Physics Fall 2011 Syllabus and Course Outline Have you ever wondered?

Have you ever been in a thunderstorm, saw the lightning, and 10 seconds later heard the thunder, and wondered how far away the lightning strike was? Have you ever wondered how police radar guns work?

Have you ever wondered why you feel like your stomach is in your throat at the top of a drop of a roller coaster, and like it is burrowing into your seat at the bottom? Have you ever watched a movie and wondered, could that really happen in real life? Have you ever just wondered?
Course Description This year we will be doing many labs, a lot of inquiry, and “brain teasers” puzzles to help us understand our world a little more. I will help guide you develop the models describing how our world works. These models will end up being very robust. In essence, you will be very much immersed in a science environment. Isn’t that just so cool! I am so excited to be your science teacher this year my hope is that this class opens your eyes to how cool and amazing physics is!

Instructors: Mrs. Chija Bauer Office: room 230

Mrs. Kjersti Holyfield Office: room 230

Help Sessions: We will be available every day at lunch and Wednesdays afterschool in room 230 for tutoring. Grade Policies: Grading Quizzes Exams Project/ Presentations Labs/ HW Final Exam 50% 20% 5% 10% 15%

There is absolutely no extra-credit given in this course. Pencil! You must must must must must write in pencil in this class. Note: this is not a suggestion. Reason: the pathway to learning is filled with mistakes. You must give yourself permission to make mistakes and to correct your mistakes. Writing in pencil allows erasing instead of scratching out, and helps you start to remove any emotional burden from not doing something correctly on your first attempt. Honor code Any work that is turned in (homework, test, quiz, etc) should represent only your thoughts and understandings. You may talk to a physics teacher, only, for advice. On homework assigned from a packet, you may talk with whomever you wish (including other students, tutors, teachers, etc). No collaboration or discussion of any kind is allowed on quizzes, tests, and examinations. You are expected to follow the school honor code to the letter at all times during the year. Quizzes and Exams: A calendar of when quizzes and exams will happen, and what is covered on them is attached. You will be able to apply for a reassessment of any quiz or exam anytime this semester. To do this you will have to email either Mrs. Bauer or Mrs. Holyfield the application for reassessment found on our moodle site. Our goal is for you to learn the skills that we are asking you to learn, if you don’t get it the first time, no problem, the goal is for you to master them before the end of the semester. (see reassessment) There is a catch (there is always a catch, isn’t there?) This sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Many opportunities to show you have mastered physics will be available. On the other hand, this means that there will also be plenty of opportunities for you to demonstrate that you have forgotten earlier learning objectives. If this regrettable situation occurs, your score on that particular objective will fall. Thus, you cannot expect to cram for a particular assessment, forget what you have learned, and not have it come back to haunt you. This brings us to our next point: Seeking out help.

Seeking out help: For a moment I want you to think of something that you worked very hard to get. It could be abstract like struggling to get a concept, it could be physical like working very hard to get your mile time under 6 minutes, or it could be something very tangible like working for over a year to save enough money for your new shiny car. What ever it is, I want you to think of it. Obviously this something is worth very much to you. You put a lot of effort into obtaining it. If you didn’t put the effort into obtaining this thing, would it be worth so much to you? Not everything of worth is hard to obtain, but often it is. Physics is no exception. I and I know with my whole heart that it is worth knowing. Everyone struggles with physics, I majored in physics, and certainly struggled with physics. No one is immune to this. Sooner or later, they will struggle. I think that it just makes physics that much more valuable and precious. With that said, there will be times where you need help. You didn’t do as well as you would have liked on a quiz or an exam question. You look it over and still don’t get it, you need to seek help. We are available at lunch every day. Mrs. Bauer will stay afterschool on Wednesdays. We love talking about physics, and would love to help you, but you need to come to us.

Most of your homework will be directed toward correcting mistakes you’ve made and preparing for assessments. Here is the challenge: being honest with yourself and spending the time even when what you do won’t be collected. The time you spend from day to day will vary. We all have times when we have too much work to do, and I understand when you occasionally have to say “no” to your Honors Physics work. Choosing to go to sleep rather than stay up to work is always the right choice when it comes to this class. Overall, keep in mind that progress happens in small steps; students who experience the most success in this class put in at least a bit of time almost every day, even if it can only be ten or twenty minutes on a given day.

Student initiated reassessments:
You may choose to reassess any quiz or test, or parts thereof. In order to do this you must do the following: • Fill out the exam/quiz correction sheet for every problem you missed on your original attempt. • Do ADDITIONAL problems related to the learning goals you want to reassess • Fill out and e-mail me the application form for reassessment that is on our class moodle site. All reassessment will take place on Wednesday at lunch or afterschool the following week if you are approved. If you absolutely cannot make it on Wednesday, you need to speak with me to make other arrangements. Keep in mind, you grade may drop if you do worse on your reassessment, but you are more than welcome to try, try again!

Sustained Effort
When you practice for a sport, you know that if you hope to do well you have to practice, practice, practice! You wouldn’t think about practicing only on the day before the game/match/meet. If you did do this, you know you probably would not perform very well. The same goes for working out your brain. You need to practice what you learned in class, for every class, not just physics, the day you have class. I know very well what it is like to be very busy, and how easy it is to save your physics homework for another day. With that said, just 15 minutes of sustained effort a day will go a long way. My promise to you: If you spend at least 15 minutes a day on your physics, you will remember more, and the class will be much easier. Reviewing for quizzes and exams will just be that, reviewing not cramming.

Helpful Hint:
You are all juniors and know each other very well. I will like to encourage you to form study groups outside of class to study physics and any other class that you may be taking together. I will keep all my general physics classes at the same place so your study buddy does not necessarily have to be in this class. For these study groups to be effective, you will actually have to study and talk about physics, not the latest movie or whatever else may be (gasp!) more interesting to you than physics. Here are a few guidelines that will help you develop a study group. 1. Study at someone’s house with parent supervision. (Parents can pop their head in once in a while to help you stay on task.) 2. Study in a room with NO TV or video games available. Dinning rooms usually work best. 3. Have a set time to get together and study. This way you are more likely to follow through with your plan. 4. Remember that best friends are not necessarily the best study buddies. Pick people who you are able to stay focused on physics for at least a half-hour at a time. The more productive you are in your study group, the less time you will have to spend studding, and hence have more time to do other things. GOOD LUCK! Study buddy contact information:

Name:_ ____________________ Phone #:____________________________ Name:______________________ Phone #:____________________________

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