• Regents PhysicsCourse Syllabus and Requirements


    Instructor: Richard Hendricks

    Room : a173

    School phone 242-7682 x 8000

    Cell phone: 585-314-2029 ( accepts text messages, voice mail and voice to text )

    e-mail: Richard.hendricks@rcsdk12.org

    URL : http://rcsdk12.org/cms/Workspace/Section/Section.aspx?DomainID=5375

    A. Description

    This course culminates with a state exam on which students should expect multiple choice and free response questions. While the objective of the class is to learn as much science as possible, I’m fully aware fo the attention to standardized test results. Standardized tests are a necessary evil. They help direct teachers to stay roughly on track to make sure students cover, minimally, what they should. We will prepare you to learn science all year and then shift to prepare you for the tests at the end of the year.

    Some examples of former years exams are given with answers here:

    http://www.nysedregents.org/Physics and many questions and answers

    broken down by category are explained here: http://www.passphysics.com

    B. Organization

    We will use a guided inquiry to do our class work and lab work. I’m a gadget guy. I like to work with my hands on equipment and don’t truly understand the nature of the subject until I can make something real happen. We will do experiments and encourage you to experiment. There is a big difference between a true experiment and just trying random stuff without concern for breaking things. If you have a variation on an experiment, please run it by me so I can make sure it’s safe for you and for our equipment.

    Our calendar, homework, course requirements and other information for you will be posted on a Google wiki, so if you lose this page, you will know where to get another copy. http://sites.google.com/site/sotaapphysics

    C. Labwork

    All physics classes like this one should be lab based. This one is required to be lab-based. 1200 minutes of lab work and a written record of that labwork is minimal. Over the course of the year, we will have 1800 minutes devoted to labwork only so this requirement should be very workable. You will complete your labs and turn them in to me. I will keep them in a file I will allow you to see but not keep. It’s my responsibility to make sure you have completed this work so I will hold the documentation. You can and should ask me periodically to see your file but not during class time. If you fall behind, we should address that asap.

    We are putting your labs hours this year on powerteacher. You should be able to use the parentconnect portal to view these hours .

    You labs will be typed up for you to use. Your report should also be typed or written neatly. You should use the lab format I give to you as your base point. This is to prevent you from retyping what is typed already and to allow you to keep copies in digital format when you need it. For example, if a lab requires you to make a graph, I may include a grid on you lab paper for you. If the graph can be done in excel, it’s a a good habit for you to learn how to do that in high school so that your post high school work is superior.

    D. Course Topics:

    The course will cover the following major units: There are WAY too many problems and subtopics to list here. Find your homework and a detailed view of time on each topic on the wiki site calendar and homework page. Course objectives, curriculum videos and links to sample test question may also be found: http://sites.google.com/site/sotaapphysics






    I.1 – I.21



    II.1 – II.9



    Electricity and Magnetism

    III.1 – III.9



    IV.1 – IV.14


    Modern Physics

    V.1 – V.10


    Check the wiki site frequently for homework updates. I can try to plan this out in advance, but some updating is bound to be required.

    E. Text and required supplies

    Text : We will be using the Holt physics text for this class and your homework will be from this text. Solutions for the problems will be given but you will find that most of the work you do , requires you to figure out how the solution was obtained. This is why your homework should not just include the final answer. I will give you the final answer. Instead, neatly show your work.

    Calculator: Almost everyday, mathematical sciences such as physics will require calculation. You will need to have a calculator. Don’t get a fancy one, you just need trigonometric functions and logs. Dollar stores even have them. If you forget to bring your calculator on occasion, use one of mine. I have an array of them and I’d like to keep that array, so please return it.

    Notebook: I don’t like spiral notebooks. I want you to have a three ring binder. I would guess a 1” or less to be fine for collection of your work. In this binder, I’d like you to keep your homework. You can put lab work in there but I’d prefer your labwork to prepared in digital form and submitted as either hard copy of sent to my dropbox.

    Dropbox: To use the dropbox to submit digital documents such as your labs, please send me short email with your name and class. I will use the email address you use to give you permissions to drop into the box. The email address you should use for this is rwhprism@gmail.com . If you have a gmail account, I can also add you to get calendar updates and push out homework notifications.

    Workstation You will need a workstation at home, in the school, at the library or somewhere outside of class time. Even a smart phone with youtube access and internet access is fine as long as you can see videos and use flash. I don't think the Ipad support flash but you will need to have access to something that does at times.

