About the course | Criteria for Credit | Calculation of Grades | A Note To Guardians | Details Details


Welcome to the Physical Setting: Earth Sciences. This course is what was formerly known as the Earth Science Regents. If you have passed the exam for the old version Earth Science Regents, you may not take this course.

This IS a regents course designed to prepare you for the new exam. If you do not need the regents exam you should not be programmed for this class, whether or not you "just need the credit". There are 3 distinct areas of the NYS Regents Earth Science curriculum: Astronomy (1semester); Meteorology (1 semester) and Geology (1 semester). These may be taken in any order, but all must be taken.

As young adult learners, you are responsible for all earth science topics on the Regents exam, including earth science environmental issues. (See Course Outline) In this regard you will have to make sure your family group advisor programs you correctly for the 3 semesters, and records the full name of the section of the course you complete.

During the 3 semesters of coursework you will have to successfully complete the lab component. Lab work is not optional as your labs are included as part of the course work and is included in the calculation of your grade. A sucessfully completed lab must meet certain requirements as will be outlined later.

The Physical Setting-Earth Sciences Exam has 2 parts. The Lab Practicum given after school the week prior to regents week. The Written Exam given on the state established day during regents week.

According to NYS education law:

  1. If you have not "successfully" completed 1500 minutes of lab work rated SATISFACTORY, you WILL NOT be allowed to take the Lab Practical (even if you are a senior). Labs are now legal documents to be stored with regents results for a period of 3 years.
  2. If you have not taken or been excluded from the Lab Practical, you CANNOT sit for the written portion of the exam.
  3. If you have taken the Lab Practical, you may take or retake the written exam at any time thereafter and the points you acquired on the Lab Practical will be added to your written exam score for your total exam grade.

Unfortunately, there is so much information that must be covered in such a short period of time that this class will move very quickly. If you feel that you are falling behind at any point in class, preferably ask questions in class (you probably aren't the only one), or come see me after class. Your success on the Regents exam will depend entirely on your participation in class throughout the semesters. You must, ask questions, do homework, study, and listen in class to your instructor & peers!



ATTITUDE: A good portion of participation has to do with your attitude in class. Be on time, raise your hand & contribute to discussions, stay in class the entire period, RESPECT all others while they are speaking. Respect all items in the room. Practice active listening. Your OFF TASK behavior cost you points!

LGE GP: LECTURES DISCUSSION FILMS TRIPS: Aren’t talking, Are questioning concepts, Aren’t working on other tasks, Are taking notes, Are correcting assignments.

SM GP: LABS / INVESTIGATIONS, READINGS, BRAINSTORMING, ANS. QUESTIONS, CONSENSUS, GP PROJECT: Are working on designated task, All are participating, All are taking notes, Aren’t too loud, Are following directions.

INDIV: READINGS ESSAYS QUESTIONS EXAMS, INDIV PARTS OF LABS: Are working on designated task alone, Aren’t talking at all, Are in seat, Are asking for help.




ABSENCES: Absences are a Failure To Participate (FTP’s), the SCIENCE DEPARTMENT POLICY applies. Official excused FTP’s are court, death in family, medical, social services. A note on agency letterhead must be shown to me B4 you turn them in to the attendance office. If your advisor or social worker is aware of personal situations that constitute in their mind as an excused FTP, they can furnish the note (I don't want details, TMI). Telling me to speak to your advisor is not acceptable.

  • It is your responsibility to find what work was missed.Use the online self-help notes!
  • Also make use of the online daily calendar coming soon (see specific course above)
  • It is your responsibility to make up any missing work that has not already been corrected as a LGE GP.
  • Unexcused absences result in the loss of the 4 PARTICIPATION PTS (PP) required each day. They will quickly "weather" your grade. A maximum of only 3 Officially Excused absences are waived/cycle without a meeting with your guardian.

