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:


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.