This calculus-based physics course will prepare you to take 2 different AP Tests - AP Physics C Mechanics and AP Physics C E&M. This year's AP Physics C exams are both on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.
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FORMULA SHEET for use on mock exams in April
If you need more support for physics basics, go to YouTube and search the topic with one of the following: Khan Academy, vkiledj, lasseviren1, Dan Fullerton (or APlusPhysics), or Flipping Physics (AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2 electrostatics & circuits, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Physics C: E&M).
The summer enrichment packet is optional but is highly recommended as a self-diagnostic tool. You should at least look through it and make sure you can do all the problems. That being said, I don't plan to collect it. You will however have a test on this material in the first couple weeks of school. The course is fast-paced, so if you are not comfortable with anything in the packet, you should definitely review that material before the school year begins. Have a great rest of the summer!
You may want a notebook for notes and practice problems that you will be doing in class and for homework. This can be anything that is comfortable for you - spiral-bound, loose-leaf with binder, composition book, lined or unlined, reusable notebook (eg. Rocketbook), iPad, or whatever else will keep you organized.
Please purchase a 9.75" x 7.5" composition book - either wide-ruled or college ruled (not graph paper) for your daily check-ins and lab work which will be separate from the notebook in which you take notes and do practice problems. This notebook will be kept in the classroom.
All About AT Physics
When I first started teaching this course in 2011, I lectured a lot, and students didn't have a whole lot of time time to do problems collaboratively in class. So the following year, I decided to make some pretty major changes in the structure of the course. See the video below to learn about my rationale for what's now called the "blended learning model."
My videos were made to capture the first half of the lecture that I used to give - that part of the lecture is where I give the formulas, basic ideas, derivations, etc. My students usually found this part of the lecture pretty easy to understand. Then in class, we will pick up in the middle of the traditional lecture where we start to think about more challenging application problems and connections to prior material. With the time we save by watching the first half of the lecture at home, we will hopefully have more time to talk with each other on the hard stuff and the applications to problem solving.
How to be successful in AT Physics
I expect honorable behavior from each of my students. See Student Handbook for guidelines and school policies. Only students displaying the most honorable behavior may receive a strong recommendation from me.
Dedicate the time to watch the videos WHEN they're assigned. Doing so will give you the foundation to understand what's going on in class during the check-in. Take notes as if it were a live lecture. Give it your full attention as often as you can, but when you run out of time, at least try to skim though to get an idea of the material before coming to class.
Try the "check-in" during class and think about how the new topic relates to previous topics you have learned.
Use your class time wisely. Collaborate with others, and take turns discussing ideas and explaining problems to each other. Both the explainers and the listeners will benefit.
If you are absent, check the website for what you have missed and try to figure it out. You can use your textbook at this point as an additional resource; utilize the index if you don't know what chapter we're in. Ask your questions to your class online forum if you have one, or you can send me questions about the material.
Complete your assignments at least one day before they are due. Assignment due dates are designed to allow students to be prepared for the next topic that will be presented since topics often build on one another. Therefore, on-time (or even early) completion of assignments can have a cumulative positive affect on grades. I build in extra time after I think the problem sets should be due to allow you to ask questions in class if necessary before the hard deadline. Usually we are on to the next topic before the assignments are due, but it's better to do the problems while the material is fresh in your mind.
Study a little bit each night, even if there is no formal assignment due. Do additional practice problems from your textbook or AP problems. Since a majority of test questions come from old AP problems, doing these problems is a worthy investment of time. By the time of the test, you should be able to complete AP problems in 15 minutes without looking at the solution. If you can do a few problems like this, then you might be more prepared for the test.
You should acquire physics knowledge at a steady pace throughout each unit. You shouldn't have to study a lot right before an assessment.
Get a good night's sleep and eat a nutritious breakfast the day of your assessment. This will give your brain the energy it needs to think clearly and quickly during the assessment.
Practice deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, etc. to reduce stress. Just a good idea!
What not to do
Don't skip watching the video, and don't watch it late. If you don't watch the video when you're supposed to, then you are more likely to be lost in class, leaving you to have to teach yourself the material later. Also, if you skip watching the video, you won't understand the basics of the topic, and then when I start talking about the details and connections, your brain will be focused on trying to understand the basics, and you will miss the details and connections. So a small investment up front will make you more efficient in the end, and you'll end up STUDYING LESS!
Don't try the "check-in" if you have no clue what it's about. Rather than wasting time writing down something that doesn't really make sense or staring at the problem and your blank page, go back and watch the video at this time. At least when I start to go over the problem, you might have some idea about what I'm talking about.
Don't use the collaborative time as social time. I know it's tempting, and I get wanting to just hang out and chat with friends, but I would recommend doing that during lunch or outside of school. If you focus in class, you'll feel less guilt about doing something fun when you're not in school.
Don't ask me "what did we do?" when you come back from an absence. Everything is on my website.
Don't start your assignments the night they are due. Last minute technical difficulty may not be used as an excuse for late work. (See late policy in next section.) Finishing assignments on-time will ensure that you are ready to learn the next level of material which may depend on a solid foundation of understanding gained in the current assignment. Without this foundation, you may have trouble understanding what is happening next in class.
Don't think that doing just the required problems is enough. The required problems are meant to be "learning problems." With each of these you do, you should learn something new. But doing extra problems gives you an opportunity to show yourself that you can apply all these concepts to a new problem.
Don't cram right before the test. If you're keeping up with the work, you shouldn't have to spend hours and hours studying right before the test. Certainly, you should not be watching videos for the first time the days leading up to the test, but you can use them to review concepts again.
Don't pull an all-nighter the night before an assessment. Your brain won't be able to work properly with no sleep. Plan to get a good night's sleep before any assessment. This is more important than cramming a few more facts that you're not going to be able to understand at 2am.
Don't stress if you don't think you did well. What's done is done. Focus on how you can do better in the future. Remember the Learning Pit model and the idea of Growth Mindset.
Don't be grade motivated. Stop focusing on how many points in an assignment, arguing over why I took off two points instead of one, asking me what category a particular assignment is going into, calculating what grade you need in order to get the next letter grade up, how many more assessments there will be in the marking period, etc. The time spent doing any one of these could be better spent practicing more problems so that you can gain a better understanding of the concepts which will result in higher assessment grades. Focus on understanding the material and enjoying the process, and I promise you'll learn more and be more successful.
Late work will be assessed at 10% per calendar day for assignments with electronic submission. For hard copy submission assignments, the penalty will be 10% until the next class period when I see you, but 10% per calendar day after that. Only extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the teacher will gain exceptions to this late policy.
For excused absences only, you may be given a grace period of one day per day absent to turn in late work on assignments where late credit would not normally be granted. In this context, "one day" means per calendar day for electronic submission assignments, or per class day for hard copy submissions. These extensions must be discussed and agreed upon by the teacher as soon as the student returns from their absence.
If you are present, you take the test or quiz! Only PRE-ARRANGED, special circumstances alter this policy, so email me beforehand if you think your situation warrants an exception. I most often do not teach new material the day before an assessment, so if you were absent the day before an assessment, you MUST take the assessment if you are present. If you have an extended absence, make sure to email me to discuss make-up arrangements. Check the website for assessment dates.