La Puente High School
Syllabus: Physics Fall Semester 2014-2015
Mr. Weissbard: xxxxxxxxxx firstname.lastname@example.org
Course description: Physics is the study of the physical world in which we live. We attribute the charcteristics of this physical world to what we call the forces of nature. In this course we teach the basic skills needed to understand the forces of nature. We will learn about free body diagrams, graphing data, and deriving equations so that students may develop a deep understanding of the laws of nature. Fall semester topics include Mechanics – motion, Newton’s Laws, friction, gravity, planetary orbits, center of mass, moment of inertia, momentum, energy, and work. The Spring semester includes Thermodynamics, Light and Optics, Electricity and Magnetism, Electronic circuits, and an introduction to Nuclear Physics.
In Semester 1, Students will be able to:
Use graphic analyzers such as Free Body Diagrams to understanding physical systems
perform experiments to collect data, graph data and draw conclusions
Practice developing and deriving equations
Understand and apply Newton’s Laws to derive forces, equations of motion, acceleration, torques
In Semester 2, Students will be able to
Understand Optics and how telescopes and lenses work
Understand electrical charges, current and magnetism
Analyze and build basic electronic circuits
Understand the principals of nuclear a fission and fusion
Textbook: Physics by Serway and Faughn (Holt)
Web Resources: math-science-resources.com
This is my website. This site contains study guides, lessons, activities, selected videos and simulations, and online quizzes. I frequently lecture from this site and you are welcome to review lesson material on this site.
Grading Scale: 100-90 = A
89-80 = B
79-70 = C
69-60 = D
59-0 = F
Categories and Weights:
Homework + Classwork (20%): This class is a college preparatory course; therefore homework is of great importance for practice and independent study, as well as reinforcement of concepts and methods. Homework is generally due the day after it is assigned. Homework must be submitted on time, late homework will not earn credit. Classwork is essential for student success as it aids in communication, collaboration and responsibility through group and individual work.
Laboratory experiments + Projects + Presentations (20%): This course will include class demonstrations and experiments where students work in groups to gather data, analyze data, draw conclusions and prepare written reports. Projects will require research, web search and hands on work. Some of these projects will culminate in group presentations. Additional projects will be computer based and will develop student’s ability to solve and graph solutions to problems using Excel or equivalent spreadsheet programs and other online graphing programs.
Tests + Quizzes (50%): Tests will be given on a per-unit basis and will be geared to the state standards (CST). Quizzes will be used to pre-assess student knowledge and to guide focused study. Additional free response tests may be used to assess student understanding according the philosophy of Common Core State Standards. A Benchmark exam will be given once per quarter.
Participation (10%): Without consistent participation a student cannot fully grasp the concepts presented in the class. Behavior is an important part of participation and students are expected to be respectful of class members and show care when using laboratory materials. Warmups count towards participation.
3 ring binder (1-1/2”)
5 partition dividers for this subject
pencils and erasers, black or blue pens
red pen or pencil for grading
straight edge, triangle or ruler
scientific calculator (~$15). Graphing calculators are expensive and are not needed for this class.
Binder policy: Students must bring their binder and all materials related to the current unit to class every day. This includes; notes, reference sheets, handouts, and homework for the current unit to date. Prior unit work may be kept in an ‘Archive’ binder at home but must be brought to class for grading when requested. Do not throw out old homework and notes – these will be needed to prepare for tests such as midterms and finals.
Homework policy: It is important that students stay current with their homework since homework reinforces the current lesson. Unless stated otherwise, homework assignments are due at the beginning of the next class after the homework is assigned. Late homework will not be accepted except after excused absences.
Cell phone policy: Cell phones are not allowed in this class. Students may not use or even take out their cell phones during this class. If a student takes out a cell phone it will be confiscated and a parent will be called. The phone will returned at the end of the day. A second offense will result in the phone being turned over to the office and the parent may pick up the phone at the end of the week. If a third offense occurs, the phone will be confiscated and may be picked up at the end of the semester. Refusal to hand over a cell phone or attempts to hide the cell phone will result in detention. If a student needs to make or receive an important call, they must inform me ahead of time so that special arrangements can be made.
Student name and signature:
Parent or guardian name and signature: