Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Holidays

We've been finishing the year with chemistry and holiday related materials. Third period opted for Rudolph and the Challenge questions - won by Josh C, Marion, and Kaleb, but Brande and Karen were close behind. Fourth opted for Xmen and have seriously been thinking of asking Santa for mutant powers like Mystique.

The Shrek the Halls Challenge was a success as was making Flubber - a solution of PVA and borax. There are a few more labs and activities in the works... after today's snow day!

Exemptions will be given out tomorrow. Students are not exempt if they have missed more than four days of class or are on the discipline list sent out by administration.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Congratulations to all LCHS Fall 2010 Chemistry students for passing their EOC final.

Congrats to Shaun W for passing advanced.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Friday Lap Tops

I hope that you feel prepared for your SOL on Tuesday. Remember, you know the information, but the SOL asks the questions sometimes in confusing and tricky ways. Please think about what you would like for me to go over on Wednesday. Please make sure you get your review done and have a good weekend.

Today you are going to start with some bonding and naming practice using Quizlet.

Open a link in a new tab. In the blue box, look for "Play Games" and "Scatter." You will then need to drag the names to the correct formula. If it disappears, you matched it correctly. Play three times and record your time each turn. Go slow the first time till you get the hang of it, and then play again.

Bonds and Compounds - Vocabulary (for this one, you may want to try Space Race)

Mean Metal Scatter - Try your hand with these metals and their roman numerals. Remember the metal's cahrge ends up on the anion when it gets crossed down.

  1. Go to Jefferson Lab Practice test
  2. Check 10 questions and Chemistry
  3. Click “More Options Please
  4. Keep All Years checked and click “Next options page, please!”
  5. Pick the appropriate strand Ms.J specified for today and click “Next options page, please!”
  6. Keep Random Order checked and click “I’m ready! Let’s start!”
Answer the questions.  Do NOT start over.  Read explanations for those you missed on the “How am I doing page”.  Write score in appropriate space.

Balancing Battleship. Play the game and record how many boats you sink.

Balancing Equations - change it to easy and do five.

Once you are all done, scroll all the way down to the bottom to the purple box and play any games you want. Keep track of which games you are playing and record your final score.

Riding a Stego in South Dakota
Remember this stuff if ONLINE. If you have access to a computer, you can do these practice excercises on your own as well. Also, MsJ will be staying after school on Monday if you feel like you want to. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thursday LapTops

Today you are going to start with idenitfying ions. Make sure you have a periodic table and some paper ready. 
Common Ions - Do the first twenty and record your score and percent.

Next, try some bonding and naming practice using Quizlet. Open a link in a new tab. In the blue box, look for "Play Games" and "Scatter." You will then need to drag the names to the correct formula. If it disappears, you matched it correctly. Play three times and record your time each turn. Go slow the first time till you get the hang of it, and then play again.

Bonding and Naming - Covalent - covalent means it is two negatives... so use what?

Bonding and Naming - Ionic - including metals in the middle with Roman Numerals

Formulas and Variables - Use this to review some important formulas and variables and when to use them.

  1. Go to Jefferson Lab Practice test
  2. Check 10 questions and Chemistry
  3. Click “More Options Please
  4. Keep All Years checked and click “Next options page, please!”
  5. Pick the appropriate strand Ms.J specified for today and click “Next options page, please!”
  6. Keep Random Order checked and click “I’m ready! Let’s start!”
Answer the questions.  Do NOT start over.  Read explanations for those you missed on the “How am I doing page”.  Write score in appropriate space.

Electronic Configuration Matching - do it and check it off

Once you are all done, scroll all the way down to the bottom to the purple box and play any games you want. Keep track of which games you are playing and record your final score.

MsJ in a lava hole/cave in Oregon
Remember this stuff if ONLINE. If you have access to a computer, you can do these practice excercises on your own as well. Also, MsJ will be staying after school on Monday if you feel like you want to.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

LapTop Computers Wednesday

Today you will be completing a practice SOL test. You will do this on this computer. You will need a PT, a calculator, and scrap paper. Answer the questions as best you can and use good test taking skills.

DO NOT go back and DO NOT start over. Instead read the questions carefully and make good choices. If you get a question incorrect I will explain it to you, but you need to try the question on your own. Be patient.

Take your time. At the end of the test you will SHOW me your score. If you do not finish, you will show me how many questions you answered and your score. I will record this as a grade.

Tomorrow and Friday you will have other assignments on the computer. You will need to come to to this website, read the post, and follow the directions. You will have directions and various scores to report and turn in. Anyone using a computer inappropriately will be reported and computer privileges will be removed.

