MESA 9 Physics
Course Description
Fall and Spring Semesters


Mr. Tony Wayne


975-9300 extension 60265

Web Site:

Online: The problem set s collection are on my website, and in the "Resource folder" in Schoology

Physics seeks to describe and predict natural events by seeking the relationships between motion, force, energy and time. Physics is at the root of all types of engineering -mechanical, electrical, nuclear, chemical, etcetera. This course will discuss the basics in fields of physics such as kinematics, dynamics, electricity, optics, nuclear physics, etcetera. The number one priority is to learn how to think critically, in a scientific manner, about the physical environment. This course will follow the "Virginia Standards of Learning" for physics. There will be many labs to explore the concepts of physics. At the beginning of each chapter a sheet of objectives, homework problems, and labs will be handed out. Every chapter will be followed by a test. The test will be derived from the objectives. Extra credit may be completed for each semester.

This year I'm transitioning to a "flipped" class. (Actually it is a hybrid-flipped class.) Typically the lecture presents new information in class and the student goes home to do homework for practice. In a flipped class, the student gets new material at home, and does a few simple problems. Class time is spent doing demonstrations, practicing problem sets in teams, Socratic team assignments, and doing activities and labs. The material they are viewing can be found on my channel on YouTube. I have created over 600 short movies and have organized in a textbook format on Maybe I'm being naive, but I think I can do a better job than a book publisher at integrating the resources. Unfortunately I don't have a team to do the work, its just me. I've spent thousands of hours on the content. The text is not perfect. But my students continue to inspire me to do more with their excitement, suggestions, and ideas. I've organized the materials to be interactive by writing simulations and have worked on building online quizzes so students can check their understanding as they read. Students are not required to log in to take a quiz. They are on their honor as to whether or not they do the quiz. Missing a homework assignment is like missing a traditional class period. There are times and topics that do not lend themselves well to a "flipped" class. For these times, the class will be more traditional.

We use many free or county purchased online resources such as but not limited to, "PhET" from the University of Colorado,,, Google Suites for Education.

SOL Test
There is no SOL test for physics.




Plastic Eraser

It is suggested that students also purchase a "drafting" eraser like the "Hi-Polymer" by Pentel, or the Mars, plastic by Staedtler. The white rectangular shape makes this type of eraser easy to recognize. Drafting erasers work by lifting the graphite off the page and resist smudging the work. Rubber erasers work by sanding off the pencil marks and the paper under them. Now, many pencils come with this type of eraser on the end. It is usually white or some fluorescent color. ($1.25)


TI 84+ Calculator

This class will do a lot of math. You can use This is the only "calculator that is allowed on the SOL's. Mr. Daly, your math teacher, will set this up with you.

If you are going to use a calculator, get a scientific calculator. Scientific calculators have trig functions on them. In other words, they will have the "sin, cos, and tan" keys. These calculators range from $10 - $20. But if a student is thinking about buying a graphing calculator, buy a TI-84 or TI-84 plus. ($90-$125) Most of the classroom discussions involving calculators will use the TI-83 and TI-84. (I have an electric engraver that you can use to etch your name in the back of your calculator. Ask to use it before or after class -when we are back to being in person.)

8.5" x 11" spiral notebook

Spiral bound 8.5" x 11" notebook. Choose lined or, (my favorite,) graph paper. This will be used to write all homework and class work problems. It must be spiral notebook. This is used as an organizational tool. It will also make studying easier. I would recommend 150 pages worth of notebook(s).

Not all graph paper notebooks are the same. Some graph paper notebooks have lines that are too dark to be used with a pencil. Look for a graph paper notebook with lighter lines. They usually cost a dollar of two more but are worth the price difference.

Every PHYSICS student will receive a laptop running, "Windows 10." This laptop will be supplied by the school.


