AP Chemistry Syllabus 2015 - 2016

Website including online calendar: http://kaffee.50webs.com/Science
E-mail: akeller [at] scarboroughschools . org

Course Overview Documents

FIO Class Motto
How to Study for AP Chemistry
Lab Safety Rules
Lab Notebook Information
Lab Report Writing Information (html)
Real Life Chemistry Assignments
AP Chemistry Summer Work 2015
Personal Introduction Essay (doc)
Expectations regarding Problem Sets and Free Response Question packets

Class Notes and Powerpoints


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The College Board AP Chemistry Course Description states that the “course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year.” The text goes on to say that, “Students in such a course should attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course should contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic.” Therefore I have adopted the following goals for this course:

Instructional Techniques and Assessment

Grades in the course will be broken down as follows:
        Tests: 40% (1 per quarter)
    Quizzes: 35% (4 - 6 per quarter)
          Labs: 25% (6 - 7 2-hr labs per quarter)

The schedule at the end of this introductory material shows what to expect for each unit. Specific dates are not given in the interest of maintaining flexibility. The number of hours of class time for each unit is indicated as a goal. Also in the schedule is recommended Memory Work which are items that you should commit to memory.

For each unit you will be required to complete a brief Outline of the important points in the reading assigned for that unit. This Outline must be separated into the sections used in the chapter. Sometimes one or two entries on the Outline will be sufficient for a given section. For other, more complicated sections you will need to use your judgment as to what the most important ideas and problem-solving techniques are. Keep Outlines brief! This is not meant to be a burden but rather a way to encourage you to prepare thoroughly for class. Outlines should be completed by the first day of a new unit: you must read ahead!

A tip about reading textbooks: they are not novels. In a novel you typically read a passage once with full comprehension. The action carries you forward through the text. Textbooks build sequentially in each chapter and you will at times need to read a section several times—and work through its examples on paper— before you can move on to the next section. Be self-aware and check in with yourself: Did I understand that passage? Could I solve problems based on it?

Each unit has a Problem Set that consists of questions and problems from the ends of the chapters. At times I will assign problems from supplementary material for the Problem Set. These problem sets will be approached in several ways:

  1. You will work independently to solve the problems using only your brain, the text, a calculator and paper and pencil.
  2. You will work in study groups outside of class to help one another to solve the problems. Use this time not to copy another student’s solution but to compare notes about the best way to get to a solution.

Both Outlines and Problem Sets count as Homework. Homework is not collected, graded, or checked off. Instead, you must keep Outlines and Problem Sets neatly in a dedicated binder.

The date of the Homework Quiz will be set whenever we begin a new unit. The Homework Quiz will draw on problems directly from your homework and will be short.

Test dates will be near the end of each quarter. Tests will be designed to simulate the AP Chemistry Exam as closely as possible. Tests will be comprehensive and will be designed to be completed in one hour. Timed tests will help you to prepare for the AP Exam.

Labs will be offered six to seven times each quarter. Lab assignments will vary in scope but at minimum will require completion of pre-lab work by the first day of work and completion of post-lab questions. Three to four times each quarter you will be required to submit a full formal lab report (format available separately). A portion of your lab grade will depend on your diligence in keeping a good scientific lab notebook. Required for this purpose is a permanently bound ruled notebook. In this notebook you will write your lab procedures, lab notes and data while you work in the lab. By the end of the course you will have accumulated the documentation necessary for colleges to determine whether to give you credit for the lab portion of the AP Chemistry class. A handout is available separately that describes how to make good use of your lab notebook.

Study Groups are required. During the first week of class you will form study groups of 3 - 4 people. Make a regular time to meet and work on AP Chemistry together. Working together makes tackling the difficult material of this course a bit more manageable. These groups will continue to work together during class. Re-shuffling of Study Groups will be allowed, if necessary.

Frequently I will ask students to present problems at the board. Presentations will consist in writing out the detailed solution to a problem on the board and explaining how you came to it to the class. The other members of the class are active participants in the process and are expected to ask questions and demand that the presenter justify his or her work. Problem presentations will be a frequent part of this course and will usually precede a Homework Quiz.