Ready for you test. Use this link and get started.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Computer Lab Day November 24

If you were absent for acids and bases, these are the links you need. Please do this by Friday.

Today you are going to be testing acids and bases. Please do not waste time and ask questions when you have them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Acids and Bases

Today we started discussing acids and bases.

Acids have H+ and donate them, they have the smaller numbers 0-6.9, they turn litmus red, and have sour tastes. 

Bases have OH- and want H+ to make water, they have Bigger numbers, they have a pH between 7.1 and 14, they turn litmus Blue, and they taste Bitter. 

If you mix an acid and a base together, then there is a neutralization reaction. A neutralization reaction is also a double replacement reaction. In neutralization, the acid and base combine to form a water and a salt. The water and the salt are neutral (hence the name).

pH measures the concentration or molarity of H (Hydrogen ions) in a solution. That's why the H is capitalized.

pH + pOH = 14. So if you have the pH, it is easy to get the pOH... just subtract from 14. There are some fun interactives for acids and bases linked at the bottom of this webpage. Check out the Alien Juice Bar.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Benchmark III

Today students took Benchmark III, a cumulative benchmark. It was a tough one and there was a little frustration and tension in the room despite the soothing sounds of Bob Marley. However this frustration is justified because the Chemistry SOL is a tough one. Maybe now they will believe it.

Despite frustrations, scores were within the passing range. Congratulation to Sam G for scoring a "Passed Advanced."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Combined Gas Law

The combined gas law combines the work of Charles, Boyle, and Gay-Lussac.

nT nT

Basically, memorize one formula and then use only the variables you need, so sometimes you need PV = PV, and sometimes V/T = V/T.

This will help you with placement and deciding whether you should multiply or divide.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ideal Gas Law

Ideal gases do not actually exist, but we pretend they do and use the Ideal Gas Formula of PV=nRT.

One of these variables will not be given to you and you have to solve for it. This does not seem difficult after stoich, so students dove in, did well, and finished early.

Benchmark III (cumulative) is Friday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beginning Gases

Today we started learning about the behavior of gases and the factors that affect them. Gases are lightweight fast moving particles that generally have a lot of empty space between them. Because of this, they are easily compressible (pictured left). If not contained, gases can spread (or diffuse) to fill any size and shape container.

Gases are affected by pressure, volume, number of moles, and temperature. Changing any one of these variables, changes all the others.

Today we also learned the formula for the Law of Partial Pressure. Basically partial pressures add up to form total pressure. If the total pressure is given then you subtract the partial pressures.

We are still working on moles and making sure we have stoichiometry down pat.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today students took their Stoichiometry Test which is all about converting to moles and away from moles and honestly is a lot of math. It's not hard if you pay attention and set it up right, but it takes some practice.

Students must get a perfect score on the front (no errors) or they have to retake it. This seems crazy, but by this point, they all know they can do it, and they want to do it.

We will be starting gases on Monday and taking a cumulative benchmark on Friday.
The week of Thanksgiving we will be covering acids and bases and anything else we need to. Students will have homework over Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving we have one week to review before the Chemistry SOL on Tuesday December 7th in the afternoon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bubble Gum!

Students each had a piece of gum and observed the gum by weighing it, drawing it, and smelling it. All the gum was Dubble Bubble, but the Cry Babies were the most popular.

Next the students chewed the gum for ten minutes. While they were waiting we watched How Its Made on bubblegum (the video is linked on the side if you want to check it out). We also had a little fun blowing bubbles.

After ten minutes, students did more observations and re-weighed the gum. The gum weighed less... why? Because the sugar dissolved and was lost. Using this weight difference, students determined the percent composition of sugar in the gum they chewed. They also can convert the grams to moles and determine how many moles of sugar were in the gum.

This lab will be due on Friday.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Today students took a mole challenge to see how much they knew about moles... besides their favorite number. The high score was a 9.5/10 so I must have stumped them. They did do better than they thought they would... and most of them were a bit mad when they saw what the answers were to the ones they didn't know.

For moles there are basically three conversions to know.
1 mole
6.02 x 10^23

1 mole
(molar mass) grams (add weights from PT)

1 mole
22.4 Liters

Today we learned about Avogadro's theory about gases and then practiced converting using our new favorite number, 22.4. Avogadro, that handsome devil, did a lot of important stuff with moles and is also the guy who gave us our other favorite number 6.02.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today, we started talking about moles. Moles are used to count atoms. There are 22,000,000,000,000,000,000 quintillion atoms in a grain of sand and even counting grains of sand is a pain. Because atoms are so tiny, we use the mole to estimate.

