Chemistry 2 Middle School & High School Lab Class
This comprehensive, in-depth course will engage learners as they develop a deeper understanding of chemistry. It is the goal with this course to give students the knowledge needed to understand and make sense of how the natural and physical works. Therefore, there will be lessons that connect physics, biology, microbiology, astronomy, earth, and environmental science. As they learn, students will be challenged to apply their knowledge and skills to a variety of hands-on activities and exercises in class and outside of class. Focus is on active student participation in laboratory investigations and the development of critical-thinking skills.
Over 2-semesters, 30 weeks, atomic particles, matter, chemical bonds compounds, and reactions will be covered. Learners will be taught how to use the Periodic Table to predict elemental properties and the types of bonds that form. Important properties of matter, such as density and solubility, will be covered, as will chemical kinetics.
Included with this course:
- Live online classes
- Office hours
- Videotaped information about labs
- Evaluations and feedback
- High school students as well as middle school students taking this for concurrent high school enrollment - will make have everything they need for colleges who want validation regarding this class.
Assignments: There will be assignments and activities for each week. These will include selected readings and fun videos or websites. Hands-on activities and labs are always an important part of science. Students will conduct simple laboratory experiments using items commonly available in most kitchens. I will use a scaffolded approach for evaluating lab reports, with the goal of students attaining proficiency writing them.
Student Support: I have office hours for this class. Instead of setting a time, students should email me if they need help. The instructor is available by email and [email protected]
Feedback: Feedback will be provided on all assignments.
Materials/Supplies: The primary spine for this course are course materials written by Blair Lee, M.S. They are provided with the course.
Students will conduct experiments using commonly available materials. You probably have most of these items already. A supply list will be provided on request.
Who this course is for: This course is open to middle school and high school students. When used for High School Chemistry this meets the Grades 9-12 physical lab science graduation requirement. Middle school students who are not taking this for high school credit will have a lighter course load.
A Note about Math: I take real issue with chemistry classes that are basically applied math classes. There is so much chemistry knowledge that is important to understanding the world we live in and our own health that I believe the approach of turning middle and high school chemistry courses into applied math classes does a disservice to chemistry and to students. However, there is some math needed in chemistry. And yet, should math skills keep someone from being able to understand chemistry.
My solution to this dilemma is to separate the math concepts used in the course. There is a new math concept in every chapter. There are math problems at the end of each chapter. These math problems are not woven as a core part of the text and the course can be done using just basic math skills.
Molecular Modeling: There is a molecular model to build in each chapter.
Mastery Approach to Evaluating Work in a Way that Honors the Individual Learner: I care about the learning of chemistry. To facilitate this, I use a mastery approach to evaluating work. How this works:
- Learners are given clear assignments, where they understand the objectives of the assignment.
- Instead of points or a grade, feedback is given based on learner’s knowledge and understanding of concepts displayed in answer. This is done using prior work to meet each learner where they are, not by an arbitrary standard.
- Learners are allowed the opportunity to redo the revise, resubmit, and/or retry their assignments.
Office Hours are available at the request of students or parents
This is a lab and lecture/discussion class.
Class will meet weekly for one hour (with an extra 15 minute cushion). The class is interactive.
Class Meeting Information
September 7 - December 14, 2022
Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. PST
Listed on the Teachable website. All materials are inexpensive, easy to obtain, and in most cases you already will have them at home.
Live sessions will be best experienced with a camera and microphone. Parents will need a Zoom account (free).
For assignments: Written work can be submitted through Microsoft Word or through Google Docs. If learners choose to create a multimodal final presentation, they can use whatever tools they’d like (for example PowerPoint, video editing software, etc.)
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