Guidelines and Expectations

Goals of 'Physics'
  1. We want to help you be successful in this course and prepared for your future education and career.
  2. We want to help you understand some fundamental ideas of physics. This includes
    1. Reconciling your everyday experiences with the material learned in the course;
    2. Making sure that new ideas make sense;
    3. Connecting what you learned in class today to what you learned yesterday;
    4. Linking concepts and applying ideas instead of memorizing facts;
    5. Using and coordinating a variety of representations (linguistic, mathematical, pictorial, and graphical) to connect abstract ideas to concrete ideas, and
    6. Communicating ideas to each other.
  3. We want to help you learn the process and tools of science. This includes
    1. Becoming familiar with how physics develops - where decisions are made on the basis of evidence and conjecture, as opposed to a collection of true ideas/unchanging facts that scientists somehow devise;
    2. Learning to evaluate ideas and information using evidence and scientific strategies to build arguments;
    3. Learning to formulate physics questions, design plans to answer them and be able to conduct investigations;
    4. Learning the art of experimentation.
  4. We want to help you learn that physics IS NOT about memorizing equations and plugging in numbers to get the right answer. It is about observing, explaining, and representing the physical world. It is about doing not about getting the right numerical answer.

To succeed in this course you will need to do a certain amount of work and honestly reflect on your learning on a daily basis. If at any point you are struggling or would like to talk, we are available for extra help. Please don’t hesitate to ask.

Adapted from Rutgers University ‘Physics for the Sciences’

Expectations for Class Participation
  1. ​Teachers and students are expected to attend class daily, arrive on time with all required materials, and be prepared to begin class on time.
  2. Teachers and students are responsible for maintaining a classroom atmosphere conducive to learning and for participating in and contributing to class.
  3. Students are expected to give their best effort when interacting during class. Teachers and other students are expected to respect these efforts.
  4. Students are responsible for making up all work missed due to absence.

Expectations for Work Habits

  1. Teachers will provide assignments with expectations and due dates. Students may retrieve additional copies of assignments and check due dates on the class web site.
  2. Students are expected to complete all assignments in a thorough fashion by the date they are due. Assignments received after the beginning of the period on the day it is due will be considered late. Late assignments may be accepted after incurring a penalty (for the majority of assignments (labs and projects), 10% per day deduction. If homework is discussed, it may not be submitted late for partial credit. If homework is not discussed, it may be submitted late for 50% credit). No late work will be accepted after 10 days.
  3. When absent, students are responsible for checking the web site and/or asking peers about what they missed and making up all missed work. You will have the amount of time you were absent to make up missed assignments or tests. Teachers must give students opportunities to make up work for excused absences.
  4. Students with known absences are responsible for speaking with the teacher and scheduling make-up exams or downloading the classwork in advance.
  5. Students are encouraged to work together on assignments, but must write up their work individually. Copying from other students is not acceptable behavior and the school’s academic integrity policy is clearly outlined in the student handbook.
Expectations for Engagement as Learners Together in a Classroom Community
  1. Teachers and students must show respect for all members of the class community as well as the classroom equipment and materials. Teachers are responsible for taking appropriate disciplinary action.
  2. Teachers and students must focus on the lesson and attend to classwork.
  3. During class teachers and students must speak to and with others respectfully, without interruptions or side conversations, and must respect all opinions.
  4. Teachers and students are encouraged to reach out to other members of the class for help and clarification.
  5. Students must accept responsibility and consequences for academic and social behavior. 

Adapted from B. Field


Grading will be conducted using a weighted system. Everything you do in relation to the course will have a point value associated with it.

Assessment and Performance Tasks: 90% 
Lesson Practice and Progress Checks: 10%

If you feel there is an error in the grading of an assignment (incorrectly marked question, incorrect totaling of points), you must bring it to my attention within a week of the assignment being returned. After this time, the grade will be final.

Each Marking Period you can earn points in the following categories:
– Quizzes (20 minutes, various points, every lab day)
Reflections (due every Friday)
– Lab reports and other assignments (see rubric handed out with lab)
– Summative assessments (at the end of each major topic)

Course Materials

  • Three ring binder and loose leaf paper or spiral notebook, graph paper is recommended
  • Calculator
  • Pens and pencils (you should have a couple of colored pencils in your bag)
  • Box of tissues
  • You must save all handouts in chronological, or date, order. For each unit, the handouts will be labeled at the top (eg: Energy1, Energy2, etc)
  • In the event that you are absent or misplace a handout, all work is available on this course website.
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