G12 Cover

1. Calculate concentration of your sodium carbonate solution

Make sure you propagate the error.  Check with your partner that you have the same number.   The concentration if calculated properly should have at least 3 dps (possibly 4) according to the measurement uncertainty.

2.  Titration calculations

You will finish your titration next week.  This week you will practice some titration calculations.  You will find them on the Google+.

3.  Trends in the oxides of period 3

Complete the hand out.  You will need to fill in the :

  1. Name of the oxide (IUPAC)
  2. What state it would be in at room temperature (solid, liquid, gas).
  3. If it conducts electricity when molten
  4. What type(s) of bonding are present?  Ionic, covalent and any intermolecular forces?
  5. Write the equation for the reaction with water.
  6. From the equation, determine if the oxide is acidic, basic or amphoteric!

4. Study / Work on Final of IA

If you have your draft back, you can use this time to work on the final copy.  If you don’t have the draft back, you could use the rest of the time to do your own private study for chemistry.  This could include:

  • making a quizlet list
  • learning a quizlet list
  • practicing questions from old topics on the google+ or elsewhere
  • reading ahead in acids and bases and making your own notes

G11 Cover

1. Teach Kaishyu!

Make sure Kaishyu is up to speed with Bond Enthalpies.  Give him the theory and explanation and help him through the questions we did last lesson found on the Google +.

2.  Bond enthalpy practice

Take a Bond Enthalpy Calculations sheet.  Do the first 5 questions.  Check that everyone agrees with your answers.

Chose any other 5 questions to do on that sheet.  (Make sure you all choose the same 5).  Share and discuss your answers.

3.  Chapter 5 Review

From your textbook, complete Q33 – 38 and check your answers.

Read and take your own notes from the section on Ozone Depletion from the text.

Congratulations – you have finished your first SL topic!

The Gas Laws

1.  Avagadro’s Law

Equal volumes of gases at the same temperature and pressure contain equal numbers of molecules.

Take a look at one or more of the following sources that explain this law.  Alternatively, read chapter 1.3 in your textbook.

✍  Make your own summary in your notebook.

Avagadro’s Law Sources

✍  Now apply the Law by completing these questions:

Avogadro’s Law questions and their answers.
Find more questions in your textbook.

2. More Gas Laws

You can use the PhET simulation below to see the various changes in temperature, pressure and volume of a fixed amount of gas when you change one of these variables.

Gas Properties

Click to Run


A summary of the various gas laws defining the relationships between volume, temperature and pressure are found below.

V = volume in dm3
T = temperature in K
P = pressure in kPa

Note that these relationships are not given to you in the data booklet.

These laws can be represented graphically too.

Read the section in your textbook, and look at the sites mentioned for Avogadro’s Law to find more information if needed.

✍  Write a summary in your notebook.

3. Kinetic Theory of Gases and the Ideal Gas Law

The kinetic theory describes a gas as a large number of submicroscopic particles (atoms or molecules), all of which are in constant rapid motion that has randomness arising from their many collisions with each other and with the walls of the container.

✍  The kinetic theory of gases is used to describe the motion and behaviour of an ideal gas.  Using your text and other relevant sources, describe the differences between an ideal gas and a real gas in your notebook.

The molar volume of any gas at STP (standard temperature and pressure) is represented below.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 1.16.53 PM

Many sources quote the molar volume of a gas as 22.4 dm3.  This is using a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa NOT 100 kPa which is the new standard adopted by the IB!  Beware of past paper questions using the old value!  The new value has been used only since the 2016 exams!  If in doubt, check your data booklet – the value is quoted there as 22.7 dm3.

Combining all the equations so far, we can derive the ideal gas equation.  This is in your data booklet as is the value for R which is the ideal gas constant.  Check to make sure you know where to find these.

You will need to be able to solve problems based on these laws.  Once you feel comfortable with them and you have read and taken relevant notes from chapter 1.3 in your text, you can try the following problems.

Answers (remember that some of these might use 22.4 instead of 22.7 as the molar volume of an ideal gas at STP.)


Part 1 – Scientific models

  1. What models have you used before in science?
  2. Read and explore the article on the use of scientific models.
  3. Two examples of models were used – climate change models and an ecosystem model (fisheries).  Use a categorizing brain frame in your group to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using one of these two models.

    Category = type of model Subcategory = advantages and disadvantages

  4. Which of your advantages/disadvantages are most significant?  Discuss reasons for your choices.
  5. Pair up with a group that discussed a different model to you.  Compare your brain frames – how were they similar/different.  Add sticky notes to your brain frames to show the highlight the similarities and differences.
  6. Photograph your final comparison and upload it to the Google Classroom stream under the topic of Ecosystems.


