How do I
THE UNIT GUIDE
The Unit Guide provides all the specifics for a particular unit. It
provides the text references, lingo, learning objectives, test and other
due dates, suggested related unit topics, and miscellaneous resources for
student use. This will be provided the first class of the Unit.
This is the map to each unit as well as your review guide for the final
exam, so keep track of it! Extra copies of the Unit guide can be obtained
from the Handouts page or the course calendar
NON - GRADED STUFF
I will provide you with a copy of my "lecture" notes which I use to
guide the class discussions. You should read the appropriate notes prior
to their discussion in class so that you can participate in the discussion.
My goal is not to lecture in the classic sense, but for the class to better
understand the content by exploring it in a meaningful student driven manner.
The notes will also have space for your own questions, comments, sketches
to be added as the Unit progresses.
These are simply a collection of conceptual questions, math problems,
charts/tables, and graphs which are designed to assist you in gaining a
deeper understanding of the content. All work related to these should usually
be done on your own paper so that you are not constrained by any arbitrary
amount of space I may have given you on the worksheet. You should follow
the specific directions provided with each exercise. These may be checked
for completion occasionally if I feel you are not keeping up with the course.
Read your textbook
It is highly recommended that you outline or summarize the main ideas
of each section assigned during each Unit. Do not forget about the content
in the graphics and side notes. It is not best to just answer the textbook
question without actually reading the text. An alternat textbook reference
may be provided by your teacher, if so see your teacher for access.
Individual work (This will be assessed with the baseQuiz about one
week after you are given the Unit Guide)
Science, Technology, and
Society (This should be turned in with your notebook)
Your will be asked to show your base knowledge of the Unit on a short
Quiz worth 20 points. Some types of questions: fill in the blank, true/false,
multiple choice, unit cancellation. If you score at least a 16/20
on the baseQuiz you will receive the full 20 points for your textwork grade.
If you score below 16/20 but have done (75%) the Lingo Sheet, you will
have an opportunity to get all 20 points with an individual, by appointment,
re-quiz no later than 2 days prior to the Unit
Test. On the re-quiz you will have to answer the same concept
questions you missed. You will receive any points earned on the re-quiz
towards the 20 points. If you do not complete the Lingo Sheet you simply
keep your original quiz grade.
Learning the Lingo
This is simply vocabulary you must be familiar with in order to even
have a clue as to what is being discussed in class. Some you know, some
you do not. If you do not learn these terms within the first week, not
just defined them, you will be behind in class. You will be provided with
a list of "official" definitions which you should match with the terms.
We recommend using your textbook, a dictionary, or the following on-line
dictionary to help you if you get stuck defining the terms:
Section Reviews - The following is the textwork you may want to
complete to help you understand the basics:
This work, based on the textbook material, is a foundation so that
you can work with the more complex material to follow. Many students already
know this stuff. Write the Q and A or a complete answer to the selected
questions from the Section as provided on the Unit Guide.
The Exploration (This
should be turned in the day of the workQuiz)
These are simply (1) short activities/demonstrations and (2) current
science articles that allow students to experience given phenomena related
to the Unit of study. At least one mini-lab or demo will be done in class
as part of the instruction. You may find that you want to do some on your
own outside of classtime. In any event,
you may turn in only one exploration
at the end of the Unit. If you need materials for a mini-lab that you want
to do on your own, let your teacher know.
Classtime Mini-labs - turn in what is required by your teacher for
the specific activity.
Any textbook Mini-lab - (1) a brief summary of the mini-lab's purpose
and procedure, (2) data/observations, (3) Analysis/questions (if any),
and (4) a short conclusion of the activity.
Class/video demonstrations can be turned in as an exploration if
the following is completed - diagrams/sketches of what you observed and
an overview and explanation of the phenomena observed. This needs to be
fairly specific, not just, "I liked that demo on gravity, it really helped
me understand it better."
STS Critical Reading - Go to the STS page of The Teters Zone and
select an article of interest. Read the article and do the following: (1)
a summary which will provide some of the pertinent details as well as a
quick grasp of the article and (2) your opinion of/response to the article.
(1) and (2) should be about half to a full page worth each. The length
of yours may vary depending on the depth of the article you choose.
Current STS Article - If none of the articles provided are interesting
to you, you may find and turn in an article that relates to our course
and is of interest to you personally. Each article should be accompanied
by (1)a summary which will provide some of the pertinent details as well
as a quick grasp of the article and (2) your opinion of/response to the
article. (1) and (2) should be no less than one page worth total. These
articles can come from newspapers, magazines, journals, or similar sources
on the internet. They must be dated after January 1, 2001. No encyclopedia
entries or textbook like internet sites, this must be an article similar
to the type provided by your teacher above. Be sure to include a copy of
the article as well as a bibliograpghic enrty for the article.
