If you have questions about your physics class, email them to Dr. Hair, so she can add them to this page, to help other students.

What is my grade based on?

Your quarter grade is based on tests & quizzes, labs, problem sets, and for regular Physics, participation. Read the course standards (Honors Physics or Physics) for the details.

I am having trouble understanding the problem set. What should I do?

First, try reading your class notes and your textbook. Review the concepts and ideas and see if this helps. Then try writing down what you know and what question you want to answer or variable you want to calculate. Find a relationship that can move you from the given quantities to what you want. Ask yourself questions like, how is acceleration related to the velocity and time I am given? What connects acceleration and velocity? Don't give up, if you don't see how to solve the problem immediately, but try to learn more about the concepts to help you solve the problem. If this doesn't help your understanding, ask for help. You can use the on-line homework help for your class, bring the question to Dr. Hair, or seek help from another students. Remember that what you write on your paper should be YOUR understanding, not a copy of someone else's. Do not copy problem answers, but ask questions, get help, and write your own solution to the problem.

Do I need to memorize the equations used in class?

NO! You are given any equations you need on the front of the exam or on your equation card. Your goal should be to reach thorough understanding of what the equations mean, not just memorize them. You may need to learn some definitions, units, and metric prefixes. These will be commonly used and part of the learning required to do well in physics.

Do we turn in one lab report for the group?

NO! Each student must complete a lab write-up and turn it in with the group. Every student is responsible for understanding the lab and demonstrating this in their own write-up.

How are labs graded?

Lab reports are graded so that each student has some portion of their write-up graded. All members of the group receive the same grade on the lab, even if only one member made a mistake or left something out. It is to your advantage to work closely with your lab partners, as you do the lab, so that everyone's lab write-up is of comparable quality. Lab groups that work together successfully receive an additional "Coop Point" for their group's successful collaboration.

Do colleges that I apply to see my midterm exam grade?

Colleges will receive a mid-year report for all applicants. A mid-year report includes the quarter 1 grade, the quarter 2 grade, and the semester 1 grade. The report does not include exam grades or comments.

Do I have to come to x-periods?

You must check in at each x-period unless you have made other arrangements in advance. Typically, there is a list of things to do on the board, on x-days. Some will be required and some will be optional. X-periods are good times to get caught up, ask questions, and learn physics in a more relaxed way. Many students enjoy working on their problem sets during x-days, since Dr. Hair is available to answer questions that come up.

Can I take my tests home to study?

Unfortunately, no. Tests are available to study in the classroom during x-periods, free periods, or after school. Due to concerns about academic integrity, completed tests cannot be removed from the classroom.

What should I do if I am absent?

First, check the assignment sheet and website to see what you missed. Read any handouts that were passed out and complete the warm-up, posted on the website. You can contact Dr. Hair by email, if you have questions. Try to come to the next class with some understanding of what you missed. If the class is working on a lab experiment, contact your lab partners and ask them to fill you in on what you missed.

How should I study, to do well in physics?

It is better to study on a regular basis, then to wait until the night before the test. Try reading the textbook or working a problem related to the day's physics topic after every class. Lab write-ups can be done outside of class, so that you can ask questions and help your partners in the next class. You do not need to have an assignment due the next day to study physics. Think about spending 20 to 30 minutes reviewing, reading, or working problems every day. Then when it is time for a test, you will have a solid understanding and be ready to review and practice solving more challenging problems. The biggest mistake students make when studying physics can be summarized as "too little, too late." Don't let this happen to you and you will learn more in physics class.