I am teaching AP Chemistry again in the fall. This is now the third school I will have taught AP at. I didn’t need a summer assignment at the last school because of the extra time we had during the year. But, due to block scheduling, I am short about 80 minutes per week so we need a summer assignment again. As I was going through my computer files (something I haven’t looked at in 2 years), I came across the cover letter I sent to the students from 2005. Per a request from Cheryl Morris and Brad Campbell, I have been asked to post both the old and the new letters. I can’t believe I am about to do this, but here they are:
14 June 2005
Dear AP Chemistry Student:
Let me begin by telling you a little about the Advanced Placement Chemistry program. The intent of the AP Chemistry program is to simulate a first-year college chemistry course by giving you a rigorous course of study which includes a heavy workload and exposure to college-level lab work. You must have received at least an 83 in Chem I to enroll so I know all of you have the ability to do well. You will need excellent time management skills as you will have at least 1 homework assignment each week, a lab report approximately every week and a test about every other week on top of your other course work. Hopefully I have scared you a little. AP is nothing like Chem I. I am here to challenge you and, maybe, we’ll enjoy ourselves at the same time.
Now down to business. Enclosed you will find 4 Chapter packets. You will receive a packet like this at the beginning of each chapter. Sometimes the book is difficult to understand so I have broken down all the information for you and put it in these packets. At the end of each packet is a list of Exercises. Your assignment for the summer is to complete all the exercises. All work is due on August 1st so this means you must bring it into or mail it to the school. It must be RECEIVED by this date not post-marked. All work must be included in order to receive credit for the assignment. You will see there are no Exercises in Writing Chemical Reactions because this is not an actual chapter from the book. It is something extra I am adding because writing reactions is a very, very large part of the class so you will need to know how to identify the different types and predict products. In the remaining packets I give, you will not need to complete the exercises because I will be assigning other homework. Those exercises can be used as extra problem sets to aide you in studying. Also, these packets are not meant to be your sole source of information for a chapter. Use the book and the packets to guide you. You will need to pick up a book when you get this letter. This will be your book for the remainder of the year so make sure it is covered and you take care of it. The information that you are reviewing this summer in these packets will not have a test devoted to it. This information will be included in the Atomic Theory Test and is also vital to every topic we encounter throughout the course so make sure you learn it.
Many of you are probably asking what types of notebooks or binders you need for the class. I require the following materials:
▸ 1 three-ring binder with dividers for the different chapters
▸ 1 notebook for taking notes devoted solely to AP Chemistry
▸ Writing utensils
▸ 1 lab notebook (spiral bound)
I will discuss the lab notebook in more detail on the first day of class because I am still trying to find the best one. The reason I am requiring these materials is you need to learn organization for this class and I am going to teach it to you. There will be unannounced binder checks throughout the year and I will discuss how I want it organized when we first meet.
June 27 2013