybe you care deeply about the environment and would like to investigate the benefits and ramifications of nuclear energy?  We will discuss the details of the project in class, but briefly, it will include a short presentation by an individual or groups of two or three students.





We will be referring to the following textbook in class: "Prentice Hall Chemistry".  Copies will be provided for students to borrow for the semester.


Please bring the following materials to class:


  • Notebook and folder dedicated to this course
  • Scientific calculator (Texas Instruments has several inexpensive models)
  • Pack of graph paper for labs (4 squares/inch)



Expectations of Students:


  • Please come to class prepared by completing any reading or homework assigned.  Class will be much more effective and enjoyable if everyone is on the same page and ready to go.
  • Please complete all assignments on time!  Grades on late assignments will be lowered by 5% for each day past the due date.  If you are having some difficulty completing the assignment, inform me early and before the due date, and we can work together to find a solution.
  • Please respect and support each other.  High school is not easy, but it can be made easier with a strong team.
  • Please exert your best effort in this class.  As young adults, you are in control of your own destiny --- harness it and propel yourself to where you’d like to be!
  • Please be safe in lab!  I will tell you of my own embarrassing mistakes in the hopes that you don’t relive them.
  • Please take the initiative to ask questions and seek help when needed.  Even the smartest scientists experience times of great confusion.



Expectations of Your Teacher:


  • I will help you in every way possible to learn.  I will offer extra help, clarification, and more resources --- anything necessary to aid in your understanding of the concepts.
  • I will create an environment in which everyone is welcome to participate and ask questions.
  • I will be fair but firm --- I will uphold you to deadlines and expectations while treating you with respect and kindness.
  • I will make chemistry exciting and fun (because it is!).



Extra Help:


For any student needing extra help, I will be available every Tuesday and Friday after school from 2pm-3pm in Room 317.  If you cannot come at these times, please email me or find me after class, and we will find a time that is convenient for both of us.  Please bring any assignments or notes that seem confusing, and please be prepared to ask questions!  These extra help sessions are intended to clarify concepts, and no question is too simple or silly to ask!