Simple Rails ActiveModel Question

When setting up my model, do I want to do all of my generate models at
the beginning and then fill in the migrations/model scripts all
referencing each other at the same time? Or should I start with just
one model at a time and build in the dependencies later? I'm kind of
confused.

It doesn't matter technically. But the general idea (as you can see
from the book) is to build the application in iterations, not trying
to model too far ahead. Things tend to change as you get into it. But
it helps to think about the "big picture", which is what you're trying
to do here.

I want to model the situation where a teacher can add meeting
notes/grades for a student who belongs to a given class in a given year.
I think I'll need the following tables:

Years
Classes (belongs to a year)
Students (belongs to a class)
Meetings (belongs to a student)

The reason that years is a table is that some students take the class
for several years (3-yr program) and we should be able to select one
particular class from any given year.

I think you might need more models. For example, you might have a Year
and a Class (probably should change that to "Course", since "class" is
a Ruby keyword). Example:

  Year = 2007-08 academic year
  Course = Basket Weaving

There's probably a many-to-many relationship between those; any given
year can have many courses, and any given course could be offered in
multiple years. So you would use another model to represent that. What
would you call it? I don't know what to call it, so I'll call it
"Offering"

So:

  Year --> has_many --> Offering
  Course --> has_many --> Offering

Now you have Student. This would information about a given student.
Now look at the relation between Student and Offerings. Any given
student could be enrolled in multiple offerings, and any given
offering would have multiple students. Again, you would use another
model to represent the relationship (because it's many to many). Let's
call it Enrollment.

So:

  Offering --> has_many --> Enrollment
  Student --> has_many --> Enrollment

Where would a Meeting go? I think it would belong to Enrollment. If a
meeting represents a given student meeting with the teacher of a
specific course for a specific term, then Enrollment represents that.

So:

  Enrollment --> has_many --> Meeting

Just some ideas. Worth what you paid for them :~)