2/28/11

Monday, February 28th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students had two assignments.

  • Read Fight For Survival and complete a fishbone graphic organizer.
  • Read the transcripts of a series of podcasts and answer questions about the subject matter.

6th Grade

Students complete the first part of the 6th Grade Science Core Test.

Mars Class

Students are getting ready to submit their proposals to NASA.

2/25/11

Friday, February 25th (Substitute)

The 6th Grade science teachers met today to discuss a number of things that will affect our students.  Two examples include future technology needs and the development of common 6th grade end of unit tests.  It was a very profitable day.

Here's what was done in class today.

7th Grade

Students watched an episode of the series Life - Challenges of Life.  While they were watching the video, their assignment was to identify and list adaptations of the various plants and animals that were discussed in the episode.

6th Grade

Students worked on a core test review assignment.  Students were given a list of science terms they learned in Science A & B.  Using that, they were to complete a series of six crossword puzzles.

Mars Class

Students finished their project proposals.

2/24/11

Thursday, February 24th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students who did not finish the textbook assignment yesterday worked on it today.

Students had two additional assignments.
  • Arctic Adaptations - Student read an article about plant and animal adaptations in the Arctic region.  Once they have completed the article, they answer questions, identifying specific adaptations.
  • Function of Animal Adaptations - Students are given pictures of animals and specific adaptations to their environment.  The assignment is to explain how the adaptation helps the organism in their environment.  
6th Grade

Students had the opportunity to go into the computer lab and learn how to login to the core testing system.  They also had the chance to look at a sample test.  This was important because virtually all the students haven't taken a core test on a computer.  This helped familiarize them with the testing system.

The activity students completed, Know Your Galactic Address, Students had to address an envelop for their friend, Gloop Glork.  She wants to write them a letter.  Following the steps on the worksheet, they are able to develop their "galactic address." 

To complete the assignment, students read and summarize of the following articles - Would ET Phone or Write? or Golden Record.

Mars Class

Hopefully, students will be completing their Mars Project tomorrow! 

2/23/11

Wednesday, February 23rd

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students worked on a textbook assignment.  The  sections of the textbook they read emphasized two important concepts.

  • Asexual/sexual reproduction.  Asexual reproduction is reproduction without sex.  Examples include planaria that are cut in half and both halves grow an entire organism; cuttings from a plant or shoots from strawberry plants.  Only one parent is required.  Sexual reproduction requires two parents.
  • Inherited/acquired traits.  An inherited trait is a trait you get through genes. It is passed on by the mother and father.  Acquired traits are traits that are developed through an effort on the part of the individual.  Cooking, musical talent, artistic talents, etc. are examples.

6th Grade

We reviewed the basics of microorganisms at the beginning of class.

Students watched the video Powers of Ten. Click on the link to see the movie.

Students completed an activity that made a model that represents spacing in the Solar System.  Students cut a strip of adding machine tape.  They place a Sun and Pluto sticker (representing the Kuiper Belt) on each end.  The tape is folded in half.  A Uranus sticker is placed on the fold.  The tape is folded in half from Pluto/Kuiper Belt to Uranus.  A Neptune sticker is placed on the fold.  The tape is then folded in half from the Sun to Uranus.  A sticker is placed on the fold.  The tape is folded from the Sun to Saturn.  A Jupiter sticker is placed on the fold.  This continues until the remainder of the planets are on the tape.  This gives student a very rough scale model of the Solar System.  It gives them a chance to see how planets are spaced in the Solar System.

Mars Class

Students are putting the finishing touches on their Mars Projects.

2/22/11

Tuesday, February 22nd

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

We finished the adaptations lecture today.  

6thGrade

We began the hour with a review of phases of the Moon.  Next, students were told what they needed to have in order to take the core test on Monday.

Students received the size and scale of the universe lecture.

Mars Class

Students are putting the final touches to their Mars proposals.

2/18/11

Friday, February 18th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students earned a reward activity and had a class party today.

6th Grade

We completed the Solar System Unit by taking the end of unit test.  It consisted of four quizzes covering the four major objectives of the unit - structure of the planets, characteristics of comets, asteroids, and meteors, how we have learned about the Solar System using technology, and how gravity is responsible for the structure of the Solar System.

Overall I was pleased with the scores on the multiple choice portion of the test.  Most students performed well.