    Healthy habits

    • Most people your age need 8-9 hours of sleep. Make sure you get it. Coffee's great but it is not a substitute for sleep. You should plan on working efficiently. I have seen too many kids fighting sleep looking at the same paragraph for an hour. If you score how you are doing by how long you work, rather than on how productive you are, you have the wrong standard. You aren't being paid by the hour. Use your hours wisely.
    • In his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation", Abraham Maslow described a hierachy of needs. At the base of this list of needs is Physiological requirements. Besides sleep, people need to eat before we can expect them to learn anything.
    • Too many times we see students using the worst possible thing they can to satisfy hunger cravings. Again my push is to work smart, instead of working hard with no results. People need to eat. If you on a diet, eat Oatmeal, carrots, grits, egg whites, apples, etc. Don't eat something that will make you letharic or unable to function.
    • Don't "bump". An endless array of studies on memory, learning and cognition show that the mind cannot multitask well. The more attention given to one task, the less attention given to another.
    • This is why we don't want you to drive and text. This is why we tell mothers delivering children to breath in a specific pattern. Breathing that way is just a distraction so they can't think about pain.
    • Some people claim that classical background music is helpful but I suspect that if you are a classical music performer, it will be a distraction.
    • Popular music with lyrics or raps are certainly a distraction and TV or videos is the worst type of distraction. I have seen kids spend 4 hours on homework they could have done in 15 minutes with better comprehension because they insist on having the TV on. If you have these bad habits, expect school to be a grind forever.

    F. Classroom rules of conduct:

    1. There is a big push this year for great tracking of attendance. For many of you, it will show up as a teacher like me getting you into the room on time. For most of you, it will be nothing new. For seniors in particular, you have a tendency to wander, be late or disregard punctuality. Being on time is a way to show respect for what the teacher has ready for you. Lateness that happens rarely is something we all get mixed up with. I will handle that much differently than someone who starts to do it routinely. Be on time!

    2. Phones (or anything else electronic) : Like many of you, I have a smart phone. It helps my productivity but it can also be a distraction.

    • I want them off and away during class.
    • Don't plug them in to charge
    • Don't text under the desk.
    • Don't turn the ringer on.
    • Don't tell me you are just using it for a calculator.

    3. Behaviors: In most cases, older students tend to be more mature. They realize that teachers are there to make them as smart as possible and get them to the next phase. In rarer cases, it may become necessary for us to have a discussion about behavior. In general this discussion would involve me explaining why I can’t allow something to occur. Punishments are rarer because reasonable mature adults usually understand why common sense should prevail and that there is only person that can ultimately decide how the class is run.

    Inform the teacher if there is something likely to cause conflict. Absent due to surgery, bullying, medical condition that I should know, extreme circumstances at home, etc. Be sure to disclose only what is necessary for me to know. If something is private, please tell me that it is private. For medical conditions, I think it’s obvious. For items such as a sick dog, I may not realize you want to keep that private.

    I try to keep the class lively, so we will sometimes joke around Most of the time I will insult myself because I’m not offended. If I offend you in any way, please let me apologize in advance. We all joke but sometimes you hit a sore spot without trying. Tell me about it so I can apologize and watch for sore spots in the future. The time when you will see I’m not joking is test time. I take my tests seriously and so should you! Tests are the worst time to fool around in anyway. I won’t do it. You won’t do it.

    Sometimes the young adults feel that they are too old for a teacher to tell them what to do. Recent research indicates the mind isn’t fully developed until about age 30. You would be very hard pressed to find an adult who will tell you they didn’t think they knew it all at a premature age. Those same adults will also tell you that they were wrong. Trust the judgment of those who are older when they have your best interest in mind and accept that your teacher has final authority in the classroom.

    If the behavior continues, punishments including: detention after school, discussion with a coach about academic eligibility or referral to administrator could be taken. In any case I will call parents and discuss the nature of the problem and steps I have taken to correct it. Please note that I would like to call your parents because you did something great or I’m just happy to have a nice kid in class. Phone calls are not going to be negative only.

    G. Grading plan coursework will be graded

    Tests /Quizzes



    (as turned in either physically or electronically dropped into a drop box)


    About 1 per week x 6 weeks per making period


    (should be kept in your 3 ring folder and available upon request)


    About 3 or 4 per week. (Almost daily)


    (positive contribution, on time attendance, not leaving a mess, etc.)



    Tests/Quizzes: About 3 tests per Marking period and 1 quiz each Friday. We know that the key to success in physics is to keep current. Cognitive research that quizzing directly after instruction is the best way to gain and retain information for students. Tests are a full period and are comprehensive. If you have been doing homework, you should do great! Generally I will make a few samples ahead of time to let you see what is expected. Quizzes are short. 10 -15 min only. You shouldn’t have to study for these.

    Homework will be collected in the 3 ring binder at random times. Make sure your name is clearly visible on the front of the binder. I don’t want to guess or search whose binder it is. I want to make sure you are current. Organization and presentation count. Use tabs, color, or your own organization methods for your homework. All homework should be titled with your full name, date and the problems assigned. For example:

    Richard Hendricks 9/4/2012 chapter 4 page 135: 3,6,8,12

    H. Little About me:

    I have a B.S. in Chem. Engineering and an M.S. in physics. My certifications are in all the sciences and math. I have taught physics ranging from general to college for 28 years. I have 4 really cool kids that I mention constantly because I’m super proud of them.