APC Grading
This class is a beast.... I keep saying that and I'll continue to keep saying that.

Here's Why:  

1) The PACE is frentic -- think learning by firehose

2) We cover a phenomenal amount of material with dozens of specify formulae

3) We do 1 (count 'em ONE) semester of Mechanics and ONE semester of EM.

4) VERY few high schools offer APC. Of those that do, something like 50% take the mechanics course and stretch it over 1 full year of high school (Bellarmine does that).

Your physics instructors (Wolgemuth/Johnson/Ronning) and admins here at GHHS believe that slowing down the course does a disservice to our students. Spending a year to ace mechanics only to get clobbered with the (generally considered MORE NASTY EM) once you get to college just doesn't seem like a good idea. Also, it gives students a false sense of the true pace and rigor of the college program.

Keep in mind we are already slowing down the course (!) substantially. For example, the U of W teaches mechanics in one quarter, EM in one quarter and spends a 3rd quarter teaching Waves & Optics (which is not in the APC curriculum at all).

For those students going to a semester school (Like UPS-- where I went), the schedule is usually 1 semester-ish of Mechanics and a little waves or optics, and one semester of EM and a little waves or optics)

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Back to the Grading --

The AP Physics C Exam is... well.... REALLY, REALLY DIFFICULT. So much so that we usually expect that they employ what is colloquially referred to as the "rule of 12's":

Exam Score
Student AP Score
>62.5
5
50 - 62.5
4
38.5 - 49.9
3
26 - 38.4
2
   
   

So here's the Scoop:

I - EXAMS

Our AP C exams will usually include:

1) 10 AP-type multiple choice questions

2) 1 or 2 problems directly taken from the homework

3) 1 AP Free Response question scored using AP Scoring methods.

I will weight (I *hate* to say curve) the exams per the AP scoring method shown above.

Exams are given at the end of each unit.

Unlike my other courses, makeups are NOT available if you bomb a test. That's for two reasons, the first being these tests are a BEAST to put together, typically 2 or 3 hours each, and I have no desire to make more than one. Second, my entire year of University Physics at UPS we only had one makeup, and that's because the prof flubbed the test, so I treat this as a college class, not a high school class.

II - LABS

Labs are graded using the Baylor University guide found here, and it is a VERY good idea to take a gander at this format sooner rather than later -- you'll no doubt notice there is an awful lot that is new and different there.

Labs are scored using standing grading practices and are NOT curved.

III - HOMEWORK

Homework will NOT be graded. That's your time to learn the material.

However, approximately every other work, at my discretion and AT THE TIME OF MY CHOOSING, I'll ask students to do a problem taken from the current or previous homework set. That problem will be graded and put into the gradebook as a weighted value.

The main purpose here is to make sure students are keeping up, and to give the student, me, and you folks at home a bit of a 'temperature' check to see how our students are doing.

IV: WRITING PROJECTS

First semester students are required to turn in an annotated bibliography on any topic in science as described here.

Second semester students will participate in (I HOPE) the First Annual Cross-Sound Trebuchet Challenge against students from Bellarine (My former student teacher is the Physics C instructor there).  Students will work with their group in specific project roles to design, build and test a working trebuchet. That project writing requirements are found here.

STUDY GUIDE: