Effective strategies for this course



Notice the pattern of the assignments:

1.  Booknotes and HW #1 are due on the same Monday.

2.  That Friday, the on-line quiz will be available for you to take.  It will be due the Monday that follows the booknotes/HW #1.

3.  On the same Monday that the on-line quiz is due, you will have HW #2 due.

4.  The Friday which follows HW #2 will be the in-class quiz on that section.

5.  The whole cycle begins again with Booknotes and HW #1 for the next section due the next Monday.


BOTTOM LINE:  Every other Monday you will have Booknotes/HW #1 due.  Every other Monday you will have On-line Quiz/HW #2 due. 

     Every other Friday you will have an on-line quiz which will precede the Friday of the in-class quiz.


How are assignments collected?:

1.  Booknotes will be collected and graded the day they are turned in.  I will get them back to you prior to the Friday on-line quiz.

2.  HW’s will be stamped on Monday and due on Tuesday.  We go over the HW in class on Monday so you can fix any problems you had with it.  You must have completed/attempted 70% of the HW for a stamp. 

       MAJOR ADVICE:  It is better to try and fail at a problem than not try at all.  REASON:  Because on Monday I go over whatever questions are brought up by the students and I have to go rather quickly.  If you are not familiar with a problem (because you didn’t even attempt it) you will be sorely lost by my alacrity! (swiftness).  Further, if no one in the class tries the problems, then questions might not get asked and you’ll be on your own when it comes time for the quiz.  I usually will not choose HW problems to go over myself.  I leave that up to the students.  How can I know what you find difficult, and what you find doable?


3.  I often let you keep HW #2 until the day of the in-class quiz since I might not get it graded and back to you before the quiz.  However, it will be stamped on the Monday it is due.  70% rule still appliles



      Since you see all of the deadlines up front, please do not wait until Sunday evening to do all of the work.  Every Monday you will have TWO items due!  Either Booknotes/HW #1

or On-line quiz/HW #2.  Each of these will take you at least TWO HOURS to complete.  Perhaps longer.

      Notice that the booknotes for the section/chapter precede the on-line quiz for that section/chapter by one week.  (eg.  booknotes for B. Newton’s Laws are due on Monday and that Friday is when you take the on-line quiz).  On-line quizzes are basically general questions about the section/chapter.

      Notice that HW #2 is completed the Monday before the Friday quiz on the section/chapter.  (eg.  HW #2 for B. Newton’s Law are due on Monday and that Friday is the in-class quiz).  In-class quizzes are the Mathematical portion of the section/chapter and will cover all areas in homeworks #1 and #2.

How to do the homeworks in this class: 

      For all of my homeworks, answer on a separate sheet of paper.  Use complete sentences only when necessary, if the answer is one word, just put the one word.  Write only the answer, not the question.  Neatness and completion counts for full credit (25 out of every 100 points is for Neatness and completion).  It is your responsibility to make sure you have the answers correct before the quiz/test.  Ask me in class or ask a friend. I cannot always correct all of the mistakes on the papers I have to grade – I’ll try to correct some of them, but it is impossible to get them all.  Besides, you are going to turn in your homework on the day of the test, by then it is too late for me to correct the mistakes and get it back to you for review.


     There will be a due date for all homeworks given to you on the day I assign the homework.  This is just a “Check” date.  I will check to make sure you have attempted to complete the homework and then stamp it with a rubber stamp (70% attempted will get you a stamp).  This way you can correct your homework as we go over it in class that day and keep your homework to study.  The stamp is worth 20 points out of 100, so do your homework on the day due or face losing points when you actually turn the assignment in.



How Should I approach the homework and quizzes?:

1.  If there is something you don’t understand from class or you missed a day, read the textbook.  I have given you the key page numbers next to the problems in the homework set.  The textbook also offers you extra problems and the answers are in the back of the book.

2.  Practice on paper, not in your head!  I have never found it to be helpful to just go over problems in my head or by punching numbers into a calculator.  Sure, you can do a problem you’ve done a hundred times before, but how will you set up the problem on the quiz if you don’t know how to write it?  Start off early not trusting your calculator but trusting your calculations!  Know how to reject a bad calculator answer.

3.  Keep yourself honest by asking someone (like a parent, sibling or friend) to quiz you.  It won’t take long and it will force you to be prepared.  It will also increase your confidence level!

4.  Keep a running list of the key formulas you will need for the quiz.  Put this on one sheet of paper.  This can be your cram-sheet right before the quiz.  Sometimes I even will allow one page of notes on a quiz!


How about a Study Group?:

     Join or form a study group ONLY AFTER you have attempted the homework yourself (Skip the questions you don’t get after a few minutes and move on!)  Study groups are NO GOOD if you have them before you even look at the material yourself.  And NEVER be the person who shows up to a study group without having first looked at the material.  Don’t rely on “the other guy” to help you understand, you need to bring something to the group – what if everyone in your group thought the same way?  That would be some group!  Finally, remember these 6 points:  1) Set a time limit (1.5 hours max), 2) kill the stereo (I know: “it helps me study”.  Baloney!), 3) Stick to the task – gossip later, the faster you get through it, the more time you’ll have for gossiping stereos.  4) Invite only the people who you know are serious  5) Bring your textbook and the homework you have completed so far.  6) YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!  J  Study groups are very helpful if you follow these rules!




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