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#### biospy

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« on: October 03, 2006, 06:30:35 PM »
Tell me how bad your chem class is....I expected a bit more from a teacher with a Ph. D., but this is what we have in AP chem:

1. We only have until January for the course and the ONLY new concept we learned is partial pressures. The whole first month was review and stoichiometry. Now we are REVIEWING solubility and net ionic equations....

2. We do pointless labs and if you get all the lab questions wrong you still get a 100, but if you spell incorrectly or forget a label, you get -5 or so....I'm not even kidding...and we can't type them...all labs must be handwritten, primary sources....

3. The tests have nothing to do with the lesson. Like, she specifically says all we need to know about KMT is the 4 bullets she gave us and we dont need to know anything at all about particle speed, but then 1/2 the test is KMT and particle speeds....

4. The lessons are just her giving a powerpoint printout to us and then going through it on the computer and no one learns from it, then you get a worksheet to take home and figure out yourself.

5. No one in the class is taking the AP exam because we know how ill-prepared we are/will be.

#### Dan

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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2006, 06:34:25 PM »
4. The lessons are just her giving a powerpoint printout to us and then going through it on the computer and no one learns from it, then you get a worksheet to take home and figure out yourself.

I strongly believe that powerpiont has ruined education in general.
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#### english

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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2006, 09:12:59 PM »
Your book is your best friend.  That seems like a lazy instructor.  I prefer ones that you can theorize with.

#### Mitch

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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2006, 09:25:48 PM »
College is worse get use to it.
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#### mike

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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2006, 09:28:14 PM »
Quote
Tell me how bad your chem class is....I expected a bit more from a teacher with a Ph. D., but this is what we have in AP chem:
Depends what the PhD is in. If she has a PhD in education or teaching then this is a suprise. If it is a PhD in Chemistry or Science then there is nothing unusual about this.

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1. We only have until January for the course and the ONLY new concept we learned is partial pressures. The whole first month was review and stoichiometry. Now we are REVIEWING solubility and net ionic equations....

Maybe tell her that the whole class has already covered this and that you are all happy to move on. Don't do this in front of the entire class, always "confront" teachers one to one as it will seem less like an attack on them this way.

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2. We do pointless labs and if you get all the lab questions wrong you still get a 100, but if you spell incorrectly or forget a label, you get -5 or so....I'm not even kidding...and we can't type them...all labs must be handwritten, primary sources....

This is not an uncommon situation. I am employed to develop labs for science degrees, and this is quite a rare job, it takes a lot of time and effort to change the way things have always been done. Marking scheme for labs is also very difficult.

Quote
3. The tests have nothing to do with the lesson. Like, she specifically says all we need to know about KMT is the 4 bullets she gave us and we dont need to know anything at all about particle speed, but then 1/2 the test is KMT and particle speeds....

This seems odd. Don't forget that there is a degree of responsibility on the part of the student as well as the teacher in education.

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4. The lessons are just her giving a powerpoint printout to us and then going through it on the computer and no one learns from it, then you get a worksheet to take home and figure out yourself.

Quite common I think, albeit not very effective in this case I presume.

Quote
5. No one in the class is taking the AP exam because we know how ill-prepared we are/will be.

I don't know what AP exam is, sorry.
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#### Mitch

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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2006, 09:39:38 PM »
AP is a stupid test that allows highschool students to earn college credits for a certain subject.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2006, 12:31:31 AM by Mitch »
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#### english

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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2006, 11:52:06 PM »
AP is a stupid test that allows highschool students to earn college credits for a certain subject. It use to be only available for truely gifted students to challenge them. But, these days any Dick and Jane can take them and they usually complain about the workload and other such stuff.

Cosign.  I took AP History back in high school and boy was it a waste of my time seeing as I didn't do too well on the AP exam.  I did rather well in the class though.

Funny, this is high school chemistry class you're talking about? They usually move slow because those classes are like 2 semesters.  College classes are only one semester a piece so we move unusually fast sometimes.

I took a summer class once for instance, we covered the entire book in 5 weeks.

Eh, if she's boring you don't hesitate to move ahead!

#### biospy

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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2006, 06:59:52 AM »
I guess you're probably right. Her Ph. D. is in nutrition by the way. I guess it will help my GPA though...I had a 100 ( which is weighted in AP to a 108) until yesterday when I got an 88 on a suprise test, but my grade is still a 98 (weighted to 106 or so), so I guess there are benefits to it being review.

#### buckminsterfullerene

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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2006, 11:24:56 PM »
AP Chemistry is unlike the other APs, and many colleges are either only accepting 5s or not accepting AP grades.  The problem with AP chem specifically is the expectation.  teachers are given a book which has several labs, and they are supposed to go through every lab in the book, one of the labs mentioned in the book will be in the AP exam and no one knows until exam day which one it is.  If you do not do the lab then you will most likely not get the entire AP question correct though if you are good you can come up with the answers without having done the lab.

the problem is that there is a time period for those labs, and at least in my schools case, the amount of time which we should supposedly spend on the labs would exceed the amount of time that we will be taking the class through out the year, so we only cover a few of them and hope one of the labs we did are in the exam.

