FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do you assign homework?

I assign "work" or "points", and whether you call it classwork or homework—that seems to me a bit arbitary. In an ideal world, you would finish all of your schoolwork at school, and after school you'd be free to enjoy sports, hobbies, family, or anything else. (At least, that's my opinion).

That said, some students work more slowly than others, and sometimes they find it difficult to finish all their work during class hours. If this sounds like you, then I would certainly expect you to finish your work at home.

What if I'm absent?

If you are absent, you may miss an opportunity to earn "easy points" by participating in a class activity. In this case, you'll have to earn your points some other way.

Can I get help with the quizzes?

Yes. All quizzes are "open-book", which means that you're allowed to use outside resources, including notes, textbooks, websites, or Google.

You're also allowed to ask a friend (or a tutor) for help. All I ask is that you do your own work.

And please—if someone asks you for help—help them to understand the material! Don't just give them the answers.

If I get a poor grade on a quiz, can I retake it?

Yes, you can retake quizzes as many times as you like, and only your best score counts. (Only your best score will be recorded in my Quia gradebook).

You can retake a quiz in two ways:

    1. Go back to the lesson, and retake the quiz from there.
    2. Find the quiz on your Quia homepage, and click on it from there.

Do you give tests?

The State of California requires me to give you several tests each year, including:

These tests do not affect your grade.

How about other tests?

I'm not planning to give any other tests this year. It's not necessary. You'll be doing hundreds of graded assignments every trimester, and that's more than enough for me to assess the quality of your work.

I do, however, reserve the right to give you a test, if I suspect that you're not doing your own work.

How many points will you assign every week?

That varies. If it's a 4-day week, or if we lose class time because of assemblies or whatnot, I'll assign less work.

But don't worry: Usually, at the beginning of each week, I'll be able to tell you how many points I expect you to earn that week. And if it turns out that I've piled on the work a bit high, I'll simply assign fewer points the following week, to give everyone a chance to catch up.

Can I work ahead?

Sure! The points you earn don't disappear, so you can, if you want, store them up for the future. In other words, if you work extra hard one week, you may be able to "coast" for a bit, working less hard in weeks to come.

What if I fall behind?

Please don't. But let's assume that you do. As long as you catch up before the end of the trimester, you're good.

Is there a deadline for late work?

Yes. I don't accept any late work the last week of the trimester.

Do you take points away for late work?


How often do you update grades?

Once a week, on the weekends. Typically, every Saturday morning, I update grades like this:

You grade is now officially "up-to-date."

Can I do work on the weekends?

You can, but if you do, the points you earn may not show up on Synergy until the following weekend.

Why not?

For grading purposes, your deadline is Friday at midnight.

That means that any work that you do before Friday at midnight will, I promise, show up on Synergy by the following Monday morning.

However, if I decide to update my grades on Saturday morning at 8:00am (as I often do), and that same weekend you do a lot of work—well, those additional points will not show up on Synergy until the next time I update my grades (the following weekend).

Some of the quizzes seem ridiculously easy . . .

Not everything you learn in school can be easily measured by a test. In fact, I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes: "Things that matter are hard to test, and if you can test it, it probably doesn't matter."

With this in mind, some of the quizzes at the bottom of a page are simply my way of giving you points for having read the lesson. And yes, I'm aware that you may be able to guess the answers without having read the lesson. But you would never do that, would you?

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.