Chemistry Information and Course Standards


Your Teacher

Dr. Sally R. Hair Office: Room 220
Because I teach part time, I will not be at school during the entire day. I encourage you to make an appointment, if you need to see me outside of class. School email is a good way to contact me.

Textbooks and other required materials

Chemistry by Wilbraham, Satley, Martta, and Waterman
Bring your book with you to class each day. Take good care of your book and don't lose it. The replacement cost is $60.

Calculator, with log and exponential functions. Bring this to class everyday. You will need it for problems, labs, quizzes, and tests. Scientific calculators may be purchased from the math department for about $10.

Lab Manual, distributed in class. You need to supply a 3-ring binder to protect this extensive set of copied handouts.

Three Ring Binder, with blank paper, for class notes, handouts, projects, homework, and other graded work. Dividers are a good idea. Keep this organized and bring it to class each day.

Course Website

A class calendar with events, handouts, and deadlines is available at http://drhair.wikispaces.com/

Course Topics

There is lots of interesting chemistry to learn about in this class. Chemistry allows you to understand the world around you on an atomic and molecular level. This can help you to explain lots of every day things, like why salt melts ice on the roads in the winter, why ponds freeze from the top down, and why it's always cooler at the beach at the summer. During the course of the school year, we will study Chapter 1 through Chapter 23, doing a chapter every week or two. We will spend the first half of the year learning the language of chemistry, as well as building the skills you need to understand the more challenging concepts covered in the second semester. First semester topics include: learning how to describe matter, the structure of the atom, understanding what a chemical reaction is and how to write chemical equations, a review of the metric system, dimensional analysis, molar relationships, and stoichiometry. Second semester topics include thermochemistry, the properties and behavior of gases, a closer look at how electrons are arranged in atoms, the periodic table, chemical bonding, solutions, reaction rates, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, and oxidation-reduction reactions.

SAT II and AP tests

The chemistry topics included in this course provide good preparation for the SAT II in chemistry, although not all topics on the exam will be covered. Students are encouraged to prepare for the SAT II with additional studying. In the spring, a group may work together with a chemistry teacher on topics not included in the class curriculum. This course does not provide sufficient background in chemistry for students to attempt the Advanced Placement test in chemistry.
Assignment Sheets
For each chapter, there will be an assignment sheet with the daily plan for each class. Also included are homework and lab assignments with due dates and test dates. This information is also available on the website class calendar.

Homework

Problems from the textbook will be assigned for each topic covered. Additional problems will be given in review handouts for each chapter. Problems are the best way to apply your chemistry knowledge and test your understanding. Tests will emphasize problem solving and application of concepts to numerical problems.

Homework will be checked for completeness and accuracy. Please show your work and demonstrate your thought process for all homework problems. Daily homework will be graded on a 3-point scale. Review homework for the end of each chapter is more extensive and is graded out of 10 points, including preparation and participation during the review day.

Late Work

Homework and lab reports turned in late, not because of an excused absence, will receive a grade penalty of 25% per day late, with a maximum penalty of 50%. This means that if your homework is one day late, the maximum possible is 2.25 points, rather than 3. If your homework is two or more days late, the maximum possible is 1.5 points. Late lab reports will be penalized in the same manner, with a 25% point reduction taken, for the first day late. Lab reports turned in 2 or more days late will receive a 50% penalty. Homework and lab reports must be turned in by the end of the day of each chapter test to receive credit. Students who have not turned in homework or lab reports are required to attend x-periods until the work is made up. If a student has continual difficulty turning in homework or lab reports on time, Dr. Hair will request an academic schedule up.

Laboratory

Lab experiments illustrate the concepts and solidify your understanding of chemistry. We will have at least one lab experiment per chapter. Some experiments will take more than one class period and will include class discussion, as well recording observations and results. Lab experiments will be written up in one of two ways: formal lab reports and mini labs. Each of these types of lab reports is described in the Lab Reports information in your lab manual.

Projects

Each quarter there will be a project on one of the key concepts of the course. Some projects will be done with a partner or small group and some will be done individually. Projects will include a written report or presentation. Project details are in the lab manual.