Mars Class

Students are working on their Mars Projects.  

2/17/11

Thursday, February 17th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

We began our Adaptations unit today with the adaptations lecture.  We'll be spending the next six weeks our so working on assignments in this unit.

6th Grade

Today was our last day working on the Solar System UnitAll work was due at the end of the hour.

Mars Class

Students are beginning to write the Mars Project Proposals.

2/16/11

Wednesday, February 16th (Early Out)

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

We reviewed the genetics test and spent time clearing out the class basket.

6th Grade

Students worked on their Solar System Unit AssignmentsTomorrow is the last day to work on the Solar System Assignment.

Mars Class

Students continue to work on their Mars Project Proposals. 

2/15/11

Tuesday, February 15th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

We finished our genetics unit today.  Students took the genetics unit final exam.  A number of students did not finish the Genetics With a Smile activity yesterday.  They finished it today.

6th Grade

At the beginning of class, students watched a light review video and answered questions about the principles of light.  After that, they continued working on their Solar System Unit Assignment.  

Mars Class

Students continued working on their research project.

2/14/11

Monday, February 14th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students completed their final genetics activity today - Genetics With a Smile.  Students flipped a penny (one by "mom," one by "dad") to determine the traits of their baby smiley face.  They drew a picture of their face, compared it with other students, and answered genetics questions.

6th Grade

Student are in the home stretch.  Thursday is the last day to complete their Solar System Unit Assignments.    

Mars Class

One group has finalized their research question - Is there evidence of igneous rock formations in Melas Chamsa?  The second group is finalizing their question.  

2/11/11

Friday, February 11th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

We completed a genetics activity - Inherit the Wings.  Students paired up and their assignment was to draw a picture of their baby dragons.  They were given two sets of genes, one for the mother and one for the father.  They matched their set of genes to identify their "baby dragon's" characteristics.  After they determined the characteristics, they drew a picture of their baby.

6th Grade

We started the day with a mini-lesson reviewing the three forms of heat transfer, conduction, convection, and radiation.

Students then continued to work on their Solar System Assignments.  

Mars Class

Students continue to research and prepare the project proposals.

2/10/11

Thursday, February 10th

It was another routine day today, very similar to what we've been doing the last few days.

7th Grade

Students finished an activity we started a week ago - A Recipe for TraitsSince it was an early out day, students didn't have enough time to finish the assignment.  We then spent four day in the computer lab with the Genetics Disorder Brochure assignment.  We watched a video, Understanding Genetics, while they finished the assignment.

6th Grade

Students continued working on their Solar System Unit Assignments. All assignments must be completed and turned in by next Thursday.

Mars Class

Students continue to put together their Mars Project Proposals.

2/9/11

Wednesday, February 9th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students presented information about the genetics disorder they selected.  I enjoyed hearing the presentations. 

It never ceases to amaze me that, in spit of how complex our bodies are, and considering how many things could go wrong, most people are born with no genetic disorder or birth defect.  The wonders of the human body never fails to surprise.

6th Grade

I feel like a broken record.  Students continue to work on their Solar System Unit Assignments.

I want to quickly go over what will be happening in the last four weeks of the trimester.  We will finish the Solar System Unit next week.  We have on more unit to study; students will learn about the size and scale of the universe.  We will begin reviewing for the core test on Tuesday of next week.  I plan to spend about ten to fifteen minutes each day reviewing concepts we've learned in the past.  Core testing will be on Monday, February 28th and Tuesday, March 1st.

If you know your student will not be there on those two days, please let me know as soon as possible.  (I've already had one student let me know that he will be gone.)  I will make arrangements for your student to take the core test on other days.

Mars Class 

Students are continuing their research on their question for their project.  They are getting information that will help them finalize their question.  Once this is done, they will put together their project proposal.

2/8/11

Tuesday, February 8th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students finished work on their Genetics Disease BrochureBrochures were due at the end of the hour.

6th Grade 

Students continued working on their Solar System Unit AssignmentsStudents also watch 95 Worlds and Counting.  This video talks about moons of the planets.

Mars class

Students are continuing to work on their Mars projects.  These will be submitted to NASA for consideration.

2/7/11

Monday, February 7th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students continued working on the Genetics Disorder BrochureBy now, students should be typing up their brochure.

6th Grade

Students continue working on their Solar System Unit AssignmentsAll students should be working on the C2 assignments.

