This page was built for my own Chemistry students, but I have decided to leave it available for those teachers who plan on using the site with the Apologia course. Please make sure to update your students with PERMANENT DATES since none exist here.

Please stay at least one day ahead of your class schedule. You should have read all the required reading for the week PRIOR to arriving to class on Friday.


The materials you will need to purchase are listed below. I have also included the location of the best priced items I have found as of this moment. If you locate a better price for the same item, please let me know.

  • Apologia Exploring Creation through Chemistry, 2nd Edition ISBN 1-932012-26-5
  • Apologia Exploring Creation through Chemistry, 2nd Edition, Solutions Manual and Tests ISBN 1-932012-27-3
  • Apologia Chemistry Kit
  • a 2 – 2 1/2 inch plastic binder (This will become your Lab Notebook)
  • college-ruled notebook paper
  • PENCILS (1 – 2) (Pens are NOT suitable for labs or your Lab Notebook since you will want to be able to erase. Mechanical pencils may be used.)
  • PENS (1 – 2) (Black or blue only. PLEASE no “pretty pink or purple” pens, and definitely no red pens, please.)
  • Lab Sheet Template (will be available on this site on the LINKS  page during the week August 14, 2009)
  • Cornell Notes Template (can be printed from the website in the Home page)
  • a plastic or metal ruler (no wood, please, and at least 6 inches)
  • a calculator (PLEASE DO NOT GO OUT AND PURCHASE A SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR! These are very expensive and will not be necessary for you in this course. A good, regular calculator will serve you very well)
  • a box of plastic gloves (MEDIUM)

It would be helpful for you to have all class materials by August 7th, 2009.


The following class rules apply to all students taking this course. They are in place to keep you safe, establish a good learning environment, and protect your belongings. Please read them over carefully:

(1) I will be respectful of my teacher, other adults, and fellow classmates by not interrupting them, by using respectful words and tone, by raising my hand if I have a question or comment, and by being considerate of their persons and belongings.

(2) I will understand that I am working with dangerous and flammable substances and will be ever-mindful that I must not:

(a) put any substances or flame on my skin, clothing, or in my mouth

(b) put any substances or flame on or near others or on their belongings.

(3) I will understand that threatening or joking to put any substance or open flame on another person or on his or her belongings will not be tolerated.

(4) I will understand that I must move carefully around lab equipment and that no horseplay of any kind will be tolerated around the lab equipment.

(5) I will be quiet during exams, or when others are attempting to listen to directions or safety instructions.

Failiure to abide by these rules may result in the following:

(1) a verbal warning by my teacher

(2) the cancellation of my lab, an F grade on my lab, and the inability to make it up

(3) an essay in which I must explain the purpose and the detailed reason for each rule BEFORE I am permitted to perform another lab.


It’s very important that the Module reading, questions, and problems be done prior to Lecture day. Most Modules will be broken down into two week intervals. Labs are critical to the course, and every effort should be made to attend these since a good portion of them cannot be performed again. Much of the material on the tests will be covered in this “hands-on” way. Because of the nature of the material, classes will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. Please be on time.


If you have to miss a class, you may want to get notes from a classmate or make arrangements beforehand with me to the information you missed. Missed labs may not be able to reproduced, but we may be able to provide you with information covered in the lab. It’s important to note, however, that nothing takes the place of the lab itself, so every effort should be made to be present.


Lecture days are just that, days on which we gather as a class to solidify the information you have read and been working on during the week, discuss and perform labs, and work on reviews for tests or exams.

I cannot stress how important it is that all reading, questions, and problems be done prior to your arrival to class. At this stage of your learning, I would be wasting your valuable time by doing vocabulary reviews or teaching material as if you have never seen it.

There will be times when you read material at home and are shaky on your understanding of it. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING! That is the entire point of the class day. If you have actually read the material, as I begin to teach you will recognize vocabulary, formulae, and ideas that you read about, and will therefore, solidify the information in your mind and know what questions you need to ask in order to make the material more useable for you.

You should do your best to remain at least one day AHEAD of your syllabus, so that you are always prepared for class.

