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10th Grade Chemistry: Class Info and Syllabus

10th Grade Chemistry Syllabus

Dear Students and Parents,


We live in a world that faces a variety of complex and ever-changing issues.  A solid understanding of science concepts and scientific thinking is essential to being a good citizen who can make informed decisions.  For example, combating climate change, finding alternative energy sources, providing a sustainable supply of clean water, and the development of new medicines all require knowledge of chemistry. Therefore, students will be studying the challenging yet rewarding subject of chemistry this year in 10th grade science.  This year we will study the following topics:




Talk Like A Chemist,  Think Like A Chemist

How do chemists describe matter and how it changes?

How do scientists ask questions, collect data, and solve problems?

Atomic Structure,

The Periodic Table

And Bonding

How do we know atoms exist if we can’t see them? 

What does an atom’s position on the periodic table tell chemists?

Why are some elements so stable while others are so reactive?

How do atom achieve stability through different types of bonding?

Artist as Chemist

How are artists like chemists? How can you use chemistry to construct a durable piece of artwork?  Why do scientists design experiments the way they do?




How do molecular geometry, structure, and properties relate to one another?

How do we know a chemical reaction is occurring?

How are chemical reactions important in my life and our society?



What are the unique properties of water?  If water is an economic, environmental, and social equity issue, how are we responsible for it as a sustainable resource?

Gas Laws

How can I explain what I observe by describing what I can’t see?


Upon the completion of this class students will be able to…

·     Recognize and describe the chemistry principles at work around them in everyday life

·     Use the same tools, methods, and forms of communication used by scientists

·     Analyze sources of scientific information to make informed decisions as a citizen


You should also be aware that successful completion of the 10th grade Science Portfolio is required for promotion to the 11th grade science PBAT class and graduation from ESCHS.


I commit to enthusiastically teaching interesting, challenging, and diverse lessons in a safe and structured classroom.  In return, I expect you to work hard every day. Please read the rest of this syllabus for details about chemistry class.  I know that we are going to have a great year together! 




Joe Vincente


EXPECTATION:  100% Respect for self, school, and others at all times.



1.    Always be on-time and prepared for class

2.    Follow lab safety and all directions the first time they are given

3.    No racist, sexist, homophobic, or other offensive language

4.    No food, drink, hats, or electronics in class


MATERIALS: Students must bring a pencil every day and will need a basic calculator for home use.

CLASS WEBPAGE AND VIDEOS:  Go to > Class Pages >10th Grade Chemistry.  Joe updates the chemistry webpage daily with HW, handouts, notes and helpful video mini-lessons.  Students are expected to watch some videos for HW in preparation for class as a preview of the material. This will allow us to go deeper in-class (activities, labs, exhibitions) and also to review after lessons. Joe will always post videos days in advance and expects students to come to class prepared with material from the videos.



Percentages are subject to change as different work is accumulated throughout the marking period.

Achievement: Tests, Quizzes, Final Exam (30%), Roundtables (5%), & Notebook Entries (5%)

= 45%

Exhibitions: Exhibitions, Experiments, and Labs (30%) and Rationales (5%)

= 35%

Work Habits: Completing Classwork and Homework (15%) and Exhibitions on-time (5%)

                        Maintaining your science notebook with complete Do Nows and entries (5%)

= 20%


SCIENCE NOTEBOOK & FOLDER:  You  will use a science notebook almost every day in chemistry.  Your science notebook will be used primarily for Do Nows, but it will also be used for activities, reflections, labs and experiments. Some entries are like mini-quizzes in the notebook, while other entries are graded mainly for effort and completion.  Your folder should contain all (and ONLY) chemistry handouts. HW and recent handouts on the left side, completed handouts on the right side in chronological order (from oldest on the bottom to newest on the top).

EXHIBITIONS:  Each semester we will work on many exhibitions during and outside of class. In Chemistry, exhibitions are any experiments, major labs, and projects that ask you to show mastery.

ROUNDTABLES & COMPLETING RATIONALES:  Students should earn “Practitioner” (or better) for at least of one of two Roundtables this year. Also, students must complete four Rationales by the end of the year for promotion to 11th grade science and the Science PBAT (East Side’s exit research project required in place of Regents for graduation).   Joe expects that half (2 of 4) of your science portfolio rationales be written by the end of the first semester at January Roundtables.

CLASS WORK & HOMEWORK:  Class work (CW) and homework (HW) is extremely important and will be given almost every day.  Many class work assignments carry through into homework assignments and therefore are graded within the same category.  Sometimes Joe will collect the HW and fully grade it, but normally it will be checked during the Do Now.   Credit will start at a “100” when fully completed by the start of class on the due date.  While you receive credit primarily for completion, but Joe will also be checking for correct answers. In chemistry, you may receive a “100” for work that is complete, but has some wrong answers if all of the work is shown.  Partially completed HW will generally earn a “50”.  Missing HW should be completed during afterschool or breakfast study.  Joe may decide to give up to a “50” for made-up HW.  Homework assignments will always be written on the board, announced in class, and posted online.  Students should use their own HW log along with these systems to complete all HW.

