Mr. Brandon Fenner
In Chemistry, we will cover the standard assortment of topics in a typical high-school chemistry course, including atomic structures, the periodic table, bonding, chemical equations and reactions, stoichiometry, the behavior of gases, solutions, and other topics. A significant portion of this class will involve in-class lab assignments in addition to the regular homework reading and chemistry homework (that involves a significant amount of mathematics.)
The aims of this class are twofold:
1) To introduce the students to the fundamentals of chemistry through homework assignments, lectures, and in-class labs.
2) To show the students the relevance of chemistry to daily life in the fields of technology, medicine, energy, and other areas of life.
Prentice Hall Chemistry, 6th Edition
(For your reference, I purchased my copy of this textbook online for less than 10 dollars in excellent used condition.)
A = 90-100 Very Good/Excellent
B = 80-89 Good
C = 70-79 Acceptable
D = 60-69 Needs Improvement
F = 0-59 Does Not Meet Minimum Requirements
15% In-Class Participation
15% HW Reading
30% HW Assignments
20% Major Projects
Artistic Representation of an Atom or Molecule
Element Research Presentation
“Why Chemistry Matters” Presentation
At the end of each session, each student shall receive a grade for their in-class participation for that specific session. This grade reflects the students’ involvement in class discussions and activities as well as their behavior and attitude towards their fellow classmates and the instructor. Persistent tardiness, absences, or other similar circumstances will also be noted. At his own prerogative, the instructor may warn students, either during or after class, before making note of such behaviors. When given in-class participation grades at the end of each session, a short description will also be given to explain why the specific grade was assigned.
Every week, a reading selection from our textbook will be assigned. (You can check the class schedule to see what each weekly reading assignment is. Changes or additions to the class schedule will be announced in class and the course syllabus will be subsequently updated.) The honor system will be used for the students’ self-reporting of their reading. Remember that one’s character is far more valuable and important than a grade for an assignment or for a class. Please note that completing a weekly reading assignment late will result in a 25% reduction in grade for each class period it is late: if you read a previously unread or partially read assignment, please inform the instructor if you should receive an increase in your grade for that reading assignment. And, remember, a 75% or a 50% is significantly better than a 0%.
100% – Read completely prior to the start of the assigned class
50% – Read the majority of the reading selection prior to the start of the assigned class
0% – Did not read or read a minority of the reading selection prior to the start of the class
-25% – For each class period the reading was completed late, reduce the grade by 25%
Reading Grade Examples:
Read the reading selection completely but two class periods late: 100% – (25% x 2) = 50%
Read the majority of the reading selection but one class period late: 50% – 25% = 25%
Every week, a number of assigned questions from our textbook will be assigned. (You can check the class schedule to see what the assigned questions are. Changes or additions to the class schedule will be announced in class and the course syllabus will be subsequently updated.) Homework is grade on completion. However, a sincere effort in doing the homework is expected. Additionally, homework that is not brought to class is not considered completed but can be turned in later as if it was done late. Mathematical problems must show your work. We will go through the questions, particularly the mathematical ones, in class. Homework is given grades based on the level of completion as shown below:
100% – Answered all assigned questions prior to the start of the assigned class
50% – Answered the majority of the assigned questions prior to the start of the assigned class
0% – Answered none or a minority of the assigned questions prior to the start of the class
-25% – For each class period the homework was completed late, reduce the grade by 25%
The exams in this class shall be largely dependent on the type of class material covered. The exams only cover the chapters since the previous exam: however, because much of Chemistry builds off of each other, knowledge or skills learned in previous chapters may be required to solve problems in a later exam. Exams covering general information will be matching, multiple choice, short answer, and true or false. Meanwhile, exams covering more mathematical subjects will be structured as short answer mathematical problems. Study guides will be given out two weeks in advance of the test. By default, the exams are not curved. However, the instructor reserves the right to curve the exams on his own prerogative. Reasons the instructor may choose to curve a test may be as a reward to the class for excellent behavior or for their hard work or if the test was more difficult than expected and the instructor deems it desirable to curve the grade so that the students’ grades more accurately reflect their comprehension of the material. When an exam is curved, the student with the highest grade is given a 100%. Then, the difference between that original grade and a 100% is applied to each other students’ tests.
