Making Learning Irresitable for Over 25 Years. Making Learning Irresitable for Over 25 Years.
Classification Unit (animals) Test

Thursday is the test over animal classification. Please review the sections (most of 4 chapters) that were assigned for reading and lessons.

Remember that I am allowing you to use your vertebrate comparison table, the study guide on mollusks and arthropods, and the visual organizers that you created for cnidarians, sponges, and 3 worm phyla. Of the 9 major animal phyla, you have a written resource on 8 of them to use during the test. There will be a few questions about phylum Echinodermata so review those pages in your book.

You may work on presentations following the test.

I will collect the Owl Pellet Lab activity and your bone cards tomorrow. Please review your answers to see that you have it completed.

We will watch our iMovies on Friday and you may bring a movie snack to enjoy if it is not too messy.

posted on: May 09, 2007

Checklist for Project assignment

Today in class we watched a video about birds or mammals, depending on which class you were in. The Vertebrate Comparison Table final two sections on birds and mammals are due tomorrow. Most students have completed them already and I will check them tomorrow.

In class, we discussed what was due to me next Monday and students received a handout outlining the details.

Final Report Checklist

Any students working with protist projects should check with me tomorrow as we hope to be able to capture digital video at that time.

I have cultures of paramecium, euglena, and amoeba for your use if needed. See me for help. Time is running out. This is not a project that can be done in one afternoon!

posted on: May 07, 2007

Project Research Continues

I am so pleased that most of my students are scheduling time to complete the data collection for their projects. Several students have stayed late to work on their experiments and most are finishing their work. Wednesday was our last visit to the park as a class to work on projects.

Next week I will be available on Monday 5/7, Wed. 5/9, and Thurs. 5/10 until 5:30 and every morning from 8:45 until 9:10 for project work. The final report is due on Monday 5/14 at the beginning of the assigned class.

Science is "all about" analyzing the recorded data. How scientific have you been in your record keeping? What do your data indicate about your project hypothesis? Please keep in mind that I am looking for evidence of scientific thinking as your analyze your data and evaluate your work. I will give you a reminder checklist of what to include in your final report during class on Monday.

This week we have been comparing animals and examining how they are classified. Students have been working on an oversized vertebrate animal comparison table Thursday and Friday. The last two sections on birds and mammals are due on Tuesday. The animal unit test will be next Thursday.

We will evaluate our imovies and vote for the Student's Choice winners in each class on Friday 5/11.


Here is the exoskeleton of a crayfish. Why did it exit from its outer protection?


What is this white blob that one of the student teams found? Is it alive? How can you tell?

posted on: May 04, 2007

Comparing Animals

Wednesday was a project workday outside. Many students are working diligently to collect data and finish their project work; others are not. The final report is due on Monday, May 14. I am available to help students after school until 5:30 on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of next week.

Following DEAR time in class on Thursday, student groups sorted illustrations, labels, and facts about 8 major animal phyla into groups to create a poster using chapters 10-13. Groups will finish and evaluate their work next week as we continue to learn how animals are sorted scientifically.

Friday students will read chapter 10 and compare and contrast some of the invertebrate phyla using the following assignment:

Comparing Sponges and Cnidarians.doc

Comparing and Contrasting Three Worm Phyla.doc

The other activity for mollusks and arthropods is not available for posting. If you are absent, you will need to get one from me on Monday. We will finish it in class on Monday and examine some preserved specimens.

I am at a workshop today and will hand out progress reports on Monday.

posted on: April 27, 2007

Protist questions and after school research schedule

Classwork today-
For analysis, please add these questions to your lab activity on Observing Protists in your journal.
1. What characteristics do all protists share?
2. How are protozoans (animal-like portists) classified or grouped? Describe each and give an example.
3. What characteristics do algae share with plants?
4. How would you classify euglena? Explain.
As usual, answer in complete sentences and restate the questions.

We used some class time for project work and planning with teams today. Tomorrow all classes will go to the park. There are about three more weeks for students to collect data to answer their research question.

This week I am available after school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Next week I am available on Monday(April 30), Wednesday (May 2), and Thursday (May 3). The following week there will be after school work sessions on Monday (May 7), Wednesday (May 9), and Thursday (May 10).

The final report is due on May 14. This counts as a test grade. Students will also be required to present their work to their class and post their reflections on their work to the Sweat Mountain Park science blog. Keep working and finish strong!

posted on: April 24, 2007

Observing Protists

Students practiced their microscope skills today to observe a variety of cultured protozoans and algal protists. We will continue this lab activity next week. How are members of this kingdom classified and sorted into smaller groups?

Here is an interesting link on Protista.

Are members of Kingdom Protista important to us? What would the world be like without them?

posted on: April 20, 2007

Little Books

Please complete thework on your "Little Books" so they can be checked and shared with others on Monday.

Grading Criteria:
Do you have a clear message relating to 7th grade science learning objectives? (30)
Are your facts sufficient and accurate? (30)
Is your work neat? (no smeary pencil, easy to read, etc.) (20)
Good use of color and illustrations? (10)
Is your book creative, unique, or interesting? (10)

I will be available to stay after school for students to work on their research / park projects on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week. Please make arrangements with me ahead of time if you plan to stay.

posted on: April 13, 2007

Thursday review

Today we discussed the diversity of life found in the plant kingdom and previewed chapters 8 and 9.

We also discussed and checked answers to skill and test prep questions found on pages: 271, 303,337,371,407, and 439.

There is no homework unless you have not yet completed all of the online practice tests.

posted on: April 12, 2007

Online Review Tests

Remember that you have Teacher Assigned Tests- Carroll Review 6,7,8, and 9 due tomorrow. That means that you should do them tonight for homework.

EQ: What characteristics are most useful in creating and using a taxonomic key? Use a dichotomous key to classify organisms... (S7L1.b)
In class today, student teams created a taxonomic key for 10 items found at the table. Tomorrow we will swap keys and a different table will use them to identify two of the organisms. If you were absent today, try to catch up tomorrow during class.

Here is a good site to summarize some of the concepts that might be on your CRCT next week.
review site
Check out the differences between sexual and asexual reproduction in section 4. Sections 1,2,3,6, and 8 have a summary and questions that might help you remember what you have learned this year also.

posted on: April 09, 2007

CRCT review schedule

Here is the schedule for when I will check to record your practice test scores. Students should have their state assigned number written on the sheet that was given in class today.

CRCT Review table.doc

posted on: March 22, 2007

Video Project timeline

Student teams should complete the clean recordings of the voice over and download the desired clips from the server by Friday. Continue to edit your movie to marry the audio and video components.

A clean, edited copy of the script and bibliography with your team's rubric should be in your team folder at this time.

Please make a decision about your music by next Monday. You may bring in CDs, use some of the free share music that is available, or record your own music track in Garage Band.

The artistic impact and message of your movie can be enhanced with the "right" music, so give it some thought.

The Title and Credits should be added to go with the music track. Do not use last names of students in your credits and remember to credit your music and video sources.

Your project should be finished by Thursday (3/29) with a little time left on Friday for final editing (just a few tweaks), completing the self evaluation using your rubric, and copying to my external drive.

This research project counts as test grade.

posted on: March 22, 2007


Today students recorded the rough cut of their voice track of their wildlife videos and downloaded some of the video clips from the server.

This assignment does not require the attention of the entire team for the whole class period, so we will continue to work on other things each day.

Please finish the following assignment for homework tonight if you have not yet finished it. Re-read pages 182-168.

classification notes.doc

posted on: March 20, 2007

Amazing Show!!!

I was so impressed by the amazing GALAPAGOS show that aired last night on the National Geographic channel that I want all my students to watch it. There will be an encore presentation on March 22 at 8 P.M. (also 3/24 @ 4P.M.) and I am trying to arrange to record it for classes to use as a review. The show is three hours long and you may not be able to watch it all, but check out what you can. Use the link above for details about the show. Many of the concepts taught in science were supported by this wonderful show.

In class today, students edited their script for their wildlife documentary and should record the voice over tomorrow.

We will continue our lessons on classification, taxonomic keys, and characteristics of the 6 kingdoms as we work on our movies this week and next.
Homework: read/review pages 182 - 191 in the textbook

posted on: March 19, 2007

Jekyll Island Pictures

Parents and students: Here is the link for Jekyll pictures. You can also access it though and select the Jekyll 2007 photo link.
Pictures from Jekyll Island 2007

posted on: March 06, 2007

Trackstar Sites - Jekyll Island Study Trip Resources

The link below will take you to the Trackstar listing of several sites that should provide information to help you complete the question packet if you are not going on the Jekyll study trip. Remember to follow the links for even more information.

It is difficult to find information to replace the lessons that students will get while actually visiting Jekyll Island, but these resources will help you get started. Perhaps you can find useful information from other sources--even your science book. Please share if you find a great resource.

Resources for Jekyll Island Study Questions

posted on: March 05, 2007

Ecosystem studies

What factors affect the carrying capacity of an ecosystem?

For homework tonight, complete the graphing and analysis questions in the activity from class today.

I am updating grades tonight. As usual, please let me know if there is an error in your grade report.

posted on: February 27, 2007

Project Deadlines

Parents and Students are reminded that the timeline for student project work and project deadlines have been changed due to my unavailability for the past few weeks. I will have a revised schedule for students next week. The final report is NOT due next week.
Thanks and have a great weekend.

Today in class we investigated the methods used by ecologists to determine population sizes.

HW: The random sampling activity (handout) and Sampling Turtles activity (p. 701) should be completed by Monday if you did not finish them in class today.

posted on: February 23, 2007


The analysis questions for the Ecosystems in a Bottle activity and the food web activity were collected today. Students discussed and compared how energy and matter move through ecosystems. Today was DEAR day in science.
Tomorrow students will explore methods used to determine population size.
For homework- read and study pages 695-700.

posted on: February 22, 2007

Lessons on the web

Here is the site for you to link to Thursday's and Friday's lessons.

What does paleontology have to do with evolution?

posted on: January 31, 2007


S7L5.c Explain how the fossil record found in sedimentary rock provides evidence for the long history of changing life forms.

Today students read and discussed section 2 in chapter 5 (pages 157-164). Students who did not earn at least an 80 on the last test should be working on the study workbook pages for all of chapter 5.

We watched and discussed the video: Prehistoric Life.

Homework: Revise your project research plan to represent your what you are actually doing. (Some students have modified their plans since they were approved.) Research Plans (including bibliography) and signed forms are to be re-submitted to me on Wednesday. Please turn in your edited plan along with your original plan.

