How do I pass this class?
This course is NOT a free ride!1. Be in class. You can't possibly miss a lot of school and still expect to perform well during the year or on the Regents.2. Attempt and do all reading and practice problems assigned for homework. This as well as any science course has some detailed reading. You must read slowly and deliberately to retain the information in a section. Some of the terminology will seem challenging (if this is the case, write down the word or phrase that is confusing to you and bring it to class for clarification).3. You will have to memorize key concepts and apply them. This is going to be different from courses in the past. In the past, you were asked to memorize concepts and then restate them on a lab, quiz, or test. This year, you will have to know the concepts, but APPLY them to new (but similar) situations. This is a higher form of learning and the kind of learning ability that colleges and universities expect from a college preparatory class like chemistry.4. Time. You are going to have to spend some time with the theories, laws, and principles that support modern chemistry. Many men and women have spent (or given) their lives in the pursuit of the concepts that we hold to be true today. Small segments of time (10-15 minutes a night) reviewing concepts, problems, or doing labs that reinforce principles seem to be the best way to retain some of the most difficult topics that you may encounter in high school. Concepts like these take total concentration. If you're not getting it, try turning your stereo or TV off and try again.5. Open your mind. Up to this point, you have dealt with topics in almost every discipline that you could see, hold, or visualize. In chemistry, you will be talking about and studying ideas that are not entirely visible (ABSTRACT). These abstract theories have solid support and are held true (until somebody disproves them) and will take some effort to "visualize" and retain.6. Lab Requirement. New York State requires proof of 1200 lab minutes. I will provide you with enough opportunities to fulfill this quota.http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/oly/chemistry/Successful.htmBack to Top
What if I don't do my homework?
Things happen. That being said, you are expected to complete every homework assignment. If you do not turn in an assignment when it is collected in class, you may turn it in ONE DAY LATE for a 50% reduction in your grade. I WILL NOT ACCEPT HOMEWORK FOR CREDIT AFTER THAT. (See grading policy)Back to Top
What if I need help?
Ask for it AS SOON AS YOU GET STUCK!Coming to me the day before or morning of a test to tell me you don't understand anything in the chapter will not make either of us happy. AS SOON AS you realize you are starting to struggle, make an appointment with me for extra help.Likewise, do NOT come up to me at the end of the marking period and ask what you can do to improve your grades! I don't give extra credit assignments. (See the next question.)Back to Top
Is there any extra credit?
Short answer: No.Long answer: No. You have enough work to do with the normal assignments in all of your other classes, and you have had plenty of opportunities in my class to earn credit for the regular assignments. No extra credit projects will be given.Back to Top
How do I fail Chemistry?
1. Don't Show UpPossibly one of the easiest ways to ensure failure is to not attend class. It's possible to teach yourself chemistry without ever setting foot in a classroom, but learning a subject isn't the same as passing a class. If you don't put in the time, you probably won't know what is expected of you for exams. You won't know what problem sets are due. You can't do labs if you aren't there.2. Don't Do Practice ProblemsSome of chemistry is understanding how things work. Some of it is outright memorization. Most of chemistry is learning how to set up and balance equations and work various types of problems. The best way to master these skills is to practice. The worst thing you can do is just copy another student's work or the answers from the back of the book. Do your work. Show your work. Practice different types of problems (often).3. Don't Read the Text... or the handouts or the lab manual. Reading conveys concepts. If you don't read, you don't need to worry about learning that pesky information. That said, it probably is more important to give special weight to whatever the instructor emphasizes in lecture. Don't ignore reading assignments, however. For chemistry, it's better to read the text before the lecture. If the lecture makes no sense, you need more preparation before class, which involves time with your textbook.http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/tp/failchemistry.htmBack to Top
What should I be when I grow up?
I don't know. I'm still trying to figure that out for myself! But in the meantime, I love what I'm doing.Back to Top