SPH3U outline

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SPH3U - Physics


Course Title: Physics

Course Code: SPH3U

Grade: 11

Course Type: University Preparation

Credit Value: 1

Prerequisite: SNC2D

Curriculum Policy Document: Science, The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12, 2008 (Revised)

Text: Nelson Education Ltd. Nelson Physics 12 University Preparation, © 2011

ISBN-13: 9780176520380

Department: Science

Course Developer: Helen Zheng

Development Date: May 2013

Course Description:

This course develops students' understanding of the basic concepts of physics. Students will explore kinematics, with an emphasis on linear motion; different kinds of forces; energy transformations; the properties of mechanical waves and sound; and electricity and magnetism. They will enhance their scientific investigation skills as they test laws of physics. In addition, they will analyse the interrelationships between physics and technology, and consider the impact of technological applications of physics on society and the environment.

Overall Expectations: SPH3U

By the end of this course, students will:

Unit details:

Teaching / Learning Strategies:

The aim of this course is to help students learn science and apply their knowledge and skills. Effective instructional approaches and learning activities draw on students' prior knowledge, capture their interest, and encourage meaningful practice. Students will be engaged when they are able to see the connection between the scientific concepts they are learning and their application in the world around them and in real-life situations. Teachers will provide activities and challenges that actively engage students in inquiries that honour the ideas and skills students bring to them, while further deepening their conceptual understandings and essential skills. Understanding of big ideas will enable and encourage students to use scientific thinking throughout their lives. As well, contextualized teaching and learning provides teachers with useful insights into their students' thinking, their understanding of concepts, and their ability to reflect on what they have done. This insight allows teachers to provide supports to help enhance students' learning. A wide variety of instructional strategies are used to provide learning opportunities to accommodate a variety of learning styles, interests and ability levels. Students will have opportunities to complete assignments where no solutions are provided and submit these for assessment. Finally the unit ends with a test or other suitable assessment of learning such as projects.

Other strategies used include; Guided Exploration, Problem Solving, Graphing, Visuals, Direct Instruction, Independent Reading, Independent Study, Ideal Problem Solving, Model analysis, , Graphing Applications, and Problem Posing.

Assessment and Evaluation Strategies of Student Performance:

Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both “assessment for learning” and “assessment as learning”. As part of assessment for learning, teachers provide students with descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement. Teachers engage in assessment as learning by helping all students develop their capacity to be independent, autonomous learners who are able to set individual goals, monitor their own progress, determine next steps, and reflect on their thinking and learning.

Teachers will obtain assessment information through a variety of means, which may include formal and informal observations, discussions, learning conversations, questioning, conferences, homework, tasks done in groups, demonstrations, projects, portfolios, developmental continua, performances, peer and self-assessments, self-reflections, essays, and tests.

As essential steps in assessment for learning and as learning, teachers need to:

• plan assessment concurrently and integrate it seamlessly with instruction;

• share learning goals and success criteria with students at the outset of learning to ensure that students and teachers have a common and shared understanding of these goals and criteria as learning progresses;

• gather information about student learning before, during, and at or near the end of a period of instruction, using a variety of assessment strategies and tools;

• use assessment to inform instruction, guide next steps, and help students monitor their progress towards achieving their learning goals;

• analyse and interpret evidence of learning;

• give and receive specific and timely descriptive feedback about student learning;

• help students to develop skills of peer and self-assessment.

Teachers will also ensure that they assess students’ development of learning skills and work habits, using the assessment approaches described above to gather information and provide feedback to students.

The Final Grade:

The evaluation for this course is based on the student's achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The percentage grade represents the quality of the student's overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. A credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student's grade is 50% or higher. The final grade for this course will be determined as follows:

  • 70% of the grade will be based upon evaluations and assessments of learning conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade will reflect the student's most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration will be given to more recent evidence of achievement. All assessments of learning will be based on evaluations developed from the four categories of the Achievement Chart for the course.

  • 30% of the grade will be based on a final evaluation administered at the end of the course and may be comprised of one or more strategies including tests and projects.. This final evaluation will be based on an evaluation developed from all four categories of the Achievement Chart for the course and of expectations from all units of the course. The weighting of the four categories of the Achievement Chart for the entire course including the final evaluation will be as follows.