See me if you have a question.

posted on: January 29, 2007

Classes Outside on Friday

Students will work on data collection outside tomorrow and the forecast is that it will be clear but cold. Please dress in layers and bring hats, gloves, etc to keep you warm outside during your class time. Extra socks are a good idea if you are using the boots to get in the creek.

I need to see student project journals by tomorrow.
Here is what I am checking:

The timeline for completing this project is about 5 weeks and students should be planning their time to get the work done.

There is no additional homework.

posted on: January 25, 2007

Nature At Work and Projects

How does natural selection lead to changes in a species over time?

Today students explored the genetic and environmental factors that play a part in natural selection using cards to model what might happen to a group of mice in a white sand environment over several generations. This activity is found in the text on pages 152-153. Students will collect data for part 2 tomorrow and complete the analyze and conclude questions.

For homework tonight, students will complete the 3 - column note taking assignment (statement of main idea, details, and reflection) for the last portion of their reading assignment in section 1, pages 154-156. I will check homework tomorrow.

Students received a handout in class today to help them plan their time for competing their research projects. The final report of the research is due on Feb. 28th.

Science Research Project-Updated Timeline

posted on: January 24, 2007

Charles Darwin

How did Darwin's observations lead to his development of the theory of evolution by natural selection?

More on Darwin here.

Here is the link to the videos for students: Evolving Ideas. We watched a few of these during class.

posted on: January 24, 2007

Darwin's Observations

EQ: How did the observations made by Charles Darwin on his voyage lead to his development of the theory of evolution by natural selection?

Monday students tracked Darwin's voyage through the Galapagos Islands using his journal entries. The annotated map should be in the notes section of student notebooks for me to check later.

During class, students recorded notes in the three column format (main idea, details, reflection) for pages 147 - 150. This assignment should have been completed for homework last night (Mon.).

Tuesday we continued out notes for pages 150-151 and participated in an activity to model natural selection. If you have not finished your notes through page 151, please do.

Please submit your project journal for me to check by Wednesday. You should have your research plan copied in your journal and any observations and reflections relating to your work so far. Remember to use pen and date all entries. Journals submitted after that will earn a late grade.

We plan to go to the park for data collection on Thursday or Friday during class. More info tomorrow.
There is a Saturday work day scheduled for Feb. 3 from 10:00- 1:00. More later.

posted on: January 23, 2007

Mystery Cubes

EQ - How does the inquiry process lead to scientific theories like the Theory of Evolution?
S7CS9.b Investigate by collecting evidence, reasoning, devising hypotheses, and then formulating explanations to make sense of evidence.

Students practiced and probed the inquiry process with a class activity involving three mystery cubes today.

Homework: Please work on your research project. Get your journal up to date with your research plan and reflections on prior work. Additional research may be needed as you prepare to get out in the field again next week. Students should bring needed materials to class for work on this ongoing project.

Is evolution happening today? Here is an interesting article.


posted on: January 19, 2007

Final systems

Today students completed the study guides for the final body systems in our unit.

Lymphatic SystemEndocrine System NotesThe Integumentary System

If the work was not finished during class, please finish at home.

How do the lymphatic, integumentary, and endocrine systems function to serve the needs of cells and how do they function to help organisms maintain homeostasis?

posted on: January 17, 2007

Nervous System

Homework: Read and study pages 620-634, complete the study guide for the nervous system

Nervous System-1.doc


Nervous System

There are several students who need to stay tomorrow to make up their test from Dec. 20. (Human Body Systems Part 1). Students who were absent for the pig lab test should also stay tomorrow afternoon after school to take a make-up test. Other interested students may also stay and take a make-up exam. Your grade will be averaged with your first grade. Remember that you will be answering questions and interpreting illustrations---NOT USING ACTUAL PIGS for this test.

posted on: January 16, 2007

Pig Week Ends

EQ: Explain how different organ systems interact to serve the needs of cells for oxygen, food, and waste removal. (S7L2)

Our exciting week of discovery about human body systems via the investigation of fetal pigs came to an end today with a lab test. Student scores will be posted next Tuesday when the system becomes available again.

Wilbur (pictured below) is one lucky pig that has been visiting our class during pig week. He was an observer and not a participant. As you can see, he has made a new friend.


Following our test today, students enjoyed some DEAR time that was missed on Thursday. There is no homework for this weekend.

Everyone enjoy your holiday. We will continue working on our research projects when we return. I will post a schedule of Saturday optional work days by the end of next week.

We have a few more system notes to complete and then we will be on to our next unit.

posted on: January 12, 2007

Day 3 Fetal Pig Dissection

Classwork/Homework: Complete the questions on page 4 and the terms through "heart and pericardial sac" on page 6.

Remember to study and review all that you have learned each night so you will be ready for the lab test this Friday (1/12/07). The three sites posted on Monday should be very useful for completing your study guide and testing yourself.

Students who missed the final test of last term (Human Body Systems -part 1) will need to make it up tomorrow morning (1/11) at 8:15 AM or Wednesday (1/17) afternoon at 4:15.

posted on: January 10, 2007

Day 2 Fetal Pig Dissection

Complete pages 1-3 and terms through "diaphragm" on page 6.
I will check to see that you are up to date on your assignments tomorrow.

Use the links in the prior post to help with questions and to learn even more.

Here is an idea of what your test on Friday might be like?
What is the name of the body part/structure that is indicated by the probe? What is it's function?


What is the substance used to break up fat particles that is produced by the organ that is indicated in the lower picture? Where is it stored?


posted on: January 09, 2007

Fetal Pig Dissection Begins

EQ: How do the organ systems interact to serve the needs of cells for oxygen, food, and waste removal?

This week seventh grade science students will dissect fetal pigs. Today in class students received a 6 page handout titled: Study Questions and Anatomy Review. Please keep your study questions in your notebook for safe keeping. They will count as 2 daily grades and 2 homework grades. Homework/classwork will be assigned in this packet each night this week and there will be a lab test on Friday.
Monday, today, we investigated the external features and explored inside the mouth of the pigs.

Students should be able to answer all questions found on page 1, questions 1-3 on page 2, and the first 7 terms on page 6 for class/homework. Tomorrow we will open the abdominal cavity and study the digestive system.
Check out the sites linked below for additional information, virtual dissection, and practice quizzes.

Fetal Pigs

posted on: January 08, 2007

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

E.Q. What evidence is there that you are thinking and working like a scientist?

Today we worked on our research projects. Students were given instructions on how to share there work online at Mabry's Global Learning Collaborative and some teams have started posting.

I hope that everyone has a restful and wonderful holiday!

posted on: December 21, 2006

Test Make-Up

There will be a test make-up session tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 8:15 A.M. for students who missed the Human Body Systems Part 1 test today.

We will work on our projects tomorrow so bring your project log book to class.

posted on: December 20, 2006

Review Answers

The answer to # 25 in class today was stated as True. It is actually False with the correction of "urethra".

Here are the completion answers:
27 gliding
28 exercise
29 calcium
30 smooth
31 contracting
32 cramp
33 skull
34 cartilage
35 cell
36 tendon
37 ligament
38 mucus
39 hydrochloric
40 gallbladder
41 villi
42 chemical
43 epiglottis
44 large
45 glucose
46 pacemaker
47 oxygen
48 valve
49 right
50 aorta
51 veins
52 capillaries
53 platelets
54 hemoglobin
55 fat
56 exercise
57 hypertension
58 atherosclerosis
59 respiration
60 breathing
61 pharynx
62 mucus
63 water
64 oxygen
65 larynx
66 diaphragm
67 urine
68 excretory
69 urea
70 urine
71 urinary bladder
72 skin
72 trachea
74 nephrons

posted on: December 19, 2006

End of Grading Period

Students received a copy of their current grade reports in class today. Several assignments were turned in to me today and I am updating grades daily.

For homework tonight, please complete all missing work and turn it in to me tomorrow so I can update your grades for this term.

Most classes went outside today to work on their research projects. We will review in class tomorrow.

The following systems will be included on the test Wednesday:
You may use your notes sheets for the test.

So many students have been absent and are struggling to get caught up that I have decided to cut off the introduction of new material and hold the rest of the systems to be included in the next term.

posted on: December 18, 2006

Other Systems Notes Sheets

Here are the notes sheets for the other systems so you can work on them if you have time this weekend.

Endocrine System Notes.doc

Nervous System.doc

The Integumentary System.doc

posted on: December 15, 2006

Respiratory System

Today we completed the Respiratory System notes sheet and completed a lab investigation on the effect of holding one's breath on the rate of respiration. If you were absent today, do not worry about making up the lab activity. You should complete the note sheet so that you will have it for your test next week. Remember that you will be allowed to use all of your note sheets on the Human Body Systems Test on Wednesday.

26 Human Respiration.doc

Respiratory System-1.doc

Please complete the respiratory system notes and excretory system notes for homework.

posted on: December 15, 2006

Wednesday Career Cruising

Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Haag conducted science class in the Maclab on Wednesday. The link below will take you to the site that was used in class. Remember that your user name is mabry and your password is guidance. It was fun to hear about the many career options that students had listed for them them based on their responses to the question set. I hope that you will explore more.

Career Cruising

posted on: December 15, 2006

Digestive System

Today students took notes about the digestive system in class today. The note sheet should be completed for homework if it was not finished in class today. Tomorrow we will do an activity and take notes on the respiratory system.

Digestive System.doc

I am collecting work and trying to get all students caught up before the term ends. Please submit your make up assignments ASAP and try not to fall behind.

Students will be allowed to use their note sheet for each system during the test next week. Please take time to read, reflect, and record the information requested as we are trying to compress 6 or 7 chapters into a short 3 week unit.

The fetal pig dissection week will be carried over to the beginning of the next term- when students return in January.

posted on: December 14, 2006

Data Collection in the park

Tuesday we had a change in plans from my earlier post. We will continue our experiments on the human body systems unit later in the week. Wednesday we will be Career Cruising in the maclab with guidance counselors.

Most students submitted their research plans and approval forms on Friday or Monday and were ready to begin data collection on Tuesday...and the weather was unusually we headed outside for class to work on projects.

Students are doing their individual research while collaborating with a research team for collecting data. All students should be recording data in their project logbook and have a handout to describe what to include there.

Independent study projects are ongoing this year and I look forward to hearing what students are learning about water quality, the forest, amphibian populations, etc. Student teams will have the opportunity to post their work on our Sweat Mountain Park blog beginning soon.

