Page for Parents
For some high school students, Chemistry is the first course that requires them to not only understand abstract concepts but also apply knowledge and math skills in their problem solving. Combined with an explosion of new vocabulary, Chemistry can be challenging and even intimidating for even the most capable students. A combination of support from home and support in school can serve to make a noted difference in student achievement.
Here are some suggestions to help support your student at home:
*Read over the expectations sheet with your student when you sign it or revisit it with your student. You should be able to find the signed original at the back of their chemistry binder or you can download a copy from the class support page ( Honors or AP). If your student is struggling, you may want to revisit how their grade is calculated. Note that College Prep students also have a retake policy.
There is also an Attendance Contract to help your student learn how to manage their absences. You may find it helpful to review this contract with your student.
* Read over the tips for finding success in high school chemistry. Try to help your student to honestly assess their approach to the class. You should be able to find it at the back of their binder, but you can download a copy here (StudyTips). There are also a number of excellent sites with study tips. A google search will bring up a wide variety- I have listed a few on an example of helpful Links page.
*If your student is saying that they do not know what the homework is or when the tests are, please know that weekly assignment sheets or calendars are handed out in class and are also posted through their class page of this site. Here are direct links for assignment sheets for Honors SFTW . and AP Calendars .
*My Chemistry classes have a combination of Google Classroom, Google Sites and Google Groups to support their learning. The combination of these online resources will provide class resources and online learning experiences. These sites serve as an extension of the classroom and because of this they are password protected and I do not allow in guests. If your student is struggling, you may ask them if they are utilizing the available online resources and especially ask if they are taking advantage of extra help. Remember that this is their work to do. I strongly encourage parents to stay off of Aspen and Classroom. This is a time for your students to learn how to manage their work.
*Encourage your student to come to see me when they are struggling or if they are concerned about their grade. I am at school almost every morning by 6:15 am and many afternoons. I also make myself available during the school day whenever possible. Most students only need one or two help sessions to get on the right track. I have found that once a student comes even one time they are more likely to ask questions during class time and/or come to see me with "quick" questions or for more substantial help. As a result, not only does their grade improve, but also how they feel about putting in the effort. Please know that if your or your student send an e-mail after school hours, I often do not receive it until the next day.
*If your student is feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty earning a satisfactory grade, please schedule an appointment for us to sit down . The most productive meetings include the student - this may seem intimidating to the student, but they walk away with a better understanding of all the concerns and what they can do to improve their experience.
Students who attend class, study, remain organized and turn things in on time, will not only learn chemistry but will also become better problem solvers. Over the years, it seems that students with strong study skills have the most consistent success in high school Chemistry. Quite often, struggling students just need some encouragement and strategies to stay on track. Sometimes, however, Chemistry is tough for a student to "see" and they really do need extra help to get through. I am available (for free to CC students), I often have TAs available for tutoring, NHS has tutors and, as a last resort, there are a number of excellent tutors that you can hire for an hourly fee (although by district policy, I am not permitted to recommend anyone).