Assessment of Learning through the course:

Unit tests 35%, Quizzes 15% + Labs/Assignments 20% = 70 %

Final Evaluation:

Final examination 15% + final assignment/project 15% = 30%

The Report Card:

The report card will focus on two distinct but related aspects of student achievement; the achievement of curriculum expectations and the development of learning skills. The report card will contain separate sections for the reporting of these two aspects.

Program Planning Considerations for Science:

Teachers planning a program in Science must take into account considerations in a number of important areas. The areas of concern to all teachers include the following:

  • Instructional Approaches

  • Health and Safety in Science

  • Program Considerations for English Language Learners

  • Environmental Education

  • Critical Thinking and Critical Literacy in Science

  • Literacy, Mathematical Literacy, and Investigation (Inquiry/Research) Skills

  • The Role of Information and Communications Technology in Science

  • Career Education

Considerations relating to the areas listed above that have particular relevance for program planning in Science.

Instructional Approaches. Students bring to the classroom a natural curiosity as well as individual interests and abilities within their diverse personal and cultural experiences. Effective instructional approaches in Science draws upon their prior knowledge, captures their interest and encourages meaningful practice especially when the student sees a connection between wheat they are learning and their real-world application. Students are provided with opportunities to learn in a variety of ways. From a solid understanding of scientific concepts, the scientific method is employed to enable the student to investigate their world. The context for all learning in Science comes from the Relating Science to Technology, Society and the Environment (STSE) expectations.

Health and Safety in Science. The Science program provides the reading and analytical skills for the student to be able to explore the variety of concepts relating to health and safety in the workplace. Teachers who provide support for students in workplace learning placements need to assess placements for safety and ensure that students can read and understand the importance of issues relating to health and safety in the workplace. Teachers must also ensure that students have the knowledge and skills for safe participation in science activities.

Program Considerations for English Language Learners. Teachers will find positive ways to incorporate the diversity among the students into the online classroom environment. This Science course can provide a wide range of options to address the needs of ESL/ELD students. ESL programs are for students born in Canada or new comers whose first language is not English. ELD programs are for newcomers whose first language is not English. Assessment and evaluation exercises will help ESL students in mastering the English language and all of its idiosyncrasies. In addition, since all occupations require employees with a wide range of English skills and abilities, many students will learn how the operation of their own physical world can contribute to their success in their social world.

Environmental Education. The increased emphasis on relating science to technology, society, and the environment (STSE) provides numerous opportunities for teachers to integrate environmental education effectively into this science course.

Critical Thinking and Critical Literacy in Science. Teachers plan science programs to promote critical thinking skills such as questioning, predicting, hypothesizing, analysing, synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and distinguishing between alternatives. As students work to achieve the STSE expectations, they are frequently asked to identify the implications of an action, activity, or process. In addition as students develop the skills of scientific investigation (inquiry/research skills), students are given the opportunity to ask appropriate questions to frame their research, interpret information, and detect bias. These learning activities would equip students with the skills to assess, analyze, and/or evaluate the impact of something on society and the environment.

Literacy, Mathematical Literacy, and Investigation (Inquiry/Research) Skills. Teachers plan science courses so that literacy, mathematical literacy, and investigation skills which are critical to students' success in all school subjects and in all areas of their lives, become integrated into the courses. To help students construct meaning from scientific texts, the science teachers model and teach the strategies that support learning to read while students are reading to learn in science. The science program builds on, reinforces, and enhances mathematical literacy. Students will also learn how to locate relevant information in a variety of print and electronic sources.

The Role of Information and Communications Technology in Science. Information technology is considered a learning tool that must be accessed by science students when the situation is appropriate. As a result, students will develop transferable skills through their experience with word processing, internet research, presentation software, and telecommunication tools, as would be expected in any environment.

Career Education. Science definitely helps prepare students for employment in a huge number of diverse areas. The skills, knowledge and creativity that students acquire through this course are essential for a wide range of careers. Being able to express oneself in a clear concise manner without ambiguity, solve problems, make connections between this Science course and the larger world, etc., would be an overall intention of this Science course, as it helps students prepare for


Nelson Physics 11 University Preparation, Nelson Education Ltd., © 2011

ISBN-13: 9780176504335

Pearson Investigating Science PhysicsSource 11, Pearson Education Canada, © 2011

ISBN-13: 9780135115329

Access to a scanner or digital camera

Graph paper

Scientific calculator

For the virtual physics labs: www.explorelearning.com