This is an algebra-based physics course which will prepare students for further study in physics in college or AT Physics. It will cover topics in both mechanics and electricity & magnetism (aka "E&M"). It is possible to self-study a few more topics to prepare for the AP Physics 1 test. If interested, check out my self-study guide which outlines the topics covered on the AP Physics 1 test vs in the course. You'll want to start your self-studying at least a few months early.
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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. I love my Rocketbook), 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.
How to be Successful in Physics honors
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.
Check the website DAILY. Assignments are posted there, and most with due dates are repeated in Google Classroom. It is your responsibility to know what the assignments are, even if they are not mentioned in class or you are not present in class.
Dedicate yourself to understanding the material. It's not about just getting your assignments done.
Do the assignments as soon as they are assigned. 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. Assignment due dates are chosen to give you a day to ask questions about the assignment in class the day before or the day it is due, so your goal should be to finish assignments at least a day before they are due. It's best to start the assignment the day it is assigned and finish it as soon as possible.
Ask me lots of questions during class. Especially while we're doing problems during class, please take the time to clarify anything that seems confusing. Consider me your personal coach in your physics learning journey. If you tell me everything is going well, I will believe you. Don't be embarrassed and speak up if something doesn't make sense.
Study a little bit each night, even if there is no formal assignment due. Do additional practice problems from your textbook or from the optional extra practice posted on my website. You may also choose to review class notes, read relevant sections from your textbook, look up online resources, etc.
In doing the above, 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 use the collaborative time in class 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. Remember, it is your responsibility to check the website daily.
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 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 there are 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. As stated above, on-time and accurate completion of assignments is critical in understanding future material being presented and will therefore have a cumulative positive effect on your grade.
When absent, YOU are responsible to find out missed work and make arrangements to catch up.
Check the website when you’re absent to find out what we did in class.
Contact other students in the class to get notes.
Read appropriate sections of the textbook.
Attempt the assigned homework.
If you know you will be out, please let me know in advance to see if work can be completed in advance or to schedule a make-up of any assessment you are missing.
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 you return from your 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.
Tests are given at the end of each unit. All tests will be CUMULATIVE. Emphasis on tests will be on application of unit concepts and links to previous concepts.