DSC00040.JPG DSC00090.JPG DSC00111.JPG

posted on: December 13, 2006

Human Body Systems Notes

EQ: Explain how the different organ systems interact with each other to serve the needs of cells for oxygen, food, and waste removal.

Today and tomorrow we will do lab activities on the muscular and respiratory systems.
Here is the lab for Monday:

15 Muscle Funct Analysis.doc

Note sheets for today and tomorrow:

Muscular System.doc

Respiratory System.doc

Excretory System.doc
Please have these note sheets and your lab questions completed to be checked on Wednesday.

posted on: December 11, 2006

Skeletal System

If you were absent today, we watched video about the skeleton and completed the note sheet that is attached below.

I collected the cardiovascular system note sheet that was completed for homework earlier in the week during class today. You will have a note sheet for each system that will be included on the Nov. 20 test and I have hinted that detailed notes may be valuable to you on test day.

Skeletal System

Remember to get a parent signature on your project research plan Form 1B. The bibliography should be included too. Your forms, plan, and bibliography are due on Monday.

posted on: December 08, 2006

Monitoring EKG

Today students analyzed a graphical recording of the electrical events occurring within the heart. Here is a copy of the analysis questions for students who did not finish them during class.

The circulatory system notes sheet should be completed for homework tonight.

Circulatory system.doc

Experiment # 28 Monitoring EKG


1. The electrocardiogram is a powerful tool used to diagnose certain types of heart disease. Why is it important to look at the time intervals of the different waveforms?
2. What property of heart muscle must be altered in order for an EKG to detect a problem? Explain.
3. Based on what you have learned regarding electrocardiograms, can they be used to diagnose all heart diseases or defects? Explain.
4. Describe a cardiovascular problem that could be diagnosed by a cardiologist using an electrocardiogram.

posted on: December 05, 2006

Human Body Systems Links

Here are a few interesting sites to help you learn about the parts of the systems of the human body and how they function and interact with each other. Use your textbook and these sites to help you complete your note sheets and review each system.

There will be a test over the human body systems on Wednesday, Dec. 20th. This is your last test for this term.

Trackstar for Human Body Systems

posted on: December 05, 2006

Heart Rate and Exercise

Today we performed an experiment using probeware (Hand-Grip Heart Rate Monitors) that interfaced with our computers. This enabled us to analyze graphical data quickly and easily. Students were asked to record that data and answer the analysis questions in their journals. Here is a copy of the data table and analysis questions if you did not finish the analysis in class.

Experiment 4.doc

For homework, please finish reading chapter 17: pages 536-560. We will be doing assignments and working in 7 different chapters in the following 3 weeks so do not get behind in your reading.

Students who needed to re-write their introductions have until 12/5...that's turn them in to me. :-)

Paperwork for your project is due on Thursday.

I am available tomorrow morning at 8:30 A.M. and after school until 5:15 P.M. on Tuesday for students who need a little help or time to work on their experiment set-ups.

posted on: December 04, 2006

Research/Independent study project paperwork

All students received the forms for submitting and getting approval for their experiments today. The forms should be turned in to me on or before Thursday. Dec. 7.

A parent signature is required on Approval Form 1B.

Most students have completed all of the needed parts of the research plan, but some need to be edited. I tried to discuss project details and revisions with most students today and will meet next week with the ones that did not have a chance to discuss their plans with me.

All students should read pages 536-547 for homework if they did not read it during class time today. We will begin our studies of the human body systems on Monday with lab activities on pulse rate and interpreting an EKG.

posted on: December 01, 2006

What is DNA fingerprinting and what are some of the practical uses?

Today students modeled the procedure for creating DNA "fingerprints" with an activity called Who Stole the Crown Jewels? Additional time will be given in class for students to finish the data analysis and share results

Please visit the DNA sites posted yesterday to gain understanding of how this process was developed and what it is like today.

For homework tonight, please complete the review sheet that was given to you in class today.

posted on: November 28, 2006

What information can be learned from pedigrees?

Thursday there will be a test over the rest of our genetics unit--this includes all of chapter 4.

Remember, the workbook pages for chapter 4 are required if you did not make an 80 or higher on the last test.

Today in class we completed the activity called Family Puzzles on pages 130-131.
For homework, complete the review worksheet.

Here are a few links that I thought you might enjoy:

DNA interactive Go to the "Recovering the Romanovs" link for an interesting story related to the royal family of Russia.
Explore the "Human Identification" pathway to help you understand DNA fingerprinting.

A more complete pedigree of Queen Victoria

Pedigree practice as a genetic Counselor

Nova's Create a DNA Fingerprint

posted on: November 27, 2006

Genetic Transformation

Wow! We did it. Bacteria have been genetically engineered with the addition of the pGLO plasmid DNA that codes for the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). The gene that codes for this trait was originally located in the DNA of a jellyfish.
Here are a few pictures of our genetically modified bacteria. Can you tell me why some of them fluoresce (express the GFP gene) and others that have the same pGLO gene do not?


We will wrap up our lesson next week by answering the questions on pages 41 and 42 of the student manuals.

Have a nice weekend.

posted on: November 17, 2006

pGLO Bacterial Transformation Lab

Tomorrow we will begin the genetic transformation lab procedures that are detailed in your Student Manual on pages 32-37. Please take some time tonight to re-read the procedures and write yourself some notes about the time allotments for each step. You should have answered the focus questions in class today.

Advances in genetics is discussed in your text pages 132-138. Please read tis section before Friday.

posted on: November 14, 2006

Human Inheritance

Students took notes today on human inheritance from pages 118-123 in the text. You should be able to answer questions and give examples of traits that are controlled by

Please visit the blood typing game that was posted on the track star site posted on Friday for extra practice on blood types.

I collected the assignment from Friday from those who did not yet turn in in.

There is no homework for tonight. Students who have missing assignments should be working to complete them. Please make arrangements with me if you need to stay for extra help.

posted on: November 13, 2006

Genetic Disorders

Before you begin today's lesson, take time to read the Connect 2 Science posts from Dr. Berry. Think of a good question that connects with his prior posts and write it on the paper that you will turn in for today's assignment.

There are four questions that require responses and other activities on the following sites. Read the questions and directions at the top of each frame. Answer on your own paper.

Genetics Track

posted on: November 10, 2006

Genetics Test Thursday

There will be a test over genetics tomorrow. We reviewed in class today and students should have several assignments from chapter 3 to study. Remember to pay extra attention to the diagram on protein synthesis found on pages 110-111.

Students who did not make an 80 or higher on the last test are reminded that the Chapter 3 Guided Reading Workbook pages are due to be checked by me for a homework grade tomorrow.

Experimental design diagrams and procedures are due tomorrow. This assignment may be written by hand or typed. Our lesson on Monday was about using an experiment design diagram to evaluate the elements of an experiment. I hope that lesson helps you in your planning. See the handout and rubrics that are on the back. I know that several students will need to revise their experiments, so do not worry about getting it perfect before submitting it to me. Do turn something in.

posted on: November 08, 2006

DNA Extraction lab today

Wow! I am looking forward to reading the great reports that were submitted today in class. It is evident that you have been working very hard to get your notes and ideas transformed into the introduction to your your park project. Congratulations to 5th period; everyone in that class turned in a report today or earlier. If you did not turn in your report today, please do so asap.

Today we performed investigations related to DNA extraction. We will finish the write-up and analysis questions tomorrow.

There is no homework tonight.

Here are a few pictures from 4th period.






posted on: October 31, 2006

Genetics Studies

Sponge Bob and the Bikini Bottom gang have been lending a hand in our classes this week as we learn how biological traits are passed on to successive generations (standard S7L3). Mendel worked with his peas to demonstrate how probability could be used to figure out that some traits are controlled by factors (genes) that have a dominant form and a recessive form. We have been using Punnett squares to determine the probability of various outcomes in the land of Sponge Bob (WS#1 and 2) and today we investigated the phenomenon of incomplete dominance with Sandy's favorite Poofkin flowers (WS #3). I think that most students have it figured out!

Other terms that we have learned this week include: homozygous, heterozygous, purebred, hybrid, allele, gene, chromosome, incomplete dominance (similar to co-dominance), genotype, and phenotype, asexual reproduction, and sexual reproduction. Please make sure that you are reading and studying the chapter pages that go along with our studies in class (pages 86-99). Do the workbook pages also if you did not have at least a B on the last test.

I checked WS # 2 for a HW grade today. If you did not finish it, please do so and give it to me tomorrow.

Your homework for the week has been to work on your report of background information and your project research plan.

posted on: October 25, 2006

The scoop on genetics

In class to day, we will learn how to use a Punnet square to predict the probability of outcomes of a cross of parents with various traits.
As you go through the lessons here, click on the options at the bottom of the page for animations and problems to solve.

Genetics /Great Tutorial

For homework, work on those note cards. I will check to see that you have 25 to 30 note cards and 5 to 8 bibliography cards on Monday.

posted on: October 20, 2006

The scoop on genetics

In class to day, we will learn how to use a Punnet square to predict the probability of outcomes of a cross of parents with various traits.
As you go through the lessons here, click on the options at the bottom of the page for animations and problems to solve.

Genetics /Great Tutorial

For homework, work on those note cards. I will check to see that you have 25 to 30 note cards and 5 to 8 bibliography cards on Monday.

posted on: October 20, 2006

Learn Genetics Link


Tour the basics here to learn more about the role of genes and chromosomes in the process of inheriting a specific trait, like hitchhikers thumb. Just to see who is reading the blog... :-) You can earn 10 bonus points on an assignment if you take the tour and write down the phenotype and the possible genotype of your thumb and turn it in to me by Friday (10/20). Shhh! Don't tell.

posted on: October 19, 2006

Research continues

Homework: Continue to take notes about your topic on your note cards. I will check them on Monday 10/23. You should have 25-30 cards from 5-8 different sources.

Trackstar sites for research projects

posted on: October 18, 2006


Parents and students: I am available after school from 4:20-5:15 Monday-Thursday to help students with their research.
The root word of question is quest.
Your research question sends you on an exciting quest.
About finding a question . . .
"Sometimes you have to do some wondering to get to your wonderings.”
“Research is a process of discovery—a process that continually requires us to rethink, and re-search our understandings.”
Research is a tune-in activity ~
Research means paying close attention tuning in to what is going on so you don't miss out.
Source:The Art of Classroom Inquiry  by Ruth Shagoury Hubbard and Brenda Miller Power
Thanks to Mrs. Worthington for finding the quotes above.
As we begin our research in the media center, it is nice to reflect on the process.
Here is the preliminary timeline for our research this term. Students received a copy today and were asked to make notes in their agendas about upcoming deadlines.

