Friday, October 30, 2009

Element for President

Student projects for Element for President were due today (with no penalty). The election includes members from my chemistry class as well as three of Mrs. Wooodward's chemistry classes. There are not many elements that are not participating.

After school, we started hanging the posters, buttons, and bumper stickers for the candidates. This bulletin board has many of the buttons and bumper stickers. Many of them are very creative and artistically well done.

We arrange the posters on the wall the same way a periodic table is set up. You can see we are missing a few candidates, but more will be hung up on Monday. This part of the periodic table is well represented by my class.

Elections will be held on November 3rd and many of the science classes will be voting for the element that has the best campaign.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Element for President - Day 1

Today you will be working on the Element for President project.

On the right hand side of the page you will find excellent links to online periodic tables that are full of information. This is the best way to start. Please do not 'google' your element unless you have tried all the links and books that are provided.

Your primary focus should be getting the information for the fact sheet first. When you are ready to submit all of that information -
click here and type in your info. Then you want to work on your campaign poster, button and/or bumper sticker. The requirements are outlined below.


Campaign Posters should be neatly done and include the symbol, name, atomic number, and the mass number for your element. They should be in color because color is more eye-catching. They may either be hand-drawn or done on a computer, but the work needs to be done by only you. Campaign posters should be the same size as a regular sheet of paper (8½” x 11”).


Campaign buttons and/or stickers must include the name or symbol of your element and a campaign slogan. Your slogan should be more creative than “Gold for President!” The cheesier the better. Again, color is more eye-catching. They may either be hand-drawn or done on a computer, but the work needs to be done by only you.

This project is due on October 30, 2009
Campaigns will be held on Election Day, November 3, 2009

5 points will be deducted every day that your project is late and you may be disqualified from the campaign. You will be given some time in the computer lab to do research, and some time in the classroom. Additional work will need to be completed outside of class.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mole Day continued

Mole Day festivities continued today after students completed a review sheet and asked questions.

Ryan scored the highest in the Avogadro Cup competition for Mole Day. He one of the smallest averages for Pin the Nose on the Mole, scored a lot of Mole in Ones, and did an awesome pers-mole-ality of Elijah entitled "Molelijah."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Mole Day!

Today is Mole Day! Mole day celebrates Avogadro's number of 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power a ginormous number that helps us keep track of itty bitty atoms.

Students started mole day with a reading to get them familiar with moles, why they are important, and what that big number is really all about.

Students came up with team names related to moles and designed team flags. Then teams started in on the Avogadro Cup with silly activities related to moles (both animal moles and scientific moles. Here Chris participates in Pin theNose on the Mole after he has been turned around 6.02 times. Here students are particpating in the Mole Hunt and trying to find all the moles I have hidden in the classroom. They kept trying to get me to give them the answer because they were getting frustrated. Here Kaitlin tried to get a Mole-in-One from the distances of 6.02, 10, 22.4, 23, and 32.
Other activities included making mole-personalities and actually trying to figure out some chemistry-related moles stuff. This is new to the students and we will be going into that in more depth in out next unit which is all about moles and stoichiometry. More information about moles and mole day can be found here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Le Chatlier

Today students learned about reaction rates and how to increase them. They also learned about reversible reactions and how le Chatlier's principle influences shifts of equilibrium in reversible reactions.

Basically as you apply a stress to a system, the system will shift in response to the stress. If you add one of the molecules it will shift away from that molecule. If you take away a molecule, it will shift towards it to make more. Heat works the same way.

Pressure is the tricky one. If pressure is applied to an equilibrium, then the reaction will shift to the side that has the least amount of molecules (count the coefficients).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Benchmark 2

Today students completed Benchmark 2. Huddled in sweatshirts and borrowing extras, students were hard at work underlining and crossing out bad choices so some of those test taking skills have sunk in. Grades will be given tomorrow and we will go over the material on the test when students who were absent have taken the test.

Any student bringing in a signed grade sheet will receive extra credit points. Any questions about grades should be directed to my email -

Friday, October 16, 2009

Review Games

For today's jump in, students had to try to remember everything they could about a reaction graphs. Surprising to them they did pretty good.

For the rest of the class, the students answered review questions and practiced SOL questions in rounds. By competing in rounds, more people can win and a different group one each round. Students asked questions when they had them and overall everyone got some good review.

The next Benchmark is on Monday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Endothermic / Exothermic

Today we practiced naming compound and reviewed types of chemical reactions. We took a smidgen of notes and started a lab. It is important not to have your hair in your eyes or in front of your goggles... and some people with need reminding... not me... I just let it stick straight up.

Today's lab was simply mixing a chemical with water and measuring the temperature change. One reaction was endothermic and the temperature dropped to 9*C. The other reaction was exothermic and released heat reaching above 30*C.

Students were able to measure the temperature change with the thermometers and also feel the temperature change by holding the beakers. Kyle thought it was pretty neat to feel the temperature change, but admitted that we don't need any endothermic reactions in this classroom - it's cold enough already!

The lab write-up includes graphing and answering some questions. Labs are due Monday. Students will also be taking a benchmark on Monday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Identifying Reaction Types

We started by talking about the simple definition of the terms, what the probably products and reactants are and went over a basic formula for the reaction types the students need to be familiar with.

Reaction Types include:
  • synthesis
  • decomposition
  • singe replacement
  • double replacement
  • combustion
  • endothermic
  • exothermic
  • oxidation-reduction
  • neutralization
After discussing the basics, we drew cartoons of stick men and women going on dates to show how atoms move around in the simpler reactions. The picture posted is someone else's version of single replacement (see the one guy switches with the other) (I would take a photo, but my camera is out of commission at the moment). For more help with this, check here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


While we are practicing bonding and naming, things are more exciting if they are worth points and points are worth prizes.

Yesterday Katelyn and Kristina tied with Elijah and Chris for the most points bonding and naming and were awarded glow in the dark vampire teeth. This of course spiked a discussion about Twilight and Halloween. Chris was excited for his very first win, but what he didn't see that I did was all the great discussion and explaining that went on between partners as they all tried to earn the maximum number of points per question. There was learning happening.

Today we went over SOL questions that relate to this unit's material. Some of these were fairly straightforward, but SOL questions sometimes are tricky too. Points were awarded for good underlining, good crossing out, and answering questions correctly. So points for being right and points for good test taking skills. I think that most students know how to these, but don't actually do it most of the time when they should. Brittany and Ashleigh beat out the competitors by more than four points for their own vampire teeth.

Students completed the first portion of their test and will take the rest tomorrow to finish up this unit on bonding and naming. The good thing (or bad thing) about bonding and naming is that it doesn't go away... we will be using this information in the next unit also.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Today students realized that they knew how to bond and name the compounds, but not when to do which kind. We went over ionic and covalent bonding and when to do it and then had a quick challenge. Katelyn and Kelsea both got a perfect score.

Then we practiced. Students worked through some practice problems on their own recieving help when they needed it and then practiced some of the vocabulary terms in a crossword puzzle. Yesterday we practiced vocabulary terms by playing Bingo for Halloween pencils so students had already practiced the terms. Yesterday Katelyn also dominated on the counting atoms challenge.

Students finished with around the room bonding where they took on the properties of a certain type of atom and had to find people to bond with. When you are an anion, this is easy because you can bond with everyone. It is a little more difficult to be a cation because you can only bond with anions.

Students have a test on bonding and Unit 3 on Tuesday.