Computer Mouse

The one thing I noticed when using it was that the mouse pad was "touchy" for me, (I'm a mac user.) I purchased a small wireless mouse to be used with laptop. It has significantly reduced my frustrations. Many mice are on sale in August and September for about $10-20. Logitech makes an inexpensive($10/$20) mouse with a battery that lasts about 12 months. This is purely optional. It is a matter of taste.
3 ring notebook
Generally, students will not be allowed to take notes on the laptops. They are to be written by hand. So students may need a 3 ring notebook or folder to contain any notes and some handouts. I will NOT be collecting or grading this notebook. It is just to get the students organized. (Most handouts will be viewed on the computer but technology can't do everything better than pencil and paper.) If preferred a student could use a folder to keep loose physics papers in one place. (They need to use something to keep papers organized.)

If you have a question or comment please email or call me at school. I check my phone messages every business day. You can expect a return call during the next business day -if I'm not absent the day your message is left.) I will respond to your email within 2 business days of receiving it. Even if I can't expound in my response, I will acknowledge your email. If you do not receive a response email, call me. If your student has a question about an assignment or grade, please encourage him or her to talk with me. I'll listen.


I use“” to send SMS text messages to cellphones and/or short e-mails. As a follower you can choose which you want to receive. Longer messages will still occur through email. is like Twitter except you cannot reply to any messages I send. It is built for educators to facilitate short bursts of communication. I plan on using it to remind anyone that follows me about upcoming projects or tests and any changes to an assignment that can’t wait until class. I expect to send out about 10 messages for the entire year. Instructions on how to sign up to follow me are on the last page of this document.

Click here to sign up.



Grades will be based on performance on tests, quizzes, activities and labs. Each assessment will be worth a certain amount of points. Typically:

  • Tests are worth 100 to 150 points
  • Quizzes are worth 10 to 50 points( Quizzes are just smaller tests.)
  • Activities/Lab are worth 10 to 80 points
  • Homework Assignments are checked for effort but not completed. You will receive general feedback on all homework assignments.

Nine weeks' scores will be based on the percentage of possible points earned divided by the points offered.



Homework grades are gone! They have been replaced with class preparation grades. A class preparation grade indicates a student’s readiness to learn. This is demonstrated by having the out-of-class assignments completed upon entering the classroom. This will show up as "collected" or "not collected." No grade value is connected to it. It is just for record keeping. Credit is given for attempting the assignment. What and “attempt” looks like is described to the students in every unit. Out-of-class assignments are assigned as a way of reviewing the day’s concepts, learning new content, or honing skills while getting mentally ready for the day's class.

When we start class, students will be broken up into small discussion groups. These groups will compare solutions to the class prep assignment and ask each other questions. Then we will will convene as a large class. I will go over any remaining questions and usually go over the most difficult or import problem without being asked too. It is important to have the work done when everybody else has finished it to be part of a constructive conversation. Also know this, nearly all the solutions, not just numerical answers, can be found online before the homework is assigned. The focus is on the process and identifying the concepts.

If you are working on a homework assignment for 45 minutes, STOP. If you have been struggling for 45 minutes then you are probably so frustrated that you can't learn any more. Let me know and we can talk about it.



After taking a test, a student may take another test on the same topic. I will record the higher of the two grades. But, the right to take the mastery test has to be earned by completing an additional assignment from the unit. Depending on the unit’s difficulty, students are usually given a weekend to work on the assignment. Student’s who do not understand how to do the problems need to make an appointment with me during 8th period to get specific help.


This mastery assignment is checked for effort and completion and not absolute correctness. What “effort” looks like is discussed during every unit. Some notes, homework solutions, short videos highlighting the notes and/or problem solutions, and pretests are provided as on line resources. Students are to complete the mastery assignment on time. (This may mean seeing me during 8th period or before school starts for help.) The only way a due date extension is given, is if a parent or guardian writes a note explaining that the student was sick or was not able to work for other reasons. Late work, without a parent or guardian’s note, forfeits the right to take a mastery test. There will not be a mastery opportunity for assessments that are at the end of the semester. Students will be warned of this at the time of the last assignement.

The 4 minute YouTube video below is my description of how I do mastery learning.

This video can be found at


The class will follow the school's grading scale. There are not 9 week or mid- term grades. The only grade is the final grade.



Before each test, students are turn in a one sheet summary. This summary page is a separate 10-point grade from the test. Students who do not have the sheet ready before the test cannot turn it in late. He or she will receive 5 points for the summary. The purpose of the summary sheet to act as a review BEFORE taking the test.