Tests

Tests will occur at the end of each chapter or occasionally every other chapter. The tests will emphasize the chapter just completed, but may also include all topics included in the course up to that point in time. The midterm and final exam for the course will be cumulative, on all topics covered in the course. Test material will come from class discussions, reading assignments, homework problems, and lab experiments. Retests may be scheduled for low test grades and the two test grades will be averaged together. For all quizzes and tests, you will need a calculator, pencils, and eraser.
Make-up Tests
Students who are absent the day of a test are expected to make up the missed test by the end of the next x-period, unless other arrangements are made. Make up tests are a different test than the original and may be more difficult. You may be required to have an oral exam, rather than a written test. In this case, Dr. Hair will ask you questions and you will answer orally or work problems on a white board.

Excused Absences

If you miss class or lab experiments because of an excused absence, you have one day for each day absent to make up missed work. The class calendar on the website will tell you what you missed in class and what homework is due. Labs missed due to excused absences should be made up if the lab report can be submitted before other students' labs have been graded and returned. It is to your advantage to make prior arrangements for an absence and to make up the work as quickly as possible. If you need to make up a lab during unscheduled time or an x-period, you must make arrangements with Dr. Hair in advance.

Be sure to turn in any homework assigned during your absence as soon as it has been completed. Remember you have one day for each day absent to make up missing work. No homework will be accepted after the test for that chapter has been taken.

If a test is missed due to an excused absence you must make arrangements to make up the test with Dr. Hair. You may be asked to take and oral exam, rather than a written test. Tests must be made up by the x-period following the missed test, unless other arrangements are made.

Unexcused Absences

Class cuts and tardiness as defined in the Student Handbook will result in the consequences listed below. Three tardies is equal to one cut; parents are called after second tardy.
1st cut The office is notified by a Student Cut form. Parents are called. No credit will be received for any work evaluated during the missed class.
2nd cut Same as first cut. Loss of unscheduled time. A meeting with/or a call to parents with a warning that an additional cut will result in a No Credit for the marking period (quarter).
3rd cut A No Credit (0%) for the marking period. Meet with parents. Warn them that an additional cut will result in No Credit for the course.
4th cut The student is dropped from the course.

X-Periods

X-periods for this class are on Wednesdays. X-periods are used for make up work, extra help, or finishing lab experiments or write-ups. All students are required to check in at all x-periods, unless alternative arrangements are made, in advance.

Students are required to attend x-periods to make up missing work if they have not turned in homework or lab reports by the due date. If a student with missing homework or labs does not attend an x-period, an unexcused absence will be reported and the consequences for cutting class will be imposed.

Grades

Your quarter grade in chemistry is made up of four components, weighted as shown below.

Your Quarter Grade
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Your averaged numerical grade will be updated and posted, labeled with your school I.D. number, on a regular basis. At the quarter's end, your numerical grade is converted to a letter grade as follows: 100-92.5 = A, 92.4-89.5 = A-, 89.4-86.5 = B+, 86.4 - 82.5 = B, 82.4 - 79.5 = B-, 79.4 - 76.5 = C+, 76.4 - 72.5 = C, 72.4 - 69.5 = C-, 69.4 - 66.5 = D+, 66.4-59.5 = D, < 59.4 =N.C.

At the end of the school year, each quarter's grade will account for 20% of your final grade. The midterm and final exams will each count 10% of your final grade, as shown, below.

Your Final Grade in June
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Class Expectations

In order for our class to be successful there are three fundamental expectations of you:
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Consequences
Students who do not meet class expectations will experience the following consequences:
• Individual conference with Dr. Hair to discuss the problem and plan solutions.
• Phone call to parents about the problem and planned solutions.
• Conference with student, parents, and Dean of Students or Guidance Counselor to discuss whether student should remain in the class

Class Routines and Procedures

This routine will help us get off to an efficient and productive start.
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The remainder of a typical class day is summarized in the following graphic:
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A Final message from Dr. Hair

I’m looking forward to working with you in chemistry class this year. Please don’t hesitate to ask, if you have questions about class policies or about chemistry.