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
Ms. Kendra Mogck