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AP Chemistry Syllabus


Mr. Cummings


Course Description

The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course

usually taken during the first year of college. For most students, the course enables them to undertake, as a freshman, second year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or to register in courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. AP Chemistry should meet the objectives of a good general chemistry course. Students in such a course should attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course should contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas orally and in writing with clarity and logic.


Class Work
Assignments and homework provide students with the practice necessary to master chemistry concepts. Students are required to participate in lab investigations, including wet and dry labs. Non-participation or violation of any safety rules will result in a zero for a lab. Tests will be given at the end of each unit, approximately every 2-3 weeks; the format can be multiple choice, short answer, essay problems, and/or matching. Multiple review opportunities will be available to ensure all students can be successful on assessments. The material in this course must be studied and learned daily as it is presented because the units build upon one another. The AP course description booklet states that students should spend at least 5 hours a week studying outside of class. The actual amount of time spent will depend upon each student's background. If a student does not understand a concept, he or she should see me as soon as possible.



Warm-up problems in Mr. C’s class are called F-5s. This stands for “first five minutes of class.” F-5s are waiting for students as they enter the room on most days in class. The expectation is they will be completed in a composition book (not spiral-bound). Half the credit of a daily F-5 is writing the full question(s). The other half of the credit is writing the correct answer. If absent, you must make-up the F-5 you missed.

           Roadmap / Lesson Plans

There are six different types of days in chemistry class. Students can easily prepare for each day by using the Roadmap posted in the room, which shows an outline for the entire current unit. Here’s a glance at each type of day:

  • Lecture Day: New material is taught on a lecture day. The teacher incorporates demos and kinesthetic activities to help introduce new topics.
  • Laboratory Day: Hands-on activities that experiment on current topics are performed on a laboratory day. Students should always wear closed-toe shoes and have hair tied back when working in the lab.
  • Computer Day: Students have an opportunity to reflect and practice chemistry skills on a computer day. This is arguably the most important type of day because students can master content while the teacher is available to address any confusion.
  • Review Day: Test preparation is the focus on a review day. It occurs the day before any chemistry test. All topics from the unit are brought together for study (usually in the form of a game).
  • Test Day: Examinations are all paper/pencil (not on-line). Electronics and notes are forbidden. An entire class period is given for a student to complete their test.
  • Test Munch: The most recent test is dissected on a test munch day. Students receive their individual grades and the most missed questions are discussed whole-group. Test munches usually occur the day after a test.

*Units contain multiple lecture, laboratory and computer days.


If a student does poorly on a test (makes below a 70), a retest is available to give the student a chance to earn some points back. Retests cover the same material as the original test, however, the format is abbreviated and on-line. Retesting is a privilege and students must study and prepare before their one attempt. A retest can only be completed before school in Mr. C’s classroom. There are always four mornings to choose from for the retest (the available dates are stressed to students during a test munch). Students should arrive by 8:15am at the latest in order to do their attempt. The highest grade a student can make on a retest is a 70.


            Unit Partners

Science is a collaborative subject. As with most career paths, working with a partner or group of colleagues is a common expectation of life. In chemistry class, students are assigned a random unit partner each time a new unit begins. Most units last 2-3 weeks, so the partnership is brief and then new partners are assigned. Unit partners work together on labs, on-line assignments, and projects. Though they receive individual grades, their chances of success are increased by the merging of knowledge of current content. The only thing they won’t aid each other in are assessments. Participating in unit partners is not optional.