Please Keep This Syllabus in the Front of Your Chemistry Folder!

Please Keep This Syllabus in the Front of Your Chemistry Folder!

Chemistry I Honors

Mrs. Kuhn


Please keep this syllabus in the front of your Chemistry folder!


I believe that every student can succeed in Chemistry if he/she makes a consistent effort. I understand that some students will require some support to master the concepts this course and consequently I provide tutoring every morning from 8:00 to 8:30 except on my duty day.

My Mission:

My mission in life is to equip and inspire my students to be life-long learners and leaders.


The following supplies are required for this course and should be brought to class each day:

Loose leaf paper for homework and classwork

3-ring binder or dedicated chemistry folder

Composition book for lab exercises/bell work/writing assignments/notes

Scientific calculator (must have log key and exponent key)

Writing instrument

Class Fee:

Every student needs to pay a $10.00 lab fee. This fee is used to buy the chemical and materials that we use in lab. Students with financial difficulty in paying this fee may pay it in smaller increments over time. If enough students do not pay fees, we may not be able to perform laboratory activities. I truly believe that Chemistry learning is greatly enhanced by lab experimentation and hands-on activities. BONUS: students who pay the fee get to make a t-shirt in May!


This is an honors course. As a result, every test, lab, and activity in this class will be more challenging and making an A will be a true achievement. This additional layer of challenge represents about 10% of your Chemistry grade. So, even if you are not successful on this component of the grade, you can still earn a 90% in this class. Remember that honors classes have 3% added at the end of the year on your final report card. So, the maximum grade that can be earned in this class is 103%. Your quarter grade will be determined in the following way:

10% Homework

40% Class work, Projects, Essays

50% Tests and Lab exercises

The grading scale in Tennessee is now uniform across the state. This grading scale breaks down this way:

A: 93-100B: 85-92C: 75-85D: 70-74F: 69 or below

The yearlong grade will be averaged in this way, per state of Tennessee requirements:

1st quarter: 25%2nd quarter: 25%3rd quarter: 18.75%4th quarter: 18.75%State EOC: 12.5%

I do not give extra credit. If you want to know why, I can explain this to you.


Late work will not be accepted. Homework in Chemistry is assigned almost every night. Practice is essential for success in this class and you really need to practice the new concepts as soon as they are taught. This policy is based on my belief that it prepares you not only for college but for the next day’s learning. If you are absent, the homework due that day is expected at the beginning of the next class period. I will check homework at the beginning of each class and will contact parents at the second missed assignment.


Please see your handbook for the school-wide absence/make-up work policy. If you are out for several days, please get your work before you leave or call the office to have parent pick up missed work. Please avoid being absent during Chemistry! Being absent from Chemistry will usually have a negative effect on your grade and you will need to plan to attend tutoring to make up for lost class time. If you have regularly scheduled medical appointments, do not schedule them during this class if at all possible. I want you to pass and excel in this class; excess absences are the greatest predictor of failure in Chemistry.

Daily Work:

Chemistry is a subject with many math applications. As a result, some time in each class is dedicated to practice. Use this efficiently; many class assignments will be due that same block. Class time is the best time to ask for my help. Daily work includes bell work, journaling, and in-class assignments as well as occasional quizzes.

Tests and Experiments:

Your test grade in this class is based on a combination of tests and lab experiments. Lab experiments cannot usually be made up although you will still need to complete the write-up using a classmates’ data. In addition, you will need to complete a 1-page article summary (find an article on a science, medical or health topic and write a three paragraph summary) or suffer a 20% decrease in your lab grade. Missed tests will be taken at the beginning of the period you return unless I decide to reschedule.


I am basically a trusting person. I do occasionally discover that students have been cheating on either homework or tests. I define cheating as either copying someone else’s work or allowing someone to copy yours. If you are caught cheating, you will receive a zero on that work.


You will be provided with a copy of classroom procedures. I expect my students to follow these procedures, all rules in the student handbook (in your agenda), and any other posted or spoken rules in my classroom.

Because much of your learning experience in this classroom will be in cooperative learning groups, I have high expectations for your behavior and your attitude. Please remember that effective groups require acceptance of all group members and an equal sharing of work and responsibility. I am an advocate for every student; ridicule, mocking, and exclusion of other students are absolutely forbidden. You may have had teachers that you felt did not “like” you. I like all of my students and want every one to succeed. I value hard work and determination over natural intellect.

Infractions will be dealt with in the following manner:

1st offense: student/teacher conference

2nd offense: students/teacher conference with contract

3rd offense: parent conference or office referral or both


My contact information:


I also have a page on the school's website. Hopefull, this page will have copies of all notes, most handouts, and most labs.

Last Note:

I am excited about this new year! Chemistry is hard work, but it can also be very fun and rewarding. I am looking forward to having you in class and here to help you. Good luck!

Rules of the Jungle 2016-2017

Although the following are not actually "rules", they are the procedures that I expect you to learn and follow in my classroom. Why do I spell these out? If we are all operating under common procedures, the classroom runs smoothly and efficiently and I don't get grumpy.

