Concerning: Student Recognition of Chemical Symbols
Each element on the periodic table can be written using an abbreviation for its chemical name. This abbreviation is called a chemical symbol. These symbols are used to write the abbreviated names for chemical compounds. These compoundnamesare called formulas. A description of a chemical reaction can be abbreviated into a statement called a chemical equation. Formulas are used to communicate the names of the reactants and products in the chemical reaction. As you can see, a ready recognition of chemical symbols is required for a student to understand chemistry.
Chemical symbols are the alphabet of the chemical equation. Formulas and equations are the way we communicate in chemistry. If a student doesn’t know his symbols, then he can’t communicate!
In order to insure each student’s success in chemistry, it is required that each student score 90% or above on two symbols quizzes. Due to the nature of the material, this mastery level is well above the 70% mastery level required for regular schoolwork. Since it is true that chemical symbols are the alphabet of chemistry, mastering these symbols can be compared to mastering the English alphabet. Can you write a decent paper in English if you only know 70% of the letter alphabet?
Opportunities to master symbol recognition will be given four times during class.
The top two grades above 90 will be averaged for the students’ first major grade. If the student fails to score above 90% then subsequent quizzes can be taken after school or during seminar. This grade should be completed by the end of the 5th-week period (Friday, September 19).
The out-of-class achievers’ first major grade will be calculated by averaging the top grades scored during class with the top two scores from outside of class. If one acceptable score has been achieved during class and if the student scores their second acceptable score on their first try outside of class, their grade will be the average of their top two scores.
Hopefully, mastering the chemical symbols will help you be successful in subsequent units of this course. The mastery approach will also insure you a relatively high first major grade.