Skip to main content

Honors Chemistry Syllabus

Honors Chemistry Syllabus
Instructor: Ryan Skidmore
Room: Science 1
Conference: 1st Period

We will be undertaking the study of chemistry! We will be learning a great deal, and I plan to have a great year! Topics we will discuss include:

1st 6 Weeks
Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table
2nd 6 Weeks
Chemical Bonding
Chemical Formulas
Chemical Equations and Reactions
3rd 6 Weeks
Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
4th 6 Weeks
Solids, Liquids, Gasses
Chemical Equilibrium
5th 6 Weeks
Chemical Kinetics
Acids and Bases
Nuclear Chemistry
6th 6 Weeks
Electrochemistry and Redox Reactions
Organic Chemistry

I have tremendously high expectations for all my students and refuse to accept sub-par work, disruptions, or idleness. The standards will be set and remain high all year long. You will be expected to work hard from bell to bell each and every day in this classroom. Students should also be prepared to study intensely and frequently for quizzes and tests. This is an Honors class so you can anticipate more difficult assignments, more complex labs, and more rigorous assessments than those found in regular chemistry.  

There are many difficult topics covered in this course. It is not unusual for students to struggle through the content. It takes a great deal of motivation, maturity, diligent study, and dedication to learning to do well. It is extremely important that you never get behind during the year.


I want to provide an enjoyable class for all students and any motivations contrary to this goal will not be tolerated. My professional responsibility is to ensure that all students are able to learn in a safe, focused academic environment. My aim is for all students to master chemistry and be prepared for science study at the collegiate and university level. 

I assure you that I am willing to offer any assistance I can in helping you understand the course content. When you have a question, ask me. When you need extra help, let me know. I am available 20 minutes before and after school; you may also come in during CSI or my conference period. It is absolutely critical that you be in class to participate. If you hear the discussion, see the demonstrations, do the work, perform the lab, etc. you will be able to keep up if you work hard.  

Please come in and take a seat before the tardy bell rings. Instructions will always be projected at the front of the classroom; you are expected to follow them immediately. As soon as you take your seat, please get out your materials: writing utensil, notes, calculator, and periodic table.

The beginning of class will almost always consist of a 15-20 minute lecture during which time I will introduce new concepts. This is instructional time and students are expected to remain quiet and not interrupt the lecture with chatting or disruptive outbursts. Students engaging in disruptive behavior will receive a warning for the first offense and be removed from the classroom with an office referral for the second. Cell phones are to be in your bag or face-down on your desk.     

The second half of the class period will be given to students to work on problem sets. During this time, collaborative talking will be allowed. Completion of problem sets is crucial in mastering classroom content, and I’m a firm believer in the benefits of positive student collaboration. If you do not take advantage of this time, it will be taken away and problem sets must be completed at home. 

Personal business should be attended to in between classes. Students will not be allowed to leave the class unless called by the office or another teacher; a note or email will be required as confirmation.  

During instruction, cell phones must either be in your bag or face-down on your desk. During a test or a quiz, they must be put away; the same goes for smartwatches. If you are on your phone or smartwatch while I am teaching, it will be confiscated and you will lose five points on your next test or quiz. If you are on your phone or smartwatch during a quiz or test, it will be confiscated and you will receive a 0 on the assessment. Additionally, earbuds are not to be worn during instruction or class work. 

Weekly lesson plans can be found on my teacher web page.

When you are absent, it is your responsibility see me and get your work made up; I will not be the one to initiate your completion of missed work. You have as much extra time to make up your work as you were absent. For example, if you were absent one day, you have one extra day to make it up.
Do not wait until a quiz or test to state that you missed a topic; this will not be accepted as a valid excuse once makeup time has passed. 

If you are absent on a test day, you will take the test the day you come back. If you miss a test review, you will still take the test on the scheduled date. Study guides are available for every test during the year any time a student wants one whether it be a week or a month in advance. Furthermore, students will always be notified of tests at least one week in advance through both class announcements and the lesson plans found on the above web page. With advance notice and the constant availability of a study guide, there is no reason to be unprepared to take a test any time after the material has been covered in class.     

Ultimately, test preparation is the responsibility of the student through consistent attendance of lectures, making up missed work, completing problem sets, and completing the study guide.  

Tests (Written or Lab Practical) and Projects = 50%
Daily Grades (Quizzes, Lab Reports, and Worksheets) = 50%

Every six weeks I will drop your lowest daily grade. 

Cheating will not be tolerated. You will receive a zero on the test, etc. and your parents will be notified. You may not retest on a test invalidated due to academic dishonesty. 

Assignments must be turned in at the beginning of class on the due date. An assignment turned in a day late will receive a 20% penalty; after that you will receive a zero.    

I will not return any quizzes or tests. If a student wishes to examine an assessment, they must come in before school, during my conference period, during the activity period, or after school to do so. They will only be available for five days after the original administration.

Students may retest on one test per six weeks. You must retest within three school days of the original test; e.g., if the test was administered on Tuesday, you must retest no later than Friday of the same week. You may retest for any reason: poor preparation, sickness, lack of understanding, missing school to attend a funeral, etc. However, once you have used your retest, you will not be able to retest again until the next six weeks. Retests do not roll over from one six week term to the next; i.e. you may not accumulate more than one retest per six week period.

Additionally, students that turn in a completed study guide before a test will receive a 10% bonus. For example, if you made a 78 on a test, you would receive 8 bonus points and get an 86 (10% of 78 is 7.8, which rounds up to 8). “Complete” means every vocabulary word is defined and every problem is worked out. Any blanks or problems with just an answer and no calculations will be disqualified.

Because of safety issues, I am extremely particular about students’ knowledge in this area. We will go into detail about proper procedures. These must be followed with great care. A lab safety exam will be administered at the beginning of the year and a score of 80 or better is required to participate in labs. 

Any student not focusing on the laboratory procedure during laboratory exercises (e.g., talking with students in another group, playing on cell phone, etc.) will be removed from the lab and receive a zero; the same goes for any students that are being disruptive or not following proper lab safety procedures. Additionally, a grade can only be assigned to students that participate during labs, thus standing idly for the period will also result in a grade of zero.

All labs will require a proper lab report. Students will be introduced to the proper format the first week of school and will be expected to utilize this format all year long. Typically, the entire group will be graded based on a single member’s lab report due to the cooperative nature of labs, thus it is crucial that all students are careful to properly follow the correct format.   

There will be no opportunities for extra credit; if you have time for extra credit, you had time to work harder on assigned credit. 

You will need a spiral notebook to take notes in and complete lab reports; my official recommendation is a single-subject, college-ruled spiral notebook with at least 100 sheets. Please dedicate this spiral notebook exclusively to chemistry as you will turn it in occasionally for grading. Additionally, chemistry involves a great deal of math, so you must bring a calculator to class every day. 

Chromebooks must remain closed in class unless otherwise instructed; you will be notified in advance when they’ll be needed in class. Notes must be taken with pen and paper.

I’m glad you’re here!  I am really looking forward to this year and having you in class!

Ryan Skidmore