Timeline for Research Projects.doc

This handout gives some guidance for students who may need to find a more interesting or more reasonable question for research.

Independent Study Projects-1.doc

We will go to the media center again tomorrow and note cards will be checked on 10/23 at the end of the class.

Homework this week, 10/17-10/22, is to take notes on note cards as you gather background information for your project. A bibliography card should be completed for each source that you use. Remember to use bullets; avoid sentences. Paraphrasing takes longer and sometimes leads to plagiarism.

posted on: October 17, 2006

Make - Up Test is Tuesday at 8:15 A.M.

Students need to dress to go outside for class on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (weather permitting).

There is no homework tonight. I will score tests and post grades by tomorrow evening.

Any students who missed today's test will need to be here tomorrow morning at 8:15. I will meet you at the door or in study hall. Most students who were absent today are aware of this scheduled make-up time. This is just a reminder.

posted on: October 09, 2006

Guided Reading Study Workbooks

All students were issued a Life Science Guided Reading Study Workbook on Wednesday. The workbook should be used at home to check for comprehension following a reading assignment. I will not usually check them in class.

The workbook pages for chapter 2 (pages 15-26) are assigned and must be completed if you did not earn at least 80 on the last test.
Please complete the assigned pages and show them to me by Friday so you can check/correct them before Monday's test over chapter 2.

posted on: October 05, 2006

Online Textbooks are finally available- Hooray!

On Wednesday, students will receive directions and their class access code so they can begin using this useful resource.

posted on: October 03, 2006

Cell Cycle today...Test Monday

1. Today students took notes on the cell cycle using the textbook on pages 72-79. The notes should give details about what is happening in each of the three stages in the life cycle of cells.
2. Students then connected to my blog and the Trackstar lesson on the Reviewing the Cell Cycle that was posted earlier. The Online lesson on Onion Root tip mitosis (1st site) was completed with the data and analysis written on the same page as the notes.

Take time tonight to check out the other sites on the track to learn about the cell cycle.

Homework is to begin reviewing for your upcoming test, which is scheduled for next Monday. It will cover how cells grow, divide, and make/obtain needed materials (all of chapter 2).

Also on the homework board is to continue researching your possible park questions/ research topics so you will be able to make a good choice for your project.

I will issue the Life Science Guided Reading and Study Workbooks tomorrow. Students who did not earn at least 80 on the last need to compete the lesson pages for chapter 2 and get them checked before next Monday so they will be better prepared for the next test.

posted on: October 03, 2006

Research in the Park

The park is your laboratory this year!

What questions do you want to spend your time investigating?
Are you interested in biology, physical science, Earth science?
Are you interested in the organisms that live in the natural spaces in our community? Do you care about how the natural areas are used by people?

Think about all of the possibilities for field studies.

Your goal is to come up with a project involving data collection that is related to Sweat Mountain Park and/or other similar areas in our local environment. It could be a controlled experiment, a data collection and analysis type project, or even a service learning project

Service learning projects are great if you want to get involved with “making a difference” in the park. Need some money to make your project happen? Do not worry, the Mabry Science Club may be able to help you. As first place finishers in the Youth Environmental Symposium of 2005, they earned a cash award that can be used for worthy projects. The club may be interested in helping you with your project. You will be required to submit a proposal that details your plan to request funding. (More on that later.)

We have many materials at school that should help you with you study (water quality testing kits, microscopes, ProScopes, data collection probe-ware, boots, materials for collecting stream macro-invertebrates, GPS devices, other measurement tools, etc.) so keep that in mind when planning your investigation.

Right now you should be exploring some of the many ideas that you have for your park project. Use the pre-research FLIP it! that Mrs. Hendrix prepared for you to get you thinking and finding information about your ideas. You will need to have a working idea for your project by next week. Here are some broad categories of research ideas.

Earth Science:

o Soil analysis
o Erosion studies
o Geologic history of the area

o Weather impact on ???
o Rainfall/runoff studies
o Light intensity questions
o Stream water flow studies
o Chemical/physical parameters of the water
o Watershed questions

Life Science:

Impact of people on the environment
Soil organisms
Water organisms
Life cycle questions- tadpoles, insects, plant species
Assessment of what lives in the park (trees, wildflowers, fungus, lichens, insects, etc.)
Opportunistic species, invasive species, exotic species, native plants, etc.

Physical Science:

Light intensity

I have heard some of your great ideas and am looking forward to helping you with your projects this year!

posted on: October 03, 2006

Trackstar links for cell cycle and DNA lessons

Here are links to sites that I have collected for you. Understanding DNA and its replication is important to understanding what is happening in the cell cycle. We will continue our lessons on DNA and protein synthesis in chapter 3 as we learn about genetics.


Reviewing the Cell Cycle

posted on: October 03, 2006

What events take place during the cell cycle?

Here are some of the sites that you will visit this week for our lessons on cell cycle. There will be a test over the chemical compounds and cellular processes that we have learned about in chapter 2 tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday.

Reviewing the Cell Cycle

posted on: October 02, 2006

How do cells get they energy that they need?

Today we checked the photosynthesis and respiration comparison tables. I will collect this assignment tomorrow for a grade.

Students took time to record the Grass Head lab activity in science journals today. Title, Problem/Question, Hypothesis, Procedures, Data, Analysis and Conclusion should be included in the write-up. Everyone measured 10 representative grass blades from their grass head to enter as their data. The average for each grass head was written on the board to be be combined and averaged for the class data. We will finish the analysis of data and conclusion tomorrow.

We discussed how cells get the energy that they need when oxygen is not available. Alcohol fermentation and lactic acid fermentation were compared.

Homework tonight is to read pages 72-79. We will learn about the cell cycle this week.

posted on: October 02, 2006

Compare and Contrast

Here is the assignment that we worked on in class today. Read and study pages 65-69 to learn more about respiration. Your organizer and summary should be completed by Monday.

Compare and Contrast photo:resp.doc

Also, take some time this weekend to explore your other possible park research questions using the format that we used in the media center on Thursday.

posted on: September 29, 2006

Photosynthesis and DEAR

DEAR time was today with a continued emphasis on the skill of understanding conclusions.

We also corrected Test 2 and watched part of a DVD on Photosynthesis. We will finish the video and lesson on photosynthesis tomorrow.

For homework tonight, READ and STUDY pages 61-65.

Our guiding questions:

What happens during photosynthesis? How do chloroplasts function to store energy for a cell?
Standards: S7L2-Describe the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems.

S7L2.a Explain that cells take in nutrients in order to grow and divide and to make needed materials.
S7L2.b Relate cell structures to basic cell functions

Our grass-heads are looking great! We will analyze the data on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

posted on: September 28, 2006

Questions for Research

Today EQ: If cells are the building blocks of life, what are the building blocks of cells?

In class today, we used molecular models to learn about carbohydrates, one of the four types of organic compounds found in living things. Students completed a lesson worksheet and should have it in their binders.

Tomorrow our class will visit the media center to work on finding a research focus question for independent study projects this year. Students should have several questions from last Thursday's assignment in the park to use as a starting point.

For homework tonight, write down at least three interesting questions that are suitable for research that is connected to Sweat Mountain Park.

posted on: September 26, 2006

Connect 2 Science

Today students visited the Connect 2 Science site at Mabry's Global Learning Collaborative to learn about this interesting opportunity and to read Dr. Berry's post. We had a short lesson about how to write interview questions that might be appropriate for posting on the site.
Connect 2 Science

For homework tonight: Write three quality interview questions and also tell why you would like to be a student author for this project.

The remainder of class was devoted to gaining an understanding of the types of chemical compounds that are in living things. We began working on an activity about carbohydrates using molecular models. We will continue with this tomorrow.

Our grass heads are just beginning to show tiny roots and tomorrow we will be sorting them into two groups per class- an experimental and a control group. Each class will come up with a research question.


posted on: September 25, 2006

Grass Head Supplies Needed

Remember that your Egg-speriment reports are due tomorrow. See the earlier post for details.

If you have craft supplies to donate for our grass-head activity, please remember to bring them in tomorrow.
The Grass-Heads are our fun link to our photosynthesis studies. We will create them beginning tomorrow.

posted on: September 21, 2006

Questions Drive Research

Today was a great day for our second visit to Sweat Mountain Park. The weather was perfect and our outing was fun. During our first visit, students recorded observations and made inferences. For the second trip to the park and the second step in our research process, students were asked to come up with several questions for research. It is hoped that these questions will lead to interesting and significant studies. Sometimes this is the most difficult aspect of research--- deciding the question. We will continue our research and question finding next Wednesday with a visit to the media center.

“If we would have new knowledge, we must get a whole world of new questions.”
Susan Langer

“To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered.”
John Ruskin

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Albert Einstein

“The reward for working one’s way through the known is to find a new question on the other side, formulated in a new way.”
Jerome Bruner

posted on: September 21, 2006

Test Wednesday and Report due on Friday

Tomorrow there is a test over cell parts and their functions. You should also be able to compare plant, animal, and bacteria cells. See pages 34-42 in your text to review. Are all the cells in an animal (like humans) alike? What about plants, are all their cells alike? So... what are specialized cells and why are they only found in multicellular organisms?

Here is a link to one of the sites that we used in class today to review the parts of cells.

Cells Alive

Today, students received the following handout that gives more details about how to write the lab report that is due on Friday.

egg report.doc

Here is the link to the graphing site.

posted on: September 19, 2006

"Egg"-speriment with a Cell

Why did the egg change in mass and circumference in some soaking solutions and not in others?

Students worked on analysis of results from last week's experiment today in class.
In your journal:
1. Create an organized table of your data.
2. Graph your data. Use a ruler; be neat.
3. Describe your results using one or more paragraphs.
4. Explain what you think your data mean. Use diagrams to help with your explanation.

Your final report should be typed and is due on Friday at the beginning of class. Your write-up of the lab should be in your journal and complete by Friday as well.

For homework tonight, complete the three sections of the handout that deal with membrane transport.

posted on: September 18, 2006

Friday classwork and homework

How do plant, animal, and bacteria cells compare?

Classwork- create a Venn diagram to analyze and compare the characteristics of plant cells, animal cells, and bacteria cells. See your text pages 34-42 and 192-194 to find details to include in your comparison. Next, write a paragraph to summarize what you have learned.

