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  Your Grade
  Mr. Mac



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Honors Chemistry
Introduction and Syllabus

     Welcome to Chemistry class! Chemistry is the branch of science that is concerned with matter and the changes it undergoes. Honors Chemistry is designed to challenge self-motivated and hard-working students who want to prepare themselves to take college-level Chemistry in the future. I look forward to an exciting year of learning and hope that I can assist you in attaining the highest grade possible in this class.

What you can expect from me

I will make every effort to

  • Come to class every day with a lesson prepared

  • Be fair and consistent in how I deal with all students

  • Return graded assignments in a timely manner

  • Explain the course material as clearly as possible

My goals for this course:

  • I want every student to come to class every day

  • I want every student to understand the material and, if possible, enjoy class

  • I want every student to make an “A” or “B”

  • I want every student to feel prepared to take college-level chemistry after completing this course.

 What I expect from you

 I expect you to make every effort to

  • Come to class every day on time

  • Prepare for Chemistry outside of class by doing the assigned homework

  • Push yourself to learn as much as possible

 What you can expect from this course

     Most of you have, at a minimum, already taken (or are taking) biology and geometry. Some people find chemistry to be more difficult than biology because chemistry requires a lot more problem-solving than biology does. However, some people find that chemistry is a lot easier for this same reason. Expect a lot less vocabulary and memorization than in biology, and expect a lot more mathematical problems. If you have taken algebra, you have more than enough math for 95% of this course. The math in chemistry is not hard; it is very low-level arithmetic for the most part. However, even though the math in this class is generally easy, there is a lot of it

 Grading scheme

 Your class average in Chemistry will be determined as follows:

 On average, there will be one or two quizzes and one lab per week. There will be a test roughly every other week.

Grading Scale:

  • A: 93 – 100 %
  • B: 85 – 92 %
  • C: 77 – 84 %
  • D: 70 – 76 %
  • F: Below 70%

 Make-up work and other grading policies

  • Homework is not usually collected. (The quizzes come right from the HW, so it’s usually pretty obvious whether or not you understood the previous night’s assigned problems.) You are expected to do the HW on your own, whether or not you are here. You are responsible for any changes in the HW assignments that were announced while you were gone.

  • Labs that are missed due to an absence of any kind cannot usually be made up. At the instructor's discretion, an alternative assignment will be assigned. (Missing labs for any reason will put you at a great disadvantage in preparing for tests.) If you are absent on the due date of a lab report, make sure that you turn it in as soon as you get back! I will not remember that you were not here to turn it in!

  • Quizzes that are missed will be made up by arranging a time with me. The lowest two quizzes will be dropped for all students at the end of the term. (Only quizzes can be dropped – tests and labs are never dropped.) Thus, a student who has missed two quizzes can still theoretically achieve a quiz average of 100%. Obviously, students who come to class have a big advantage over students who miss class and/or who are frequently tardy to class.

  • Tests: If you miss a test, you will need to make it up as soon as possible after you return. Obviously, it is your responsibility to set up a time with me to take the make-up test. (I will probably not remember that you missed it.)

  • There will be no “extra” projects or papers assigned this semester. We have plenty to do without them, believe me! J

 Materials that you will need

  • Loose leaf notebook with pockets and/or folders. This is your notebook; it will never be collected. Just make sure that it can hold plenty of oddly-shaped handouts.

  • Pens, pencils, lots of filler paper, and a scientific calculator. Graphing calculators are fine, but not necessary. You should be able to get a scientific calculator for 10 or 20 dollars. Necessary functions: memory, logarithm (“log”), scientific notation, and exponents. Bring your calculator every day.

  • Your textbook. (Please cover it.)

  •  Long pants, closed-toe shoes, and a hair band (if you have long hair) for lab days.

 Final thoughts and tips:

     I am looking forward to a great semester, and I hope you are, too. Please just do me (and you!) this favor: keep up with the work and come to class. This will make life easier for you and for me.

     If you find that you’re having trouble understanding something, see me sooner rather than later. Most of the time, students taking chemistry know a lot more than they realize; they may think they are totally clueless, but in fact are actually quite close to understanding how to do a certain type of problem that seems “impossible.”
     Don’t concentrate on reading the book if you find it boring. (However, if you happen to be a good text-reader, this is also an excellent way to learn.) Work the problems. If you can solve the HW problems, then you are ready for the test.

     Get a study group – it’s usually a lot faster and a lot more fun to learn from a fellow student than it is to learn from a teacher. However, if there’s anything I can do to help, I’ll be glad to give you a hand.

     Never cheat. I’ll lose respect for you, and so will everyone else. It’s not worth it.

Good luck!