 Part 2 – Ecosystems

  1. Ecosystems introductory video – review the basics!

  1. Set up a quizlet set for this unit.  Add any terms from the above video that you feel necessary.  You could also add any terms from the work we have done so far on scientific models and the tests we are doing on our bottle ecosystems.
  2. Log into Brainpop with your school account.  Watch the videos on Ecosystems and Food Chains.  Take the quizzes for each video and update your quizlet list with any further relevant terms.
  3. Watch the video on Feedback loops.  While feedback means that one problem can cause many more, it also means that one solution can trigger many others.  Can you think of a real life example of this?  Put your example on the question post you’ll find on the google classroom.
  4.  Ecosystems handout – Read through the information and try the questions.

Biology Text  – ‘Depending on Each Other’ and ‘More About Food Chains’

Part 3 – Pyramids of Numbers, Energy and Biomass

Step 1 – Watch video

Step 2 – Read information on link below and update your quizlet set to include any relevant terms:
Pyramids of numbers, biomass and energy explained

Step 3 – Choose one of the following food chains and, using graph paper, construct a pyramid of numbers.  For the same food chain, sketch a prediction of the pyramid of biomass.  Explain to your neighbour why you chose the shape of your sketch.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 9.42.03 AM

Step 4 – Using the data given below, construct a pyramid of numbers and a pyramid of biomass.  Explain using subject specific vocabulary in a short paragraph, why the two pyramids are not the same shape.

Step 5 – Using information from above and from your text on page 164, try the questions in the handout.  Pyramids handout

Part 4 – Nutrient Cycles

Step 1 – The carbon cycle.  Review the following video.

✍️    In your notebook, draw two carbon cycles.  One without man’s involvement and one with.  Use the following labels on your diagrams to show processes:

photosynthesis       respiration      decomposition       dissolving into ocean     digestion      burying                    combustion                  deforestation

Use this set of labels to show forms of carbon:

Carbon in the atmosphere – carbon dioxide
Carbon underground – fossil fuels
Carbon in plants/animals – carbohydrates,proteins,fats
Carbon in the ocean – dissolved carbon dioxide

Step 2 – The nitrogen cycle

Take a look at the following resources on the nitrogen cycle:
Three versions of the nitrogen cycle

What are the similarities and differences between the three cycles here?   What do you consider are the key parts of the nitrogen cycle?
Make your own version, with labels you consider important.

Step 3 – Review the following resources.  Some have questions for you to try.  Some are things to play with.  Some are videos to watch.  All will be useful for next week’s lesson.

  1. Here is a handout on the N cycle, with a test type question.https://drive.google.com/a/yis.ac.jp/file/d/0B9jybswtSsyIbV83a1JtQUJ0QzFDcUtPNS1XYmM5NUF1R3ZV/view?usp=sharing

    2. The nitrogen cycle in flash! Watch and track the Nitrogen .https://www.classzone.com/books/ml_science_share/vis_sim/em05_pg20_nitrogen/em05_pg20_nitrogen.swf

    3. Video about the Haber-Bosch process of producing ammonia. (Basis of artificial N fertilizers)

    4. Consider the type of source and their bias (Do you use CRAAP? http://libguides.library.ncat.edu/content.php?pid=53820&sid=394505):
    a) Article on the impact of the Haber process from a source interested in organic gardening.
    b) Video from a fertilizer maker.

    5. If you are not so clear on the definitions… What is an artificial vs. an organic fertilizer?http://www.diffen.com/difference/Chemical_Fertilizer_vs_Organic_Fertilizer


Welcome to Grade 7 Wins…….

Computer Keyboard

For tutor today, we are going to get organised!

Before leaving class today, you need to have done the following:

  1. Imported your timetable into your google calendar
  2. Added other commitments (like sport or music) to your calendar
  3. Opened Veracross and added broken down your homework assignments into tasks added to your google calendar

Having trouble?  Ask three then ask me!

The middle school student tech team has prepared a series of videos on how to do different skills.  Find what you need to do/learn and try it!

Essentials for students

Follow this link to find help on the following topics.

  • Setting Up
  • Essential Mac
  • Google Apps
  • Blogs
  • Organisation
  • Advanced Mac



Human Reproduction Recap

The aim of today’s lesson is to recall and revisit what you learnt in grade 6 science about human reproduction.  You will need to understand the human reproductive system in order to participate in future tutor lessons.

Part 1 – What’s the word?

  1. In table groups, make a telling frame™ with all the science vocabulary connected with the human reproductive systems, both male and female that you learnt last year.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember what the different words mean exactly.
  2. Label these two diagrams with the words you had in the telling frame™.
    What words did you have left over?
    Were there any parts you couldn’t label?
  3. Discuss with your table group what the function of each structure is.  Circle any parts you aren’t sure about.
  4. Your teacher will now discuss with the class any parts or functions you are unsure of.

