• Regents Physics

    Regents Physics

    Course Outline



    Teacher—Mr. Tad Herman                 Office: Rm. 272            Home thaddeus.herman@wcsdny.org
    Course Description-- Physics is the study of the basic nature of the world around us.  The major topics covered are Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Light and Sound, and Modern Physics. 


    Prerequisite in the WCSD handbook


    Math and regent exam score

    Science and regents exam score

    Regular Physics

    Geometry with 75 or better

    Any Regents Sci with 75 or better

    Physics Honors

    Geometry with 85 or better

    Any Regents Sci with 85 or better

    Also, it is expected that you are at least currently enrolled in Algebra 2.   If you have already taken it, all the better.


    Course Philosophy
    Physics is a tough course.  Only about 30% of the students in this school take regents physics. No student in my class has ever NEEDED to take regents physics as a high school requirement for graduation. So, you are expected to be here because you want to be. 
    A musician can lecture on how to play an instrument for hours on end, and you will not learn to play.  You must practice to learn.  I believe physics is much like this, so I work to keep lectures on physics to a minimum and working on labs and sample problems to a maximum. This will include group problem solving sessions where you work in groups on homework type problems, and numerous demonstrations of concepts.


    Classwork/Homework Assignments –Success from “doing” anything comes from practicing “doing” that thing.  Most assignments are started in class where you will have the opportunity to work on them, ask questions of your classmates and your teacher.  These problems will come from the textbook, old regents, and the teacher.  Once again, as an honor student, you can expect more problems than the regular physics students. Not all assignments will be collected and/or graded.  Each assignment will be clearly designated as "being graded" or not.  Graded assignment will usually be worth 5, 10, or 20 points.  The accumulation of these scores will result in a CW/HW Grade out of 100. 


    Tests—Expect 4 to 5 tests per quarter.  They will vary in size, and thus point value (differently weighted depending on amount of content) these tests will eventually lead to a Test Grade that will be counted into the quarter grade.  There will be one large Quarter Test in the 9th week of the 1st and 3rd quarter, each covering the material from that quarter.  The mid term will count as the 2nd Quarter Test and will contain material from the whole first half of the year.


    Lab Work-- We will have numerous lab experiments during the year.  The nature of the experiments will range from “Let’s see what happens when we do this” to very intense data collecting and analysis.  The reports that follow each experiment will have slightly varying requirements, but it will be standard that you will attempt to communicate what you learned through clearly written conclusions.  More details about experiments and reports are available on Mr. Herman's Webpage under IMPORTANT COURSE FILES. Lab reports will be graded as “Acceptable” or “Not Acceptable”.  Not Acceptable labs will be handed back to be redone.  Lab reports can also carry a “Late” or “Not Done” grade with them that carry severe grade penalties with them.

    A sufficient number of lab reports are necessary for being allowed to take the regents exam in June.


    Grading Policy

    All tests from a quarter will combine to make a Test Grade.


    [(2 x Test Grade) + Classwork/Homework Grade + Quarter Test] / 4  +/- Lab Grade = QUARTER GRADES—


    Example:  Test average = 80%       CW/HW average = 95%     Quarter Test = 75%   Labs = +2
                                  ( 2 x 80% )   +    ( 95% )    +   ( 75% )  =  330........( 330 / 4 ) = 82.5.....82.5 + 2 = 84.5 ....Quarter Grade = 85

    The lab grades will accumulate a small numerical value (hopefully from –5 to +5) that will be added to (or subtracted from) your test/HW grade.  Consistently late lab reports or reports not done can lead to upwards of a 30 point deduction from your test/HW average.  SIMPLY STATED—DO ALL YOUR LABS! 


    A very complete Lab grade policy description and Lab Report Expectations document can be found on the webpage in IMPORTANT FILES.


    Missed Work—If you know you are going to miss something important (most likely a test), then let me know before hand.  If you are home sick for the day of a test, then you have all day to call or email me to acknowledge the fact that you know you are missing that important thing.  Coming in the next day and stating that you need to make up the test may be too late.  Numerically speaking…

    §         If you inform me that you are missing a test, including, the day of the test, a make-up is allowed without penalty (Unless you appear to be making a habit of missing test day.)

    §         If you DON’T inform me until after the test, then your score will be test score x 80%.

                § The absence has to be an excused absence.


    Any HW will have a clearly designated due date and must appear the moment you appear after that due date.

    Missed labs can be made up after school by making an appointment with me, as long as you don’t make a habit of it.


    MyExpectation of Students

    §         You are expected to have one separate graph paper composition notebook for lab work and reports, and one part of a three-ringed binder for handouts.

    §         You are expected to have a scientific calculator (One that can handle scientific notation, trig functions, square roots) and know how to use it.

    §         You are expected to bring your notebook and calculator to class everyday (Pencil or pen, too!) 

    §         You are expected to hand in all material on time.

    §         Courteous, respectful and mature behavior is expected at all times.  If I need to speak to you more than twice about disruptive behavior, I will be contacting your parents.

    §         To be in your seats and ready to go when the bell rings.


    §         To work (well) with others, and not to always expect to work with your friends.

    §          If you are having difficulty, please ask for extra help.


    My Expectations of the Teacher

    §         To present the material in a number of different ways to help make it exciting.

    §         I expect to hand back all graded material within one week.

    §         To be well aware that physics was not always easy for me either.

    §         Courteous, respectful and mature behavior is expected at all times.

    §         To be in the room and ready to go when the bell rings.


    §         If you are having difficulty, I will be very willing to give extra help.  Please feel free to talk to me anytime during the school day to set up extra help time during or after school.  I also invite you and/or your parents to contact me via EMAIL  thaddeus.herman@wcsdny.org