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In this course our motto is FIO (an acronym that I leave to the reader: you will figure it out if you think about it for a bit).

It is important that you evaluate yourself frequently as you work to find out what you have learned. Try repeating to yourself the contents of class discussions. Even better, go over the concepts and problem-solving techniques with your study group: communicating something you have learned forces you to organize your thoughts about it. When you do so, you learn it better yourself. This is true also about writing in the course. Your lab reports and the answers to lab questions are learning opportunities. When you explain what you have learned in writing you often find that you have not learned it as well as you thought you did. Go back and learn it properly and your writing will improve.

We will spend time in this course developing your mental math skills. The multiple-choice portion of the AP Chemistry Exam must be done without calculators. The multiple-choice problems usually work as follows:

  1. All answers are different by an order of magnitude or more.
  2. All answers are different mathematical manipulations of the given: knowing the kind of operation required will often be enough for you to be able to guess the answer.
  3. Some answers are close and you will need to do some actual calculation: these are designed so as not to be too difficult.
  4. Sometimes answers will be close but a quick calculation with a rounded-off answer will still be enough to select the correct response.
Finally, reviewing the available responses before doing a calculation is often a good way to get through a problem quickly.


Primary textbook: Chemistry: The Central Science, 11th edition, Brown, LeMay, Bursten & Murphy, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2009.
Laboratory Experiments for Advanced Placement Chemistry, 2nd edition, Sally Ann Vonderbrink, Ph.D., Flinn Scientific, Inc., Batavia, IL, 2006.
POGIL Activities for High School Chemistry, Laura Trout, editor. Flinn Scientific, Inc. ©2012
Supplementary Materials available on instructor’s web site (http://kaffee.50webs.com/Science/).

Quotes from Students

“I think this class has made me more of a self-driven learner. Before this year if I was stuck on a problem I would often wait for the teacher to explain it, but now I take the time and do the work to figure it out on my own. I think this has really improved my learning.”

“This class has changed me as a student because I have had to learn how to do more learning on my own and be efficient in my work so I have time to study.”

“I’ve had to manage my time a lot more and focus on what I have the most trouble on, rather than everything. I am a more effective worker and problem solver because of it.”

“This class has made me a much more independent student. To be successful in this class, you must be driven and do hours of studying outside of class.”

“This class has made me realize that some subjects are most effectively learned—or even must be learned—simply by applying new concepts through trial and error (e.g., in the problem sets). I have become a more patient learner because of this class, more willing to blunder around in the dark until things make sense, and more appreciative of the time it takes to develop true understanding.”

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First Quarter*
and Time
Text Information
incl. Problems
Lab(s) Memory Work
Matter and Measurement
Dimensional Analysis, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, Density, Temperature
1 hour
Chapter 1
Problem Set: 11 15 17 21 24 26 29 31 33 37 39 40 44 47 53 59 67 72 77
Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Organizing Data”
POGIL: “Significant Digits and Measurement”
POGIL: “Significant Zeros”
Activity: Significant Figures with Calculations
Homework: Significant Figures
Observing a Candle
Measurement and Significant Figures Lab
Precision vs. Accuracy
Density Lab
(all available online)
Tables 1.4, 1.5 and the Rules for Counting Significant Figures (pg 22)
Atomic Structure I:
Basics of Atomic Theory
3 hours
I. A. 1, 2, 3
Chapter 2: 2.1 - 2.5
Problem Set: 9 11 13 15 18 21 22 24 33 34 35 37 39
Supplementary Material:
Atomic Structure Activity (unavailable on line)
Cranberry Spectrophotometry: Measuring the Cranberry Juice Concentration of Juice Blends
Z, A, Atomic Symbols, Dalton’s Atomic Theory (pg 38)
Molecules, Ions and Naming Compounds
2 hours
2.6 - 2.9
Problem Set: 41 42 46 47 49 51 53 57 59 61 65 66 69 71 73 104
Supplementary Material:
POGIL: “Naming Ionic Compounds”
POGIL: “Polyatomic Ions”
POGIL: “ Naming Molecular Compounds”
POGIL: “Naming Acids”
Flowchart for Naming Inorganic Binary Compounds

Useful Nomenclature Resources:

Here is a big-picture flow-chart to help you determine whether a compound is ionic or molecular and how to name it no matter what it is. It is available as a PDF download at this link: Inorganic Nomenclature Flow Chart. A useful reference for ion names is the ions reference sheet I created.