There are 6.02 x 10 ^23 molecules in one mole. That's a whole lot. This is our new favorite number because it needs to be memorized. We practiced converting from moles to molecules.

Next we discussed molar mass. Molar mass = 1 mole and it also equals atomic mass from the periodic table. To find the molar mass of carbon dioxide you find the mass of carbon and two oxygens and add them together. Finding molar mass is not difficult unless the molecule has tricky subscripts (which we have been practicing).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mole Day Festivities

Mole Day festivities were started on October 22, because we aren't going to be at school on the true Mole Day of October 23.

Students did a mix of goofy things and actual chem-mole-stry math problems. Activities included the mole hunt to see if they could find the 27 moles hidden in my room, pin the nose on the mole, and coloring a famous mole celebrity like the Little Mole-mid, Mole-ky Mouse, Mole-y Cyrus, and other funny ones.

Students also learned how to calculate molar mass and how to do a few mole conversions. In 4th period, Katelin scored the most points, followed by her partner Sam in second, and Josh in third.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Reaction Rates

Reaction Rates are affected by a few things. Without telling them the point, the students had a quick demo where they had to dissolve sugar cubes the fastest. 

In third period, Taylor K was the quickest and in fourth, Maria and Sam were the fastest. The key was to use warm water (I only have one warm sink and they were def fighting over it or trying to remember which one it is) - or chew them up and spit them out. 

The things that speed up reactions are:
  • Temperature - warmer is faster
  • Surface Area - small pieces have more surface area
  • Concentration - the more water, the faster sugar will dissolve
  • Catalyst - lowers the activation energy and speeds up the reaction
  • Agitation - shaking or stirring increases the frequency of collisions.
Lucas is using scissors to bust up his sugar cubes and make the pieces smaller. Josh is looking for the warm sink

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).

We finished class by reviewing concepts about bonding and naming in preparation of Monday's benchmark.
Homework: finish Orange Benchmark Review Sheet

Thursday, October 14, 2010

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.

 Homework is the front of the orange Benchmark Review Sheet

Monday, October 11, 2010

Balancing Equations

Students are learning to balance equations. Today they learned that reactants are what you start with and are on the left side of the equation. Products are on the right side of the arrow and are what is made by process of a chemical change.

Because of the Law of Conservation of Mass, the number of atoms have to be equal on both sides. To balance an equation, the coefficients are changed. Coefficients are the big numbers in front that tell you how many molecules there are. The subscripts (the little lower numbers) are not allowed to be changed because those are there to make neutrally bonded molecules (what we learned in the last unit.

By changing the coefficients and counting the number of atoms on both sides of the arrow, balancing can be achieved.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bonding and Naming

Sorry to not be posting, I have been busy teaching bonding and naming. There are two basic types of bonds and each requires a separate set of rules. I taught one then the other and students got it perfectly. However, when you mix them together and they have to decide which method to use, it somehow gets mixed up.

If it is a + and -, the bond is ionic. The electrons are given and taken in the bond. To get the formula, you criss cross the charges. To name it, you say the name of the metal, then the name of the nonmetal with an -ide ending. If it is a metal from DForP block, then you use a roman numeral to indicate the charge of the metal.

If it is a - and -, the bond is covalent. The electrons are shared in the bond. To get the formula, you have to draw the Lewis Dot structures for the elements and connect the dots that don't have friends. You write the formula based on your drawing. To name it, use prefixes to indicate the number of atoms in the formula and the second one ends in -ide. For these it doesn't matter which element comes first.

The test on this material is today. Tonight's homework is to finish the watermelon sheet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ionic Bonding

Today after a jump in and going over last nite's homework, students learned about ionic bonding. Ionic bonding happens between metals & nonmetals (positives & negatives). After learning the basics, students practiced with an activity called "speed dating." Students were metals (boys) and nonmetals (girls) and practiced dating, bonding, and naming the ionic bonds they would make with their partners. The funny thing is that being a male did not necessarily make your character a "boy." :) Students really got the hang of bonding, were able to work with and help a variety of partners, and had fun. Pictured are Zack (lead +4) and Sam (carbon -4) on their date.

Homework = Front of Counting Atoms Worksheet

Monday, September 20, 2010

Valence Electrons

Today students learned about valence electrons. Valence electrons are the outermost electrons and are the electrons that are used for bonding and participate in reactions. Valence electrons are only found in the S and P blocks.

Students practiced counting valence electrons and drawing Lewis Dot Structures.

Students also learned how to identify the charges of metals with more than one oxidation state using Roman numerals.