Part 2 – The story of fertilisation

  1. On an A3 piece of paper, make a sequencing frame™ that begins with the sperm maturing in the testes to a zygote (fertilised egg) arriving in the uterus.  Use as much of the vocabulary from part 1 as you can.
  2. Photograph your group’s finished product and upload it to the google classroom for tutor.



Freedom of Expression Project – Week 1

Welcome to the Freedom of Expression Project!  Before we get started a couple of notes…
Freedom of Expression
Each week, you will be asked to submit questions or vote on issues by a deadline!  As you are working with people in other countries, you must stick to these deadlines!

You will be discussing issues online.  That means you need to observe the internet etiquette that we already are familiar with at YIS.

In tutor class this week, you need to do the following.  For each step, I’ve given you how long you should spend on it.  Don’t spend the whole period creating a profile and then find you have to do the rest of the lesson at home!  Now let’s get started!

#1  Login and Create Your Profile – 5 minutes

You should have been sent an email with your login and password details for Nodebook. This is the platform you will use to work with students from all over the world.  Problems with logging on, please come and see me.

#2  Watch the video – 10 minutes

Watch the video with your group in tutor.  There is a discussion question at the end and you can talk about that with your group.

#3  Questionnaire – 5 minutes

Fill out the baseline questionnaire.  This is just to see what you already know about the issue.

#4  Case Studies – 15 minutes

There are two short case studies.  You need to read both of them and then post a question or response in your team’s online discussion.

#5  Word Map – 5 minutes

Individually, think of 9 words that could go on the word map for your team and post them.

Homework – 15 minutes

Work individually to come up with three questions about Freedom of Expression that you are interested in finding the answers to.  You need to submit them by the deadline posted on Nodebook.

After the deadline has passed, you will see everyone’s questions and you have to vote on the three most interesting questions.  They could be yours or someone else’s.  Check the deadline for the vote!

Spend 5 minutes putting and entry into your learning log for week 1.

Studying for IB Chemistry

johnny-automatic-look-it-up-300pxIB Chemistry is a challenging subject whether you are doing SL or HL.  Content heavy subjects can be tricky so here is a guide with some practical tips for studying.

How much time should I spend studying?

This is different for different people and you will need to work out the best course of action for you.  The research says though that distributed practice is more effective than mass practice for learning.  In other words, forget cramming!  After first semester of grade 11, the volume of content covered makes cramming too difficult anyway.  And you definitely want to avoid having to re-learn the course every time you sit a test or exam.  Better to learn it as you go!

So what does this mean?  Here are some guidelines.

    • Students who are feeling less confident
      30 minutes of study every other day or 4 days a week
  • Students who are feeling more confident
    30 minutes of study 3 times a week

These are guidelines which you need to adjust for your own needs.

When should I study?

You need a routine and you need to stick to it.  IB students have an incredibly packed timetable.

  1. Map out your schedule.
    Use a calendar app like Google Calendar or iCal to map out your schedule.
    Put everything on to it and see where the gaps are.

Include in your calendar:

  • Your class schedule (easy to subscribe to from Veracross)
  • Your clubs and after school commitments like sports etc
  • Time to do homework – this is separate from studying!
  • Free time – time to play, exercise, watch tv or whatever!
    1. Note where the gaps are and allocate those times for study for various subjects.
      If you see that there isn’t enough time, you may need to make some adjustments and prioritise.  Are you over committed with clubs/sports?  Free time is important for balance but 3 hours a night is just as unbalanced as no or little free time!
  1. Display your schedule.
    Print this out and put this up somewhere near where you study.  Share it with your parents so they can help support you too.

How should I study?

In Chemistry there are basically three things you need to do:

  1. memorise information
  2. understand chemical concepts deeply enough to apply them
  3. perform certain skills eg calculations

You need to study differently for these three different tasks.  Here’s how.

Memorising Information

There are lots of definitions, formulae and diagrams that you need to be able to recall.  Often these are one point questions on the exam but all those one pointers add up!  Don’t miss out on easy marks!

Here are two strategies for memorising information.

    1. Flashcards
      Whether you use a program like quizlet or if you just make them by hand, practicing with these for a few minutes regularly will quickly find you memorising things fast.  If you use quizlet it is important that you complete the learn function before trying any of the games or tests.
  1. Hand writing
    Many people find writing information out by hand again and again until you can do it from memory to be more effective for memorising.  Have a master copy of everything you need to memorise (like your definitions sheet).

