Thorp High School - Mrs. Steinbach

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2018-2019 Physical Science Syllabus


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


WHAT WILL I LEARN IN PHYSICAL SCIENCE I, II, AND/OR III?

Physical Science I, II, and III are each one-semester courses designed to explore physical science in an active, inquiry, and project-based fashion.

PHYSICAL SCIENCE I

Physical Science I has a chemistry emphasis.  This course is lab intensive and you will be expected to maintain an accurate log of you scientific studies.  In order to demonstrate mastery of the chemistry concepts and practices you learned during our labs and activities, we will be tackling three real-life, meaningful, and fun challenges.  They include designing, creating, and presenting:

  1. a table, card, or computer game related to Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements,
  2. a toy that uses various chemical and/or gas principles, and
  3. an entertaining and informative chemistry science show to third-grade students.

Introductory principles covered in this course may include elements and their properties, parts of the atom, line spectra and electron “jumps,” ionization energy and orbitals, the octet rule and bonding, nuclear forces, electronegativity, intermolecular forces, Boyle’s Law, Charles’s Law, reaction types, Ideal Gas Law, Kinetic Molecular Theory, properties of polymers and plastics, solutions, characteristics of chemical change, chemical names and formulas, chemical equations, conservation of energy, reaction rates, and acid-base chemistry.

WHAT COURSE DO I HAVE TO TAKE AFTER PHYSICAL SCIENCE I TO MEET MY SCIENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION?  You have chosen to take Physical Science I in place of Chemistry.  After completing Physical Science I, you may choose to take Physical Science II and Physical Science III, or you may chose to take Physics.

PHYSICAL SCIENCE II

Physical Science II has a physics emphasis.  This course is lab intensive and you will be expected to maintain an accurate log of you scientific studies.  In order to demonstrate mastery of the physics concepts and practices you learned during our lab activities, we will be tackling three real-life, meaningful, and fun challenges.  They include designing, creating, and presenting:

  1. an egg-cart collision safety system,
  2. a roller coaster, and
  3. design, build, and analyze a musical instrument.

Introductory principles covered in this course may include Newton’s laws, energy and work, momentum, gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy, spring potential energy, forces acting during acceleration, force and energy, sound and waves, laws of thermodynamics, energy consumption, electricity and magnetism, and current.

PHYSICAL SCIENCE III

Physical Science III has a earth and space science, or astronomy, emphasis.  This course is lab intensive and you will be expected to maintain an accurate log of you scientific studies.  In order to demonstrate mastery of the earth and space concepts and practices you learned during our lab activities, we will be tackling three real-life, meaningful, and fun challenges. They include designing, creating, and presenting:

  1. a podcast script that discusses some of the possible hazards from outer space,
  2. a newspaper article that explores global climate change, and
  3. a debate on Earth's natural resources and alternative energy.

Introductory principles covered in this course may include an introduction to astronomy, plate tectonics, Earth's surface processes, climate change, Earth's natural resources, and Earth's system evolution.

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WHAT DO I NEED FOR CLASS?

No need to carry your textbook, Active Physical Science (2016) or EarthComm (2016), with you.  Print copies of our text will be available at each lab station.

So, to be successful in this class you will need to have the following three items with you daily.

  1. Your school issued chromebook.
  2. Your composition-type notebook.  This notebook will serve as your scientific log.  It is a place to record all of your scientific studies, meaning laboratory results and analyses, informational notes, reflections, etc.
  3. A number 2 pencil with an eraser.

On occasion, you may need to bring your scientific calculator.  I will have a few Texas Instruments model TI-30Xa calculators available to borrow.  Colored pencils, markers, glue, and scissors will be provided during class.  However some of you may prefer to bring your own.  Furthermore, rather than Elmer’s glue, you may choose to bring your own glue sticks, tape, or double-sided tape for interactive notebooking.  A blue or black ink pen and highlighters are also recommended.

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WHAT WILL THIS COURSE BE LIKE?

In educational terms, lessons will be conducted using the 7E learning-cycle model (e.g., learning sequence: elicit, engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate, and extend).  This approach naturally infuses learning strategies for scientific thinking and the understanding and abilities of inquiry with real-life, meaningful project-based studies that will allow you to demonstrate mastery of the chemistry concepts and practices.

MORE SPECIFICALLY…  We will kick off each chapter by introducing the “Chapter Challenge,” which is the real-life, meaningful, and fun project.  We will then complete several “Sections” of learning in order to build the content and practices you need to successfully complete your Chapter Challenge.  Each section begins with an essential question(s) in order to access your prior knowledge and give you focus.  We then complete an “Investigate” or lab.  Concepts are discussed following the Investigate.  It is important that you read the text (e.g., "Chem Talk," "Physics Talk," "Digging Deeper") after, not before the Investigate.  Then, comes the opportunity to reflect on what you learned (e.g., notes, definitions, questions, Investigate CER) and determine how what you learned can be used to complete the Chapter Challenge.  We will close each Section with a quiz.  Approximately mid way through the Chapter we will have a “Chapter Mini-Challenge.”  We will then conclude each chapter with the Chapter Challenge and a test.