Homework- Read about the cell in it's environment (pages 56-60). This is section 2 in chapter 2. We will begin the analysis of your egg data on Monday and I will explain what you should include in your report that is due on Friday, Sept.20. (See the rubric on the back of your lab handout.)

There will be a test over cell parts and functions on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

We had some great Job Descriptions and Want Ads turned in today! I am looking forward to evaluating them.

We said goodbye to our eggs today. Today was fun, pretty messy, interesting, and a little disgusting. We made many interesting observations that will be shared in our reports next week.


posted on: September 15, 2006

Cell Organelle - Job Description and Want Ad

Link here for the assignment. Remember your login? It is the same as the lesson/activity on cell size. The quick link is 248.

For homework, students should prepare a first draft of a want ad or job description for their team's organelle. It should be typed and ready for editing in class. The final product is due on Friday.

Remember each person should do only one of the assignments...the job description or the want ad.

Here is a sample want ad that I found online; it is adapted from the work of a student in South Lake, TX. Can you guess the organelle?

“Looking for a great opportunity to lead? Do you enjoy making decisions for others? Is guidance your strong point? If so, we are seeking to fill a managerial position. We are in need of a control center for a cell. Must be able to operate a cell. Should have solid experience reading and de-coding DNA. Should exhibit strong leadership skills. Benefits include: placement in low-stress arm cells, long life don't die; you just divide and multiply! If interested contact The Body at 817-8WE-CELL.”

Your want ad should be created with a 2.5 in wide space for the text. Change your margins or create a text box for your ad. We will try to piece our ads together to make a "page from the newspaper" to post in the room. Do not include the name of your organelle in the ad so other students can try to figure out which one it is.

Your grade will be determined by how well you communicate what you have learned about your organelle. See the rubric below.

Cell Project Rubric

Tomorrow is DEAR time in science and we will spend some time finishing our egg-speriment on membrane transport. Remember to bring in the last soaking liquid for your egg.

posted on: September 13, 2006

Cell Structures and Organelles

Trackstar on Cells

Use the above link to get to the list of sites that I have collected for your research on cell organelles. You should become very familiar with your selected cell structure so that you will be able to complete the activities, including writing a job description. We will work on this assignment during class tomorrow.

posted on: September 12, 2006

Why are cells so small?

Today you will complete a web lesson that will be launched from the following site.
Why are cells so small?

You will get a copy of the handout in class.

Please finish this assignment for homework if you do not finish it during class today.

posted on: September 11, 2006

Cell Parts

Wednesday in class we watched a quirky DVD about the various parts of a cell. Students created a three column table to compare the parts of cells that included the cell part, structure of description, and functions using information from the video and the book. We will complete this assignment later this week. This information will not be evaluated on Friday's test. We also used some props in class as analogies for the cell parts. Can you think of another good analogy for a particular cell part? Do you know what types of cells are we using to learn about the organelles...was that prokaryote or eukaryote?

Our focus question: What are the parts of cells and their functions?

EQ: Why are some parts of cells called organelles and others are not?

DEAR on Thursday. We will continue to find examples of cause and effect in our reading.

You have a TEST on Friday so study.

posted on: September 07, 2006

Cell Parts

Wednesday in class we watched a quirky DVD about the various parts of a cell. Students created a three column table to compare the parts of cells that included the cell part, structure of description, and functions using information from the video and the book. We will complete this assignment later this week. This information will not be evaluated on Friday's test. We also used some props in class as analogies for the cell parts. Can you think of another good analogy for a particular cell part? Do you know what types of cells are we using to learn about the organelles...was that prokaryote or eukaryote?

Our focus question: What are the parts of cells and their functions?

EQ: Why are some parts of cells called organelles and others are not?

DEAR on Thursday. We will continue to find examples of cause and effect in our reading.

You have a TEST on Friday so study.

posted on: September 07, 2006

Test on Friday

Please prepare for your test on Friday. Here are some items that will be included.

Sept. 8th Science Test

posted on: September 05, 2006

Observations in the Park

Classes visited Sweat Mountain Park today to make and record observations and inferences. We are fortunate to have a such a nice natural park space that is adjacent to and shared by our school property. In class we have been learning about the scientists who made observations that were instrumental in the development the Cell Theory. These naturalists were fascinated by the natural world around them and made many observations of everyday things. Today students gathered a few items to view and learned how to use the stereoscopes. You would be surprised to see how interesting a butterfly wing appears when maginfied. Acorns, mushrooms, pinestraw, rocks, insect larvae, leaves, etc. were all objects of study today. As we continue with our study of the habits of scientists, it will be interesting to see what interesting questions arise in my classes for experimentation and research.


The record of student observations, inferences, and questions was collected for a classwork grade.
There is no homework for this weekend. Have a great holiday everyone!

posted on: September 01, 2006

Thursday 8/31

Students enjoyed D.E.A.R. time with a focus of looking for examples of cause and effect. The effect is often implied, not stated. How many examples could you find today?

We watched a video called Assignment Discovery: Cells following our reading. Students were encouraged to take notes and we discussed interesting points following the viewing.

There is no homework for Thursday night.

Students who did not have their Wednesday homework when I checked it today should remember to complete it tonight and show it to me for a late grade tomorrow.

posted on: August 31, 2006

Wednesday update

It was a pleasure to meet the parents of my students at Open House on Tuesday night. I hope that everyone has made arrangements to access I-parent by now so you can see how your student is performing in class.

In class on Wednesday, we analyzed our data from our activity "How big is that cell?" and discussed the answers to Part IV questions.
It will be interesting to see how close our estimates are to the actual sizes of the various cell types. (I wonder if any of my students know how to find that information?) In class, we also completed a note taking activity (concept definition map available below) based on pages 18-25 "What is Life?" reading assignment.

Organism Concept Map

For homework:
Please read pages 27-33 "Discovering Cells" and record notes as described... In you notes, State the Cell Theory and create a table to record the contributions made by Hooke, Leeuwenhoek, Schleiden, Schwann, and Virchow to our understanding of cells that led to The Cell Theory.

Student journals should now have several items to be graded: A reflection on the importance of accurate record keeping, Experiment using Gummi candies, activity on "How to use a Microscope", and the activity "How big is that cell?" I will begin checking them today, please make sure that your journal is on the shelf with your class.

posted on: August 31, 2006

Notes on Experimental Design 8/24

Experimental Design-2

posted on: August 28, 2006

How big is That Cell?

This is the activity that we are working on in class. We will complete parts I. II. and III in class. You should complete Part IV for homework - due on Wednesday.

How Big Is That Cell?
Learn the basic theory and methods of optical microscopy.
Use a compound microscope to examine and determine the relative size of plant, animal, and bacterial cells.
What you will do:
Recognize the concepts of magnification and optical inversion
Prepare a wet-mount slide and examine and measure a standard sample
Examine and measure different cells

posted on: August 27, 2006


Students were introduced to microscopes in today's class activity. Following the lesson, students should be able to:

1. use the appropriate terminology to describe the parts of the microscope
2. demonstrate the correct use of a compound light microscope
3. calculate the total magnification of the various objectives on the microscopes
4. explain how to prepare a wet mount slide

I asked students to check the blog tonight for some interesting links relating to microscopy. Check them out.
How do images from compound light microscopes differ from the images from electron microscopes? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which do you prefer?

Another thing to ponder---how do advancements in technology affect our understanding of the natural world?

P.S. Today (officially), our solar system has only 8 true planets. What a wonderful example of how science is constantly changing because of new information. My 6th period was most mournful of the demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet status; I was surprised that they were so passionate. They are already trying to rethink that familiar phrase..."My very earthy mother just served us nothing (or was that nachos?)" .

Books will be assigned on Monday! It is time for us to begin learning about living things and the nature of their cells.

Parents please plan to attend open house Tuesday evening. I am anxious to meet you.

There is no homework this weekend. We will complete the lab write up and lesson extensions on Monday. Journals will be checked next week, so have them completed and on the shelf. You should have one writing assignment, an experiment on Gummi candy, and the activity on using a microscope in your journal.

posted on: August 25, 2006

Designing experiments with Gummi Candy

We reviewed some of the terminology of experimental design today in class and analyzed their experiments using appropriate terms.

For homework tonight, students should finish the questions on their handout from class.

Students were surprised at the outcomes for several of the experiments with Gummi candies. More details in another post...


posted on: August 23, 2006

What is science?

How do you evaluate scientific claims?
Students read article summaries of recent headlines in science today in class. They created a table to compare some of the facts and each group discussed them with the class.

There is no homework for tonight.

posted on: August 21, 2006

Safety in Science

Today we discussed our safety rules as students participated in a quiz using our interactive white board and the hand held remote "eggs". It was fun and I was pleased that most of my students know rules relating how to be safe in the classroom.
Cartoons are due tomorrow. (See earlier post for the grading criteria.)
Safety contracts with a parent signature are due tomorrow too.
Do you have your science binder organized? Tomorrow I will check to see if you do.

posted on: August 17, 2006

Safety Lesson

Students reviewed the importance of safety in science class today. We started working on a cartoon to illustrate one of the safety rules. Students have a safety contract that needs a parent signature for my files and another science safety contract with attached rules to store in their binder.

Criteria for evaluation of the bookmark:
1. Based on a specific safety rule
2. The rule is written on the back (along with name and class period)
3. All writing is ligible and not in pencil.
4. The bookmark is neat and colorful

Homework: Due Friday- cartoon/bookmark, safety contract with parent signature, notebook check
Tomorrow is D.E.A.R. day in science- remember your book
Do you know the safety rules well enough to pass a surprise safety test?

posted on: August 16, 2006

Getting Organized

I once heard someone say about scientific record keeping..."If you don't write it down, then it didn't happen." We discussed this notion as we set up journals and notebooks today. Students made their first entry in their journals by writing a reflection on: What is the value keeping organized and accurate records in science?


There is no homework for tonight.

posted on: August 15, 2006

First Day of School

Hi everyone! I had such a great time meeting my students today. My homeroom and classes are awesome and I am looking forward to a great year.

Today we learned and practiced some important classroom procedures. How do you

DSC00155.JPG DSC00157.JPG

Bring your journal and your notebook to class tomorrow. We will get them organized and continue to learn how to have a successful year.

posted on: August 14, 2006

Review schedule

Wednesday is field day for 7th grade and class will not meet that day.

Today we concluded our review of digestion by working in the Guided Reading Study Workbook (pages 172-176). Most classes had the time to check the answers.
We used the Interactive Body: Systems at Work to review the steps in the urinary (excretory) process.