Below is one page of Rino’s definition doc.  Notice how she has organised the information in a way that works for her – by topic.  She has also included diagrams and other information she feels important to remember.  Creating this document also makes her think about what information is important to include.  She can then use either of the strategies above to memorise the information.  And she can ask her parents or friends to test her knowledge from the sheet.

Understanding chemical concepts deeply enough to apply them

This is trickier.  Many students think that just re-reading their notes or text is enough but this actually doesn’t help much.  Here are some strategies you can use.

    1. Reading before and after class
      Read the section in your text that we will be covering in class before the class.  Then when you get home, re-read the same section.  This doesn’t take very long and you can do it on the train!  You’ll be surprised how much you will remember the following class if you do this!
        1. Close your textbook/notes and make a map!
          Without consulting your notes or textbook, organise what you know on a piece of paper from memory.  Use a pencil so you can add, change and delete as necessary.There is a lot of ways to organise your information.  Here are a few possibilities:

          Organise with headings
          Organise using appropriate BrainFrames™ (use multiple types depending on the information) or other types of concept maps you’re familiar with.Give examples where possible
          Use colour to group related ideas
          Use arrows or lines to connect related ideas or
          Group related ideas by position on the page

          Now open your notes or text and add anything you missed or didn’t include correctly.  In you next study session, repeat the exercise until you can produce a map/summary with all the information you deem important from memory.Keep and display your best one.  Add to it when concepts from other topics connect to it.  This should be growing and changing as you move through the course.

                  1. Keep a list of questions / confusing points
                    Write down any questions you have from reviewing past material and answer them as soon as possible.  Here are a list of resources you can use that might have the answer immediately:

                    skype a peer
                    your text book
                    try a tutorial video from Dr Richard Thornley or Mike Sugiyama Jones
                    IB Chem wikibooks
                    IB Chemistry Web
                    InThinking IB Chem website for students

                    No joy?
                    Here are some things you can do to get help that isn’t immediate:

                    email your teacher
                    post your question to IB Chemistry @ YIS
                    post your question to a student forum like IB Survival
              1. Form a study group
                Discussing concepts with your peers is a great way to solidify your understanding.  Use a study hall at school, an arranged meeting time in the library or arrange a skype chat.Here are some tips on making this effective:

                Make it a once a week deal.
                Be prepared – agree on what you will discuss before the meeting so you can review a bit before hand and identify the tricky bits you need help on.
                Talk – don’t just sit back and listen.  Actively participate.  Ask questions.
                Decide on the next meeting and topic before the end of the current meeting.

                Below is a protocol you can follow in your study group.   Just make a copy!

Practicing skills

Often this involves calculation practise.  Like everything else you should spread this out.  Don’t practice ∆H calculations from Bond Enthalpies for 3 hours and then never do another problem for six months!  Once you feel confident with a type of calculation, do one problem of that type every couple of weeks or so to keep it fresh.

If there is a certain type of calculation you find hard, start with easy examples and work up.  And if the easy ones stump you – seek help immediately!

Where can you find problems to practice?

  • Your text book – do them all!
  • The problem sets posted on IB Chemistry @ YIS
  • Search for them on the internet
  • Ask your teacher

Finally, you will need to practice exam type questions.  You can do this by re-doing old tests, practicing past paper questions supplied to you by your teacher or that you find on the internet.  You should do these under timed conditions (roughly 1.5 minutes per mark) so you get used to the pressure.

How to get motivated

This is the big one!  Lots of people know what they need to do but getting motivated to sit down and do it is really hard.  I struggle with this all the time.  Here is what works for me most of the time…

Finding the right time

I schedule everything.  I know that I work best in the mornings, so I try and do some work before school starts – this is easy for me because I don’t have a long commute.  I also look at my schedule for the next day and plan before I finish for the evening, what I’m going to get done the next day and when.  This helps a lot.

Finding the right place

Make sure you have the right environment that is conducive for your study.  Make sure your desk or work space is clear and you have everything you need.  Don’t respond to emails, texts, skype etc whilst you are working.  Put your phone on silent.  Leave these distractions for when you are on a break as a reward.  Listen to quiet instrumental music.

Small chunks is key

I use something called the Pomodoro technique.  This involves breaking down my work/study into 25 minute chunks.  Knowing I only have 25 minutes of work before I get a break makes it easier to start.  I decide how many 25 minute chunks I’m going to do, and then I count them down.  My record is 16!


Let’s share our best tips!

Do you have a technique that works really well for you?  Please share it by commenting on this post.  I want to keep adding and refining ideas and techniques to this post to make it the best resource possible!


Image credits

Look it up! by Johnny Automatic and shared on OpenClipart.org