1. CLASS BEGINS AT THE BELL. This means that you are in your seat and have your book, notebook, writing instrument, and homework on your desk. Walking in at the bell...well, this is going to be ruled a tardy.

2. SIGN IN ON THE CLIPBOARD IF YOU ARE TARDY. If you arrive tardy, silently sign in on the tardy roster and leave any pass on the clipboard. Quietly take your seat and join the class.

3. I DISMISS THE CLASS, NOT THE BELL. Please remain in your seats and continue working until I tell you to put away your materials.

4. TREAT EMERGENCY DRILLS SERIOUSLY. When any type of emergency alarm sounds, quickly line up at the door. I will do a headcount, appoint a leader, and then follow the last person out of the room. Walk quietly into the room, turn left, and proceed to walk out of the front door to the 2nd parking level. Please stay in line as I must recheck attendance when we reach our destination.

5. PENCILS SHOULD ONLY BE SHARPENED BEFORE CLASS OR DURING INDEPENDENT WORK TIME. It is actually pretty rude to sharpen your pencil when I am presenting information.

6. BATHROOM PASSES WILL NOT BE ISSUED THE FIRST 45 MINUTES OF CLASS. Use passing period wisely. I won't sign passes while I am presenting information. Kuhn hint: it is one of my two top pet peeves to be asked to sign a bathroom pass near the end of passing period or at the beginning of class.

7. CHECK FOR YOUR MAKEUP WORK ON POWERSCHOOL. ASSIGNMENTS ARE LISTED BY DATE. Handouts can be picked up from the folder designated for your class. Please check this folder before asking me for the handouts. By the way, I expect you to come by my class informed about what you have missed. I will not spend class time on this.

8. LATE HOMEWORK IS NOT ACCEPTED. If you have not done the homework, you are not prepared for class. You cannot make up being prepared. Homework is only 10% of the grade. My policy is that I call your parents when you miss your second assignment.

9. I WILL RESPECT YOU AND YOU WILL RESPECT ME. I love teaching at CCA and I truly have no preconceptions about any student, even those I have taught before. I want you to succeed in this class. If you feel that I have in some way treated you with disrespect, please talk to me after class so that we can straighten things out. Likewise, if I have an issue with you, I will talk to you about it. I really believe that teaching is based on a strong relationship. Help me understand you better and I can teach you better.

10. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. If I need your attention during class, I will stand at the front of the class, raise my hand, and say "May I have your attention, please?" When you see/hear this, stop talking/writing/reading etcetera and look directly at me.

11. ASK AND ANSWER QUESTIONS. So you don't like answering questions in front of the class. Sadly, I failed ESP in my education classes so I cannot read your mind and know if you are "getting it". So, I need to ask you questions and you need to ask me questions. I will call on specific people usually, so please do not call out answers. Hand-raising is an entirely appropriate way to get my attention while calling "Mrs. Kuhn" is infinitely less preferable and to be avoided.

12. USE YOUR AGENDA MATE. You may not leave my room without your agenda mate, so please, bring it every day. I also expect you to record your homework in this tool. By the way, I do not care if other teachers do not follow this rule. I do. I will ask to see your agenda mate in the hall if I am on planning. YOU SHOULD NEVER BE IN THE HALL WITHOUT A SIGNED AGENDA MATE.

13. ALL COLLECTED WORK SHOULD BE PLACED IN THE SACRED WIRE BASKET. Although I will often check your work at your desk, if I ask you to turn it in, you need to place any papers in the sacred wire basket on the counter by the door. This includes makeup work, extra assignments, and lab write-ups. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER place work on my desk or in my hand; use the basket if you don't want your work lost.

14. KEEP A NOTEBOOK. All papers should be kept in a 3-ring binder or 3-prong folder including notes, homework, handouts, and syllabus. Please keep all work and tests; the tests are valuable study guides for semester tests. If you keep all of your work, it is easier for you and me to reconcile any difference between my records and yours should a question arise about your grade.


16. BE CAREFUL TO STAY ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE "CHEATING" LINE. There is one of me and many, many of you. If you are helping a classmate in or out of class, I appreciate it. But do not let your help turn into cheating. No copying, no "do it like this." Explain and help them do the work themselves. This includes the work on calculators.

17. BE A TEAM PLAYER. In this class, you will frequently be placed in teacher-assigned groups. Since you are all young adults now, I expect you to understand the value that every individual can bring to your group. Complaints about who is in your group whether they are directed at me or a classmate will be dealt with quite severely. Even one comment can hurt someone's feelings and is completely uncalled for in my estimation. Treat your group members with respect.

18. GET THE HELP YOU NEED. I offer homework help every morning before school and can schedule an after-school tutoring session if needed. Come in as soon as possible if you are having a problem.

19. BE POSITIVE. So you are known for your sardonic, cutting humor. Please keep it out of my classroom. I don't find these jokes about your classmates funny or conducive to a safe learning environment. Even among friends, denigrating comments can be hurtful.

