Friday, June 25, 2010

Chemistry Part I

Okay. So I have sat down and really looked at next fall's chemistry curriculum. Last summer, we spent an intense week and wrote out our district's science curriculum. At the time, it made sense and looked like a good document.

Then I took it back to my classroom and realized it was a terrible document. Basically, we just rewrote our state standards. I realized that we have WAY too much information in those pages.

So, in the interest of SBG and concise information everywhere, I have started looking long and hard at what I need to teach in my classes.

I spent the entire morning trying to decide WHAT IS CRITICAL. For my first semester, I ended up with 15 standards. Not bad. Completely doable in a semesters time. They also allow for a little bit of wiggle room if the class is struggling or if the class is really clicking.

First Trimester Chemistry
1. Identify the subatomic particles, their locations and properties (mass and charge).
2. Describe the distribution of mass and volume and charge within an atom.
3. Determine the number of protons, electrons and neutrons in a given atom.
4. Determine the mass number of an atom.
5. Write the electron configuration of an atom.
6. Draw the Lewis dot structure of an atom.
7. Predict the oxidation number of an ion based on its Lewis dot structure, electron configuration or position on the periodic table.
8. Use an atom's valence electrons to predict it's properties.
9. Relate an atom's position on the periodic table to its reactivity, ionization energy, electronegativity and relative size of ions and atoms.
10. Describe the changes that result when an atom's electrons change energy levels.
11. Predict whether a pair (group) of atoms will form a covalent, ionic or metallic bond.
12. Name and write formulas for ionic compounds.
13. Name and write formulas for covalent compounds.
14. Describe the polarity of simple molecules.
15. Write balance chemical equations.

Maybe in need of a bit of editing, but I like this much better. This is what MUST be learned in my chemistry class. My plan at this point is for each of these standards to be an SBG standard at the 3 level of my 4 point scale. I realize some of these are pretty advanced concepts on their own, but this is what is one the state assessment, so that is how it made it to the critical stage.

Now I need to do this for the second trimester concepts.

Then the really hard part. I struggle a lot with expanding into the upper levels of learning, mostly because I have rarely had kids who could handle that type of assignment. Next year will be different, I assume (!).

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