Central High School Main Office: (970)254-6200
550 Warrior Way  
Grand Junction, CO 81504  
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Class syllabus - Links


Instructors:   Rick Peterson
Texts:    Hecht; Physics: Algebra/trig 2d Ed
Gonick and Huffman; The Cartoon Guide to Physics
                Khun; Basic Physics
Scoring:   Weekly grade for in class work (daily quizzes, note sheets, reflection papers). Weekly work will be handed in of Fridays in a notebook and reviewed for completion and quality (30% of grade). The notebook will also reflect "participation" points for attendance and timeliness. Two presentations are due during each quarter (20% of grade). Exams over each week's material (Per syllabus - not always on Friday) (50% of grade)
General comments: This course is designed to give you a general introduction to classical (Or Newtonian) Physics- Objects in motion, electricity, magnetism, waves, sound, and light. Additionally, we'll look at what is called "Modern" Physics- Quantum Mechanics and relativity. If time permits, we'll cover a few topics in Astronomy. One focus of the course will be reports (Oral and written) on currant topics in Physics.
We expect you to do most of the work in this class. Research into learning has shown again and again how important it is for the learner to direct his or her own learning. It's not our job to pour knowledge into your supposedly empty heads. Rather, it's you job to make the connections you need to retain this knowledge and apply it to your life. Therefore, we will concentrate on learning ways for you to get knowledge into your head: from the texts, the library, the internet, and from other people. You will also do a lot of writing: mostly short papers on the material we've covered.
We'll use your notebook to record your progress. It will be graded each week and needs to be set up correctly and used. Late work will only be accepted the week after it was due. As a general rule, we will review the week's material on Thursday and test first thing Fridays. Usually, we'll review the test immediately afterward. The class will probably have a pair of special activities: a visit to the Western Colorado Math and Science Center and an all day investigation of the Physics of Construction (Circumstances permitting). Both activities will include written reports.
A few simple rules of classroom behavior should suffice. Come to class prepared (materials and attitude). Listen to your instructor and your classmates: they'll listen to you. Do nothing to interfere with other's learning. Treat everyone with respect. Attendance and tardy procedures are calculated based on attendance, promptness, and participation. Don't be late: our policy is very strict. A second tardy will result in the loss of 10 participation points--- after that, you'll lose a percentage point on your final grade for each tardy. We'll follow a 4-step discipline process: first a verbal warning from me, then a visit with me after class, next a visit with your parents and finally, a referral to a Vice Principal.
Good luck in the coming term - I'm looking forward to your success.

Your Notebook
Your notebook is a major part of your grade in Physics(30%). It is the only place where we will look for your work - you will not turn in any work separately, except for exams. The notebook is also the only way we can assess your writing skills - an area of much importance to you, to us, and to the school as a whole. Make sure you take the time to set your notebook up properly.
There are only a few rules:

    • The notebook must be labeled clearly on the front cover with your name, the name of the course and the block in which we meet.
    • The first thing inside the notebook should be your Syllabus/Grade sheet.
    • After the Syllabus/Grade sheet, there should also be 9 sections in the notebook labeled "week 1," "week 2," "Week 3," and so on to "Week 9". The sections must be labeled clearly so I can find your work easily.
    • The next section should be labeled  "Presentations" and will hold the notes you use for your oral presentations as well as copies of any handouts or overhead projector slides you used.
    • The final section should be labeled "Miscellaneous" and will include the odds and ends you may want to store in your notebook. These items will not necessarily be graded.