• Chemistry 2011 – 2012

    Instructor: Mr. Henderson

    Room: G106

    Phone: 495-1149

    Email: tdhenderson@d49.org

    Class Website:


    Course Text: Chemistry, Prentice Hall

    Course Description: High School Chemistry is designed for the student who is interested in studying science in college. This course is rigorous and challenging and is recommended for students who are strong in math and science.  High School Chemistry will give you a fundamental baseline of knowledge from which you can build upon later in your academic pursuits. A number of chapters will be covered each semester, but not necessarily in the order presented in your textbook. Successful completion of this course fulfills the lab-based Chemistry admission requirement for college.

    Materials: Please bring the following to class each day

    • Composition Lab Notebook or Carbonless Student Lab Notebook
    • Pen (dark ink only) and Pencil
    • Scientific Calculator or Graphing Calculator
    • Planner
    • 4-pk Expo Markers
    • Red Felt-tip Grading Pens
    • Flash drive- as much storage as you can afford, at least 8Gb
    • Recommended but not required: Mobile Device (cell phone, iPod, PSP, etc), head phones, index cards, highlighters,  poster-making materials (glue sticks, markers or colored pencils, display board)


    Introduction to Mastery Chemistry:  Chemistry Learning in the 21st Century

    Given that we live in an ever shrinking world in which graduates will be competing with students from other countries for jobs, we must strive to create individuals who will be competitive in a global job market.  In order to do so, the Chemistry teachers at Falcon High School endeavor to develop skills in our students that will equip them to be independent life-long learners who can adapt to meet any challenging task at hand.  As a result, we require students to demonstrate mastery of the required curriculum.

    One of the unique features of using a mastery learning model is that not all students will be working on the same assignment at the same time.  Some students will work faster and are encouraged to do so; others will stick to our schedule and meet the weekly benchmark exactly; others will struggle and may fall behind, but these students will receive personalized assistance from their teacher in order to help them through the material.  NOTE: all work for a unit must be completed prior to taking the unit exam.  In addition, an exam must be passed with a 75% before proceeding to the next unit.



    The following activities are included in the Chemistry course:

    • Instructional Video Podcast: Students will view these videos at home on a computer, iPod, portable video device, cell phone, or DVD player.  In these videos, students will see chemistry teachers from Falcon High School and Vista Ridge High School explaining Chemistry concepts and demonstrating scientific principles.  Credit for viewing will be given by students showing their notes to their instructor, commenting on the class blog, sending a text message to polleverywhere.com or in some other method.  Students will be instructed in class as to how they can access the instructional videos, but may prefer to access the same content using their textbook or other resource.
    • Worksheets and Bookwork: Students will complete worksheets that contain material that corresponds with the similarly named instructional video.  Problems include descriptive chemistry, mathematical problems, and explanations of concepts.  For Bookwork, students can outline the reading or answer the questions assigned. Credit will be given if the assignment is finished completely and the student can answer a few questions asked by the instructor.
    • Demonstrations: Occasionally, the teacher will demonstrate a chemistry concept to a small group.  Credit will be given when the student writes a descriptive paragraph and diagram about the concepts demonstrated.
    • Laboratory Investigations: Students will conduct lab experiments as outlined in the handouts.  All safety and cleanup procedures must be followed.  Credit will be given when a student completes the data collection (MUST be stamped by instructor at the time of completion), data analysis and answers the questions at the end of the lab. Once per quarter a full lab report will be required.
    • Tests: All Unit tests must be passed with a 75% or better.  Students must re-take exams until a score of 75% is attained.  Students may not proceed to the next unit until the exam is passed with a 75%.  Only the highest score will be recorded and students may take an exam as many times as necessary.

    Grading: Student grades will be compiled as an average of two criteria: Test Scores, and Progress. Test Scores reflect a summation of how well the student has mastered the content of that unit. The Progress score will be assigned weekly, according to the student’s progress toward teacher-assigned benchmarks.  This weekly score is based on the student’s work completed as compared to the assigned workload. If the student is behind, objectives that haven’t been completed will be scored 0 out of 4 points and factored into their average.  Any late or missing work must be completed and will be accepted at any time without penalty, so it is important that students who fall behind work hard to catch up. Learning the material is the responsibility of each individual student, therefore completing the assignments is up to YOU, the student. Not everyone will require the same amount of practice to master the content of the course, but because of the academic rigor of this class, most students have to complete every assignment to be successful.  Each student must complete their own work. Students found to be copying assignments or labs will receive zero points. Students who have good study habits are more successful in class. DO YOUR WORK ON TIME! Procrastination will kill your chemistry grade.

    Grading Scale: Points are received for various items based on total points. Letter grades are assigned based on the following scale.

    A = 100% - 89.5%

    B = 89.4% - 79.5%

    C = 79.4% - 69.5%

    D = 69.4% - 59.5%

    F = 59.4% and below

    Bonus Points: There will be some opportunities to earn bonus points in this class. Extra credit will never be accepted unless you have already completed all of the classwork and homework.

    1. Bonus Problems – Tests, Projects, and Worksheets may contain bonus problems
    2. Extra Units – Honors Credit can be obtained by completing extra requirements, but students may elect to complete part of these requirements on their own to earn extra credit.

    Attendance: You are expected to attend class on each scheduled day. If you miss class and the absence is excused, then you have 2 days (48 hours) to turn in any assignment that was given the day you were absent. If the assignment was given prior to your absence, then it is due the day you return for class. If you are absent on the day of a quiz or test and it was announced prior to your absence, then you must complete it the day of your return or it will be considered late. If you know in advance that you are going to be absent, get assignments prior to your absence and turn them in early. Chemistry is a tough class to miss and make up. Each class begins with a ten minute quiz, called the Warm-Up. If you need more time to work out the problems, you should come early, but it is critical to be on time. You will receive a warning for your first tardy, but after that; a three-strike policy will be enforced. If you are late three times, you will be expected to make up the time you missed by serving after school detention as well as any other consequences outlined by the student handbook. BE ON TIME!!!

    Make Up: Some labs are not possible to keep out for weeks on end. Once chemicals begin to decompose, they must be neutralized and discarded. For this reason, you may need to schedule time outside of class to complete labs if you fall behind. You may be working with another teacher or lab group during the makeup lab, but you are still responsible for turning in the lab write-up within one week. Those who come for lab day without a pre-lab complete will be asked to complete the lab another day because they have not sufficiently reviewed the procedure to perform the lab safely. It is possible that the lab must be cleared away and a student must forfeit the points and the learning opportunity, or complete an alternate assignment.

    Extra Help: Extra help is always available before or after school Monday – Thursday with one of the chemistry teachers.  This tutoring if FREE, so take advantage of the opportunity! There will also be a regularly scheduled chat time for online tutoring.  If you need to get help at another time, then please schedule an appointment with me.

    Class Rules:  In order to maintain a safe and orderly environment conducive to learning for all students, there must be discipline and structure in the classroom. 

    1. Be prepared for class and working when the bell rings.
    2. Follow classroom procedures and directions the first time.
    3. Keep words and actions respectful at all times.
    4. Refrain from distracting behaviors.
    5. Be aware of all safety rules and signs for this chemistry lab. Remember that we may be working with volatile substances and that these rules are set up for your safety.

    Violation of class rules may result in parental involvement, administrative action, work detention, or ultimately removal from the course. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.






    Falcon High School Chemistry

    Please read these policies and discuss them with your child.  Your signature below indicates that you have received, read, and support the guidelines for this class.  Please complete the personal lab safety questions, then sign and return the bottom portion only.  Keep the top portion as a reference for yourself and your child.

    Important Lab Safety Information about Your Child (check all that apply)

    • wears contact lenses
    • sulfur allergies
    • latex allergies
    • heart condition
    • asthma
    • Other severe allergies? (please specify)________________________________________

    Parent Signature______________________________________         Date_____________

    In order for me to keep you informed about your child’s progress, please provide me with your most current contact information.

    Telephone _________________________ Email __________________________________

    Student Signature_______________________________________Date_____________


    Outline of Topics

    First Semester

    Unit 1 – What’s the Matter?

    1. Focus on the basic chemical terminology used to describe matter and the changes that it undergoes.
    2. Labs: Burning of Magnesium, Observing a Chemical Reaction, Water Purification

    Unit 2 – Scientific Problem Solving

    1. Use various types of metric measurement and incorporate them into a variety of chemical problems.
    2. Solve simple dimensional analysis and unit conversion problems.
    3. Labs: Significant Figures Mini-Lab, Density of Metals

    Unit 3 – Atoms

    1. Describe the structure of atoms and the theories that contribute to our modern understanding of the atom.
    2. Lab: Flame Testing of Metals

    Unit 4 – Periodic Table

    1. Discover patterns in chemical activity and organize elements by similarities.
    2. Predict properties of elements based on placement on the Periodic Table of Elements.
    3. Project: Element Poster and Commercial

    Unit 5 – Chemical Compounds

    1. Distinguish ionic and covalent compounds.
    2. Write chemical formulas and names for any given element or compound.
    3. Lab: The Alchemist’s Dream

    *Honors Chemistry: Complete Three Extra Requirements for Honors Designation in the First Semester (with 0.5 weighted grade on transcript)

    1. Complete at least Units 1-6 in the FIRST Semester with a unit test score of at least 85%.

    2. Naming Organic Compounds

    3. Water Analysis Lab

    Second Semester

    Unit 6 – Moles

    1. Learn to use a specific measuring quantity, moles, that is essential for the work chemists do.
    2. Lab: Determine the Empirical Formula of Copper (?) Sulfide – The Digenite Lab

    Unit 7 – Chemical Reactions

    1. Describe the specific changes that substances undergo, classifying each reaction.
    2. Predict the products of chemical reactions and write net ionic equations.
    3. Lab: Series of Copper Reactions

    Unit 8 – Stoichiometry

    1. Calculate quantities of reactants and products in a chemical reaction.
    2. Lab: Can You Make 2.00g of a Compound?

    Unit 9 – Behavior of Gases

    1. Investigate physical properties of matter and the relationship between states of matter, temperature, and pressure.
    2. Apply the Gas Laws to predict conditions and behaviors of gases.
    3. Lab: Determination of the Gas Law Constant, R

    Unit 10 – Thermochemistry


    Unit 11 -- Solutions

    1. Describe solutions in terms of composition and pH.
    2. Understand colligative properties of solutions.
    3. Lab: Acid-Base Titration

    *Honors Chemistry: Complete Three Extra Requirements for Honors Designation in the Second Semester (with 0.5 weighted grade on transcript)

    1. Complete all of general chemistry AND Unit 12 – Nuclear Reactions, with a mastery of at least 85% on each unit test.
    2. Qualitative Analysis Lab
    3. Independent Research Project: Create a Video Podcast, Student Activity, and Answer Key for a specific (teacher-approved) topic in chemistry. Example: Biomolecules, Pharmacy, Electrochemistry, Ballistics, Crime Scene Analysis, etc.



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