These are the more traditional labs where we will spend an extended
time discovering, exploring, and analyzing the Unit topic. These will also
be used to teach skills such as graphing, using spreadsheets, making scientific
measurements, as well as working in groups so that all benefit. No part
of these labs should need to be done outside of class, the idea is to work
as a group within the given time. There will be individual parts to the
report and these should be individual, not multiple copies of one individual's.
Group learning may also be evaluated at times with
the use of a group quiz. The individual lab report will include a lab evaluation,
of the lab and your group. The group work/report will account for part
of the lab grade while the individual report will account for the other
portion of your lab grade. Each lab will have its own specific instructions.
The following is the manner in which you must organize your notebook
for this course:
Your notebook will be checked on test days for each unit. I will be looking
for a well organized, neat, complete notebook with the following format:
Use a three ring binder. This should only contain this course's materials
Each Unit should be complete with the Unit guide as the Cover Sheet
Keep all materials in the rings of the binder, not the pockets.
Notebook grading rubric (provided by your teacher)
Table of contents
Course gradesheet (up to date)
Course syllabi pages
STS Articles (when you complete them)
Each Unit's materials:
baseQuiz; lingo and textbook work (if you chose to do)
Notes - yours and mine
Individual Lab Report ( you may not have this the first check, but should
have it for future checks)
Test/corrections (not necessarily complete) (will be checked for previous
A "What Have I Learned" summary of the Unit (this
is a personal reflection of each unit's content and what you gained from
This is a daily work checker and a pre-test. It will be given the class
prior to a Unit test. It will have eight* questions, half of which will
ask for answers/information from your non graded daily work/worksheets
while the other half will be more test related questions.
The best four questions will determine your grade. These will be
peer checked immediately following completion, then rechecked by the teacher
to verify the final grade. The workQuiz will be used as part of a short
review of the material prior to the test.
The Test Corrections (TEB before finals is
last opportunity for teacher approval)
All tests are to be corrected on your own time. There are no late corrections.
You may sign out the tests overnight from your teacher's room. The tests
will also be available in the classroom whenever it is open. You will receive
half credit for the points you originally missed. The following is required,
there is no partial credit:
Project (to be completed by the Friday before finals)
Have your test signed by a parent/legal guardian. This is done so that
your parent(s) will be aware of your progess.
For each section/question in which you did not receive the maximum # of
points you will need to indicate what was being asked on the original test.
For the multiple choice/problems/completion types you should write out
the original question(s). For the essay/discussion type of questions there
is probably no need to re-write the question, as long as you answered the
question in a complete manner.
Correct answers - (1) for multiple choice/problems/completion type simply
write the correct answer or re-do the entire process. Do not just re-do
part of the problem or only one cell of a table. Check with your teacher
about what to do with a table. (2) for essay/discussion types you should
re-answer or edit highlighted sections from your original answer sheet.
Documentation - you need to indicate the objective(s) from the Unit guide
that the question is related to. I am not asking for the reason you missed
You must make an appointment with your teacher to discuss the corrections.
Plan for at least 5 minutes per test. You may be asked to explain your
corrections to your teacher as well as answer some questions about the
material. If your corrections are correct this simply requires your teacher
to look over them. You may be required to fix any incorrections
on your own or your teacher may simply discuss the necessary fix with you.
When your corrections are approved by your teacher these points will be
added to your test grade.
TEST CORRECTIONS ARE NOT EXTRA CREDIT, they are part of your learning
of the material. DO NOT WAIT until the last minute to do these. Experience
has shown that the longer you put this off, the less likely you are to
do the corrections.
This project will present a practical/useful/"real world" application
of a specific area of the science discussed in this course.
You may conduct and individual/group project or participate in your
teacher's project. The expectations of each option are of equal quality
and level. All work is expected to be of the highest level quality and
effort. This is not just a poster project! There is not an "easier" choice,
just a personal preference. More details for the current semester may be
available at the Project page
Your own in depth study of any physical science related application,
your application may include life science connections, but the main focus
should be on the physical science aspects. This is probably a good choice
if your have a questions about some of the "teasers" that your teacher
may have mentioned during the semeater or if you have always wondered "How...."
or "Why...." If you would like to choose this option you may work on your
own or with a group of 2 - 3 total students. Your topic should be approved
by your teacher ahead of time. You will be expected to conduct individual
as well as group research, mostly directed by you/your group. Your teacher
will only be a guide to assist your exploration and help keep you on task.
Your research and "successful" final product, w/ supporting documentation
will be evaluated by your teacher.
Your teacher may have time to provide you with a review for the end
of course tests. If so you may participate in the review.