Useful links from ChemTeam.info:
Cations/Anions List
Nomenclature Basics
How to Name Cations
How to Name Anions
Big Picture Flowchart for Compounds

None See bold items in tables in Ch. 2
Be able to name polyatomic ions, transition metal ions, ionic compounds, covalent compounds, and oxyacids.
Stoichiometry: Atomic Mass, the Mole, Percent Composition, Chemical Equations
5 hours
III. B. 1, 2, 3
Chapter 3
Problem Set: 9 11 13 14 15 17 19 21 24 26 29 32 33 35 37 41 43 49 51 53 54 55 57 59 63 66 67 68 70 71 73 74 77 79 80 92 103
Supplementary Material:
Intro to Chemical Equations
Homework for Balancing Chemical Equations
Chemical Equations from Words (not avail. on line) POGIL: “Relative Mass and the Mole”
POGIL: “Mole Ratios”
POGIL: “Limiting and Excess Reactants”
The Mole
Moles Practice Calculations
Homework Assignment: The Mole and Molar Mass
Demo: Stoichiometry
Stoichiometry Activity
Stoichiometry Homework
Limiting Reagent Activity
Limiting Reagent Homework
(the above is from the summer work)
Size of an Aluminum Atom
Determination of the Formula of Rust cd 1
Hydrate Lab (all available online) cd 4
Analysis by Gravimetry (Flinn 3) cd 16
Avogadro’s number (6.02 × 1023 particles/mole) and its meaning
pg 100 Solving Stoichiometry problems
Reaction Types & Rxns in Solution: Water, Solutions, Acid/Base, Redox
6 hours
III. A. 1, 2, 3; B. 1, 2, 3 and IV. 1
Chapter 4
Problem Set: Ch 4: 11 13 15 19 21 24 27 30 32 35 39 44 45 51 55 59 61 69 73 79 81 83
Supplemental Material:
POGIL: “Types of Chemical Reactions”
POGIL: “Acids and Bases”
POGIL: “Molarity”
Reaction writing and prediction (not available on-line)
http://dwb4.unl.edu/ap2/ Descriptive Chemistry Interactive Site
Acid-Base Titration (Peoples 8) cd 7
Differences btwn. strong, weak and non-electrolytes; table 4.1 (solubility rules); oxidation states rules pg. 137
Gases: Pressure, Gas Laws, Gas Phase Rxns, Partial Pressures, Kinetic-Molecular Theory
5 hours
II. A. 1 a b, 2 a b c d
Chapter 10
Problem Set: 11 17 22 23 25 27 31 33 37 40 43 45 47 51 53 56 59 61 67 71 75 77 83 84 85 87 Supplementary Material:
POGIL: “Gas Variables”
Lab: Boyle’s Law with Vernier Probes (available online)
Molar Volume of a Gas (Flinn 8) cd 5
PV = nRT; P1V1/n1T1 = P2V2/n2T2; Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures; Definition of Mole Fraction; Molar Vol. 22.42 L at STP

