Category Archives: Grade 11 Chemistry

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!

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

Grade 11A and 11B – Cover

Hi Grade 11!

Here are your instructions:

  1. Review the text chapter 11.3 – Spectroscopy and make any additional notes you feel necessary.
  2. HL read the text chapter 21.1 which talks a bit more about nmr and also include x-ray crystallography.
  3. Complete the end of chapter questions.
  4. Work with a partner through some structure problems that you can find at the end of this book.  To do the problems, try this procedure:
    (i) work out the IHD – what does this tell you?
    (ii) look at the IR – what functional groups are present?
    (iii) look at the MS – what fragments make up your molecule?
    (iv) draw some likely structures based on what you know so far
    (v) think what will the Hnmr look like for each – how many signals/integration/(HL) splitting
    (vi) check the Hnmr and choose the structure it fits!
  5. Now you are ready to try some past paper questions.

    Have fun!

E-Learning for Snow Day!

Snow from a few years ago. Keep warm everyone!

Snow from a few years ago. Keep warm everyone!

Hi everyone!  It is a winter wonderland out there and I hope that you are all warm and cozy inside your houses.

Please check below for the work you need to do today.  I will be online during your regular class time if you want to ask me any questions.

Grade 11 Chemistry
Grade 10C Science
Grade 7C Science

Grade 11 Chemistry

There will be a test focussing on topic 6/16 but including work from all of grade 11 in two weeks time (see Veracross for details).

Standard Level

You continue to have study hall.  You should use the time wisely to begin to prepare for the upcoming test as this will be the biggest test of your abilities so far.  Make sure you begin to review the work from the beginning of the year.  Study can take the following forms:

  1. Reorganising and rewriting your notes and summaries for each topic
  2. Creating a detailed concept map for each topic
    1. Include links to other topics
    2. Include diagrams where relevant
    3. Include examples where relevant
    4. Use the syllabus to make sure you have included everything you need for the topic.  The full syllabus can be found on my blog or you can use the statements at the beginning of each chapter in your text.
  3. Discuss any concepts or points or ideas that you don’t quite understand.  You can do this by:
    1. Posting the question on google+
    2. Skyping/messaging/google hangouting etc with your peers
    3. Sending me an email
  4. Making flash cards on quizlet or on paper of definitions and diagrams that need memorising.
  5. Memorising them.
  6. Working through calculation problems already done in class or new ones from the links on Google+ community, problems in your text book, problems from trusted sites on the internet (start with those linked to Google+ community)
  7. Only after doing all this should you then go to past paper questions for practice.
Higher Level

We need to finish your experiment.  Please follow the instructions below.

  1. All reaction rates should have been calculated and entered here.  If the table isn’t big enough, make it bigger to fit in your result.
  2. Make your own copy of the spreadsheet.
  3. Use a formula on the spreadsheet to calculate the average for each mixture and put the result in the averages sheet along with the initial concentrations of the three solutions from the instructions.  (Look at the second tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet).
  4. Deduce the rate expression for the reaction and your value for k and post it as a comment under this google+ post.

Grade 10 C

Experiment time!

  1.  Ask your mum for a plastic supermarket shopping bag that you can destroy!
  2. Follow the instruction on the activity sheet found here or on the google classroom.
  3. Answer the questions at the bottom of the sheet.

We will be using this activity as a basis to plan an investigation next week so make sure you get it done!  🙂

Grade 7 C

In order to make sure you can write about your reasons for your hypothesis and to explain your conclusion, you need to know how the ear works.  So today, you can learn about that.  Here is what you need to do:

  1. Log in to BrainPop using your 9 dots thing.
  2. Watch the video called “hearing”
  3. There are three activities for this video.  Complete these ones:
    1. Activity
    2. Vocabulary
    3. You DO NOT need to do the graphic organiser
  4. Do the Classic quiz.  You need to repeat it until you get at least 8/10.

I will be checking that this is complete at the end of the day.  Have fun!


Stoichiometry II


  1. Define the following:
  • solute
  • solvent
  • solution
  • concentration
  • dilute
  • concentrated
  1. Create a labelled diagram(s) to illustrate these six terms and upload it to the Google+ in the category 1 Stoichiometry.

Problems and Mixtures

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 11.38.31 AM


  1. Have a read through these worked examples on molarity (working out concentrations of solutions).
  2. Go back to the Google+ and look at the diagrams other people posted.  Click the +1 button for the one you like the best and put in the comment what you like about it.
  3. Now try some of the problems here yourself.
  4. What is the difference between a homogenous and a heterogenous mixture? With a partner, agree on the answer to this question.  Then record a video of your agreed explanation (no longer than 30 secs) and upload it to the Google+ community under the subject 1 Stoichiometry.

Limiting Reagent

Refresh your memory about how reactants and products in a chemical equation are related to each other by playing this game from last lesson.

  1. Define the following:
    Limiting Reagent
    Excess Reagent
  2. Take a look at the videos posted on the Google+ and put a +1 for the one you think is the best for clarity of explanation and visual appeal!