COMPLETING EXHIBITIONS ON-TIME:  You may request an extension on an exhibition to avoid losing on-time completion points by seeing Joe BEFORE the due date.  Otherwise, turning in exhibitions late will  result in losing 10 points per day off the on-time grade.


PUNCTUALITY & ATTENDANCE:  Joe has planned lessons from “bell-to-bell”.  Joe may subtract up to 5 points from your final grade for repeated lateness to class (or excessive absence).


Procedures are extremely important because it allows us to work together more efficiently.  You will need to learn the Chemistry class procedures quickly so that you will learn more, get better grades, and have more fun.  We will rehearse these procedures often. 


BEGINNING CLASS:  During the first 10 minutes of class…

1.Enter quietly and take your seat.  Pencil/pen, science notebook, and science folder on desk.

2.    Read the day’s Agenda on the side of the board and write down the Homework for that night.

3.Leave last night’s HW on your desk and start the Do Now

 Limit talking, except for quiet clarifying questions to Joe as he approaches your seat.

The Do Now is arguably the most important part of class because this is when we will usually do quick reviews of material from the day before OR preview new material. 



  • During independent and/or group work use a volume that cannot be heard by the next table
  • Do NOT speak or leave your seat while others are speaking during whole class discussions
  • Do NOT verbally ask to go to the bathroom or get water out loud during instruction
  • Avoid using the restroom during the first and last ten minutes of class.
  • Restroom Signal - Please use the Sign Language letter R
  • If Joe points to the door you may go, otherwise wait briefly for Joe to finish
  • his signal avoids unnecessary talking/noise and allows for more learning to occur
  • Do NOT sharpen pencil while Joe or classmates are speaking to the whole class.  Pencils may be hand-sharpened during the Do Now or use the electric sharpener during individual or group work.
  • If you finish work early, help your partner, start your homework, get extra credit work, or call Joe.



1.    Participate in the conclusion to the lesson

2.    Listen and record any Homework and other Announcements

3.    Remain in your seat while you clean up your desk and collect your materials



·      Listen attentively / respond respectfully during discussions

·      Keep hands, feet, and other objects to yourself

·      Raise your hand to speak

·      Do NOT touch other people’s belongings

·      Walk all trash to the waste bin

·      Always complete your own work

·      No “arguing with the ref” during class

·      Joe dismisses class, not the bell


To the best of my ability I will address all positive and negative behaviors promptly. Consequences, however, may not always be given immediately, because sometimes it is more productive and respectful to handle a situation privately at a later time.  Also, treating everyone FAIRLY by giving them what they individually need to succeed is better than treating everyone EQUALLY or exactly the same.  Therefore, different students may receive different types of handouts, versions of tests, kinds of consequences, etc. It is my belief that this philosophy gives everyone the best chance at success. 


At East Side students are asked to demonstrate an understanding of the scientific strands described below using what they have learned and produced in chemistry class. This work will be added to the work completed in 9th grade science.  Successful completion of the 10th grade Science Portfolio is required for promotion to 11th grade and graduation from ESCHS at the end of 12th grade.  Science Portfolios are stored in the back of the classroom and available for student or parent review at anytime.  Students are responsible for periodically checking their portfolio progress and completing four rationales and passing at least one of two Roundtables during the 10th grade Chemistry year.  Students must earn an “80% or B-“ or better on assignments in the following areas:



Design experiments, analyze data, use instruments with accuracy and precision, and identify sources of error.

Technology. Identify problems using science concepts and design solutions.

Personal and Social Perspectives. Understand connection between science and society in past, present, and future.

Mathematical Thinking. Use math to communicate, represent, and solve scientific questions.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I know I will be absent? if I am unexpectedly absent?  I am always planning days, weeks, even months in advance.  If you know that you will be absent please come see me as soon as you know so that I can give you the necessary assignments.  This will prevent you from falling behind and lessen your make-up work load upon return.  If you are unexpectedly absent, please obtain make-up work from the folders in the back of the classroom OR online at which can be easily accessed from the East Side homepage  Lastly, I encourage seeking help from your classmates to obtain and complete work while you are absent.  However, you should always check with me for the most accurate instructions (If after school hours, I generally respond to email quickly). 


How can I find out my Chemistry grade?  I expect that your work will always exceed satisfactory.  Since you are held to deadlines for submitting work, I will hold myself responsible for returning your graded work to you promptly.  You and your parents can monitor your Chemistry grade online at


When is Joe available for extra help?  Can I revise work? I will be available on Wednesday mornings from 8:00 – 8:40 am for breakfast study group.  I will also be available for afterschool help on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 4:30 pm (or by appointment).  All make-up work (HW and notebook entries), partial/full revisions (exhibitions), and/or re-takes (tests) must be completed under Joe’s supervision during breakfast study or afterschool.  Assignments scored at less than a 70% should be revised to at least 80%.  The revised work is only valid if submitted with the separate and original work. 


How can I contact Joe?  Emailing me at is the best way to get in touch.