skip to main content
Julia Cotney Staff Photo

Physical Science 

College Prep Physical Science Syllabus

Teacher: Mrs. Cotney                                                                                       

Semester:  2016-2017                                                                                     
Room#: 206                                                                                                      

Office Hours:  Tuesday 3:30 – 4:00 pm

Email:                                                            phone:  803-321-2621 ext. 60206


Course Description:  Physical Science emphasizes the preview of physics and chemistry standards.  This course stresses the processes and activities of science and the concepts related to matter and energy and their interaction in the chemical world.


We will rarely be using a book this year. Parents, please do not worry, I encourage my students to keep their textbook at home and may assign at-home reading or it is a good reference to back up what we are learning in class. Therefore, we will be using lesson slides for notes, worksheets, computer simulations, and scientific articles to learn the content material as well as laboratory investigations.


Course Standards: (full list of standards are issued separately)

1.       Science skills and processes (PS1)

2.       Structure and properties of atoms (PS2)

3.       Properties and classifications of matter (PS3)

4.       Chemical compounds and reactions (PS4)

Review and Mid-Term Examination (10% of course)


5.       Forces and motion (PS5)

6.       Conservation and transformation of energy (PS6)

7.       Mechanical and electromagnetic waves (PS7)

Review and Final Examination (10% of course)


Course Syllabus:

The following an outline of the standards that will be taught throughout the course:

I.                     Science skills and processes – ongoing investigations/ application

·         Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations

·         Design and conduct investigations

·         Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications

·         Formulate and revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence

·         Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and models

·         Communicate and defend a scientific argument


II.                    Physical Science – Chemistry

·         Structure and properties of matter

·         Structure of atoms/elements

·         Chemical reactions

III.                 Physical Science – Physics

·         Forces and motion

·         Conservation and transformation of energy

·         Mechanical and electromagnetic waves

 Grading Procedures:

Grading Criteria: A student’s nine weeks grade will be determined using the following generic weightings:

Participation, Homework, Classwork = 10%

Unit Portfolios, Lab Reports, Quizzes = 40%

Tests and Major Projects = 50%

All classes will have semester exams which will count as 10% of the semester grade. English 1 and Algebra 1 take part in the End of Course Examination Program. The final exam in these courses will count as 20% of the class grade.


 Late Work Policy:  Students who are in class each day are expected to have assignments completed on time.

Students can turn in unit packets, lab report, and major project assignments late but at a penalty of 10% off per school day late.  Note:  This does not include:  homework, classwork, quizzes, participation grades, etc.  There is no late work accepted for these assignments.


Make-Up Policy:

Students who were absent or are expecting to be absent may come see me after school to request make-up work.  Students will not request during class time as to avoid disruption of instruction.   Daily work and homework will be due the next class day at the beginning of class.  Students will have 10 school days to make up tests or major projects.  After 10 days, there will be a permanent “2” in the grade book that stands for “too late.”  Please take responsibility for your education and do assignments in a timely fashion.


Materials Required:

·         3 ring FA binder

·         Loose-leaf paper

·         Pencils


How to make an “A” in Mrs. Cotney’s Class

1.  Pay attention in class and follow directions. If you are playing around and then ask for help, I will not help you.

2.  Turn in work on time and make sure it is quality work.

3.  Participate in class.

4.  During group work; do group work. It is not time to plan your weekend and after school activities.


As a student I agree that I am responsible for:

  1. Keeping up with my work.
  2. Writing down my assignments and their due dates.
  3. Getting my notes during class, if I want them.
  4. Contacting Mrs. Cotney if I have a problem or need additional help/ after school hours are posted on the board each week.
  5. Getting my classroom assignments done on time and turned into the box.
  6. Studying Physical Science at least 20 minutes each night, even if I do not have written homework. This may include
    1. Reading my notes
    2. Using or as a tutorial for extra help.
    3. Working on a project or paper that will be due in the future.


I want you to succeed in my class. If you have any problems or feel like you need extra help, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you. I am here for you to learn and ask questions. If you feel like you cannot talk to me or do not have time please leave a note on my desk and I will do my best to answer as soon as possible.


v  Tests will be announced 2-3 days in advance. Keep up with your studying.

v  Projects will be assigned with at least a weekend or two for them to be completed.

v  We will have small unit quizzes often throughout a unit.  These can be announced or unannounced. This will help prepare you for your tests by giving you an idea of the types of questions asked and how to study.



(Students must adhere to all school rules according to the code of conduct found in the student handbook)


Mrs. Cotney’s Classroom Consequences:

1st Offense:   Verbal/Non-Verbal warning and behavior recorded

2nd Offense:  Phone call home, behavior recorded, possible seat change, lunch detention assigned

3rd OffenseReferral to Administrator, behavior recorded, phone call home


Mrs. Cotney has a webpage with the district.  Here you can find homework assignments, any upcoming tests, papers or activities, as well as worksheets in case they lose their copy.  Also, notes for each unit under Physical Science can be found here with other helpful sites.   This will help cut back on paper and extra copies.


This course also utilizes Remind 101.  The class code is posted on the webpage and in the classroom.  Both students and parents are urged to sign up for Remind 101. 


Classroom Rules:

1.    Be Prepared

2.    Be On Time

3.    Be Respectful