    TARDINESS: Lateness results in the loss of 1 PARTICIPATION PT (PP) from the 4 that are required daily. It is your responsibility to initial the LATE LIST when U come in, if you don’t you will remain marked absent. (Its like a job timeclock, don't punch in-> you don't get paid no matter how much work you did.) Don't make a spectacle of yourself coming in giving everyone a pound or a kiss. Just get to work or you will not receive the 1 PP for being tardy.



    TESTS:Tests and quizzes will cover material presented in class notes, labs, readings,trips and homework. If you keep up with the work, you will not have to devote large chunks of time to studying. If you miss class exams, there will be NO make-up unless you present an official excused absent note AND a note from your advisor or social worker requesting a make up. CW points will go into your required grade total. 65% is the accepted passing grade.

    HOMEWORK: Should be of professional quality on 8x11 paper (less chance of me losing small sheets) and presented before it is corrected in class in order to receive the CW points for it . Some assignments require more than 1 draft. Each homework has a point value; to obtain full points you must complete all parts on time. Partial credit can be awarded.

    Homework Guidelines:

    The following set of guidelines for homework submissions & or labs is intended to insure that I award all the credit due you on each and every problem and that we know where you are having difficulties so I can help. We can't do either if we can't read what you've written. You also might find that recopying your homeworks makes the answer-and your path to it-clearer to you. Regardless of whether it helps you or not, it helps us, so do it. Please.

    -Use the answer grids and blanks included in the handout.

    -Answer the problems in numerical order. Avoid arrows to other pages and statements like "finished on last page." You wouldn't turn in a paper like that, so don't turn in homework like that.

    - I often grade homeworks/labs at coffee shops,on the kitchen table, in other peoples houses where they can keep me awake,etc.. Unless you want loose pages of your homework being walked on by caffeine-addled humans, cats & rats, staple the pages together. I am not responsible for loose pages.

    -If you can't finish a problem, tell me what you are trying to do and where you think the problem is headed. The Partial Credit Genie will wand you..

    -Don't leave me guessing which of several answers is the right one. "Shotgun" answers are not answers

    -Keep track of units. If the problem gives units, your answer will usually have units. Tell me what they are.

    -If the question says graph your solution, then graph it. Besides making me happy, seeing your solution in graphical form will help you understand it better (and may help you catch mistakes). Graphs don't have to be fancy, just informative.

    -Discuss questions in a group, unless its individual work: You'll learn more and enjoy the course more.

    The Golden Rule: do not wait until the night before homework is due to begin working on it. You may need to talk with me, or other students before you can complete it. If you wait until the last night, you won't be able to.

    CLASSWORK: This is work expected to be done in class, not at home unless told to complete the assignment & return with it the next day. Each assignment has a point value; to obtain full points you must complete all parts on time.

    UNIT PORTFOLIOS: Portfolios will involve a great deal of work. They will include notes, lab abstracts, and journals. Students should spend at least 2 hours per week on their portfolio. Do not wait until the last minute to complete the portfolio!

    LABORATORY: Lab reports will be due two or more days after the lab experiments are performed. All lab reports will have an abstract attached. No lab will be accepted without an abstract. Lab reports will be rated. Rewrites are expected until you receive a SATISFACTORY rating. Then that will be collected & counted toward your Lab Practical requirement. According to the state, if it is not physically in the school file, it does not exist.




    NOTEBOOK: You are expected to keep all class work & handouts and carry your notebook and reference table EVERYDAY. Get a folder. As outlined in the Details section of this site, your notebook & notes will have a specific format, and will be part of each Unit Portfolio. The purpose of the Unit Portfolio is to create a study guide for yourself. By the time you reach the end of the 3rd semester of this course, you will be able to look back on work done the first semester and easily prepare for th state exam. Have a pen (but blood works)



    Your grade is based on the following formula:
    You may not have more than 3 excused FTPs Failures to participate in a cycle.
    There are CW Classwork points which include points from classwork, homework, tests, labs & reports, each with their own specific point value. There are Participation points PP. It is required that you acquire 4 per each day of the cycle, that you do not have official excused absences (max 3 FTPs).

