Chemistry 30 is hard… I have never been one to say that my class is easy. Students have to put in work during class, and outside of class they have to review and do work to ensure their understanding. If they are confused about ANY topics or issues in chemistry 30, they should definitely come on in for help. Until November, I have 2 prep blocks, in which students are able to get extra help, as well as before school (by appointment), during lunch and during FLEX time. All they have to do is ask!
Last week in Chem 30, the class had their first Unit exam. The marks were OK, however I feel like a lot of students are going to want to rewrite. As a reminder, students are able to rewrite ANY assessment other than the midterm or the final exam, however there are slight restrictions on labs. The rewrites for the Unit Exams are as follows: first of all, the day is set, in stone, by me (the teacher). It is after school, and students are only allowed to write the rewrite after showing ALL their homework is complete, they have no missing or late assignments, and that they have performed all corrections on the exam. For the unit A exam, the rewrite will be Monday, October 6 at 3:45pm.
This week, we will begin our second unit in Chem 30: ELECTROCHEMISTRY! This unit involves the science and chemistry behind batteries and industrial processes such as electroplating. It is a very useful and applicable topic to real life. Less math based, this is more theoretical in nature. The electrochemistry unit is worth 30% of the overall assessment in grade 12 (that becomes between 17-20 questions on the diploma).
Coming up this week:
Review of Unit A Test
Topic 1: Intro to Electro chem
Fuel Lab Due
Topic 2: Oxidation Numbers
WEDNESDAY: (Ms. Mogck out @ ALP2 District Office)
Topic 3: Spontaneity
(prep for quick lab)
Spontaneity Quick Lab
(review of Topic 3)
Work Period (Finish Topic 1-3 and Lab)
Upcoming Due Dates:
MONDAY SEPT 29 – Fuel Lab Due
TUESDAY SEPT 30 – Intro Terms Due (HW Check)
MONDAY OCT 6 – Thermochem Unit A Rewrite After School
WEDNESDAY OCT 8 – Spontaneity Quick Lab due
THURSDAY OCT 16 – Topic 1-5 Quiz
THURSDAY OCT 16 – Titration Lab due
This has proven to be a frustrating start to chemistry 30 this year. Students have begun to take advantage of the science department's "NO LATE MARK" policy. The first chemistry 30 lab was due Wednesday September 17, and I received ZERO labs handed in on time. My frustration is this: students are given plenty of time to work on labs during work periods in class (in fact they had 2 work periods for this particular lab). They are also supposed to be using their newly introduced FLEX time to work on homework they may have. In chemistry, I allow for 1 week between the time of performing the lab, and the due date. I feel this is adequate time to hand in a lab report that is up to chem 30 standards. The fact that zero labs were handed in was frustrating, the fact that only 7 labs had been handed in by Friday was even more frustrating.
In the science department, we do not punish late assignments with late marks. Students have up to a week to hand in the labs (after the due date) however this should not be taken advantage of. It is not meant to allow for 2 weeks between the lab and the due date. In fact, in chem 30, labs are meant to teach concepts in a different (more kinesthetic) way, and allow for analysis of real life examples to be worked out by students to reinforce concepts. This has proven to be a successful strategy, with the diploma marks for chemistry at CHS increasing dramatically in the past 3 years. Students hand in labs and receive plenty of feedback on their lab report so that they can do better on the next lab. That being said, I am unable to hand back the labs that I have marked until everyone has handed the lab in (as the comments basically outline how to do a proper lab and any mistakes are fixed). So right now, I have 13 labs marked, and students waiting for feedback to work on their next lab (which is due next Monday).
I am at a loss as to how to motivate students to hand things in on time, without penalizing them for late assignments. If we could work together to ensure kids are handing in their work on time, it would be to great benefit for all the chem 30s!
Now, on to what is going on this week! Monday, we will be finishing Unit A (thermochemistry) in Chemistry 30, which is very exciting! Tuesday and Wednesday will be dedicated as work periods for kids to catch up (and possibly hand in their late lab!) It is my hopes that kids will come Wednesday with questions from their topics, and be ready to do a practice test (for extra studying) on Wednesday during class. Thursday is the big Unit A Exam, which is in fact rewritable, however based on the attitude of these chem 30s I am going to keep this on the down low ;) Friday, we will introduce the next unit with an inquiry project for the students to complete for Monday.
I am really enjoying the students in chem 30. I am hoping they will get kicked into gear and work hard to hand things in on time more readily in the near future!
Coming up this week:
Monday: Topic 7
Tuesday: Work Period (Lab + Topic 1-7)
Wednesday: Work Period (Practice Test)
Thursday: Unit A Test
(9 multiple choice, 3 numerical response, 3 short answer = 27marks total)
Friday: Intro to Unit B Electrochemistry (Inquiry Project)
Due Dates to note:
PAST DUE: Calorimetry Challenge Lab
Monday Sept 22: Marshmallow Quick Lab due
Thursday Sept 25: Unit A Exam
Monday Sept 29: Fuel Lab due / Inquiry sheet due
Last week was a big learning curve for the chemistry 30s, as they discovered the abstract concept of Enthalpy (potential energy in chemical bonds). Chemistry 30 is quite a bit more difficult than chem 20, and a lot of students are finding the jump significant! Not to worry! We will get through it together!
This week is an exciting week in Chem 30: WE START OUR FIRST LAB!!! Students will be asked to develop a procedure to test the enthalpy of two simple reactions. They will have to develop their own version of a Calorimeter, which they have not yet learned in class. This lab is inquiry based learning at its finest! The two day lab will be performed Tuesday and Wednesday, with an individual lab report due Wednesday September 17. Often times students find this lab difficult, as they are unsure of expectations and formatting for an official chemistry lab. For this reason, students are able to re-perform the lab and resubmit a lab report if they wish, according to the Science Department Assessment policy.
This week also marks the first official assessment for Chemistry 30. The quiz on Thursday, September 11 will be covering topic 1-4 of Unit A, and will be done on Moodle (so students need to bring their computers!)
Ms. Kendra Mogck