Mars Class

Students have divided into two groups - one with seven members and one with six.  Today they began working on putting together the project and proposals.

2/6/11

NASA STEREO Solar Mission

 
STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) is the third mission in NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program (STP). The mission, launched in October 2006, has provided a unique and revolutionary view of the Sun-Earth System. The two nearly identical observatories - one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind - have traced the flow of energy and matter from the Sun to Earth.

Here's a video that gives you an overview of the mission.
video

 Rotating solar sphere made from a combination of imagery from the two STEREO spacecraft, together with simultaneous data from the Solar Dynamic Observatory.
video
 The images show a young, fast-growing magnetic active region of the solar atmosphere which produces solar flares and ejections of material from the Sun.

video

2/4/11

Friday, February 4th

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students continued working on their genetics disease brochure.  A number of students finished their research and began to work on their brochure.

6th Grade 

Students continue to work on Solar System Unit AssignmentsAll C1 work should have been completed by the end of class today.  Scores were updated in the computer. 

Mars Class

Students finished researching Mars Odyssey THEMIS pictures.

2/3/11

Radio Telescope Session

We had our first radio telescope session of the year yesterday.  We spend out time collecting data about Jupiter.  Since it was early out, the session began at 1:00 p.m.  Enough students stayed after the session ended at 3:00 p.m. that we were able to continue for two more hours.

We ran two raster scans on Jupiter.  The first shows the temperature range for the planet.  The warmer the temperature, the redder the color; the cooler, the bluer the color.  If you could see X-band frequencies, this is what you would see.


(Even though you see red, representing the highest temperatures, we're looking at temperature below -200 degrees Fahrenheit.)

The second image shows the S-band frequency.  At this frequency, we are looking at the radiation belts surrounding Jupiter.


The first thing I noticed was you no longer see the planet.  Jupiter has many radiation belts, so the scan obscures the planet.

I like these scans because it gives students a chance to "see" the data we are collecting.  It makes it more real for them.

Thursday, February 3rd

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students began researching information about a selected genetic disease.  Using that information, they will make a three-fold brochure presenting information about the disease.

6th Grade

Students continue to work on the Solar System Unit AssignmentStudents should be completed with C1 assignments and working on C2 assignments.

Students who studied were able to re-take the seasons quizzes.  Students who were absent made up the quizzes.

Mars Class

We received from feedback about our proposed questions.  One of the suggestions was that we spend some time looking at Mars THEMIS pictures taken by Mars Odyssey.  We spent time in the computer lab studying specific pictures.

2/2/11

Wednesday, February 2nd

Here's what we did today.

7th Grade

Students completed a genetics activity called A Recipe for Traits(This is an activity from the Genetics Science Learning Center.)  The objective of this activity is to draw a dog based on the traits of the genes they draw.  Students are given an enveloped with eight strips of paper representing genes.  They draw them out one by one and, using a key,  Based on the traits that are identified, students draw a picture of their dog.

6th Grade

Students had been asking some questions about gravity, so I felt it was time for a review.  I reviewed the following four principles they need to understand.

  • The larger and more massive the planet (relative to Earth), the stronger the gravity.  You would weigh more on that planet than you do on Earth.
  • The smaller and less massive the planet (relative to Earth), the weaker the gravity.  You would weigh less on that planet than you would on Earth.
  • The farther away a planet is from the Sun, it takes a longer time to make one revolution around the Sun.  This is because the Sun's gravity is weaker the farther away you go from it and the planet travels a greater distance.
  • The closer a planet is to the Sun, it takes a shorter time to make one revolution around the Sun.  This is because the Sun's gravity is stronger the closer you are to it and the planet travels a lesser distance.

Mars Class

We watched NOVA - Welcome to Mars.

2/1/11

Tuesday, February 1st

Here's what we did today.

7th Gradehttp://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=4300738304249767038

We finished reviewing the Bikini Bottom Genetics and Oompah Loompah Genetics assignments.  The problems we did were a little more complex, so it ended up taking more time than I anticipated.  By the time we were finished, we only had about 10 minutes left in class.  This wasn't enough time to start anything, so students went to lunch early.

6th Grade

Students continue to work on their Solar System Unit Assignments

Mars Class

There were some good case studies presented to class.  A few possible questions were discussed.  We hope to have something final by the end of the week.