Over the course of the year, students will build a complex and powerful model for structure of matter and how it changes.  Most traditional chemistry curriculums start by describing the history of chemistry as a set of facts to memorize and subsequently ask the students to believe this complex model only based on the teacher’s authority of the subject.  In our course, we will use the concept of scientific modeling for students to both explain and predict physical phenomena they will experience.

Through laboratory activities, students will generate evidence-based models of increasing accuracy and complexity over the course of the year to explain the world around them.  To demonstrate understanding of the material, students will collect and plot data, create diagrammatic representations, develop mathematical expressions and present their thinking in both oral and written context.  By using these modes of expression in the daily class routine, students will be able to clarify their thinking process and develop a deeper understanding of the material.


This year students will

  • develop a particle model of matter
  • explain how and why particles move
  • describe how energy is stored in and transferred between systems
  • determine the difference between mixtures, compounds, and elements
  • use mass to determine the number of particles in a macroscopic sample
  • develop a model for the internal structure of the atom
  • explain chemical reactions in terms of both energy and particles
  • use stoichiometry to determine the quantitative outcomes of reactions with regards to mass, concentration of solutions, volume of gases and the chemical energy
  • explain how scientists developed the modern model of the atom
  • use the modern model of the atom to explain periodicity and bonding

S440A will cover additional units.


Students must have a 2” or larger 3-ring binder dedicated to chemistry. Students will be given handouts that will serve as homework, notes, lab preparation, and more. A well-organized and maintained notebook will be a great resource while students prepare for assessments. This iBook will serve to provide additional resources and serve as the class textbook. We will also provide students with a traditional chemistry textbook that they may use as additional reference, but it will not be an essential resource. Each chemistry teacher will provide a webpage for students to stay up-to-date on class assignments, activities, and assessments. Please refer to the teacher section for more information.

Students will be expected to have writing implements, a scientific or graphing calculator, and a notebook or loose leaf in their binder for notes. Students will be provided with one composition notebook to use for notes and laboratory data.

Note on Technology Use

On assessments, calculators can only be used for calculation. For each assessment where a calculator is used, students will be required to put it into ‘test mode’. In this mode students cannot use the notes, the solve function or other advanced functions. If a student is found to violate this, they will immediately receive a zero on the assessment and may be referred to the community council as determined by the student handbook.

Students will be expected to have their laptops charged and ready for class each day. By default, we will start each class with laptops closed and under their desks. Each teacher will provide more specific outlines for laptop use in the classroom.


The end of trimester grade is calculated from three evenly weighted categories: Tests, Standards, and Labs.  Each is worth one third of the total grade.


Tests will be given at the end of each unit.  If information such as a periodic table is allowed for use, it will be provided by the teacher.  Students may not use any reference materials on assessments unless they were handed out by the teacher at the time of the assessment for that intended purpose.  Any reference sheets will be marked as such for assessments. 


Students will be given a composition notebook at the beginning of the year. Students will be required to keep detailed notes of all activities and labs in this notebook. Students will be required to write a lab report for at least one lab for each unit and will be assessed on their lab skills and answers to analysis questions. At the discretion of each teacher, students’ notebooks will be collected. These will be review for their organization, legibility, and completeness. If the data in the lab report differs from that recorded in the lab notebook, an academic integrity question may be raised.


Since Chemistry is by nature a cumulative subject, students must master the material in one unit before moving on to the next. Each week, students will be assessed on their understanding of the core content standards through quizzes. As opposed to receiving a percentage grade, a student will be earning a mastery score between one and four for each learning objective on the quiz.
The scores will be applied as follows:

4 – Mastery – Complete understanding of the objective. 
 (no errors)
3 – Proficient – Clear understanding of the objective. 
 (minor conceptual errors)
2 – Developing – Basic understanding of the objective. 
 (significant conceptual errors)
1 – Incomplete – Little understanding of the objective 
 (major conceptual errors)

To receive an A, a student must maintain a 3.5 quiz average, with nothing lower than a 3. For a B, a 3.0 average with nothing lower than a 2.5. A C, a 2.5 average with nothing lower than a 2.0. A D , 2.0 or higher average with no 1.0. An F will be earned if any objectives are at 1.0 score. Each standard will be assessed multiple times in class with only the most recent assessment counting.

The first time a standard is assessed it is not uncommon for a student to receive a developing score. This serves to provide early feedback to a student on how they are doing and what they need to do to improve. Since each standard is assessed multiple times, students can identify misconceptions and remedy them on the next in-class assessment. If a student wants to schedule an outside of class reassessment, they use their teachers designated method to sign up for one. Students can reassess one standard a week. Reassessment times are typically blue Monday at lunch and yellow Monday in the flex block.

Student Expectations

Be On Time

Students are expected to be punctual for class.  Arriving late to class more than 3 times a semester will result in a morning detention. Multiple unexcused latenesses means that a student is missing valuable experiences and impacting those of the other students present.  Student will also be expected to have completed all assignments before coming to class.  Most will be checked or collected as they walk in the door.  Labs and other larger assignments will be penalized a 10% penalty per day that they are late. Because of the hands-on nature of the class, some assignments cannot be accepted late.