Homework: WB pages 193-195 (excretory system) be checked on Thursday.

Thursday we will review the nervous system: text pages 622-626 (WB pages 207-209); text pages 628-634 (WB pages 209-212)
Friday we will review the endocrine system: text pages 658-662 ( WB pages 219-221)

Review and study. The Systems part 2 test is Monday (5/22).
Check out the sites that are available on Trackstar (an earlier post).

posted on: May 16, 2006

Pig Dissection make-up or re-test

The make-up test for the pig dissection week will be Wednesday morning at 8:15. Students who did poorly on the first test may take a retest and I will average the scores. This test will NOT have any pigs to view, but will have diagrams and questions about the functions and locations of the parts of the systems. Study your lab guide and use the sites that I posted for you earlier.

posted on: May 15, 2006

Monday 5/15

Classwork and homework for Monday:
Read pages 506-516; do workbook pages 167-170.
Create a flow chart showing the steps in digestion (page 531)and a flow chart showing the steps in how the kidneys eliminate wastes from the body (see page 587).

Study for the Part 2 Human Body Systems test scheduled for next Monday.

posted on: May 15, 2006

Grades Updated on iParent

The end of the term is near and grades are current on iParent. Several students need to make up tests, quizzes, and lab activities. All missing grades need to be resolved this week. I am available before and after school for make up sessions. Please make plans and let me know when you are coming in early or staying after school.

We are doing class activities this week to learn about the rest of the human body systems in greater detail following our dissection week and a Part 2 unit test is scheduled for Monday, 5/22.

Digestive system is first on our list. Please review your reading on pages 518-530.

posted on: May 14, 2006

Pig Dissection Guide - working version

The pig lab test is tomorrow. Your study guide for the week is due tomorrow. Please make sure that you have completed all study questions and the back. The dissection guide is posted here. Please allow time for it to load, before you give up on it.
You should have read about the excretory system (pages 581-586) and the nervous system (pages 628-634) for homework on Wednesday. The endocrine system is discussed on pages 658-561. You know what type of questions to expect so please prepare for this test.

Remember that you have several sites to visit for review and help with identifying the pig parts. They are on an earlier post.


posted on: May 11, 2006

Pig Dissection Guide (one in class)

For homework tonight, please answer all of the questions found on pages 1,2, and 3 in your Study Questions packet.
I will be at school at 8:15 tomorrow (Wed.) morning to help algebra students who have missed class on Mon. and Tue. get caught up.
I will also help any who have been absent or just want a little extra time with their pigs.

In class today, I put out a request for gloves. Please bring in some if you have them at home. Any donations are appreciated. I am making a trip to the store tonight to buy some more for all 7th grade classes.


Here is the guide that we are using in class this week. I hope that it helps.
There is a mistake in your homework questions for today. Did anyone figure it out? Hint: It's something to do with the stomach......

posted on: May 09, 2006

Pig dissection week at Mabry

The 8 algebra students who are in my 4th period will be able to make up the missed lab work before school on Tuesday, after school on Tuesday, or during one or both connections (with teacher approval). Please check with your lab partner and arrange a time for me to meet with you. Do not worry about getting it done. You will be able to work out a solution for the make-up some time this week. Concentrate on doing your best on your Algebra end of course exam.

Keep in mind as you work that you are dissecting to reveal the systems of the fetal pig and to relate them to the human body systems. Work at a careful pace and review what you have learned each night. Complete the lab questions that go along with your dissection each night or after you clean up each day. There will be a lab test on Friday.

Virtual Pig Dissection
Pig Dissection Lab Manual
Another good pig dissection link

posted on: May 08, 2006

Test Schedule for End of Year

Remember that your multiple choice test over Human Body Systems Part 1 will be tomorrow. This includes the skeletal, muscular, integumentary, circulatory, lymphatic and respiratory systems. Chapter 15, chapter 17 and pages 566-574 in chapter 18 are included for this test.

There will be two other tests for this unit. One will be a lab exam for the pig dissection next Friday (5/12). The last one (Human Body Systems Part 2) will be during the testing time scheduled for science on May 22nd.

Stay current with assignments and spend some time studying so you finish the year strong.

posted on: May 04, 2006

The Respiratory System

Use the link below (or others found on an earlier post) and your text to complete the the information organizer in the attached document.

Lung Association games and info

The Respiratory System.doc

We will work on this during class today and I will grade it on Thursday.

posted on: May 03, 2006

Pig Dissection

Pig dissection week will be next week (5/8-5/10) with a lab test scheduled for Friday, 5/12. You will be completing questions while you dissect each day. Your lab questions will be due on the day of the lab test. Do not get behind in your reading and learning about the systems of the human body. Excretory, digestive, nervous, and endocrine will follow.

Here is a preview of what to expect:

Fetal Pig Dissection

posted on: May 02, 2006

Know your Systems

Homework tonight- STUDY

You should have the three lab activities (Monitoring EKG-#28, Heart Rate Response to Baoreceptor Feedback- #5, and Control of Human Respiration-#26) using sensors and computers in your lab journal ready to grade along with the "Look Beneath the Skin" (chicken wing) lab activity. The "Closer Look at Skin" activity should be turned in to me also. I will return your circulatory system review questions tomorrow.

Cardiovascular System-1.doc

There will be a test over the skeletal, muscular, integumentary, circulatory, and respiratory systems this Friday. You should have already read and studied chapters 15, 17, and pages 566-575. We will review the respiratory system tomorrow and have a general review on Thursday. Remember that you have study workbooks to help with comprehension so they might be worth completing.

posted on: May 02, 2006

Links for Human body Systems TrackStar : Tracks : View

Trackstar - Body Systems

posted on: April 25, 2006

Grades update FYI

Wow, I did not realize how behind I was on posting grades to iParent! They are updated now. I know how valuable it is for parents to be informed and I am sorry for the delay this term.

I will post the CRCT online review work (3 homework grades) for all classes and the diatom activity for 3rd and 4th periods by tonight. Students should contact me if they have a question about their grades.

posted on: April 20, 2006

Human Body System Unit Web Resources

Here are a few interesting sites for you to check out as we get working on our human body systems unit. Let me know what you like about these sources; I have others to share later.

NOVA Online | Cut to the Heart:

Neuroscience For Kids

Human Anatomy Online

Interactive Body

Virtual Body

Immunology Lab

Immune system

Nutritional Analysis Tools

posted on: April 17, 2006

Vertebrate Animals

On Monday and Tuesday of this week students have been working on a comparison table (visual organizer) of information about vertebrates. It should be finished tonight for homework if it was not completed in class to day. Tomorrow we will discuss some of the things that we have learned about animals.
Students learned their scores on the Ecology test this week; most were very good.

posted on: March 28, 2006

Movies due Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big day. Our movies are almost finished. They are due Wednesday during class.
I will be here at 8:00 am Wednesday morning to allow students extra time to work on the finishing details.



posted on: March 21, 2006

Movies and more...

Students should be checking their comprehension of ecology and reviewing for their upcoming test with the questions that were assigned last week.
Pages 712-713 (17-28) These questions are due tomorrow (Tuesday).
Pages 752-753 (19-29) are due on Wednesday.

REVIEW/ Extra help session is scheduled for Thursday morning at 8:15.

The Wildlife documentaries are looking good. We are continuing to work on them through Wednesday. The finished products are due at that time.

You should have your lichen "keyed out" by Thursday. See me for help as needed during class.

posted on: March 20, 2006

Interactions Among Organisms - fun review---Ecology Unit Test is 3/24

Here is a great link to review the various relationships among organisms (competition, predation, and symbiosis) This program has parasitism covered with predation. The forms of symbiosis- mutualism and commensalism are reviewed under the section called Partners. This first link is the low band width version.

Evolution: Survival: Coral Reef Connections:

Here is the interactive site. Check it out.

Coral Reef Connections

How are some corals like lichens? Write up your response and inclued a description of at least two examples and I will give you a bonus of 5 points on your next test.

posted on: March 16, 2006

Movie update

Most student groups have recorded their scripts. Thursday will be a make-up day for those who are not yet finished. We will be working in the Language Arts Lab again tomorrow to finish this important step.

Also--- students are reminded that they should submit a final script with the works cited page (bibliography) for grading. This assignment will be posted on this grading period and the final movie project grade will go on the next grading period.

Remember to search through your CDs for anything that you think might work as your background sound. Instrumentals work great; some songs have parts that are instrumental and can be separated and used.

One last item---Please pick up your science project display boards ASAP. My room is cluttered with them and they are headed to the trash this weekend.

posted on: March 15, 2006

Wildlife Documentary Project

Student teams were assigned the new G4 iBooks this week to use for creating their wildlife documentaries during class. On Monday, they downloaded video clips and edited their scripts. Tuesday was our first chance to record the voice over/audio using the edited scripts. We are working in the language lab tomorrow to finish this task. Some teams had several members absent due to the Orchestra field trip and they will need to work quickly to finish their voice portion tomorrow.

Students received an ecology worksheet in class today that is due on Thursday. Our unit test over Chapters 22,23, and 24 is scheduled for Friday (3/24).

For Homework: Locate and bring in copies of suitable sound/music tracks for your imovie.

posted on: March 14, 2006

Mr. Bojangles visits class

We had a special guest in our class on Wednesday (Chad said it was his birthday treat). Thanks goes out to Katlyn for providing my 4th period with the special treat of watching Mr. Bojangles capture his dinner and swallow him. After lessons in herpetology class on Jekyll and actually getting to hold snakes and other reptiles there, it was fun to get up close and personal with a snake. It was a nice short break from our wildlife documentary research and script writing. Here are a few pictures:




posted on: March 10, 2006

Antarctica sites for Research

TrackStar : Tracks : View :

Check out the links on this track for more information about Antarctica.

posted on: March 06, 2006

Animal studies and Wildlife Documentaries

Monday, we discussed the characteristics and classification of members of kingdom Anamalia. Using several examples from our Jekyll island experiences we sorted organisms into the major animal phyla. We also watched a video about animals. Homework was to read pages 310-317.

We will be departing from our specific animal classification studies periodically over the next few weeks as we work on our wildlife documentaries.
Here is the overview and timeline for the project. More information will follow. For homework, please brainstorm ideas for your project and gather more information to help develop your theme.

wildlife video project

posted on: February 28, 2006

Fantastic Plant Projects!