I also have a very tight schedule so that labs can receive all the time they require. Please make every effort to arrive early, because I will begin lecturing promptly at 1:00 p.m. You may use the restroom as you require, but I will not wait or go back to the material you missed. Also, I strongly suggest that you have all the materials you need for note-taking and lab work.


Office Hours are a special time that are open to you if you make an appointment to get additional help or guidance, or to ask long questions.

In order to use Office Hours, you must make an appointment. Unfortunately, my schedule is as hectic as it is in your family. If you make an appointment, I can not only know to be here when you arrive, but also know how many students to expect.

Please do not simply show up.


Introduction to Chemistry has a large laboratory component. The experiments, however, are only a part of the laboratory. The Lab Notebook serves as a place to keep track of what you have learned in the labs, to apply the material you have learned in the text and in the lectures, and to practice using the critical thinking that is so significant to the Scientific Method.

It’s important for you to note that I am not running an English class, so grammar and spelling isn’t going to be the content of the grading, but having said that, you must make the Lab Sheets legible! If your work is very sloppy or very poorly written, please do not be surprised if I give up grading it along the way and ask you to make an appointment to see me during Office Hours.

I will grade your Lab Sheets based on the criteria set down in the grading section of this page. I am not so interested on how you write as how you write about what you are thinking.

There is also no such thing as a finished Lab Notebook. If you do not receive the grade you wanted on a particular Lab Sheet, read my notes, go back and correct the work – and you may find yourself with a better grade than when you started. If you would like to improve your Chemistry grade, the first place to start is in the quality of your Lab Notebook!

Your final Lab Notebook grade will be given after the Final Exam.


Most students hate tests, because they do not understand the purpose of tests. You should bear in mind that test and exams are not meant to show what you do not know. They are opportunities to show what you have learned over a period of time and give you an exact idea of what material you are weakest on so that you may repair what you are missing. Tests and exams in the classroom serve the same purpose as an x-ray in a medical office: they let you know what is working well and what is not.

There are various reasons why a student doesn’t do well on tests:

  • He/she doesn’t arrive on time or misses many days of class.
  • He/she doesn’t take notes in class.
  • He/she doesn’t do the class work or participate in the discussion.
  • He/she doesn’t ask questions on the material that isn’t understood.
  • He/she “brain-dumps” after every test.
  • He/she doesn’t do the homework or the reading.
  • He/she doesn’t review notes, class discussions, or lab materials.
  • He/she doesn’t ask questions when he/she doesn’t understand directions on a test.
  • He/she doesn’t review the results of the test/exam to see what material needs to be strengthened.
  • He/she doesn’t ask for help until grades are being issued.

As you can see, these issues ARE CORRECTABLE! I WANT YOU TO BE AWARE THAT IT IS YOUR JOB(!) TO ASK FOR HELP! Your job is to do well and learn as much as you can. MY JOB is to make that possible. I cannot help if you don’t tell me you need it. I also cannot help if you do not actually perform the work.

Of course, some students just have trouble getting the answers from their heads and onto the page, but often it only means that they need more time and confidence in their abilities. You are a good student – or else you wouldn’t be here! Take every chance to succeed that you can, and always know that I will help you whenever and however I can.

There are no vocabulary tests in this class, but vocabulary is an INTEGRAL part of the tests you will take. Pay close attention to the vocabulary in each Module!

Each Module will have a test taken directly from the Tests provided by the curriculum. Please check the syllabus to keep abreast when these are scheduled. Module Tests are taken at home. Some will be assigned as open book or open note tests, but most will not. You have 1 1/2 hoursfor each test at your home. Parents may opt to grade the test at home and set it to the following class day, or may opt to have me grade them. If I grade your Module Test, it will be returned to you THE FOLLOWING WEEK.

Because Chemistry requires the building up of certain knowledge and skills, there will be a Midterm and a Final Exam. These will be provided by the curriculum as well. The Midterm and Final Exams are taken in class. There will be a strong review before EACH EXAM, as well as an addional Lecture Day the week of the exam. Please check the syllabus to see the exact dates of these reviews and additional lectures. You will have 2 hours and 15 minutes to take these exams. The results will be emailed to you.

