Honors Chemistry Parent/Guardian Letter 2       9/2/16

ABC's Knowing the Elements and Ions

Dear Parent and/or Guardian,

        About this time every year it becomes necessary for me to inform parents about a very troubling and important issue concerning the unique nature of Chemistry. This class is the combination of three different types of courses. It is not only a science class, it is also both a math course and a foreign language course. It is the language component that I must make you aware of at this time. In order to be successful in chemistry students must learn to speak, read and write the language of chemistry.

        When learning a language students must first learn that languages alphabet. Next, students learn to put those "letters" together to form "words."  To do this in chemistry they must learn the "element" names and symbols. When elements gain or lose electrons they become "ions." It is the combination of these elements and ions that allow us to make "compounds." It is the interaction of these compounds that describe all of the chemical reactions of the world around us.

        Many students do not set aside the time required to learn these equivalents to letters and words. Failing to learn the basic components of this language will likely lead to lower grades, poor performance in this course and a lack of understanding of the chemical nature of the world around them.

        There are several different methods that have been introduced to your child to assist them in learning this language. Memorizing techniques including flip-cards, practice worksheets, games and quizzes are utilized in class. By spending some time with your child and their flip-cards you will reinforce the importance of this topic and assist them in their learning.

        Please take note that students and parents can track student grades through the chemistry web site. You may also request a grade printout at any time. I will either send printouts home with students or leave them with your studentís councilor, whichever you prefer. These student printouts can also be faxed and sent as PDF documents to your email. 

        Thank-you for your continued support and concern for your son's or daughter's education. Parent/Teacher conferences are in September. Please schedule appointments with the Main Office. If you have any questions please contact me at FHS (879-3611,) Email me pkirk@fairborn.k12.oh.us or contact me through the Chemistry Web Site at www.fairborn.k12.oh.us.

                                                                                            Phillip W. Kirk