The Student Centered Modular Learning Approach
to ACP Chemistry (821) at NSHS
Academic Year 2017-18

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Last update: Thursday, September 29, 2016 3:34 PM

Course Design

The newly designed ACP Chemistry course (8211) is based on Student Centered Modular Learning, or SCML. Using this approach, ACP Chemistry is college preparatory both in terms of content and in the development of skills necessary to be an independent learner. The content and curriculum materials are typical of a first year chemistry course, with a significant number of hands-on activities and laboratory work designed to maintain interest while introducing and developing understanding of the important topics in chemistry. The structure of the class is student-centered and self-paced, facilitated by teachers and teaching assistants. Much individual help is available.

Each term is designed with 4 core modules that cover the essential chemistry content. In addition to the 4 core modules, each term offers a choice module that is based on later chapters in the textbook, and two project modules that are coupled to the content of the term. Term grades are based on the number of modules completed successfully during the term. Successful completion of the 4 core modules earns a B− grade for the term. Higher grades are earned by completing additional modules selected from the choice module and project modules for the term. Five successfully completed modules earns a B+, while six successfully completed modules earns an A. More specific grading information is available in the Your Term Grades section, below.

Students who are interested in attending Honors Biology following ACP Chemistry should make sure to complete the choice module for each term. The content in the choice modules helps prepare students for Honors Biology.

The design of the classroom and SCML program also addresses many common accommodations on IEPs such as providing clear and consistent expectations, frequent check-ins with the teacher, breaking down assignments into manageable parts, and opportunities to review and revise work, with many opportunities to meet expectations.

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Pedagogical Philosophy

Learning is a solitary process — no one can learn for someone else. The learning philosophy of the SCLM approach is based on student-centered learning, rather than a standard lecture mode. (Note: it is well documented that a standard lecture mode results in the poorest form of transmission of information, and the shortest retention of transmitted information.) In addition to the inherent value of individual progress, students are also encouraged to focus on conceptual understanding of the subject matter, and on the process of learning, rather than on "the answer."

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Your Term Grade

Each student earns only one letter grade at the end of each term, and one letter grade for the course at the end of the year. Each term grade for Chemistry 8211 is based on the work completed that meets an established standard by the end of the term. Successful completion of four core modules is required to earn a grade of B− or higher. Students earn higher grades by successfully completing choice modules. Each module completed successfully earns one point toward the term grade. Term grades are based on the point scale as follows:

6 points A
5 points B+
4 points B−
3 points C
fewer than 3 points <C

Form more information about how grades are determined, please follow this link.



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Newton South High School, Newton Centre, MA 02459
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