Pre-AP Chemistry

Science-symbolLooking for a high school chemistry course for your homeschooler?

I have years of experience teaching science. Look over the information for my chemistry course and please let me know if you have any questions.

Pre-AP Chemistry                   

Section A – High School Credit Only

Section B – CLEP or SAT II subject test Focus

Instructor: Vicki Dincher vdincher@comcast.net

WebEx Time Slot: Wednesday’s 4:00 to 5:00 PM EST

Cost: $599 (does not include text or lab supplies)

Grades: 10-12 grade

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Algebra 1

Course Length: 34 weeks

Course Begins:  Thursday, August 25, 2016 (first live discussion Wednesday, August 31, 2016)

Course Ends: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 (last live discussion Wednesday, May 10, 2017)

Test Readiness: Following this course, the motivated student will be well prepared for the SAT II Chemistry subject test, Chemistry CLEP test, and/or a future AP Chemistry course.  Success on these exams is dependent on student aptitude and desire/willingness to prepare for the exam. Students are not required to take a standardized test at the conclusion of the course

Required Texts:

  • Sections A:
    • Exploring Creation with Chemistry 3rd ed. (Apologia)
  • Section B:
    • Exploring Creation with Chemistry 3rd ed. (Apologia)
    • Chemistry: The Central Science 10th ed. (Pearson-Prentice Hall) ISBN 10: 0131096869
    • Sterling CLEP Chemistry Practice Questions: High Yield CLEP Chemistry Questions

Web-ex Lectures/Discussions: All course lectures are pre-recorded and available for students to playback at their convenience.  Two to four times a month, live problem solving and discussion sessions will be held (recorded lecture should be watched prior to problem solving session).  These sessions will be designed to provide students assistance with concepts and math problems assigned for homework   Students are not required to “meet” at the scheduled discussion time, but it is encouraged. Scheduled discussion times will be recorded for those unable to attend the live discussion times. Regular WebEx “office hours” will be listed once class begins (student time zones will determine office hours) for individual or group homework help.

Course Description: Chemistry is the study of connections between the everyday world and the molecular world, the structure and interactions of matter. It examines the smallest components of matter (atoms) and how atoms bond with each other to combine elements into compounds. Then it looks at chemical reactions: how energy is involved, the transfer of electrons or hydrogen ions, and factors that affect reaction rate. This course provides students with an understanding of chemical principles and skills that are needed for college. The study of chemistry includes laboratory investigation, problem solving activities, textbook study, lecture, and class discussion. The structure and properties of matter, organic and inorganic chemistry, energy, thermochemistry, nuclear reaction, electrochemistry, acids, bases and salts and chemical bonding make up the content of this class. This class includes laboratory work and written lab reports.  Interested students are encouraged to take the SAT II in Chemistry and/or the Chemistry CLEP test upon completion of this course and will be prepared for future AP Chemistry coursework.

Labs: Approximately twelve hands-on experiments will augment the core concepts studied and fulfill the lab requirement for a high school science credit.  These experiments can be completed at home (adult supervision is advised).  Most use household materials or supplies readily available from homeschool science companies.  A full list will be provided with the course syllabus.

Scientific Writing: Effective scientific writing is a vital skill required for success in college science courses.  To that end, instruction in the process of writing a formal physics lab report will be given and two to three formal lab write-ups will be required.

Student Evaluation and Feedback: Students will be graded on homework, labs, discussions, and exams. The homework will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions done on the course website and handouts to be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of submission. All homework is due on the Canvas course website by Friday evenings, midnight EST, unless otherwise noted.

Communications: Course communication occurs through the message system on the course website. I am also available to students through WebEx by appointment.

Technical needs: To access course materials students will need broadband, high speed Internet and their own e-mail account. This course will be run on the learning platform called Canvas. Canvas is a user-friendly, powerful platform where parents can be linked to their students and access student material, see grades, and contact the instructor at any time. Weekly assignments are downloaded as PDF files from the website. A scanner is required so that students can scan their completed work and upload it to the website for grading.

Time Commitment: The qualified student will spend 5-7 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading the assigned texts, answering review questions, calculating practice problems, hands-on lab experiments, and discussing class work and reading assignments with others in the forums.

Work due dates: All homework is due via file upload on the course website by Saturday evenings, midnight EST. The course syllabus and weekly class updates will be on the course website by Sunday morning each week.

Instructor Qualifications: I has a B.S. and M.S. in biology with a minor in mathematics. I have experience teaching at both the secondary and college levels. From 1995-present, I have been teaching biology, chemistry, and physics classes (both first year and AP levels) at several home school co-ops and online since 2010. I’ve homeschooled my own four children who are now all college educated and employed in science fields. My own children used online learning as part of our homeschool, so I’m familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities online homeschooling presents both from student and instructor perspectives. I am passionate about sharing the wonders of science with my students.

Course Priorities: The number one priority of this course is to prepare the student to take the SAT II Chemistry or Chemistry CLEP exam and to prepare them to take a future AP Chemistry course.  This will be done through complete presentation of testable content, providing review materials during the second half of the course, explaining testing strategies, and providing scored practice exams. The number two priority is to expand your appreciation for fundamental concepts and laws that govern the physical realm.

Who should apply: The well-prepared applicant also has completed a physical science course in the middle school years and has a good foundation in algebra. Also, online learning requires a great degree of organizational and time management skills on the part of the student. So students who are ready to improve in this area and are capable of taking responsibility for initiating interaction with the instructor if confused or discouraged should ask for an application.

To ask a question regarding this class, email Vicki at vdincher@comcast.net

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