20. TREAT SUBSTITUTES AS HONORED GUESTS IN OUR BUILDING. If I am sick, I need to be confident that you are working for my sub and treating him/her with respect. Remember that we are a magnet school and our best advocates or worst critics can be our subs who truly get to know our wonderful students.

21. NO GUESTS! Guests are only welcome in this class if 1. you have asked in advance, 2. they come prepared to work, and 3. you introduce them to me the moment you walk in the room.

22. LEAVE BACKPACKS IN LOCKERS. Teachers are not allowed to have student backpacks in their rooms so please don't ask. This is a fire marshal issue, so unless you can pay our school's fine...

23. STAYING LATE WITH ANOTHER TEACHER DURING MY CLASS MUST BE PRE-APPROVED OR I MAY NOT HONOR THE PASS. Mrs. Smith has a school policy that a teacher may not keep a student out of another teacher's class without prior permission. This is an issue of professional respect among teachers; all content is important and what occurs in the first five or ten minutes of my class is valuable.

24. CELL PHONES, CELL PHONES, CELL PHONES… ringers and alerts must be off. Do not text during class. Seriously. This gets me in trouble. Please keep your phone put away; you know how tempted you are to check your text messages or social media during class. This is absolutely forbidden by school rules. If you want to use the calculator on your phone, please ask before taking it out. YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO USE YOUR PHONE CALCULATOR ON A TEST.

24. BEHAVE IN CLASS IN SUCH A WAY THAT I CAN RECOMMEND YOU TO OTHERS. Many students end up needing a recommendation from a science teacher. Regardless of your grade in my class, I cannot recommend you if you talk too much, do not focus, do not work well with others, or disrupt my class. If I am saying your name in class other than to call on you to answer a question, you should not ask me for a letter of recommendation.

Thanks for working with me to make this a great year!

Mrs. Kuhn (pronounced kyoon)

Lab Skill Assessment Final / #1: / #2:
Handling reagents:
-placed graduated cylinder on counter to pour
-did not obtain excessive reagent
-did not return extra reagent to container / _____
_____ / _____
Measuring volumes:
-recorded at eye level with cylinder on flat surface
-correct significant figures and measurement using buret
-correct significant figures and measurement using graduated cylinder / _____
_____ / _____
Working with a partner:
-used apparatus
-obtained reagents
-maintained appropriate lab conversation
-occasionally took the lead/shared work load / _____
_____ / _____
Collecting Data:
-recorded volumes as soon as measured in own lab book
-recorded the data to the correct # of sigfigs
-data is legible and neat / _____
_____ / _____
Writing up Lab:
-title, purpose, procedure, data table are written in lab book prior to lab
-examples of all problem-solving are included in the problem-solving section of the write-up
-data table is completely filled out
-all problem solving is completed and includes units
-calculated lab results are very accurate (up to 5 point bonus) / _____
_____ / _____
Cleaning Up:
-lab area is left clean and is wiped up
-all glassware is clean and left in correct place per teacher's instructions.
-no materials or papers are left behind / _____
_____ / _____
Maintaining General Comportment
-little or no side conversations with other lab groups
-lab procedures are closely and carefully followed
-appropriate voice volumes followed
-teacher instructions are listened to quietly and with focus
-immediate attention is given if teacher speaks / _____
_____ / _____
Adhering to Safety Guidelines:
-all safety procedures are followed
-additional safety considerations mentioned by teacher are noted in lab book / _____
_____ / _____

Scientifically Accountable Talk

Believe it or not, thinking scientifically does not come naturally to many people. These individuals tend to rely heavily on intuition or gut feelings. This is not necessarily a bad thing; some of our greatest discoveries start out as an intuitive guess and then are confirmed through research and analysis. That said, one of our goals at CCA is to develop your scientific thinking skills. One way to do this is through scientifically accountable talk. When you talk in class or ask questions, remember these three ideas.

1. You are accountable to the learning community.

You should build on the comments of your peers in a respectful and inclusive manner. You should cite the ideas of others and explain how their ideas relate to what has previously been said or to your new idea In other words, this habit of talk teaches me how to link my own ideas into longer chains linked by logic and analogy. What will this sound like?

  • I agree with (my classmate) because...
  • What did she just say?
  • Was this what you were trying to say?
  • So, are you saying that...?
  • I agree with (classmate) and would like to add...

2. You are accountable to present accurate knowledge.

In science courses, you must understand the importance of making sure the facts you use to support an argument are accurate. Refer to observation notes, reference materials, and other resources to provide evidence when you propose explanations, ideas, hypotheses, and theories. Ask each other questions that clarify each other's ideas.

  • What is your evidence?
  • Why do you think that?
  • Is this always true? Or, under what circumstance is this true/not true? How do you know?
  • What sources have you used? What do they say? Do the sources agree?
  • What is your evidence for saying that?

3. You are accountable for thinking deeply and rigorously.