A- Chemistry   2019/20                                      
    Welcome to Chemistry-   Understanding Chemistry can be very interesting and exciting but also quite challenging.  Like anything, the more you work at it , the more you will get out of it.  Keep all of your handouts, notes, reference sheets, graded quizes /tests organized in a binder or folder.  You will need to bring a scientific calculator to class as well  (LOG and EE functions) since we will be using them fairly often throughout the course.  You need to ask questions during class, it shows you tried but need clarification.  Quiet students are either: bored, asleep, too shy, don't care, unprepared.( hard for me to tell?)  In this course, a lot of the material builds from chapter-to-chapter and requires an ability to apply math.  For this reason, those who don't learn chapter 3 well may suffer for it in chapter 5. Ask questions or see me for extra help after school if you need it.  It pays to review and correct tests , quizes, and handouts when they are returned to you (especially if they have a lot of errors). 

    Make -up work-    Many assignments will be posted on an easel in front of the room but if you are absent, ask a trusted classmate or see me about work missed. Most work and tests are returned to you so you can learn from your mistakes and improve.  No make-ups for lab experiments. They will not count for or against you but they are fun and usually easy A's so try not to miss them.  If you are absent on a test or quiz day, they must be made up the next day after you return. You are encouraged to make these up during your lunch or after school so you do not miss even more class time.  It is challenging enough to keep up with the course when you are present everyday, much less after an extended absence.  See me concerning make-up work after long absences.  

    Tests and Quizzes-  Tests will be announced and posted in advance as well as most assignments.  Keep yourself organized with a calendar and write down assignments and test dates.  During tests, stay in your seat,  keep your eyes on your paper, and raise your hand if you have a question.  If you review and study between tests, a light review before the test should be sufficient.

    Extra Credit-  Occasionally offerred to the students who show on slow days as an incentive.  No extra credit is offered at end of marking period to "fix" grades.     If your grades are slipping, see me for extra help outside class or I can try to arrange a student tutor to help you.   

    Grading  Policy -  Currently the district mandates all grades be expressed by percentages with final grades corresponding to the following:  (no mid-terms or final exams this year)

                    unit tests -   50% of marking period grade
                    quizes/labs - 40%
                    homework -   10%

    Classwork/homework is always reviewed in class and is periodically checked and evaluated based on a good effort with reasonable answers.   Updates to Powerschool will be posted weekly.  Realize grades at the beginning of each marking period can change greatly when more grades are accumulated later.

    Cell phones-  Cell phones are wonderful devices but should be turned off during school. Even when they vibrate on silent you will be wondering what it is about and tempted to answer it. Whoever is contacting you is distracting you from class. In the event of an emergency, someone from the office will contact you (as they would for me) over the intercom or by student messenger. In addition, I ask that all bags and purses be cleared from your desk during class as they are commonly used to hide cellphone use. Those using cell phones will be reprimanded or given consequences like any other misbehavior.   

    Parent Concerns-   Parents can contact me with any concerns or questions by e-mail at
        bcullen@hamilton.k12.nj.us  or leave a phone number and I will return the phone call as soon as possible.  I look forward to sharing my love of chemistry with all you this year and hope that many of you will learn to enjoy this material as much as I do. 

    Sincerely,     Mr. Cullen