Standards-Based Grading in AP Physics C

I learned about standards-based grading from the best. This blog post is my take on how to do SBG in AP Physics C. My APC students took AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 as a double-period, year-long course as juniors. They're taking APC as seniors—first semester Mechanics, second semester Electricity & Magnetism. This class is about taking the models we learned with algebra and making them more powerful.

I use a scale of Mastery, Proficient, Approaching, and Beginning. Mastery is NOT perfection; the problems in AP Physics C are often too difficult for 97% of APC students to solve in such a short amount of time without talking to other students. I ask difficult questions that I don't expect students to get 100% right. Mastery means that the student understood the problem, used the correct model, and was on the right track. Most of the time, when I have the time, I have students check their own work and assess themselves against the standards. They are usually a little bit harsher than I would be, but I've learned to believe them when they say they deserve a "beginning."

My standards come from reading the AP Physics C Course Description. My standards are focused on the AP Exam even if my teaching isn't always focused. Here are my standards:

Mechanics

 KIN.1 I can solve problems involving objects that are in uniform acceleration. KIN.2 I can translate between words and graphs and between one graph and another for objects in motion. KIN.3 I can use derivatives and antiderivatives to write equations and solve problems for non-constant accelerations. PROJ.1 I can accurately represent the motion of the projectile in multiple ways. PROJ.2 I can solve problems involving objects in 2D motion. FOR.1 I can draw properly labeled diagrams showing all forces on an object. FOR.2 I can solve translational problems related to the force diagram of one object. FOR.3 I can use the coefficient of friction. FOR.4 I can solve translational problems related to two or three linked force diagrams. WORK.1 I can calculate work. WORK.2 I can identify when the total energy of a system is changing or not changing, and I can identify the reason for the change. WORK.3 I can differentiate between energy and power. WORK.4 I can translate between forces and potential energy. MOM.1 I can calculate the center of mass and understand how center of mass relates to momentum. MOM.2 I can use the momentum-impulse relationship. MOM.3 I can use conservation of linear momentum. MOM.4 I can use frames of reference. GRAV.1 I can calculate the kinematics of uniform circular motion. GRAV.2 I can calculate the dynamics of uniform circular motion. GRAV.3 I can Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation. GRAV.4 I can use Kepler’s Three Laws. GRAV.5 I can use energy in gravitational field situations. TORQ.1 I can solve problems of rotational equilibrium. TORQ.2 I can use the concept of rotational inertia. TORQ.3 I can describe and apply the relationships between the angular, tangential, and radial components of a spinning object’s motion. TORQ.4 I can use conservation of energy for situations with rotation. TORQ.5 I can analyze dynamics problems involving rotation. TORQ.6 I can solve problems about an object rolling along a surface. TORQ.7 I can calculate the angular momentum of an object. TORQ.8 I can solve problems involving the conservation of angular momentum. SHM.1 I can draw and interpret diagrams to represent the motion of the object undergoing simple harmonic motion. SHM.2 I can explain the factors the affect the period, frequency, and angular frequency for an oscillating particle. SHM.3 I can write and find the solution for a differential equation to represent the motion of an oscillating particle SHM.4 I can solve problems involving physical pendulums, torsional pendulums, and ideal pendulums. DRAG.1 I can answer non-calculus based questions for particles being acted on by a velocity-dependent force. DRAG.2 I can model the motion of an object being acted on by a velocity-dependent force by using calculus.

Electricity & Magnetism

 EC.1 I can state and use the fundamental nature of charge. EC.2 I can explain how objects are charged. EC.3 I can use Coulomb’s Law. EC.4 I can use the properties of conductors in electrostatic situations. EF.1 I can use the definition of the electric field. EF.2 I can make and read electric field diagrams. EF.3 I can use integration to calculate electric field. EV.1 I can use the definition of electric potential. EV.2 I can use the relationship between electric field and electric potential. EV.3 I can make and read equipotential lines. EV.4 I can use integration with electric potential. GL.1 I can use the concept of electric flux. GL.2 I can draw an appropriate Gaussian surface for a given problem. GL.3 I can use Gauss’ Law to solve problems. CAP.1 I can use the definition of capacitance. CAP.2 I can solve problems with parallel-plate capacitors. CAP.3 I can solve problems with differently-shaped capacitors. CAP.4 I can predict the effect of dielectrics on a capacitor. CAP.5 I can use the t = 0 and steady-state behaviors of capacitors. CIRC.1 I can describe and calculate the microscopic basis of current. CIRC.2 I can use the concepts of resistivity, resistance, current, and voltage. CIRC.3 I can use Kirchhoff’s Laws. CIRC.4 I can explain the effect to real (as opposed to ideal) circuit elements. MF.1 I can explain the magnetic force on a charged particle. MF.2 I can explain the magnetic field created by and the magnetic force felt by current carrying wires. MF.3 I can use Biot-Savart’s Law. MF.4 I can use Ampere’s Law. MI.1 I can calculate and use magnetic flux. MI.2 I can use Faraday’s Law and Lenz’s Law. TVC.1 I can predict the behavior of an RC circuit. TVC.2 I can use the concept of inductance. TVC.3 I can write and solve differential equations for LR and LC circuits. TVC.4 I can predict the behavior of an RL circuit. ME.1 I can state the implications of each of Maxwell’s four equations.

Of course, any and all comments, suggestions, and complaints are welcome.