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WHAT CAN I FIND ON OUR CLASSROOM WEBSITE?

Our classroom website is an excellent resource to help keep you on track.  Some highlights of our website are listed below.

  • The “Assignment Board” is a great link.  It is where I keep a daily log of what tasks we conduct during class and what homework may be due and when.
  • As part of each "Unit" you will find links to electronic resources.  You may also be asked to complete e-homework here.

As the year continues, I will be modifying and adding to our site.

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WHERE DO I PREPARE AND KEEP MY COURSEWORK?

All coursework must be completed in your chem notebook and hand-written, preferably in pencil, unless otherwise instructed.

WHAT IF I AM LATE HANDING IT IN?  Coursework must be turned in when requested by me.  (An extension may be given for an emergency/special situation.)  If you do not turn in your coursework on time you may be issued a detention.  Late coursework will be issued a 30% deduction.  Thus, it is critical that you submit all coursework on time. 

WHAT IF I AM ABSENT THE DAY MY COURSEWORK IS DUE?  If you have an excused absence, you must meet with me on the first day of your return. At this time we will make absent work arrangements.  If it is not handed in per our arrangement, the late work policy will apply.

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WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT THE WAY WE TAKE NOTES?

We will blend Interactive Notebooking and the Cornell Note-taking System in order to maximize our learning efforts.  Your notebook will therefore not only serve as a log of your scientific studies, but also as an awesome study tool come test time.  The research on the effectiveness of these two techniques is plentiful and solid.

WHAT DO CORNELL-STYLE NOTES LOOK LIKE?  Below is a quick overview of the system.

Cornell-style Notes

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WHAT IF I GET STUCK WHEN I AM TRYING TO LEARN?

If you should have moments of struggle in this course,

  1. start by being resourceful and try to leap over your own hurdle.  If you can overcome your challenge, research shows that you are more likely to retain your newfound knowledge.  Great resources to utilize include talking to a classmate, reviewing your textbook, visiting our website, completing an Internet search, etc.
  2. However, don’t spend too much time struggling.  Please take some time to visit with me.  I will be happy to help you to get to the root of your concerns and establish a plan of action that provides additional scaffolding (e.g., individualized instruction, graphic organizers, targeted problem-solving opportunities, etc.).

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO MEET WITH MRS. STEINBACH?
Below is a list of options.

  • Before school by appointment
  • During 3rd and 8th hour first semester and
    during 1st and 8th hour second semester
  • During our FLEX period
  • After school, usually until 5 but sometimes later
    Please make arrangements with me ahead of time to be sure I will not be in a meeting.

I will also be monitoring your growth through formative assessment opportunities (e.g., assignments, quizzes, etc.) and will initiate a meeting and/or plan of action if necessary.  Your academic success is very important to me.

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CAN I RESUBMIT COURSEWORK OR RETAKE A TEST?

Absolutely. If you have less than a B- on any of our coursework, including tests, you may resubmit/retake those assessments in order to demonstrate understanding.  In doing so, a resubmit/retake grade of up to a B- will be given for that work. 

In order to resubmit/retake any of your coursework, you must (1) schedule an appointment to meet with me during our FLEX period. During this time, we will review your learning efforts, assess specific areas of need, have a re-teach session, and provide you with a game plan of study. When reviewing your learning efforts, you will be asked to (2) show that you have completed all pre- and post-assessments (e.g., online quizzes) and lesson studies.

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WHAT IS THE GRADING SCALE FOR THIS COURSE?

100-97.... A+
  96-93.... A   
  92-90.... A- 
89-87..... B+
86-83..... B   
82-80..... B- 
79-77..... C+
76-73..... C   
72-70..... C- 
69-67..... D+
66-63..... D   
62-60..... D- 
  59-0..... F   

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HOW WILL I BE GRADED?

Your quarter grade will be determined through a weighted system.

  • 35% Skills Assessments
    (LAB category in Skyward)
    • Lab Data and Analysis Log
    • Lab Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Statements
    • Chapter Challenges
  • 65% Written Assessments
    (TEST category in Skyward)
    • Multi-lesson Mini-tests
    • Chapter Tests

Your semester grade will be cumulative, based on your performance over both quarters.

Skyward Gradebook Note: Zeros will appear when coursework has NOT been handed in (i.e., it is late or you were absent).  Asterisks will appear when coursework is in the process of being graded.

SKILL ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES...