There will be a Midterm Exam.

There will be a Final Exam.



Each of you will be graded on three aspects of your class:

  • Homework
  • Tests and Exams
  • Labs

The homework is VERY IMPORTANT. So much so, that it constitutes 30% of your final grade. There is no reason to receive ANYTHING short of a B on the homework since we will be reviewing it in class.

Each test/exam has its own grading criteria as set forth in the Solutions Manual.
Module tests will be averaged together and the grade will count for 20% of your final grade.
The Midterm Exam counts for 10% of your final grade.
The Final Exam counts for 10% of your final grade.

Your Lab Notebook will be a very important part of your learning. Each Lab Sheet will receive a grade. The Notebook will receive an averaged grade on these Lab Sheets. The entire Notebook constitutes 30% of your final grade.

For a grade of C on the Notebook you should be able to repeat and interpret the Lab Experiments WITHOUT the book and:

  1. The procedures you used in the lab are briefly listed with only sufficient information to explain the purpose of the lab.
  2. The descriptions are simplistic, and there are no graphs, labels, diagrams, calculations, or data to detail the lab.
  3. The results are recorded using clear observations, but measurements are shown but not detailed.

For a grade of B on the Notebook you should be able to repeat and interpret the Lab Experiments WITHOUT the book and:

  1. The procedures you used in the lab are listed with well documented sentences and information to explain the purpose of the lab.
  2. The descriptions are complete, and there are one of the following: graphs, labels, diagrams, calculations, or data to detail the lab.
  3. The results are recorded using clear observations, measurements are shown but not detailed.
  4. There are observations documented on the Lab Sheet.

For a grade of A on the Notebook you should be able to repeat and interpret the Lab Experiments WITHOUT the book and:

  1. The procedures you used in the lab are listed with well documented sentences and information to explain the purpose of the lab and how the lab was performed.
  2. The descriptions are complete, and there are at least two of the following: graphs, labels, diagrams, calculations, or data to detail the lab.
  3. The results are recorded using clear observations, measurements are shown and detailed.
  4. There are observations documented on the Lab Sheet.
  5. There are questions that results as a result of the Lab, and/or possible answers or possible labs that can be performed to find answers.


If you feel that you are having a hard time getting the solution to a problem or need additional help, you may take one or more of the following options:

  • Make good use of your classmates’ skills: each semester you will have a lab partner assigned to you, and you will have a room full of other students who are in need of your help as well. You are always welcome to work together on homework problems!
  • Check the website for videos, links, or other explanations.
  • You may arrange to make an appointment for Office Hours.
  • Never be afraid to ask for help! If you feel that something I’ve explained or something that you’ve read in the book isn’t making sense to you, ask! and do so before the problem becomes permanent! There is absolutely no reason to accept a poor grade with all these options available to you.


You can download the Class Syllabus by clicking here.


The Latin words Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam mean For the Greater Glory of God and are the motto of the Catholic Order of the Society of Jesus known commonly as the Jesuits.

The Jesuits were founded by an amazing man named Ignatius of Loyola who was the son of a Spanish nobleman. After a serious injury that derailed all his ideas of becoming a military hero, Ignatius found his true calling: to serve God. He began to realize that a true relationship with Christ could only come after the careful assessment of one’s life and of one’s behavior, and the notes that he began to write on the subject became known as the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.

Today, the Jesuit order is comprised of other amazing men – scientists, artists, educators – especially at the college level – and missionaries. It takes a great deal of training and discipline to become a Jesuit.

I chose this motto for our class as a tribute to one of the finest and best Jesuits I know, my uncle, Fr. Sergio Figueredo, SJ. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by many people who helped me understand that power of learning and how God leads us to know Him in our asking of questions, but it has always been my uncle who, by his own humble life and example, showed me the true value of incorporating careful, critical thinking into our service of God, and to temper that thought with the power of humble faith and love for God’s people. Everything he has ever done he has done with those words in mind: Let this be for the greater glory of God. I think he’ll get a chuckle to think that all his encouragement, love, and help turned into a chemistry class.

Gracias, Tio. Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam.