Course Expectations

CONCEPTUAL PHYSICS

2013-2014

Mr. Costello

Marin Catholic High School

Rm: 402

mcostello@marincatholic.org

Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences and its laws help explain the world around us.  It differs from most other sciences in that a handful of rules and one’s own intuition can drastically affect one’s understanding of his or her environment. 

With an emphasis on concepts, this is a course that will provide you with a solid foundation and a ramp to other science courses.  This class maximizes the use of your personal experience in the everyday world and in your everyday language allowing you to see physics as a part of everything you see and do.  Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to: vibrations and waves, sound, light, linear and projectile motion, Newton’s Laws, momentum, and energy.

WHAT MATERIALS DO I NEED FOR THIS CLASS?

  • Text: Hewitt, Paul G.  Conceptual Physics.  New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2002. 
  • A 3-ring binder (DEDICATED TO THIS CLASS ONLY)
  • A packet of 5 separators to divide your notebook into appropriate sections
  • Lab notebook (available in MC bookstore)
  • Paper, pencil, and pen (blue or black ink)

WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES?

The environment of our classroom needs to be a safe one where discovery, discussion, and critical thinking foster great learning.  In order for this to be a reality to you, as students, you have some responsibilities.

  • You are responsible for being RESPECTFUL to every person.   This means LISTENING, NOT TALKING when other people are speaking & discussing with acknowledgement that every person will not share your point of view.
  • Be COOPERATIVE.  Benefit from working well with others in class and sharing knowledge.
  • Make RESPONSIBLE CHOICES.  Know the consequences of all your options and weigh them before making a decision.
  • Be on TIME.  We only have 55 minutes and each one is valuable.
  • CLASSROOM CARE.  Keep the classroom clean and pick up after yourself, and leave things in better condition than you found them.
  • Arrive to class on time and PREPARED.  This means bringing your textbook, notebook, lab notebook, and a pen every single class.
  • Be HONEST.  If you aren’t, it will catch up with you later . . .

 

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC . . .

At the beginning of each class a song will be played.  While the music is playing, you should: check the daily agenda written on board; work on the warm up; have any assignments that are due that day pulled out and ready to be checked.  When the music stops be ready to roll!

CONCEPTUAL PHYSICS HOMEPAGE

This Conceptual Physics homepage should be checked on a daily basis.  You will find the weekly agenda, homework assignments, labs, review sheets and all of my lectures.

HOW CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL IN PHYSICS?

To be successful, put a lot of effort into the coursework and take good notes in class.  If you want help with your note taking, see me asap, especially if you begin to fall behind or don’t understand something.

WHAT IF I AM ABSENT?

Regular attendance is necessary to be successful in physics.  If you know that you will be absent on a given day then plan ahead and make arrangements to obtain assignments prior to the date you miss class.  You should also check the class website for current assignments and announcements.  Obtain missed assignments from the assignment folder and class notes from other students.  Powerpoint lectures will be available on this website.  If you have an excused absence the day a homework assignment is due, it is due the day you return.  Any other assignments given while absent are due one day after the number of days absent (e.g absent for 2 days, you have 3 days to makeup).  For more on this see p. 3 of the Parent-Student Handbook!  Unexcused late work is not encouraged, but infrequently unavoidable.  Late work is docked an entire grade for each day past the due date.  Ifyou miss a test or quiz, you will be expected to make it up the day after you return to school.  MAKEUPS ARE GIVEN BEFORE SCHOOL AT 7:00 AM.  It is YOUR responsibility to schedule your make up.

WHAT IS MY SCIENCE BINDER AND HOW DO I ORGANIZE IT?

Organization is KEY to your level of success in this class.  Your science binder should have this syllabus in the front followed by the five sections.  The five sections are: Homework; Classwork & Handouts; Notes; Tests & Quizzes; and Labs.  Your name and class should be easy to locate on the front of your notebook

PARTICIPATION

Participation is key in this classroom.  Everyone is encouraged to participate in class discussions, interactive lectures, laboratories, etc.  Participation also includes being in your seat and on task when the bell rings (at the beginning and end of the period) and not interrupting the learning process for those around you. 

QUIZZES AND TESTS

Most quizzes will be announced (one day prior) but occasionally a small, unannounced pop quiz will be given.  The reason for quizzes is to make sure that you are current with the material.  There will be one test per chapter covered.

 

GRADING

The following chart is a guide of the grading breakdown.

 

 

    Assignment

Weight

Tests and Quizes

40%

Laboratory and Activities

25%

Projects (5 the entire year)

20%

Homework Checks

5%

Final

10%

 

 

 

Letter grades will be awarded based on percentage of points received.  The breakdown will be as indicated by the scale found in the MCHS Parent/Student Handbook.  For quick reference, the scale is:

 

A

95-100

A-

90-94

B+

87-89

B

83-86

B-

80-82

C+

77-79

C

73-76

C-

70-72

D+

67-69

D

63-66

D-

60-62

F

59 & ¯