Your notebooks will be collected on occasion to evaluate your investigate studies. This will be done using a rubric that is designed for each investigate. The rubric will be given out prior to conducting the investigate.

WRITTEN ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES...

Three levels of questioning will be provided on these assessments. The purpose of providing testing levels is to reward those who meet all foundation knowledge requirements, as well as reward, not punish, those who attempt more challenging test questions. What are levels?

  • Level 1
    • Provides an opportunity to demonstrate foundation knowledge.
    • Question types used will include multiple choice, true/false, etc.
    • Successful completion level 1 earns a grade of C.
  • Level 2
    • Provides an opportunity to demonstrate application of foundation knowledge.
    • Question types used will include completion, short answer, etc.
    • Successful completion level 1 and level 2 earns a grade of B.
  • Level 3
    • Provides an opportunity to demonstrate real-world/complex application of foundation knowledge.
    • Question types used will include short answer, essay.
    • Successful completion of level 1, level 2, and level 3 earns a grade of A.

As a reminder, all students may retake written assessments.

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WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR ME?

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LEARNING…  Have pride in yourself and your science studies.  Be curious and ask questions.  Dig in, stay focused, and contribute your thoughts and skills.  Hard work today will help you to have the future life you are dreaming of.

CONDUCT YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY WITH KINDNESS AND INTEGRITY…  Show others your greatness through your kindness.  Inspire your classmates with your ideas, but do so with integrity.  Academic misconduct (e.g., cheating and plagiarism) in any portion of your academic work is a serious offense.  Therefore, it is expected that you will conduct yourself with honesty, integrity, and professionalism.

BE PRESENT AND PREPARED…  Don’t miss a day to learn something new and become a better person.  Be prepared by doing the work necessary to achieve the learning (e.g., take notes, complete practice problems, etc.). Work from bell to bell. To follow are some specific "be present and prepared" school policies:

  • Don't let electronic devices distract you. If you are using an electronic device (e.g., cellphone and headphone/earbuds) without permission or inappropriately, the device will be confiscated and turned into our principal. You may pick it up at the end of the day. Additional consequences may follow depending upon the frequency of the confiscations.
  • Show your classmates and I the respect we deserve by being on time.  Your third unexcused tardy, and every one thereafter, will result in a detention.
  • Don't acquire too many absences. Only tests, quizzes, and projects can be made up if you have an unexcused absence. All other work will be subject to the course late work policy shared earlier.
  • Remain in class. Avoid leaving unless it is an emergency. If you must go to your locker, bathroom, etc. you will need to utilize the pass page in your school issued agenda. You write in the date, time, and location. I will then approve the pass with my signature.

BE SAFE IN THE LAB…  Your safety and the safety of your classmates and I is important.  You will be required to sign and abide by a student safety contract, as well as always follow class lab/activity directions in order to participate in laboratory activities.  If you fail to do so, you will not be allowed to participate in laboratory activities and you will not have opportunity for make-up.

TAKE CARE OF OUR CLASSROOM…  Help me to keep our resources, supplies, and lab materials in great condition.  I love this classroom and I hope you do too.  Keep your lab stations clean and free of doodles.  (If you can’t resist the urge, doodle in your notebook.)  If something is broken, report it to me right away.  If the lighting or room temperature is not quite right, let me know and I will do my best to get it fixed.  We will work best in a nice, neat, and clean classroom.

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IF I MAKE THE POOR CHOICE OF BEING DISRESPECTFUL, WHAT ARE MY CONSIQUENCES?

Disrespectful actions on your part will be dealt accordingly.

DURING CLASS…
     First, you will be warned about your behavior.
     Second, you will be removed from class.
Severe actions may result in an immediate removal.  I determine severity.

DURING INVESTIGATES…
     First, you will be removed from the classroom.
     Second, stern disciplinary action will follow. This will include
          - a principal, parent, and student meeting prior to the student’s return
               to the class, and/or
          - removal from the class for the semester, issue of a failing grade, and
               requirement to repeat the course.

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WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM YOU, MRS. STEINBACH?

COMPLETE DEDICATON TO YOUR ACADEMIC GROWTH…

I will be your biggest academic supporter and constantly encourage you to do your best work.

I will challenge you.

I will ensure that other students do not disrupt your learning.

I will do my very best to provide you with a variety of fun and meaningful learning opportunities that will help you to grow intellectually.

I will foster your creativity.

I will help you to boost your understanding and confidence when you feel overwhelmed.

I will treat you fairly with the respect and dignity that you deserve.

I will do all of these things because I believe in you and your abilities.

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PHYSICAL
SCIENCE

Course
Options

Physical
Science
I

Physical
Science
II

Physical
Science
III

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Questions?
Email Mrs. Steinbach
tsteinbach@thorp.k12.wi.us