I am so impressed with the great plant kingdom concept maps that were submitted on Thursday. Great job students! I brought them home to grade and will not be able to get them posted before Jekyll Week.
I know that you are packing for our Jekyll trip, but I found another great plant site ...for showing the classification for specific plants. Check out the latin titles for vascular and flowering plants.

posted on: February 18, 2006

Plant Links

Go to the following link to see video and read about plant stimuli studies at Indiana University's Biology department. Some of these videos are soo cool. I wonder if we could do that?

Check the link below to find out more about flowering plants.


Plant Information Center

posted on: February 16, 2006

Plant Project is Due Thurs.

Plant Projects are due on Thursday. Please review the scoring rubric and make sure that you have met all the criteria for a great grade.

Today in class we completed our lab comparing monocots and dicots and drew a diagram of the reproductive organ of many plants...a flower. You should have diagrams, drawings, and questions completed and your journal on the shelf in the room. Can you tell if a plant is a monocot by it's flowers, stems, and leaves? I hope so. If you were absent today, please plan to come in early on Thursday to make up the lab.

posted on: February 15, 2006

Classifying Lichens

Friday is our "field work" day and we will use a dichotomous key to work on identifying the lichens that we collected on campus, in Sweat Mtn. Park, and at student homes in the community. By the end of class today, you should be able to explain what isidia, soredia, soralia, apothecia, thallus, and lobes are.

Students will also have the opportunity to work on their plant projects.
For homework, please read Chapter 9 and work on your concept map or article summary.

posted on: February 10, 2006

Plant Classification Project

On Thursday classes watched an interesting video about members of the plant kingdom and corrected their quiz on protists and fungi. The remainder of class time was for DEAR. For homework, read the first of the two chapters about plants.
The following download explains our current project on plants:

Plant Characteristics.doc
Classifying Plants

posted on: February 10, 2006

Observing Protists

Monday and Tuesday we observed living protists and analyzed their features to discover more about how they are classified.
You should have at least 6 very detailed, labeled diagrams of what you observed in your journal. Wednesday is our day to wrap up our investigation.
For homework on Monday you should have read pages 218-227.

The chapter 6 test will be on Thursday. You should be preparing for it now. Things to consider that are on the test are (all of chapter 6): classification, the 6 kingdoms, characteristics of the 2 bacteria kingdoms, viruses, and details from our "microbes and you" program on Friday. Study your vocabulary! We are currently working in chapter 7 and this material will not be featured on the test. (You should know the characteristics of protists because they are one of the 6 kingdoms.)

Observing Protists Lesson skills:
Prepare wet-mount slides of protists
Focus and examine slides using a light microscope at various magnifications
Draw, diagram features, and record other observations of protists
Compare and contrast various protists

Lab report featuring illustrations and notable examples of protozoans and algal protists. Discussion of methods of movement and other distinguishing features.

posted on: January 31, 2006

Georgia State University BioBus Visit

Today students enjoyed learning about microbes from 5 Georgia State University student fellows. Their program included hands on activities and some very interesting slides. Thanks Tenesia, Sharon, Candice, Crystal, and Brian for the fun and informative day!
BioBus home page

Here are a few questions to help you remember the program:
Explain why some of the flasks caused the balloon to inflate and others did not. What microbe is involved? What is the process called?
What is the difference between a localized infection and a systemic infection?
What factors affect your ability to fight infection?
What does the thickness of peptidoglycan in the cell wall wall have to do with how bacteria are classified?
Why did Brian say that bacteria were the dominant life form on our planet?
What are microbes? Give an example for each of the 5 categories of microbes.
Why do some people propose that mitochondria were once free living, like bacteria?
What are retroviruses? How do viruses find the appropriate host cell?
Trivia questions: How fast is the air from a sneeze? Why is agar made from algae and not gelatin?

Here are some pictures from our "Microbes and You" program.





posted on: January 27, 2006

What are archaebacteria?

Check out the following link to information about the differences between bacteria and archaebacteria. This mysterious 6th kingdom (or 3rd domain) contains some interesting organisms. Why do we know so little about this kingdom of life?

Navigate the the More on Morphology tab at the bottom of the page to get the details about the chemical differences between the two kingdoms.

also...check out the Microbe Zoo in the links section.

posted on: January 26, 2006

Observing Bacteria

Today we observed prepared slides of bacteria. Students made a record of their observations in their lab journals using pictures. Applying microscope skills to observe these tiniest of organisms was not too challenging for most students today. Hooray! Please complete the virus section of your study guide and finish your little book for homework tonight. Have fun with this assignment, but remember that it is important to communicate some facts from Chapter 6. Other things to consider are neatness, completion, and use of illustrations.

posted on: January 24, 2006

Students choose top projects

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, students took turns sharing their research with their classmates. It was interesting to hear the details about all of the projects. There were so many different questions and everyone seemed to enjoy the "peer review" process. Congratulations to the following students whose projects were selected by each class.
1st period: 1st-Krista, 2nd - Stephen, 3rd-Allyson, Tie for 4th- Conrad and Lauren, Tie for 5th Megan and Nicholas
2nd period: 1st-Chris, 2nd-Skylar, 3rd- Katherine, 4th-Lauren, 5th- Alex
3rd period: 1st-Shannon, 2nd-James, 3rd - Chandler, 4th - Kenita, 5th - Elijah
4th period: 1st - Chad, 2nd - Jeffrey, 3rd- Colin, 4th - Tess, 5th - Stefani J.

These projects have been placed in the media center for judging for the Mabry Science Fair. Good luck to all participants!

Everyone enjoyed our "no homework" week as one of the benefits for having so many great projects to share.

posted on: January 22, 2006

Stalking the Mysterious Microbe

Stalking the Mysterious Microbe:
This Friday we will have the Georgia State University BioBus visit our class for a lesson called "Microbes and You" . Check out the above link to learn more about microbes!

posted on: January 22, 2006

Projects Due on Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan 17th is the due date for student independent study projects. Each student should have a display board, a detailed logbook of their original work, and a formal report to turn in on Tuesday. Students should be working on data analysis (tables, graphs, and discussion). Remember to reflect on whether or not your data support your hypothesis for your conclusion. See the Science Fair Basics handouts and others for details. I will provide a summary handout for you tomorrow.

The class Science Fair will be next Thursday, January 19th. Please plan to attend before and after the Jekyll Parent Information meeting that is scheduled for 6:00pm. More details will follow.

Please note that students are NOT required to do the Abstract as described in their handbooks. Only students who are going on to the district fair will be asked to do this.

Today I learned that some students are not quite finished with their experiments. We discussed the problems with procrastination and the unexpected happenings that can crash last minute efforts. It is now "crunch time"! Get busy working on your final items.

I have let students know that I am available to assist them with creating their computer generated graphs of data before and after school for the rest of this week. I will get here by 8:15 for the early crowd and I will stay until 5:30 for the later crowd.

If you want me to cut letters for your title on your display, please write out what you want and attach it to the paper that you want me to use and I will get it done on Wed. or Thurs. afternoon.

posted on: January 10, 2006

Extracting DNA

Today we examined two different lab procedures for extracting DNA from living (once living) things. We compared the two processes and then brainstormed several experiment topics based on the variables of the activities. Small groups of students worked together to decide which variable to investigate and then planned their individual experiments.
Tomorrow we will do our experiments. I am shopping for additional materials tonight and students may need to bring some things from home. So... Parents do not worry if your child asks if they can have a bell pepper or some spinach to take to school.

One of our procedures involves the use of a blender and I have asked students to ask their parents if they can bring one from home. If not, we will make do with the one that I have.

posted on: December 20, 2005

Update on using e-rater

I know that you tried. Everyone had problems with submitting their papers for evaluation. Here is the NEW procedure for submitting:
1. Create your report using Word or something similar. When you are finished with your report, highlight and copy it.
2. Log on to PHSuccessnet using the link on a previous post. Remember that you used your lunch number and your first name as your logon and your password.
3. On the far left drop-down menu, select e-rater instead of essay builder.
4. Use the edit - paste function to copy your report in the space provided. Do not try to submit the bibliography.
5. Select either C9 -Cause and Effect or C6 -Description as the type of essay. (I know that it does not seem to fit, but the scoring for your writing works fine in these functions.)
6. Submit

I will check the scores and print you a copy of their evaluation. Two students in my 6th period both earned 6 out of 6 on their writing thus far. Good luck everyone.

If you were one of the few students who did not turn in a research report today, then you will need to do it tonight for homework and earn a late grade.

posted on: December 19, 2005


The test over evolution studies was today. I will get them graded and posted asap.

Monday is the due date for your research report. This is the introduction to your final report. It should be at least two typed pages (double spaced, 12 font) of well written paragraphs that introduce your reserach project. The works cited (bibliography) should also be included as a separate page. Chapter 11 in your Write Source text is the place to go to review the details and see a checklist for your writing.

You should have the problem or question revealed in your beginning paragraph. The purpose or importance for the study should be conveyed in the second paragraph. Your next 2, 3, or 4 paragraphs will be reporting the findings from the review of literature/ research done earlier. You have already written the first draft of these paragraphs in your log book. The ending paragraph should include your hypothesis. Think quality writing! ...Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, MLA form on the works cited page.

Log in Here

You were told to use your student number and name as your login and password. Some of you have used all caps and some of you have first letter caps so try other things before you give up on the logon.

Remember to write your paper in a program like Word.
Optional step: Copy-paste it into the essay builder and edit it.
Copy and paste your finished work into the e-rater funciton (on the left drop-down) for chapter 11 and SUBMIT it for evaluation.

If e-rater is still down this weekend, print a copy of your paper and bring it to class to turn in to me. I will evaluate it for following directions, content, and completion. We will submit your writing to e-rater for evaluation when it comes back up.

If you submit your writing to e-rater, I will be able to see it online and you do not have to print an extra copy to turn on Monday.

posted on: December 16, 2005


The test over evolution studies was today. I will get them graded and posted asap.

Monday is the due date for your research report. This is the introduction to your final report. It should be at least two typed pages (double spaced, 12 font) of well written paragraphs that introduce your reserach project. The works cited (bibliography) should also be included as a separate page. Chapter 11 in your Write Source text is the place to go to review the details and see a checklist for your writing.

You should have the problem or question revealed in your beginning paragraph. The purpose or importance for the study should be conveyed in the second paragraph. Your next 2, 3, or 4 paragraphs will be reporting the findings from the review of literature/ research done earlier. You have already written the first draft of these paragraphs in your log book. The ending paragraph should include your hypothesis. Think quality writing! ...Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, MLA form on the works cited page.