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Second Quarter*
and Time
Text Information
incl. Problems
Lab(s) Memory Work
Thermochemistry: Energy, Enthalpy, Calorimetry, Hess’s Law
4 hours
III. E. 1 2
Chapter 5
Problem Set: 5 13 19 23 25 27 29 33 37 41 49 53 54 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Calorimetry”
Heat and Temperature in Phases Changes (Infographic)
Examples of Calorimetry Calculations
Calorimetry Lab cd 13 ΔE = q + w, w = -PΔV, ΔH = q at constant P, Hess’s Law
Electronic Structure of Atoms: EM Radiation, Atomic Spectra, Quantum Mechanics, Orbitals
7 hours
I. A. 4, 5 IV. 2.
Chapter 6
Problem Set: Problem Set: 11 15 18 21 25 29 33 35 41 47 50 57 59 61 65 67 79 82 84
Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Coulombic Attraction”
POGIL: “Electron Energy and Light”
POGIL: “Electron Configurations”
POGIL: “Cracking the Periodic Table Code”
Pre-lab: Flame Tests due on the first day of the lab
Lab: Flame Tests
Lab: Hydrogen Atom Simulator Do problems 1 - 5 for homework. The rest of the questions will be answered using an online simulator (link is on the lab page). (computer lab)
Pre-lab: Atomic Emission lamps due on the day of the lab
Lab: Atomic Emission Lamps
E=mc2, E = hν, c = λν, quantum numbers, electron configuration method, trends in ionization energy and atomic radius
Periodic Trends: Development of the Periodic Table, Effective Nuclear Charge, Ion and Atom Size, Ionization Energy, Electron Affinity, Group Trends Chapter 7
Problem Set: 7 8 10-12 16 17 21 23 25 27 30 31 35 37 38 39 41 43 46 48 51 53 57 59 61 63 64 67 69 71 73 75 77 81 83 92 94
Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Photoelectron Spectroscopy”
POGIL: “Periodic Trends”
POGIL: “Advanced Periodic Trends” YouTube Playlist about the Periodicity of the Properties of Elements
  trends in ionization energy and atomic radius
Trends for atomic size, ion size, ionization energy, effective nuclear charge, and electron affinity
Atomic Structure II:
Nucleus, Radioactive Decay, Nuclear Stability, Nuclear Reactions
4 hours
I. C.
Chapter 21
Problem Set: (2 3 4 7 11 15 17 33 50 57 to be done in class)
Supplementary Material:
Nuclear Equations: Alpha and Beta Radiation
Nuclear Equations: Electron Capture and Positron Radiation
Half-life Activity
Mass Defect & Binding Energy Activity
(all available online)
Geiger Counter Demonstration
POGIL: Types of Radiation
POGIL: Types of Radioactive Decay
POGIL: Alpha and Beta Decay
POGIL: Nuclear Equations
Alpha, Beta, and Positron Decay modes; half-life equations, E = mc2
Chemical Bonding: Ionic, Covalent, Metallic and Hydrogen Bonds; Lewis Structures, Electronegativity, Hybrid Orbitals; Organic Nomenclature and Structure
10 hours
I. A. 5 I. B. 1 a b c, 2 a b c, 3
Chapter 8, Chapter 9.1 - 9.6, and Chapter 25.1 - 25.4
Problem Set: Ch. 8: 2 4-6 8 9 13 17 19 21 23 29 32 33 35 36 40 45-47 49 50 53 55 57 58 61 65 67 69 90
Ch. 9: 1 3 4 6 8 12 13 14 15 17 19 23 25 30 31 34 36 37 38 39 40 43 47 49 50 55 56 76 82
Ch. 25: 1 6 7 13 17 18 21 22 28 39 40
Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Bond Energy”
POGIL: “Molecular Geometry”
Activity: Lewis Diagrams
Lewis Diagrams: Molecules to draw
VSEPR Shapes with PhET Simulator
Lewis Diagrams and VSEPR Shapes
Table of VSEPR Shapes and Modifications
Building Models (hands-on covalent bonding activity)
Home-Inquiry: Crystals
Lewis Structures method, pg 314 & pg 316
Trends for atomic size, ion size, and electronegativity
VSEPR model method, pg 346
alkane and functional group nomenclature
saturated alkane 2n + 2 rule