    These are the symbols you will see on my grade sheet. It is open to inspection during lunch or after school when I have no PM school class. Coming soon: on line grades

    symbol description of item points lost or gained miscellaneous
    * present on time +2/day  
    T tardy +1/day must write initials on the late list
    > 1 act of participation +1/check it depends on you minimum of 2/day expected
    A unexcused absence -4/day no official absence notes
    EA official excused absence 2 pts waived see above for details
    O Off Task -1/instance Common Sense & WSHS rules & The chancellors new rules apply
    ## CW points for activity each activity has a point worth must be on time/partial credit can be awarded


    This page outlines the academic and behavioral expectations I have for the young adults in my courses. Please try to schedule appointments after school hours or during days off from school. If this is impossible, please be sure to obtain a note from the agency.

    Materials needed for portfolio:
    High Lighter
    Three Ring Binder
    Tabs (Homemade is OK)
  • Class Notes
    As material is presented in class, you are expected to take notes. The key to good notes is balancing the need to listen and internalize information and record information to refer back to at a later date. Take notes in the form presented on the overhead. Its intentionally grouped by similar concepts & supporting info.
  • You will divide every page of your notes as shown in the diagram below:

    Notes are written here


    Summary of major concepts & questions are written here

    As the class goes on, you will summarize each concept. This summary is to be one sentence, and then you will highlight your summary. When the topic or unit is then completed, you will have a summary that will make studying for tests easier. Don't spare the paper, your learning is a noble end for a tree.
  • Lab Abstract
    An abstract is a written summary of a laboratory activity done in class. The abstract must be done in a very specific format:
    Pre-Lab - To be done before the lab is started (1-2 paragraphs)
    What are we going to do?
    What do I think is going to happen?
    Simultaneous to the lab (free form)
    What is happening?
    What are we doing?
    Post-Lab - After completion of the lab (1 paragraph)
    What happened?
    Did the outcome match my expectations?
    Lab Study Guide
    Bullets that describe the important facts learned in the lab and discussed in post lab questions and discussion.
    Ingredients For A Successful Lab 1 , 2,
  • Science Journals-
    Article Summaries. The summary should address three questions:
    1. What is this article about? (Do not copy the article, put it in your own words. 1 paragraph) YOUR WORDS = YOUR UNDERSTANDING
    2. Why is the science concept relevant? (How could it affect us or our environment? 1 paragraph)
    3. What do you think about this issue? What should be done? What would you do?
    OR, if you don't feel you understood the concept:
    What questions would you ask a scientist/the scientists involved?(1 paragraph)
  • In addition to the article summaries, you will also be asked to make periodic journal entries. Each entry is to be written on a separate piece of paper, unless instructed otherwise. Do not write more than one entry on a piece of paper!
  • Summary of Science Concepts
    At the end of each unit, you will be asked to summarize the science concepts that have been covered in the unit. This will most often be in the form of a graphic organizer, so please do not begin this exercise until it has been assigned.
  • Base Group Activities
    The only people that I would like you to work with are the people in your base-group. I will assign base-groups at some point in the future. IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL IN WORKING WITH A CERTAIN SET OF PEOPLE (see sm gp details) who just happen to be your friends, you may remain together as long as you continue to be successful, otherwise you will be the cause of your group being split & others being shuffled around to accommodate your lack of self-control. They will not be happy, and neither will you.
  • Do Now: When you enter the classroom, there will often be a short assignment on the board, called a do-now. You will complete the Do-Now by yourself.



    If at any time you have a question or are feeling overwhelmed, please come and see me. If you wait too long to begin these assignments, you may not have enough time to finish them. Use your time wisely, and keep up with the work. You are responsible for your own time management!


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