The questions can in some cases get a bit complicated, specifically the multiple choice, unlike other AP exams i have taken, including AP calc (which is a walk in the park compared to AP chem), the questions do not allow a chance of error and there is always one response that is wrong but very close, and its placed in the exam on purpose to trick people.  3 of them can generally be eliminated as wrong responses, and one of the choices is right.

while it is true, a college class can go through the entire book in one semester, the problem in high school one would have about 5 hours per week to cover the entire book, there are 35-40 hours of school per week, giving a time frame of (if one considers 8 hours of sleep) 168 - 56 - 40 = 72 hours of work time.  one would generally take from this extracurricular activities as needed, and then whatever time is left over, at least for my school it is divided between 7 classes (some over achievers can have as many as 11 classes), which in general gives  over 10 hours per class, per week, however, that will never happen, there are about 8-9 hours during the weekdays to cover classes that fit whichever schedule one has (some schools have block scheduling, other a class the entire day, and some every class the same day every day.), the person would be a apart from civilization and stuck at home if that was attempted.

however, my advice to anyone taking AP chem, is to get AP practice books, read them, study them, practice taking the AP exams that they offer for practice in the time that would generally be given, and do it after each grading period, determine the results, you will with out a doubt fail the first time (if not then hell, deciding not to take the exam would be a crazy idea... lol).  make the most of the time.

at this point if i were to do the calculations for my self i would have 62 hours to be divided between 9 classes not counting extracurricular, which includes community service, internships, clubs, projects, and as a senior applications.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2006, 11:35:12 PM by 3.3.141592653 »
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#### buckminsterfullerene

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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2006, 11:29:13 PM »
4. The lessons are just her giving a powerpoint printout to us and then going through it on the computer and no one learns from it, then you get a worksheet to take home and figure out yourself.

I strongly believe that powerpoint has ruined education in general.

I actually agree... last year my AP Chem teacher decided to start using only powerpoints to teach class.... well the result was very few people getting 5s.  the previous year 45% of students got 5s in his class.

When the presentation is done by powerpoint, no matter how many animations, graphics or ingenuity is placed into the presentation, the lights are off, and its a high school, so people are going to fall asleep, and not pay attention.  and generally ppt presentations are quite lame.
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#### tamim83

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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2006, 01:10:29 PM »
I think that powerpoint should not be used all of the time to teach chemistry.  There is something special about working out problems, deriving equations, and drawing mechanisms on the board.  It is easier to see what is going on that way.  My quantum mechanics professor uses powerpoint, and although she is very organized, I sometimes feel that it allows her to really move fast with the material, and cram large amounts of material in 75 minutes.  It definitely messes up pacing.  I usually use powerpoint for definitions and wordy things but I use the board for problems and mechanisms and derivations.

#### hmx9123

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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2006, 02:37:48 PM »
Powerpoint totally ruins pacing.  As far as I'm concerned, it should be used for presentations at meetings and conferences and as a slide projector.  I had an anthropology professor who used powerpoint effectively--he'd just show pictures with it, nothing else.  No notes, etc.--just a slide show.  Worked pretty well for that.

I wouldn't say that AP exams are stupid; that's a large judgement on the exams in general.  While I agree that it is kind of dumb to have a standardized test of any kind, the AP is no different than the SATs or anything else in that regard.  I took the AP Chem test in 1996, though, so I have no idea what it's like today.  We were very lucky in the teacher we had for AP Chem--she was excellent.  The class was also a triple period class--we ran from 7:15am-9:25am every day--which allowed us both more lecture and more lab time, so we were able to complete all the labs we had scheduled.  It was perhaps one of the best classes I've ever taken in HS.  This being said, as with all HS classes, the teacher makes the class, not the course content.

#### buckminsterfullerene

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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2006, 11:28:20 PM »
Powerpoint totally ruins pacing.  As far as I'm concerned, it should be used for presentations at meetings and conferences and as a slide projector.  I had an anthropology professor who used powerpoint effectively--he'd just show pictures with it, nothing else.  No notes, etc.--just a slide show.  Worked pretty well for that.

I wouldn't say that AP exams are stupid; that's a large judgement on the exams in general.  While I agree that it is kind of dumb to have a standardized test of any kind, the AP is no different than the SATs or anything else in that regard.  I took the AP Chem test in 1996, though, so I have no idea what it's like today.  We were very lucky in the teacher we had for AP Chem--she was excellent.  The class was also a triple period class--we ran from 7:15am-9:25am every day--which allowed us both more lecture and more lab time, so we were able to complete all the labs we had scheduled.  It was perhaps one of the best classes I've ever taken in HS.  This being said, as with all HS classes, the teacher makes the class, not the course content.

I agree, teachers do make the class.  It is about how interested they are in what they are teaching, if they teach it with a passion then perhaps they may be able to influence the students to go beyond the material and facilitates learning, but if they don't really do anything and talk in a monotone voice, as if teaching was just a job and an obligation they detest, then yeah, you have the teachers that everyone hates, that everyone has to spend so much energy in, and that everyone wants to get out.  Or that everyone has fun but do not care about the subject in hand.  I have had quite a few over the years from both spectrum.

The thing about working out the problems is that it just works better, one is able to manipulate the equations more, in a slide show, its just there, and the next slide will just show another step, but does not show where it came from, doing the work on the board at least allows one to see the work as it progresses from nothing to something.

I hate standardized tests and exams.... they do not determine the potential a person may have in a certain field, and well there are great test takers and horrible ones.  It does not mean that the ones that do bad in the tests will not succeed, i found myself failing just about every test in AP calc, but i understood all the subject with enough mastery that people would gather around me while explaining, however, i perfected my technique on test taking for that particular teacher a bit late.. lol, but managed to get a near perfect score in the final exam, and had fun doing it...
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#### hmx9123

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