Physical Science- Syllabus

Ms. Darlow                                        Rm.

Welcome to Physical Science!  This is a yearlong course designed to use the scientific method to develop an understanding of the world that surrounds us.  Respect and responsibility are required from all students at all times in order to maintain a learning community and environment of scientific inquiry.

Wonder why you can’t hit that jump shot or how those pros get the cue ball to stop on a dime after hitting the eight ball in pool?  Physics.
Ever searched for an easier way to get rid of the ice on the front steps rather than struggling for hours with a snow shovel?  Chemistry could help you out.
Science helps us understand what is going on in the world around us, and the scientific method provides a method for discovering even more.
In this world we increasingly rely on technology and are bombarded with new scientific advances.  It is our responsibility to be able to interpret the information presented to us and understand how these affect us.

Grades will be computed based on the following weighted categories:
-- Enduring understandings 35%


These will be the big ideas that I want you to take away with you after you leave this class.  These generally require applying concepts and recognize context.  Each unit will address one or two of these big ideas.  

-- Specific content knowledge 25%


These will generally be the specific biology standards addressed in the unit and the concepts needed for understanding these standards.  Understanding of these concepts helps build understandings of the big ideas.

--Science process skills 20%


These will often be inquiry standards addressed in each unit.  Ability to read and use charts, graphs, and diagrams is also included in this category.  These skills are important to science as a field and to developing enduring understandings.

--Work habits 10%
-class attendance
-timeliness of completion
-class participation (actively participating in labs, contributing to discussions)
-classwork (warm-ups and exits) and homework
--Communication skills 10%


This is the ability to use writing and speaking conventions appropriate to science in labs, projects, and long-answer portions of exams.

Homework, and classwork (formative assessments):
Homework and classwork is required and important to developing the understandings that allow you to do well on these assessments.  These will receive scores for current level of understanding and feedback to help you improve before the summative assessments (exams, projects and labs), but will be entered into the gradebook under the category of work habits based on level of completion:


4=Complete or nearly complete and on time

3=Nearly complete and on time or late but complete
2=Multiple problems not completed
1=Limited completion
0=No evidence (assignment not turned in)

Tests, Projects, and Labs (summative assessments):
Grades will be based largely on summative assessments.  These are opportunities for you to demonstrate to me what you have learned.  Because assessments address what I believe you should leave my class understanding, if you are not satisfied with your scores on an assessment see me about ways to practice and then show me your increased level of understanding.  This may require extra practice work and then a retake to be scheduled during lunch or after school.



90-100% A

80-89%  B

70-79%  C

60-69%  D

Below 60%  F

-Notebook (You will need to keep a spiral or composition notebook just for this class)
-Pencil and pen
-Glue stick
-Colored pencils

Special Needs:
If you have special needs, please bring these to my attention; I need to know how to help you.

A Successful Student will:


  • Be in class every day.
  • Give your best effort.
  • Have a good working relationship with other students in the class.
  • Communicate with the teacher about difficulties you are having with the material or things in the classroom which are getting in the way of your learning.
  • Be consistent in daily work and prepare carefully for exams.
  • Look for things in Biology that interest you or relate to your life.

My Responsibility as your Teacher:


  • Know my subject.  This doesn’t mean I know everything there is to know in Biology; this is a constantly changing field, and students often ask interesting questions which I don’t yet know the answer to, but will work to find out for you.
  • Value every student.  Your GPA, race, religion, or economic conditions do not determine your value as a person or your status in my class.
  • Be prepared.  I will put in the work necessary to teach you effectively.
  • Help you succeed.  Talk to me before things get desperate when you have difficulties so that we can work together to find a solution.
  • Partner with your parent/guardian to help you succeed.

Notes to Parents and Guardians:


  • I know that you want your child to succeed.  We need to work together to help this happen.
  • The most important thing you can do to help your student is to be aware of and involved in the topic we are working on.  To start this off right away, please read this syllabus and the class policies.
  • It is important for your student to be in class everyday.  Every class is important; I wouldn’t plan a lesson if I didn’t think it would increase students’ understanding of Biology.
  • I will email you to keep you informed about the class and your student.  I also welcome emails from you.  I try to respond to all emails within one day.
  • If you do not currently have easy access to email, let me know and we can come up with another way to get information to you.
  • Meetings are welcome and can be set up by contacting me at school.