Stoichiometry I

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Mick Talbot

Start at the beginning and work through.  If you feel confident, then move on to the next type of problem.  If you don’t get them, SEEK HELP immediately from a classmate or me!  😛

1.  Balancing equations – Here you will find 4 different worksheets with practise questions on them.  The answers are also there.  Practise until you feel more confident.  Still stuck?  Want more practice?  Try this simulation below.

2.  Avagadro’s number problems –

Here you will get a section explaining how to convert between moles and number of particles.  Then there are some problems to try.  You can find the page here.

3.  Moles to mass problems – Here you will find a few calculations to practise with the answers.  You can find it here.

4.  Stoichiometric relationships in equations!   Play with the simulation below!  You must make it through all 3 levels of the game with 100% correct before moving on to the next section.

5.  For more problems, tutorials and general help with the mole, you can use this useful site here.  This Crash Course video below is a 12 minute summary of Stoichiometry!

Grade 11 A and B – Cover work for Friday

Google hangoutHi Grade 11’s.  I’m sick and at home.  I will be online during your class today though.  If you need my help, or want to ask me something, you can google hangout me from our Google+ community!

Just click the hangout button on the top right corner and search for me.

Here is the work you need to do today….

Homework check

Check your homework.  Hopefully you marked your homework already since it is out of the text book.  If there were any questions you got stuck on, discuss them at your table.

If you still can’t solve the problem, post the question on the Google+ community (atomic structure category) and I or someone else in the community will get back to you!

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Take a look at the following graphic.

Take a few minutes to study this graphic yourself.  With a partner, discuss the following:

  1. What do you see?  Describe the picture.  Point out all the features shown on the graphic.
  2. What do you think?  What is this graphic about?  What is it trying to show you?  How might this be related to our topic on atomic structure?
  3. What do you wonder?  What questions do you have about this graphic?  Is there anything that confuses or puzzles you?

It is important to note how frequencyenergy, wavelength and colour change across the spectrum.  Make sure you’ve noted what increases and what decreases as you move from left to right.

The Hydrogen Spectrum

Use headphones to watch the media on this post together with your partner.  If you are lucky, Mrs Harrison may be there to show you the hydrogen spectrum on our special carousel!  If not, I will show you next week.

Draw and label a diagram showing all the possible transitions by electrons to the first, second and third energy levels.  Include the following on your diagram:

  • Name the series
  • What type of electromagnetic radiation is emitted when the electrons drop to the lower energy level (ie UV, visible light or infrared).
  • Label the energy levels on the y-axis

Watch the following video that talks about where electrons hang out around an atom.

Discuss with your partner what this video is talking about. Draw the shapes of an s orbital and the three p orbitals in your notebook.


Take a moment to add any new information that is relevant to one or more of your questions on your fish diagram.  If you have some questions from the material presented today, put them on the Google+ in the Atomic Structure category.

If you have time left, you can use it to work on your lab report.

11B Chemistry

Friday Periods 3/4


  • Test is 1 hour only.
  • You will need your own calculator!  No sharing!
  • You will be given a data booklet and a test.
  • Put all your answers in the test booklet.
  • Do not write on the data booklet.

Lab report

Begin preparing your lab report.  People will not be able to analyse the class data until everyone has calculated their individual result and put it in the table.  So please do this quickly.

11A Chemistry

Thursday Periods 1/2

Revision for test tomorrow

  • Have a look at the concept map 11B created on the ceiling.  It contains both HL and SL material combined.
  • Discuss in your table groups anything they have missed or could have linked more logically.
  • SL – update your own to reflect any changes you discussed
  • HL – create your own, incorporating the changes you discussed
  • Create flashcards or use to to learn your:
    • definitions
    • ions that are highlighted on the periodic table I gave you
    • enthalpy diagrams
  • Practise the end of chapter questions in your text book.
  • Practise the past paper questions linked on the Google+

Friday Periods 5/6


  • Test is 1 hour only.
  • You will need your own calculator!  No sharing!
  • You will be given a data booklet and a test.
  • Put all your answers in the test booklet.
  • Do not write on the data booklet.

Lab report

Begin preparing your lab report.  People will not be able to analyse the class data until everyone has calculated their individual result and put it in the table.  So please do this quickly.


Grade 11B Friday Period 1

Good morning grade 11.  I’m at the Chiku Centre so here are your instructions for getting on with.  Your homework was to read about Gibbs Free Energy in your text book and/or on the handout.

Gibbs free energy (G) relates the energy that can be obtained from a chemical reaction to the change in enthalpy (ΔH), change in entropy (ΔS), and absolute temperature (T).

Watch the following video together.  You may need to pause it a lot and discuss what he is saying as it goes!

As a group, come up with a communal set of notes as a summary on Gibbs Free Energy.  Put it on a google doc and share it with me.

After everyone is happy with this idea, start trying some of the problems in the handout posted on the Google+.

See you period two!