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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 .


Lecture Notes

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.

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)
The Exploration (This should be turned in the day of the workQuiz)

These are simply short activities/demonstrations that allow students to experience given phenomena related to the Unit of study. There will probably be 2 - 7 of these provided each Unit. At least one 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.

The Laboratory
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.

Your notebook

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:
    1. Unit Guide
    2. baseQuiz; lingo and textbook work (if you chose to do)
    3. Notes - yours and mine
    4. Completed worksheets
    5. Exploration
    6. workQuiz
    7. Individual Lab Report ( you may not have this the first check, but should have it for future checks)
    8. Test/corrections (not necessarily complete) (will be checked for previous Unit)
    9. A "What Have I Learned" summary of the Unit (this is a personal reflection of each unit's content and what you gained from the material)
The workQuiz

This is a daily work checker and a pre-test. It will be given the day* 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:

  1. Have your test signed by a parent/legal guardian. This is done so that your parent(s) will be aware of your progess.
  2. 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/competion 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 the question.
  5. 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.
  6. DO NOT WAIT until the last minute to do these. This is an important part of your learning in this course. Experience has shown that the longer you put this off, the less likely you are to do this.
Honors Final Project (to be completed by the Friday before finals)

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 are available at the Project page

Option 1
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.

Option 2
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.

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