There will be three major projects due throughout the year: an artistic representation of an atom or a molecule, a research presentation on an element of the students’ choosing, and a presentation on the practical application of chemistry in a field of the students’ choosing. None of these major projects are due during the first session. More information—such as instructions and the grading rubric—will be given out in class at least a month before it is due. These instructions and grading rubrics will then be posted on Thinkwave for future reference.
Absences and Late Work:
As long as the absence was unavoidable (such as because of an illness or a family emergency) or was forewarned (whether in a prior class or in an email prior to the start of the class that will be missed), the student will not receive any penalty to their in-class participation grade. Reading assignments will also not be considered late if completed on time (and are properly reported in advance in the case of being forewarned.) Homework assignments and other projects should be submitted online prior to the start of class when absent on the day they are assigned in order for them not to be considered late. By default, late homework assignments and major projects are reduced by 25% for each class period late: the instructor reserves the right to alter the reduction for late work in favor of the student based on his own prerogative due to the reason for the late work. However, this would be the exception, not the rule.
Extra Credit and Resubmissions:
By default, no extra credit is given in this class. At his own prerogative, the instructor may offer extra credit in-class activities or extra credit exam questions. When extra credit is offered, all students present are offered the opportunity of extra credit on the same basis. By default, there are no resubmissions of homework assignments or major projects. If a resubmission for extra credit is offered, it will be offered to all students on the same basis. It is unnecessary to ask the instructor for extra credit or for a resubmission: if the instructor intends to offer either extra credit or a resubmission opportunity, he will do so without the need for a request to be made. Meanwhile, if the instructor does not intend to offer either extra credit or a resubmission opportunity, asking for one will not increase the chances of one being offered.
Plagiarism and Cheating:
In this class, plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated—while plagiarism may seem innocent, it is often a crime and an offense that could get you fired in one’s career when one is an adult. Cheating also shows a lack of character and is unfair to the instructor, the fellow students, and yourself. Intentional plagiarism and cheating (such as copying someone’s work as your own or bringing answers into an exam or looking at a fellow student’s exam while in an exam) will result in a zero percent for whatever homework assignment, major project, or exam that is in question. In addition, the director of ODE and your parents will also be informed. Cases of unintentional plagiarism and cheating (such as improper citation work or incorrect use of paraphrase or not following exam instructions in an unintentional manner) will result in a grade reduction as assigned by the instructor: the size of the reduction is left to the instructor’s discretion and will be based on the severity of the plagiarism or cheating in question.
*Note that this class schedule is subject to change—particularly later sessions. As much of the class is dependent on building on previously learned content, the instructor may delay certain classes to ensure the class understands the foundational content before moving on to more difficult content. Changes will be announced in class and reported in Thinkwave. Specific homework assignments for the next session will be assigned before the end of the preceding session. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
Week 1. August 31st Introduction to Class/Chemistry
Week 2. September 7th Matter and Change
Skim Chapter 1: pages 7-32
Read Chapter 2: pages 39-55
Answer the odd number questions between questions 35-75 on pages 58-60
Week 3. September 14th Scientific Measurement
Read Chapter 3.1 and 3.2: pages 63-79
Answer the Practice Problems questions 1-8, 16-17 found throughout the chapter
Answer questions 57-66 on pages 96
Week 4. September 21st Scientific Measurement
Read Chapter 3.3 and 3.4: pages 80-93
Answer the Practice Problems 28-37, 46-49 found throughout the chapter
Answer questions 67-77 on page 96
Week 5. September 28th Atomic Structure
Read Chapter 4: pages 101-119
Answer the Practice Problems 15-24 found throughout the chapter
Answer the odd number questions between questions 39-63 on pages 122-123
Week 6. October 5th Electrons in Atoms
Read Chapter 5: pages 127-147
Answer the Practice Problems 8-9, 14-15 found throughout the chapter
Answer the odd number questions between questions 23-53
Week 7. October 12th The Periodic Table
Read Chapter 6: pages 155-178
Answer the Practice Problems 8-9 found throughout the chapter
Answer the odd number questions between questions 25-55
Week 8. October 19th Unit One Exam
Study for Exam
NO ODE on October 26th for Session I Break