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Third Quarter*
and Time
Text Information
incl. Problems
Lab(s) Memory Work
Solutions: Intermolecular Forces and Phase Changes 2 hours
II. B. 1-4
Chapter 11
Problem Set: 1 2 10 12 13 16 17 25 26 30 32 33 37 40 46 47 50 52 54 56 69 74 79 81 83 102
Solutions: Energy of Solution Formation, Vapor Pressure, Colligative Properties
5 hours
II. B. 1-4 C. 1-4
Chapter 13
Problem Set: 2 3 5 7 10 14 16 20 21 23 29 31 35 43 46 49 55 57 59 61 63 64 65 68 77 79 94 96 Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Saturated and Unsaturated Solutions”
POGIL: “Solubility”
Real Life Chemistry of Marshmallows
Pre-lab for Size of a Molecule
Size of a Molecule (all available online)
Types of intermolecular interaction, Definitions of molarity, molality, percent by mass, mole fraction; Π = MRT
Kinetics: Reaction Rates, Rate Laws, Integrated Rate Laws, Reaction Mechanisms
6 hours
III. D. 1-5
Chapter 14
Problem Set: 1-4 7 8 10 14 17 21 24 29 32 35 38 39 45 46 47 51 53 54 57 59 63 67 69 71 73 77 81
Lab: Spectrophotometry of Cranberry Juice
OR Spectrophotometry Basics
Spectrophotometric Determination of a Rate Law
Rate Laws Summary (formulas, typical graphs)
Kinetics Information Sheet
Equilibrium: Equilibrium Constant, Gas Equilibria, Le Châtelier’s Principle
6 hours
III. C. 1 a b, 2 a
Thermodynamic vs. Kinetic Stability
Chapter 15
Problem Set: 1 3 5 6 8 9 11 14 16 20 21 25 27 30 33 36 38 40 43 46 49 50 51 54 55 58 61 72 82 Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Equilibrium”
Determination of an Equilibrium Constant (Flinn 13) cd 10 and cd 17 Form of the Equilibrium Constant Expression
Kp = K(RT)Δn; Le Châtelier’s Principle
Acids and Bases: Nature, Strength, pH Scale, Polyprotic Acids, Salts, Lewis Acids
6 hours
III. A. 1 B. 1 C. 2 IV. 1
Chapter 16
Problems Set: 1 3 46 10 11 17 20 27 30 31 33 35 39 41 45 48 51 54 57 61 71 72 75 78 79 83 89 91 94 97 100 101 122 Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Strong vs. Weak Acids”s
POGIL: “Calculating pH”
Choosing an Appropriate Indicator (Flinn 16) cd 19  
More About Equilibria: Common Ion Effects, Buffers, pH Curves, Indicators, Solubility Equilibria
6 hours
III. C. 2 b
Chapter 17
Problem Set: 2 3 5 9 11 13 15 19 2223 25 32 34 36 41 43 48 49 55 57 63 67 81 85
Qualitative Analysis (Flinn Kit) cd 14
Buffers (Flinn 17) cd 19
Henderson-Hasselbalch Eqn.; Summary of Buffer Info
Thermodynamics: Free Energy, Entropy, Spontaneity of Chemical Reactions, Work
5 hours
III. E. 3, 4
Chapter 19
Problem Set: 1 2 3 6 8 10 14 17 22 23 27 29 34 39 41 43 49 51 53 55 58 68 71 73 76 78 79 108
Demo: Thermite   ΔG = ΔH –TΔS
ΔG = ΔG° + RT·ln(Q)
ΔG° = – RT·ln(K)
Table 19.4, pg. 825

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Fourth Quarter*
and Time
Text Information
incl. Problems
Lab(s) Memory Work
Electrochemistry: Galvanic Cells, Reduction Potentials, Thermodynamics of Electrochemistry, Batteries, Corrosion, Electrolysis
6 hours
III. A. 1-3 IV. 1
Chapter 20
Problem Set: 1 3 6 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 20 21 25 26 28 30 32 34 35 37 41 43 46 49 53 58 61 64 69 87 90 94 Supplementary Materials:
POGIL: “Oxidation and Reduction”
POGIL: “Activity Series”
POGIL: “Batteries”
Electrochemical Cells and Electroplating (Flinn Kit) cd 21 ΔG° = -nF E°; Nernst Eqn.
Review: Two weeks of review; practice tests, targeted review to be determined none  
Supplemental Reading Assignment Organic Chemistry Supplemental Materials

*The letters ‘cd’ in the syllabus indicate the Course Description Recommended Experiment number. An effort has been made to cover as many of the recommended labs as possible. Also, each unit has a set of letters and numbers associated with it. These refer to the Course Description and indicate which topics in the Topic Outline are to be covered in that unit.

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