Monday, December 22, 2008

Dec 23rd--Happy Holidays

Today in class we watched a few more of the commercials and/or watched the original "How the Grinch stole Christmas".

Homework will not be due until January 9th--have a great holiday break and do just a little bit of studying because the chapter two test will be shortly after we return!

Dec 19th and Dec 22nd

Dec 19th I was absent! However the class worked on a conservation of mass lab. They took the mass of a denture cleansing tablet, a beaker, some water, and a ziplock bag. They then placed the water and the tablet in the bag, quickly sealed it and observed the reaction.

Finally, they weighed the bag, water and dissolved tablet, and then tried to determine if mass was conserved.

Dec 22nd we coated pinecones with molten wax, then sprinkled metallic salts on them. These can be thrown into wood burning fireplaces to create different colored flames. We also received our elements project grades and watched some of the elements commercials.

Dec 17-18 Burn, Baby, Burn!

We started off by taking notes on four types of chemical reactions. They were Synthesis, Decomposition, Single Replacement and Double Replacement Reactions. Synthesis means putting something together, Decomposition means taking it apart. Single replacement would be an element switching places with a part of a compound and double replacement would be two parts of two compounds switching places.

Then we completed the 'Burn, Baby, Burn" lab, complete with soundtrack courtesy of youtube. We weighed steel wool, then burnt it using a candle, then weighed it again. Many were surprised to see that the steel wool gained weight after it had been torched.

We discussed how this did not contradict the idea of conservation of mass. We realized that we had not weighed the oxygen that combined with the steel wool.

Finally, we balanced the equation Fe +O2-->Fe2O3 (this was the reaction we had completed).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dec 15-16, What's in a name

today we went over some basic rules for naming covalent molecules and ionic compounds. We discussed the latin prefixes mono, di, tri, tetra, penta, hexa, septa, octa, nona and deca.

We also spent more time balancing equations using this website

If you missed this class--try the ones on the website--if you do well, try the hard ones at

Bring in old candles and pine cones--we'll have something fun to do with them next week!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dec 12th--Balancing chemical equations

Today we had a C day, and we began to balance chemical equations--If you missed today's class check out the study help section of my website. There is a link to a website that will help you learn how to balance equations.

Balancing equations is in section one of chapter two. Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dec 10-11--exploring chemical reactions

Today we dove into the chemistry. After a short set of notes on the clues to chemical reactions (hosted by Blue, from Blues Clues) we broke into groups and started experimenting.

We first mixed Ammonium Nitrate with water and found that as the chemical dissolved the test tube became very cold.

Secondly we mixed copper sulfate solution with washing soda and saw a white precipitate form.

For our third experiment we poured some manganese dioxide into hydrogen peroxide--we noticed bubbles of gas which we then tested with glowing splints. The glowing splint relit which told us that the gas was oxygen.

We then mixed baking soda with vinegar--again forming a gas. Our lit splint went out this time which led us to believe that the gas was carbon dioxide.

For our final experiment we dropped some Magnesium metal into a test tube of hydrochloric acid. We again saw bubbling. When we tested this reaction product the results were quite explosive!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dec 8-9 Starting chemical reactions

Today we modeled the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. We did this using the molecule sets and the instructions to the start up activity (found on page 27). If you missed this in class you can try it at home using marshmallows and toothpicks.

We also graded our chapter one homework, turned in our commercials, and found out our grades on the model. We took a few notes on products, reactants, the yields symbol and conservation of matter. We also discussed the difference between coefficients and subscripts in chemical formulae--and we counted the number of atoms in compounds.

Finally, we received the new take twenty homework handout--the first ten points will be due the 15th/16th, the second ten points will be due the 22nd/23rd.

Finally--we found out that the plasma ball can activate the musical chip in my holiday tie!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dec 3-4 Making Chemical Models

Today we went over our homework then completed a lab on making chemical models. We used the model kits provided to us from a grant from the PFA (thanks again, they were very useful!) and created ball and stick models of both ionic and covalent substances.

We modeled H2, Cl2, O2, N2, HCl, KCl, HBr, H2O, CO2, H2S, NH3 and CH4.

Remember--Test on Friday--Extra help every morning starting at 7:30 am.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dec 1-2, Post Turkey Day Review

Today we turned in our 3D model of our atom and also the chapter one homework. We then reviewed how to read the periodic table and how to figure out the numbers of protons, neutrons and electrons in an atom by looking at the periodic table.

We also went over the chapter one study guide (given out today in class and available online at my website). The chapter one test will be this Friday, December fifth.

Finally we created atomic bonding skits. Each group was given the names of two elements, the group then had to determine if the elements bonded, then create a skit to show how they would bond.