AP Physics 1

Instructor: Suan Sprunger                           

Goal: AP Physics is developed upon core concepts called enduring understandings and there application through a variety of science practices is designed to create an inquiry-centered approach to the curriculum. There are six Big Ideas listed below which provide the scaffolding themes throughout each chapter and topic. The six big ideas are:

qBig Idea 1: Objects and systems have properties such as mass and charge.
Systems may
have internal structure.

q Big Idea 2: Fields existing in space can be used to explain interactions.

q Big Idea 3: The interactions of an object with other objects can be described by forces.

q Big Idea 4: Interactions between systems can result in changes in those systems.

q Big Idea 5: Changes that occur as a result of interactions are constrained by conservation laws.

q Big Idea 6: Waves can transfer energy and momentum from one location to another without the permanent transfer of mass and serve as a mathematical model for the description of other phenomena.

Text and Lab book(s)

AP Investigative labs: An Inquiry-based Approach, College Board, 2012.

Advanced Physics, Vernier Software, Beaverton, OR

Physics Vernier Software, Beaverton, OR

Labs from AP Investigative labs: An Inquiry-based Approach will be modified to use Vernier equipment and Labquest devices in order to save time and reduce the number of days to complete the required labs when possible.

Teacher made- STEM labs for Water Bottle Rocket, Roller Coaster and Forces of Arms.


Assessment is an important aspect of any course.  A variety of assessments will be used to include formative and summative strategies to determine mastery of material.  Formative assessments include models, concept maps and homework questions, ext/bell work and white board reviews.  Summative assessments include chapter tests composed of old AP Physics questions, formal lab reports and writing questions.  Students will be required to keep an AP Physics Lab book in a composition book.  Each lab will be written formally following the AP Physics guidelines for lab reports.  The lab notebook also will include writing assignments given per chapter.

Study Guides

Students are asked to purchase the Baron’s or Princeton AP Physics 1 (2015) study guide.  There any many AP review guides for sale on Amazon for cheaper than at a book store.  The new test format guides begin in 2015. TI calculator model TI 30x or TI83/84 and an agenda planner.


Homework is a necessary part of learning Physics.  Students are expected to study daily for this class.  Study time will include working problems, reading the chapter.  Students should average as much time studying as they spend in class.  Therefore, one hour a day is normal amount of studying. Homework will be checked when the assignment is due.  Students will receive a calendar of due dates for each chapter.

AP Test Fee

Students are required to pay $90 for the AP Physics 1 test by October 6, 2015.  Fee should be paid to Ms Sprunger.

Grading:                                Grading Scale                       Semester Grade

                                               103-93              A         Nine weeks 1 + 2 = 80%

Homework             10%           92-85               B          Exam                   =  20%

Lab Reports          25%           84-75               C

Summative Tests     55%          74-70               D                    

Formative              10%           Below 70          F



Extra Points: 

            AP classes have 5 extra points added due to the accelerated pace, more challenging material and labs. 

            Homework assignments are given to develop mastery of topics through practice.  Assignments are graded based upon completion.  To receive full credit, all questions and problems must be completed.  By giving a completion grade, this allows students to attempt difficult material without penalization for wrong answers.  More is learned from correcting one’s own mistakes than copying someone else’s paper!  Class participation is given for doing the activities, section reviews and labs in class.  To receive full credit a student must try to do the work.  Anyone who sleeps or does material other than biology will not be given full credit that day because he or she did not participate. 

A minimum of 9 inquiry lab experiments are required by the AP Physics.  Twenty other guided labs will be done to supplement AP labs.  These are to be kept in the composition notebook called a lab book. This book is to be kept after completion of the course. Some universities ask to see the lab book as documentation of lab experience.  A college has the right to read, grade and accept or reject this book.  Therefore, it is important to thoroughly write formal lab reports.Along with the lab book students will be required to keep notes in a separate composition book or three-ring binder. 

A summative test is given upon completion of a chapter.  Formative assessments or bell work will be given at the beginning of each period and cover the material from the previous day.  A cumulative test covering the chapters studied in the each semester will comprise the semester exam. All tests will be in AP format.  Students will not be allowed to use a calculator expect on the problems portion of any test.  Most of the AP Physics exam requires students to do the math in their head.  We will be focusing on developing this skill.

Behavior Policy

            I expect students to act as ladies and gentlemen by demonstrating behavior which respects others property and safety while interacting cooperatively in class or lab activities. 

Class and Lab Rules

1. Always wear goggles and appropriate safety equipment when in lab.

2. Do only authorized experiments or labs, follow directions and safety procedures.

3. Never chew gum, eat or drink in lab.

4. Walk at all times and be courteous of others.

5. Respect school and other students property by not defacing books, equipment or furniture.

6. Ask questions.

7. Do your own work. (Cheating is not allowed.)

8. Be on time and have all supplies.

9. If an accident happens, ALWAYS tell the teacher !!

 Consequences of  Inappropriate Behavior

1. For the first infraction, a student hall conference will be held.  The student is asked to not

repeat the infraction. The problem written on a Behavior Policy Form as a warning.

2. A second occurrence of the infraction results in a change of seat, loss of privileges and a phone call to parents informing them of the situation. The problem written on a Behavior Policy Form as a warning.

3. A third occurrence of the infraction results in being sent to the office and a disciplinary referral written.

4. Since AP Biology involves the use of expensive equipment and computer interfaces to complete labs, it is important all students act appropriately at all times during these activities or labs.  Having the opportunity to do these experiments is a privilege not a right.  Therefore, any serious infraction that results in the compromise of the safety of others in class or lab will result in the removal of the student from lab or a class activity and sent to the office and a disciplinary referral is written for the first serious offense.  Any student who repeatedly demonstrates behavior that compromises the safety of others in class activities or lab will forfeit the privilege of doing class activities or lab and will receive alternate assignment for all subsequent labs or activities.

 Conduct Grade Policy

A conduct grade of E is awarded to students who follow all rules and do not require a student conference.  A conduct grade of S is awarded to students who require a single student conference and phone call to parents.  A conduct grade of N is awarded to students who require a two to four student conferences and/or phone calls to parents.  A conduct grade of a U is awarded to students who receive disciplinary referrals to the office or are removed from lab for safety violations.