General Chemistry

Red Mountain High School


Ms. Chelsea Lane


Office hours: Tuesday 3:00-4:00pm

Room 414




Course Description

Chemistry is the study of matter at or near the atomic scale. Students will learn about the properties of matter and the transformations and interactions of matter and energy. Central to chemistry is the interaction of one substance with another, such as in a chemical reaction, where a substance or substances are transformed into another. Chemistry primarily studies atoms and collections of atoms such as molecules, crystals or metals that make up ordinary matter. Students will be able to see how the concepts we learn at the atomic and subatomic level predict the macroscopic properties they see. As we go through the semester we will continue to come back to the following big ideas of chemistry.

The Big Ideas of Chemistry

The Big Ideas in Chemistry

Important Topics

Conservation of Matter and Energy

Atoms are not destroyed in chemical reactions; they are rearranged

Forms of energy; energy changes in chemical reactions

Stoichiometry and balancing chemical reactions

Behavior and Properties of Matter

The periodic table of elements as the master organizer of chemistry

Gas Laws

Distinguishing among elements, compounds, and mixtures

Chemical bonding

Intermolecular forces

Particulate Nature of Matter

Kinetic Molecular Theory

Structure of atoms, ions, and molecules


Equilibrium and Driving Forces

Le Chatelier’s Principle

Reaction rates

Thermodynamics (entropy and enthalpy)

Acid-Base reaction

Redox reactions




Students will also develop their understanding of science by doing labs and reading scientific articles that show real world application of chemistry in fields like medicine, mineralogy, metallurgy, chemistry and computer technology, chemical engineering and more. Below are the essential skills students will be using to be considered literate in science. They were developed by the National Science Education Standards (NSES).

The NSES defines scientific literacy as the ability to:

  1. Ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences;

  2. Describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena;

  3. Read and understand articles in the popular press and engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions;

  4. Identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express ideas that are scientifically and technically informed;

  5. Evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its sources and methods; and

  6. Pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and apply conclusions appropriately (NRC, 1996).





Addison-Wesley Chemistry 5th edition.


Materials List

*Students are required to bring their student computer, charger and stylus to class everyday.

Composition Notebook or spiral notebook (Just for Chemistry)

Folder with pockets or three ring binder

Colored pencils

Scientific Calculator (Graphing Calculator not required)

Graphing Paper

Grading pen



One Note

Students will be using their computers to create an online notebook. This notebook will contain notes along with colored graphs, diagrams, worksheets and lab write ups. This online notebook will be used to complete daily work as well as a source for regular study and material that will appear on tests and quizzes.



This is a list and description of some of the assignments students will receive. It is not a complete list and there will be other work that may or may not be graded.



Chemistry is a difficult subject and takes practice to understand. Students should expect to have a minimum of three homework assignments a week. Homework is to be completed the night it is assigned so we can go over it the next day. On the day it is due I will check the homework for completion. It is the student’s responsibility to correct it. Students will be given the opportunity to turn in their homework until 3:00pm on the day of the unit test.



Students will have a quiz every week. Material on the quiz can be from any of the material we have covered so far and labs. To be successful on quizzes students should do their homework and correct their homework. They should also participate in class by taking complete notes and preparing well for lab work. Quizzes can occur on any day of the week with or without notice.



Tests will be given at the end of a unit. It is important for students to retain the understanding they gain through each unit as tests are cumulative.



Students will generally have a lab every week. Students should remember to dress appropriately for lab and will have advanced warning to wear the proper attire. This means closed toed shoes, pants, long hair tied back, and shirts that follow school dress code. During labs students are required to keep their goggles and other necessary safety equipment on until the completion and clean-up of the lab. Leggings and ballet slippers are not considered appropriate clothes for the lab. Students will use the scientific method to come to a conclusion and learn chemistry concepts. Lab work will be assessed through quizzes and students should do their best to complete their lab in One Note.


Missed Labs

It is not required for students to make up a lab. Students will have the opportunity to make up labs after school during office hours. Labs must be made up within a week and a half. Students who miss a lab will also be able to obtain the necessary data from their lab partners. If not dressed for lab students will be able to watch the lab from their desk or may be given an alternative assignment.



Course Policies


See school handbook.

If a student misses a day of class they should plan on coming into Lion Time or after school to get caught up.


Students will be required to participate in class by taking notes, answering questions when called on, completing labs and adding to group discussion.


90% - 100% = A

80% - 89.9% = B

70% - 79.9% = C

60% - 69.9% = D

59.9% or less = F


Students within 0.5% of a higher letter grade can petition for the higher letter grade. I will take into consideration their work ethic and completion of assignments. If the student has turned in ALL assignments I will bump their grade up to the higher letter grade.


Grade Categories and Percentages: Grades will be calculated based upon a weighted system.

10%- Homework

90%- Assessment (Tests, Quizzes, Labs, Projects)


Make up work

Quizzes and tests should be made up during office hours as soon as possible. Students need to make up quizzes and tests within the nine week grading period in which they occur. There is no make up for homework. All homework must be turned in by the day of the unit test.


Note: I will not administer tests or quizzes early. Students who are absent for an extended period of time will need to talk to me and schedule due dates for their missing assignments.


Late Work

All homework is due on the day of the unit test and will not be accepted after that date. If students are absent they will have access to notes and worksheets through One Note on their student devices.



Students are expected to come to class with their student computer, charger and stylus everyday. They should also bring the materials listed in the syllabus. Students are expected to complete the class work and homework and make an honest effort to do well in the class. I also expect mature behavior during labs Safety is important and it is not fair for students to put others at risk. Students who misbehave in the lab may be removed from class or the will receive alternative assignments instead of taking part in the labs.


Electronic Devices

Students should only use cell phones, computers or other electronic devices when told to do so. Phones should be kept in backpacks during instruction and labs. Students should also refrain from playing games or going on social media during class. I also expect students to ask permission before taking pictures or video during class. I also do not allow students to listen to music during instruction.



Students are expected to complete their own work. Even when working in a group students should use their own words. I consider copying cheating and will give students a zero if I see copying. Students who have written their answer in the same words will get a zero on the assignment. Students who write answers on another students paper to “help” them are considered to be cheating and both students will get a zero on the assignment.


Safety Contract


To participate in the labs students and parents will need to sign a safety contract. This contract explains the proper behaviors that students should follow when in the laboratory. It is important to follow safety procedures and maintain a safe environment for all students. Students who do not follow the laboratory rules will be asked to leave the lab and will be given a alternative assignment or possible disciplinary consequences including dismissal from the class.