Be Safe

Safety is our primary concern.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in many carefully designed labs and activities. Proper safety equipment and instruction will be provided for each.  If a student violates the teacher’s instructions or established safety rules, he or she may be placed on laboratory probation or have their lab participation temporarily or permanently rescinded.

Be Ready

Students are expected to be ready for class—both mentally and physically. Everyday a student should have pens or pencils, a scientific or graphing calculator, their chemistry notebook, and their binder or folder.  On lab days, student should have their carbon copy lab notebook as well.  If they do not have it, they will not be allowed to participate.  Part of readiness is stewardship. Students are expected to keep their desks, lab benches and the classroom neat and clean so that the room will be ready for the next class.

Be Focused

Students should make sure that any distracting items or materials are not brought to class. Due to safety requirements, food and drinks (including water) will only be allowed in the classroom at the teacher’s discretion. Students should make sure all electronic devices are turned off and safely put away during class.  Students may use their laptops or mobile devices for a specific education purposes when given explicit permission by the teacher.  Students must remember that use of devices in the chemistry lab may result in damage to the device.  A student is solely responsible for any damage to his or her device incurred in class.

Collaborate Responsibly

Collaboration is encouraged throughout all aspects of the course. Academic dishonesty is not.  All work is expected to represent the individual thought and effort of a student.  All outside resources, including individuals, must be referenced appropriately.  Please refer to the student handbook, pgs 42-45, for more information.

Self Advocate

If, at any point, you are experiencing some confusion, get help immediately.  Concepts cannot build upon each other if one is not understood.  Schedule an appointment with your teacher at a mutually convenient time and reassess any developing standards to make sure you understand the content.


For students with testing accommodations, you will be required to schedule time for your accommodations before the day of the test.  All students will be expected to complete extended time tests within a day of starting them.

Content Standards

Unit 1 – Matter and Change

1.1 I can represent substances and changes in substances at the particle level with the Law of Conservation of Mass

1.2 I can represent the mass, volume, and density of substances at the particle level

1.3 I can experimentally, graphically, and mathematically determine the mass, volume, and density of a substance

Unit 2 – Motion of Particles

2.1 I can explain behaviors of everyday substances (temperature, pressure, volume, and phase changes) at the particle level in terms of the Kinetic Molecular Theory

2.2 I can represent temperature, pressure, and volume of substances at the particle level in terms of the Kinetic Molecular Theory

2.3 I can predict how changes in the pressure, volume, temperature, or number of particles of a gas will affect the other variables

Unit 3 – Energy of Particles

3.1 I can explain the difference between heat and temperature.

3.2 I can explain the motion, arrangement, spacing and attractions of particles in different states of matter.
3.3 I can explain energy transfer during phase and temperature changes.

3.4 I can describe energy transfer during phase and temperature changes quantitatively.

Unit 4 – Describing Substances

4.1 I can distinguish between mixtures, pure substances, elements, and compounds based on Physical Properties.

4.2 I can distinguish between mixtures, pure substances, elements, and compounds with Particle Models.

4.3 I can use Avogadro’s Hypothesis along with combining volumes of gases to deduce the composition of some compounds.

4.4 I can interpret mass data through the Law of Definite Proportion and the Law of Multiple Proportions to determine properties of compounds.

Unit 5 – Counting Particles

5.1 I can convert between the number of particles and the moles of an element or compound.

5.2 I can determine molar mass and convert between mass and moles of an element or compound.

5.3 I can Determine the Empirical or Molecular Formulas of a compound using Percent Mass and Molar Mass.

Unit 6 – Particles with Internal Structure

6.1 I can apply Thomson’s model of the atom to explain and represent how ions are formed from atoms, and macroscopic behavior. 

6.2 I can distinguish between metals and non-metals, ionic and molecular substances.

6.3 I can describe the properties of atomic, ionic, and molecular substances.

6.4 I can name and write formulas for ionic and molecular compounds.

Unit 7 – Chemical Reactions

7.1 I can demonstrate conservation of mass and atoms through a balanced chemical equation.

7.2 I can recognize the five reaction types, and predict products.

7.3 I can represent the role of chemical energy and thermal energy transfer in a chemical reaction.

Unit 8 – Stoichiometry 1

8.1 I can calculate quantities of reactants and products based on moles and grams.

8.2 I can determine theoretical and percent yield of the products of a chemical reaction.

8.3 I can determine the limiting reactant of a chemical reaction.

Unit 9 – Stoichiometry 2

9.1 I can calculate the partial pressure of a gas in a mixture.

9.2 I can calculate quantities of reactants and products based on gas volumes.

9.3 I can use molarity as a conversion factor and can calculate quantities of reactants and products based on solution concentrations.

9.4 I can calculate quantities of reactants and products based on reaction enthalpies.

Common Laboratory Rubric

In addition to any analysis questions, lab reports will be assess upon the following rubric

L.1 I summarized the purpose of a lab concisely
L.2 I wrote a clear and direct procedure so that another student can reproduce my results.
L.3 I recorded my data in a clear and organized table.
L.4 I recorded data with the correct units and significant figures
L.5 I graphed data in a clear and meaningful way with an appropriate style of graph, correct units, and have everything properly labeled
L.6 I completed my calculations with the appropriate equations and significant figures
L.7 I wrote a clear and concise conclusion that uses data to support my findings
L.8 I maintained a clean and safe lab environment