Homework - Box H on gold sheet

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finishing up the Periodic Table

Students started the day with a foldable reviewing all the dudes they need to know that influenced the develop- ment of the atomic model. Students tried it out without their notes and realized how little they remembered... and then used their notes to record the information. We also watched a BrainPop about the atomic models to help refresh their memories. Now that they have their foldables made, they can use them to study for Friday's unit test and to study for the SOL.

Next we finished up the notes by discussing periodic trends.

Electro- negativity is how badly atoms want electrons. The most electronegative atoms are Fluorine, Chlorine, and Oxygen. Ionization energy is how difficult it is to remove electrons. It is difficult to remove electrons from atoms that are electronegative.

Atomic radius increases as you move down the periodic table because atoms have more mass, but actually decreases from left to right because atoms are holding on to their electrons tighter (because they are more electronegative).

To finish class students worked on a review sheet for Friday's unit test.
Homework tonight - work on packets and Box J on the Gold Sheet.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Today students practiced electronic configurations. They did an excellent job of trying to figure it out and worked quietly on things while I got around to help people that had questions.

Students then took their first benchmark to assess their progress. Students performed well and are scoring where they should.

Students finished class by working on a periodic table worksheet and working on review materials. The Unit 3 Test will be at the end of the week. 

Homework - finish periodic table worksheet (it has a question mark on it) and boxes D and F on gold sheet.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Electronic Configuration and Battleship

Today students learned the pattern of electronic configuration and how to use it. Basically its like giving directions to an element on the PT using set landmarks. It is a bit confusing, but once you get the pattern, its not too bad. We practiced with SPDF and electron configuration with arrows.

Students learned about orbitals of the periodic table. These are SPDF. The letters have to do with the shapes the electrons travel around the nucleus in the electron cloud.

Students practiced a bit and then they played Battleship to practice some more. The Periodic Table became the game board and students hid their ships on it, then guessed hits using the electronic configuration of the atoms. I think they really got the hang of it because I did not field many questions at that point.

Tessa and Andrew go head to head with Electronic Configuration Battleship
I am not that good at Battle ship... but in fourth I played two separate games against Josh and Hannah... I think they both hit more of my ships than I hit of theirs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Electronic Configuration

Students started class with a BrainPop and a worksheet related to Atoms. Scores were very high in all three portions of the competition.

Today in class students learned about electron orbitals. First students learned how many electrons go on the electron shells for a Bohr model.

2 can go on the first ring (corresponding with the 2 elements on the first period of the periodic table). If you look at all the models to the left, they all only have 2 electrons on the first ring near the nucleus. 8 go on the 2nd ring, just like there are 8 elements in the 2nd period. The next ring gets 18.

Next students learned about the orbitals SPDF and what regions of the periodic table those orbitals correspond with. The letters really have to do with an intense mathematical equation used to calculate the probability of finding an electron in the electron cloud.

The D block is dumb and that's why it starts with one number lower. Really they just have less energy and have the same amount of energy as the S and P block in the 3rd period. The F block are failures and that's why they are 2 lower... or they have a lot less energy.

Students practiced identifying the energy level, orbital, and location of elements on the periodic table. For example Carbon is a 2P2 because it is in the 2nd period, in the P block, and the 2nd one over in the P block.

We finished class with discussing racing into the classroom and getting a seat quickly. These thoughts apply to electrons and how they will fill electron shells. Electrons will sit at the first table first, get their own seat first, and if they must they will share. If they share a seat they have to sit in opposite directions so that they are more stable.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dudes and Periodic Table

Today students started with a BrainPop about the Periodic Table. Tim and Moby went into a little more detail then I did and the quiz was a little more difficult than expected. There is a lot of information on the periodic table and it is set up in all those groups and periods for reasons!

Today we discussed atom models - what they looked like and what they are called, the dudes who came up with them, and the experiments they did.

Shrodinger came up with the current electron cloud model, but we draw Bohr's planetary model the most often because it easier to count the electrons.

Electrons are tricky because they move constantly and at high speeds. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that you cannot know both the speed and location of an electron - you can only know one - becuase measuring either one, changes the other. For more information about the history of atomic models, check out this great link.

We took a short quiz about atoms and elements that students did well on. Everyone got a 7/10 or better... so everyone gets a sticker. :) We finished class with review of the Periodic Table by playing Guess Who. Third period knows enough to play against each other so the rivalries have begun. Check out the photos below.

Homework Tonight - Box A and B on the Gold Sheet
Physical Chemical Labs are due tomorrow.

