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Course Calendars: 
Physics - 2013/2014 Expectations

Textbooks and other required materials
  • physicsclassroom.com - there is no paper textbook in this class and all assignments and readings will be found on physicsclassroom.com!
  • Calculator, with log and exponential functions and scientific notation. Bring this to class every day. You will need it for problems, labs, quizzes, and tests. Scientific calculators may be purchased from the math department for about $10.
  • Three Ring Binder, with blank paper, for class notes, handouts, projects, homework, and other graded work. Keep this organized and bring it to class each day. You will need to have course handouts and information at your fingertips.
  • Homework Notebook, preferably a graph paper spiral notebook or bound comp book. You will use this to work problem sets then turn in the notebook for homework checks. All homework will be done in the notebook and loose papers will not be accepted.
  • Writing Instruments, preferably pencils. Have them ready at the start of class.
Course Website and On-line Homework Help A class calendar with events, handouts, and deadlines is available at http://drhair.wikispaces.com/ The website also contains helpful links and physics resources. There is a Physics Homework Help Google group used for discussion, questions, and announcements. You must access your school email to participate in this. Assignment Sheets Each week or each unit, there will be an assignment sheet listing homework and lab assignments with due dates and test dates. Course Topics Physics is all around you and you will learn a lot about it in this class. We will learn why and how a car rolls downhill, why you feel a push when you go around a curve in a rollercoaster, and why going up in an elevator feels different from going down. We will learn about sound, light, heat, and electricity. Expect to work hard. Physics is intellectually challenging, but very rewarding. More details are in the Core Competencies, below. Your Quarter Grade Your quarter grade in physics is made up of four components, as shown below.
  • Tests & Quizzes - 40%
  • Labs - 40%
  • Homework - 10%
  • Participation - 10%
In-class activities may occasionally be graded and included with the homework grade. Your averaged numerical grade will be updated and posted on the grade portal on a regular basis. Your Semester Grade At the end of each semester, each quarter's grade will account for 45% of your semester grade. The midterm exam will count for 10% of your first semester grade, and the final project will make up 10% of the second semester grade. There is no final exam in physics class.
What Is a Point Worth? In physics class, points do not have a consistent value, across the different types of assignments. Since grading is done by percentages, a participation point need not have equal value to a point on a test or quiz. Consider each grade on a percentage basis and please don’t compare absolute point values between assignments.

Doing homework problems is an important opportunity to learn and practice physics. Problems from the textbook will be assigned for each topic covered. Tests and quizzes will draw on the homework problems and you will be expected to understand and know the material in the Problem Sets.

Your Problem Set Notebook will be checked for completeness, accuracy, and clarity of problem-solving method. Problem solving requires clear communication of your understanding with words, equations, and pictures. . Please show your work and demonstrate your thought process for all problems. Simply writing the correct result will earn a small amount of partial credit on homework (and on tests). Use significant figures correctly and have your homework ready at the start of class on the due date.

Some Problem Sets will be completely graded and some will be spot-checked. After a Problem Set is due, an answer key will be posted and you are advised to check your notebook with the complete key, to assess your understanding. No homework will be accepted for grading after the answer key has been posted in the classroom.

Lab experiments illustrate the concepts and solidify your understanding of physics. We will have at least one lab experiment per chapter. Most experiments will take two or more class periods and include class discussion, recording results, and analysis. Lab experiments will be written up in a worksheet format, rather than a formal lab report.

An extensive, independent project is completed in the 4th quarter, in place of a final exam. This out-of class project is worth 10% of your grade for the second semester.

Quizzes and Tests
You will have a quiz or test nearly every week in physics class. At the start of a unit, quizzes may be short or informal. As we near the end of a unit, there will be more challenging quizzes and tests. Having frequent quizzes makes sure that everyone is keeping up and we are learning something in class each week. One quiz each quarter will be designated a Mastery Quiz, which means you may retake a new version of the quiz until the end of the quarter.

Tests will occur at the end of each chapter or occasionally every other chapter. The tests will emphasize the chapter just completed, but may also include all topics included in the course, up to that point in time. Test material will come from class discussions, demonstrations, reading assignments, homework problems, and labs. Plan to work steadily on physics, as we cover the topics in class. Study on a regular basis, not just the night before a test.

The midterm for the course will be cumulative, on all topics covered in the first semester of the course. There is no final exam in Beta Physics.

Make-up Tests
Students who are absent the day of a test are expected to make up the missed test by the end of the next x-period, unless other arrangements are made. Make up tests are a different test than the original and may be more difficult. You may be required to have an oral exam, rather than a written test. In this case, Dr. Hair will ask you questions and you will answer orally or work problems on a white board or paper.

Late Work
Lab reports and problem sets turned in late, not as a result of an excused absence, will receive a grade penalty of 10% per day late. Students who have not turned in written work are required to attend x-periods until the work is made up. If a student has continual difficulty turning in assignments on time, the course grade will be negatively impacted. Late homework may be turned in on the first day back in school after an excused absence to avoid late penalty. Late work must be turned in to the instructor in person so the date can be established.

X-periods for this class are on Tuesdays. X-periods are used for make-up work, extra help, or finishing lab experiments or write-ups. All students are required to check in at all x-periods, unless alternative arrangements are made, in advance.

Students are required to attend x-periods to make up missing work if they have not turned in a lab report by the due date, missed a homework check, or missed a test or quiz due to absence. If a student with missing work does not attend an x-period, an unexcused absence is reported and the consequences will be imposed.

SAT II and AP tests Beta Physics provides a good introduction to physics and preparation for most topics on the SAT II in physics. It would be wise to prepare for this test with your textbook and a test preparation guide. Beta Physics does not provide the depth needed to be successful on an advanced placement test in physics.
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