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The periodic table consists of columns called "groups" or "families", each column is numbered 1-8 followed by an A or B. It also contains rows called "periods" that are labeled 1 through 7. Represenative elements are groups 1A through 8A, they are called representative elements because these elements posses a wide range of chemical and physical properties. In the middle of the table the elements are called the "transition" elements labeled 1B through 8B. There are three main classifications of elements: metals, nonmetals, and metalloids.


Are shiny when smooth and clean, are solids at room temperature. Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity. They are ductile (can be drawn into a thin wire) and malleable (bendable). Make up the majority of the elements in the periodic table.


Are located in the upper right side of the periodic table. Nonmetals are usually gases or brittle dull looking solids at room temperature. They are poor conductors of heat and electricity.


Metalloids are also known as semimetals. These elements are bordered by the stair-step line on the right hand side of the periodic table of elements. Semimetals are elements that have physical and chemical properties of both metal and nonmetals.