Phone: School #: 914 376-8191
Degrees and Certifications:
WELCOME TO MY CLASS PAGE EVERYONE
Chemistry is the study of what things are made of and how they change when they interact with one another. Although physical sciences such as chemistry and physics are often perceived by many people as challenging subjects, it is essential that students enroll in these subjects because they help improve students' critical thinking abilities and help bridge the gap between life outside the classroom and the classroom curriculum. In my class, I follow a pragmatic and a flipped instructional approach in which students learn while doing. There are many learning activities that teachers implement during the school year to promote student’s engagement, encourage peer interaction, and hold students accountable for learning; below is a little bit of information about the learning activities that I generally implement in my classroom during the teaching of each unit.
Prior to every lesson, students watch and write a one-page summary of an instructional video taught by me (the teacher). The purpose of exposing students to the lesson before class is to allow them enough time to process the information at their own pace and to give them some background information that they can use during classroom discussions.
Making connections and expanding student knowledge via classroom discussions
First, at the beginning of each lesson, students engage in a brief discussion with their teacher to share what they learned from the instructional videos, and discuss possible solutions to problems. Throughout the lesson, the teacher expands on student knowledge by making life connections, clarifying misconceptions, and demonstrating, through the use of guiding questions, how to solve problems. At the end of the lesson, the teacher may assign homework problems for students to complete independently at home. Students are not penalized for answering questions incorrectly on this homework, instead, they are rewarded for their effort the next day.
Developing a sense of belonging via peer interactions / using evidence to support HW answers
Second, the teacher scans students’ notebooks to make sure that every student puts forth some effort to solve problems, then grants students points for trying. The teacher then asks the students to work in groups to justify their answers to their peers. During group discussions, all students are expected to interact with one another by asking/reading questions or by using their notebooks as reference to engage in academic arguments to support or oppose each other’s claims. Students in one group may interact with students from another group. During this entire session of peer interaction, the teacher serves as a secondary resource for all students, he provides them with feedback and guides them as needed.
Developing competence via peer support and immediate feedback
Students work in groups, they use the class red books to select and answer questions that align with the instructional videos. Each group is composed of two carefully selected, high-achieving students who serve as a mentor and a vice-mentor to other students in the group. The job of the mentor is to direct a student's thinking by asking guiding questions to help the mentees make connections and reach conclusions. Mentors do not give away answers. Students may use the yellow books (green books for AP students) to check their answers in bulk and identify their mistakes/ seek alternative explanations to help them comprehend the material. Prior to the end of the period, the teacher instructs students to complete problems online via the castle learning website, which provides students with hints and explanations to problems, or via the College Board website (for AP students).
Ps. Mentors are awarded bonus points if the average assessment scores of their mentees improve.
Street Data- addressing general misconceptions
The teacher uses the projector in the room to display a cumulative report of students' performance on each question and addresses misconceptions. Both castle learning and College Board websites provide detailed item analyses that display the percentage of students who answered each question correctly. If the percentage is low, the teacher will address the problem with the class as a whole. At the end of this session, the teacher may allow students to practice more problems; regents chemistry students will continue to use the red books, AP chemistry students will use the classroom binders. Prior to the end of the period, the teacher announces a quiz date and an exam date.
Interactive Demonstrations/ Hands-on Investigations
Students engage in laboratory activities/ investigations. During lab time, students make observations, create a hypothesis using information they learned in class, collect and analyze data, and finally make conclusions/ answer lab questions. AP chemistry students are expected to work in groups to write professional lab reports using the provided laboratory rubric. At some point throughout the lesson, a lab quiz will be assigned to provide the teacher of an accurate assessment of students' understanding of the laboratory procedures.
Note: All exams and quizzes are often announced via the Remind App and on Microsoft Teams. All assignments are announced in class or on Microsoft Teams. All students' grades are uploaded on PowerSchool and are viewable to both parents and students in real time. The for the Remind App group is announced during open house and is also present on Quarter 1 progress report. Please contact the school to gain access to the parent portal. My office hours are after school on Thursdays. All students are welcome to come into my class with a pass during any period to practice problems.
Quizzes serve as homework/ laboratory check points to provide an accurate assessment of students' understanding. Quizzes only measure students' understanding of a limited amount of information and count towards the students homework grade or laboratory grade. Exams are generally cumulative and are scheduled after enough time has been granted for students to reflect on the quizzes. All students are expected to create flashcards which contain questions on one side and answers on the other side prior to every assessment. Students will use these flashcards to evaluate themselves and evaluate each other. After every test, students are expected to perform test corrections by following the guidelines provided by the teacher. Students who complete the test corrections will earn a 5% bonus that may be added to their test score. The weight of quizzes and exams is often higher than the weight of homework and laboratory activities because they provide more accurate information about students' understandings after a sufficient period of time was dedicated towards solving problems, clarifying misconceptions, and peer interactions.
Quarterly grade's breakdown: 25% of the grade is based on students performance on homework related assignments, 25% is based on their performance on lab related activities, and 50% is based on their exam performance.
End of year course's grade breakdown: Q1= 22.5%, Q2= 22.5%, Q3= 22.5%, Q4= 22.5%, Final Exam= 10%
AP Chemistry: Course and Exam Description
Regents Chemistry: Learning Standards