Taylor and Taylor go head to head
Karen vs. Brande.... Jasmine vs. Marion... and in the back Shaun vs. James
Kaleb vs. Amanda... and Tim vs. Kelsey in the background

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Welcome to the Periodic Table

Today students started with a jump in where they identified and counted parts of an atom on drawings. Once they figured out the atomic number (number of protons), they could then tell which atom on the periodic table it was supposed to be.

Students were given a little sample of 5 paint chips and asked to sort them. Most sorted them from lightest to darkest, which was fairly simple because all the paint chips were similar colors. Next students were given a sample with 12 different paint chips and asked to arrange them. Some arranged them in a long line while others put them in groups. Eventually students were asked to put them in three columns of four. Why?

Mendeleev deisgned the periodic table by looking at the properties of elements on cards and arranging them different ways until he got a system that worked. No one told him how to do it, he just did it until it worked. He even left spaces for elements that were discovered in his lifetime. (More info about Mendeleev) His periodic table was set up according to atomic mass number. The current table, altered slightly by Moseley, is organized by atomic number (number of protons).

Next we discussed regions of the periodic table, colored them, and labeled them. Periods are horizontal rows (periods go at the end of a sentence) and there are 7 periods. There are 18 groups or families (vertical columns) and a few of them have special names. This a pretty excellent diagram. This website gives a lot of helpful information.
In third period, we finished class by playing Guess Who with the Periodic Table in partners. It is a great way to practice naming and identifying the various regions. Some of them were really getting into it which makes the game more interesting. As the students learn the terms they will play against each other instead of asking questions about the element that I have picked.

Fourth period finished the day with the Physical Chemical Lab from last week (we were interrupted by a fire drill). Many students were able to use the time to finish up the questions on the back as well. Fourth will have opportunities to play Guess Who later this week.

HOMEWORK - Atom Math
Physical/Chemical Lab due Friday

We also talked in class about other ways to arrange periodic tables and I found these neat examples. I also like this idea - a periodic table of imaginary elements made up from made-up elements from movies and books - like Superman and Star Trek.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Atoms... have you heard of Beanium?

Today students reviewed atoms. Atoms, or elements, are the smallest unit of matter. They retain their identity in chemical reactions and are combined to form compounds and everything in the universe.

Atoms have some basic parts. Protons and Neutrons are found in the nucleus and make up the atomic mass. To find the number of neutrons, you subtract the atomic number (number of protons) from the atomic mass number (protons plus neutrons).

Electrons are so tiny that they do not influence the atomic mass. They are found orbiting the nucleus in shells or orbitals. Atoms are neutral so the number of protons equals the number of electrons.

Student reviewed how to determine this information from the periodic table. Then they got a mystery sample of Beanium. They had to count different colors of beans representing subatomic particles and determine which element they had.

Students finished class working on assignments that are due later in the week.

Tonight's homework is to finish an atom reading. Physical/Chemical lab is due Friday.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Review Day

Today students started with a solid liquid gas matching sheet. Then students reviewed concepts through the use of matching cards. They reviewed Physcial vs. Chemical, States of Matter, Phase Changes, and Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures. Most also did a fifth set of vocabulary terms.

Then we had a little discussion about homework. About half of the students had not turned in their math worksheet the day before. And a lot of the ones turned in were not complete, or not done well. Only one student let me know they were having trouble and came in for zero block for help. Homework needs to be completed well and on time. I wanted to make sure that students understood the math before they had a test on it (the test is tomorrow) and it is hard to do that when work is not turned in.

The rest of class was spent working on the math problems and review sheets in anticipation for tomorrow's test.

Tonight's homework is to make sure that packets are complete - all vocab and problems. Review Sheets need to be finished and Green homework sheets need to be completed. All work is due tomorrow and the test is due tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Other fourth photos

Hannah modeling lab attire
hanging out
katelin surprised me when i looked at this photo later
april and kelsey looking smart and laughing
You asked for them - here you go :)

Physical Chemical Lab

 Today students worked on a lab. Part of the lab was making observations of substances and deciding whether they were elements, compounds, or mixtures.

Students also mixed salts and water and measured temperature changes. One of the salts raised the temperature to over 50*C, while another exothermic reaction dropped the temperature to 18*C.

Other experiments included mixing chemicals and deciding whether the reactions were physical or chemical changes. Most of the reactions were pretty interesting. One of them involved mixing two clear liquids and getting a bright yellow precipitate (a precipitate is a solid!). Students burned small pieces of magnesium ribbon and saw a really bright white light. Stu

Tonight's Homework is to get a good start on the Unit 2 Review Sheet. TEST FRIDAY

A quick shout out to awesome fourth period who thought it might be cool (or at least a little funny) to wear that lab gear outside for the fire drill.