More and more research is coming out showing how cellphones can be a distraction, especially to the learning process. We will discuss the multitasking myth and the need to disconnect from cellphones and other technologies on a regular basis. The school has come up with the following cellphone policy.

Students may possess a cellular telephone, smart phone, or other communication device on school property provided that the device remains off (or on silent) and out of sight during instructional time.  Personal devices may be used during non-instructional time such as lunches and bus rides, provided that the devices are used appropriately. 

When students do not use devices appropriately during instructional time, the following actions will be taken:

  1. 1st violation - Teacher or staff member provides warning to the student to put device away.  Device should be put away and off desk and placed in pocket, bag or book-bag. 
  2. 2nd violation- Teacher will provide student with a manila envelope that student will place cell phone in and close and leave on the student desk.(If we are in person.)
  3. 3rd violation - If student removes cell phone from envelope prior to the end of class or is not willing to cooperate, teacher calls O for the front office and explains the need for someone to come to their classroom for a cell phone violation.  Staff will come to the classroom and escort student with device and all belongings to main office.  Teacher writes referral and provides it to security monitor or writes it and gives to the appropriate administrator by the end of the day. 
  4. Student will meet with their administrator to discuss the issue and develop strategies for it not to occur in the future.  Admin will work with students and staff to monitor progress with cell phone use in the future.


I will contact the parents or guardians via email or phone if a student receives a failing grade on a test or major lab.



No exams. You will do a final project in January. Your final project will teach you how to program in Python and then you will construct an animated physics problem using what you have learned about physics and Python.



During days when school is postponed due to inclement weather, students are expected to check his or her email for a physics assignment. Assignments will be posted to Schoology. Reminders to check the blog will be sent to student emails, and to those following me on Students without power are not held responsible for the grade on the assignment but they are responsible for the material covered on any following assessments.


  • A ”wireless device” is anything that is capable of accessing the Internet. Such as, but not limited to, a laptop, laptop, iPad, iPod, iTouch, etcetera
  • Only use wireless devices in class with the teacher’s specific permission.
  • When asked to close your laptops/laptops, close them and put other wireless devices away. You do not need to shut them down -only put them to sleep.
  • When allowed, wireless devices may only be used for work directly related to this class.
  • Wireless devices are to remain closed or put away during all tests and quizzes unless otherwise permitted by the teacher.
  • If the teacher walks around and you close your laptops or laptop when he/she walks by, it will be considered a sign that you are not using it for allowed purposes.

Anyone not agreeing to follow this policy must either not use a wireless device in class or accept that the wireless device will be recognized as a distraction and dealt with according to school policy.  This may include being prohibited from using device in the classroom for the rest of the semester or year.



When a test has been missed, arrangements must be made within 2 days of returning to school to make up the missed work. The missed assignment must be made up within 2 weeks of returning to school. Failure to make up work will result in a zero for the assignment. An "incomplete" letter grade will be given for the 9 weeks to any student with an assignment not turned in by the end of a grading period. The student then has 2 weeks from the end of the grading period to turn in the assignment.
If a student misses an assignment due to an illness, then he or she will not be penalized if they return without completion of the assignment. The assignment will still need to be made up according to school policy. Missed homework assignments due to absences may be turned in one class after returning for credit. But students are not held responsible for homework assigned while absent due to illness.



Students are to work independently, without any outside aide, on tests, quizzes, the research component of the project and "questions of the day." Student may work with others on homework, in class assignments, labs and activities.



The class will follow the school's attendance policy.



This class will have a web site, Working on the web is expected. The web site will be a constant work in progress. The web site contains:

  • Documents distributed in class in either web form or as a PDF document.
  • Interactive, on-line, pretests developed by the teacher.
  • Related topic links.
  • Animations and some lecture notes from class.
  • Tutorial links to other sites. (This web site will only contain links to legitimate, safe web sites. Once a student leaves the server, I cannot be responsible for the paths they "surf" beyond the initial link.)
  • Some video tutorials on how to do more difficult problem types.



by Tony Wayne ...(If you are a teacher, please feel free to use these resources in your teaching.)

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