We teachers are well into the new AP chem sequence and testing. We have now plenty of experience with the curriculum and methods and feel very confident in our ability to lead engaged students toward a 3, 4 or 5 on the May AP chem test.

    AP chemistry is organized around six "big ideas." You already have a beginning understanding of most of them. They are as follows:

    • Atoms and elements, including atomic models, atomic structure, Coulomb’s Law, periodicity and spectrometry.
    • Structures and Properties of matter, including the three phases of matter, solutions, bonding between atoms and ions and molecules, and Lewis diagrams.
    • Chemical reactions, including equations, net ionic equations, and stoichiometry, types of reactions and whether they are endothermic or exothermic.
    • Reaction kinetics, including what influences the rates of reaction, reaction mechanisms, catalysis and reaction paths.
    • Thermodynamics, leading up to an understanding of why certain reactions happen, why others reach equilibrium, and why still others must be forced to happen.
    • Chemical equilibrium, including solubility equations and products, LeChatelier’s principle, and principles of acid-base reactions.

    Our work is divided into nine units, beginning with reactions, kinetics, thermochemistry and equilibrium in semester 1.

    You will in the course of the year be introduced to or increase your ability to engage in seven science practices:

    • Drawing, interpreting and explaining representations, including drawings
    • Appropriate use of math and logic
    • Asking and refining scientific questions
    • Designing and implementing data collection strategies
    • Analyzing and evaluating data
    • Making predictions and justifying claims with empirical evidence
    • Connecting chemistry concepts across the six big ideas

    And this last skill will be tested all throughout the free-response questions of your AP test.

    You should also know that each of the big ideas and science practices has some learning objectives tied to them. There are many of these. Fortunately, you are already pretty familiar with fourteen of them, and I’ll give you that list so you can be ready for your first test.

    We will be in the lab almost every week. Some of the labs will be guided inquiry in style, so you’ll often have to work as a lab team to research and design the protocol, with my help. All the labs are interesting, and often even fun. They will all help you understand the material we are studying.

    Come to class prepared. That means reading your on-line textbook, previewing the labs, working the Cengage assignments and small number of worksheets on time, and doing a weekly comprehensive review.

    All of our lectures, labs, and worksheets are available through the Edmodo application. Immediately, you must join the AP chemistry Edmodo group. I will give you the Edmodo code to join. You will also access the Remind app and should register yourself using your personal (not school) e-mail.

    When I tell you to budget an hour a day or so for chemistry, I’m serious. If you want a 3, 4 or 5, you’ll need it.

    No AP science course gives you more satisfaction when you pass the course and the exam. You have given yourself a big challenge; let me help you fulfill your goals.