Hello Parents, Guardians and Important People!
My name is Kendra Mogck, I will be teaching your son and/or daughter Chemistry 30 at Chestermere High School and am looking forward to an exciting new start to the semester!
As you are likely aware, chemistry is not an “easy” subject, and often times, students find themselves struggling in the course. Because of this, I like to take the time to make parents and students aware of the efforts required to be successful in chemistry.
First of all, the prerequisite for chemistry 30 is to have passed chem 20 with minimum 50%. This however does not ensure success in chemistry 30, as the jump from chem 20 to chem 30 is quite large. The science department at Chestermere High suggests students have achieved 65% or higher to be successful in chemistry 30. This does not mean students with a mark below that expectation, it simply means these students will have to make more of an effort than they have previously in science. This however, will be easier this year, than in previous years, as CHS has been approved to implement High School Redesign, which includes flex time. Flex time will allow students tutorial time built into the school day, to come in for extra help, work on labs or projects or rewrite assessments.
Steps to be successful include first of all attending class, because each class in chemistry builds on the last lesson. If students do miss class, all work is available online (moodle or msmogcksclassroom.com) for students, including helpful videos, notes and examples. Second, completing the practice work; it is true practice makes perfect, and there are only really only so many ways to ask chemistry questions, so students will be better prepared for the assessments. Third, asking questions and coming in for help. Whether it be a simple formatting question, or a deeper thinking application, questions are welcome! New this year, I will only be marking major labs and projects. All work done in class will be assessed formatively, providing timely feedback to students without assigning them a mark. In this way, it is possible to allow students to make mistakes, without risk. If a student chooses not to hand in a formative assessment on time, the feedback will not be provided, which will be detrimental only in the fact that they will not have the feedback to do well on the major labs or projects.
Finally, effective test writing is key to being successful. Students often struggle initially on concepts in chemistry, and for that reason, weekly quizzes will have no effect on grades. The assessment will simply be taken as a marker of understanding, and marked immediately after the quiz to demonstrate the solution. All exams will be cumulative, ensuring students take the time to review not only the unit most recently completed, but all other learning. This will also allow students to reinforce those concepts, and reduce stress prior to the diploma, as they should have been reviewing all concepts throughout the semester.
Parental support from home is also important to student success. Parents are able to access up to date grades on power school. If you do not have the password please contact the office. As well, I have developed a website that allows parents to be aware of what is going on in class (on a weekly basis). Please bookmark www.msmogcksclassroom.com for your viewing pleasure. Finally, parent contact should be ongoing and is welcomed at any time. Please contact me with any questions, concerns or just to simply say hi!
Science Department Learning Lead
Chestermere High School
Ms. Kendra Mogck