Log in Here

You were told to use your student number and name as your login and password. Some of you have used all caps and some of you have first letter caps so try other things before you give up on the logon.

Remember to write your paper in a program like Word.
Optional step: Copy-paste it into the essay builder and edit it.
Copy and paste your finished work into the e-rater funciton (on the left drop-down) for chapter 11 and SUBMIT it for evaluation.

If e-rater is still down this weekend, print a copy of your paper and bring it to class to turn in to me. I will evaluate it for following directions, content, and completion. We will submit your writing to e-rater for evaluation when it comes back up.

If you submit your writing to e-rater, I will be able to see it online and you do not have to print an extra copy to turn on Monday.

posted on: December 16, 2005

Other Evidence for Evolution

How can DNA analysis or amino acid sequences of Cytochrome C of organisms today be used to support the theory of evolution?

On page 170 in your text, you will find an activity that examines the use of amino acid sequencing in Cytochrome C protein to compare the relatedness between orgainsms. During class we worked in cooperative teams to compare the amino acid sequences for the Cytochrome C protein in horses, donkeys, whales, chickens, penguins, snakes, moths, yeast, and wheat using a more detailed handout. A cladogrom was then devised based on the data.

Today we checked answers to the study guide questions relating to section 3 that were assigned as homework on Monday. If you were absent, you may get a copy of the handout when you return.
Everyone should finish the study guide for homework tonight.

The Evolution unit test (Ch. 5)is on Friday. Remember that all students who did not earn 80 or higher on the modern genetics test are required to do workbook pages 47-56 and show them to me for a grade before the test.

posted on: December 13, 2005

Explorations Through Time

Visit the following link to explore the lessons on What Did T. rex taste like? and Evolution of Flight.

Explorations Through Time

As you work through the following module, check out how cladograms can be used to answer questions and make predictions. What evidence is used to create cladograms?

Check your answers to your pretest as you work through the lesson. Discuss your findings with your neighbor in the maclab. I will grade you as you do your work. Be prepared to answer some questions about what you have learned through this lesson on your test this Friday.

For homework tonight do the Other Evidence.. and Change Through Time sections of your review sheet.

posted on: December 12, 2005

Isolation and Adaptation

On Thursday, Dec. 8th, we played a game to simulate the slow process of changes that might occur in bird species on an island archipeligo like the Galapagos Islands.

Here is a link to the cool video we watched of a volcanic erruption a few weeks on the islands.

Galapagos Island video- Lindblad Expeditions

posted on: December 12, 2005

Career Cruising

If you missed class on Friday, Dec. 9., you missed a classroom guidance lesson on careers. Here is the site for creating your portfolio. Remember to use mabry as your user name and guidance as the password to get on to the site. To have access to your portfolio, you should use your first and last name as the username and your lunch number as your password.

Career Cruising

posted on: December 12, 2005

What can we learn from fossils?

Today we will examine several fossils that were collected in northwest Georgia. Students will also investigate the significance of fossils as they work through the four lessons found on the following site.

Stories From the Fossil Record

As you work through the 4 lessons, create six quality multiple choice questions to exchange with another student at a later time. Write neatly and hide the answers in an upside down box hidden on the back of your paper.

Homework: Read and study pages 157-164 in your text.

posted on: December 05, 2005

Observations, Inferences, and Theories

Today we explored the nature of the scientific process from observations to theories. Following a short video "Isn't Evolution Just A Theory?", students worked in groups to solve mystery cubes using observations and making inferences. This activity was recorded in the science journal.

For homework, you should be working to translate your notes into paragraph form in your logbook. This information should be organized into a logical form to become the background information for your report. Logbook check is Dec. 8.

posted on: December 01, 2005

Nature At Work

Experiment plans and accompanying forms were due today for a project grade.

Students created a mini-poster of their project question for our class bulletin board and then prepared cards for an inquiry activity that models natural selection.

What is natural selection? How do you think variation of color in a species might affect natural selection?

Some teams had time to get started on part 1 of the activity. Tomorrow we will complete the activity and the analysis of data.
There is no homework for tonight.

posted on: November 29, 2005

Science Test

Remember that all students who did not earn 80 or higher on the last test are required to do workbook pages 39-46 by tomorrow.
Chapter 4 is the focus of information for the test tomorrow. Use your study guide and additional questions from today to help review.

Some questions will originate from ourpedigree activity and Trackstar investigations from last week. The tracks are in an earlier post and your have the your responses in your journals. Your journal should be on the shelf Thursday for me to check.

posted on: November 16, 2005

Mondern Genetics Test

There will be a test over genetics topics covered in Chapter 4 on Thursday. Students who did not earn an 80 or better on the last test are required to do the guided reading workbook pages for chapter 4 and show them to me on or before Thursday. This assignment is optional for others.

posted on: November 15, 2005

DNA Fingerprinting

Monday students participated in a simulation activity called "Who Stole the Crown Jewels?" that allowed students to create DNA "fingerprints" for comparison. Tuesday we will discuss out findings.

Modern technology uses a slightly different technique for comparing DNA evidence. Check out the link to DNAi below. I am directing you to Applications and you will want to choose the Human Identification module and check out the Profiling and Family links for more information.

More on DNA profiling

This site is loaded with interesting information. Go exploring in the genes and medecine section or others for fun.

posted on: November 15, 2005

Advances in Genetics

Classwork for Friday: As you explore the links given on the track below, record the answers to the questions in your science journal.

Advances in Genetics

posted on: November 11, 2005

Modern Genetics

Today you will investigate the role of genetics in the occurance of certain health conditions. How has the mapping of the human genome affected our knowledge about these disorders? What are some of the issues related to this?

Modern Genetics Track

As you explore these sites, answer the 4 numbered questions in detail in your science journal.

posted on: November 10, 2005

Pedigrees and Inheritance

Students have been exploring the inheritance of traits that are controlled by multiple alleles, like blood type. We also have been investigating traits like colorblindness and genetic disorders, like hemophilia that are carried on the sex chromosomes. Here is a link to a site that allows you to create pedigrees as you play the role of a genetic counselor. Check it out.
Genetic Counselor
Today students worked on a study guide for chapter 4. If you were absent today, you may do the guided reading workbook pages for Chapter 4 in place of the study guide or you may get the study guide when you return to class.

posted on: November 03, 2005

Test today

Today students were evaluated on the genetics objectives that are found in chapter 3. Tests have been scored and will be posted by tomorrow along with several other recent assignments.

If you were absent on Friday, students reviewed for the test by doing the end of chapter questions. You do not have to make up this assignment, but you do need to do the reading skill activity that we also did on Friday.

Class assignment from Friday: Read one or several of the articles found in the Your World biothechnology magazine and list at least three inferences that you have from the reading. State the evidence from the article that led to your inference and explain your thinking. This is the

posted on: October 31, 2005

Test Re-scheduled

The chapter 3 genetics test has been re-scheduled for Monday instead of Friday. I hope that you use the extra time to make sure that you are prepared.

Students who did not make a B(80) or better on the last test must do workbook pages 27-38 and show them to me by Thursday.

All students should bring their workbook to class tomorrow, Thursday.

Today we watched a video about meiosis and took a video quiz for review. Congratulations to Megan, Jonathan, Danielle and any others who made a 100 or 95 on this fun (and difficult) quiz! Third period will finish the Video review quiz tomorrow.

Here are a few notes from the video to help you distinguish mitosis from meiosis.

Download file

posted on: October 26, 2005

DNA and Protein Synthesis

For homework tonight (10/24), read about protein synthesis on pages 107-112 and do the lesson review questions (1-5) on page 112. Answer in complete sentences so that the question is understood.

Chapter 3 Test (Genetics part 1) will be on Friday, Oct. 28. So start reviewing now! Students who made less than a B on the last test need to do workbook pages 27-38 by Thursday. A and B students probably already are doing these pages.

There will be no article summaries due this week because you should be reading and taking notes for your science research project.

posted on: October 24, 2005

Independent Study/ Science Research

Students visited the Mabry Media Center for a day of research on Monday, 10/24.

Due Nov. 4th: At least 4 bibliography cards and 15 note cards

Download file

You should be working outside of class during the next few weeks to find information about your topic to help you write the "background" part of your report and to help you find a question to answer with an experiment. You will also be reviewing resources and taking notes to help with your experimental design.

Many students seemed behind schedule today and need to re-read the Friday (10/21) handouts to better understand the goal of scientific research. I will be happy to discuss your ideas with you after you have learned something about your topic. Keep digging and thinking.
Remember to pick a topic that interests you.

posted on: October 24, 2005


Check out these links to learn more about DNA. It is a Trackstar link and you will want to visit each site. I have included several games. Which site is your favorite?

My DNA Trackstar sites

posted on: October 21, 2005

Conference Week

Conference Week has been a pleasure this year. My students are interesting and wonderful individuals and they have strong and caring parents supporting them. It is useful to have the insight that parents offer about their children as we work together to maximize the educational opportunities for each one. Communication is so important as we progress through the school year. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have concerns. Thank you parents!

In our shortened classes this week, we have been working on understanding how specific traits are passed from parents to offspring. We have learned how to use Punnett squares to explore the probability of possible outcomes in cases where traits are controlled by a single pair of alleles using examples from Spong Bob and the Bikini Bottom gang. We have also worked through some cases of imcomplete dominance and discussed codominance. Check out our Smiley Family Portraits to see the many outcomes that could arise from Mr. and Mrs. Smiley.

posted on: October 21, 2005

Scientific Research in Georgia

For homework due this Thursday, 10/20, please read and summarize a science news article that is about research in one of our GA universities. Here are a few sites to check. Most have a research link...look for articles about what science research is happening at that school.

University of Georgia

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia State University

Emory University

Remember to include the citation for your source on your summary.

posted on: October 17, 2005

DNA structure

Monday students corrected their tests from Friday and analyzed the errors. When finished, students worked on creating an oragimi model of DNA. This acitvity is found on a great site called DNA interactive. Some students have asked "How did scientists figure out the shape of DNA?". See if you can find the answer as you examine the timeline feature on this site.

Check out DNAi

For homework, students were asked to read section 1 in chapter 3.

posted on: October 11, 2005

Test Tomorrow

The test Friday 10/7 has questions from our past several weeks of study. Most of the information is in chapter 2 and one section of chapter 1. Some questions will come from our class activities. Review your study guide that we went over in class today and your workbook.

Here is a list the text pages and some of the things that you have done during this unit to learn about cells and their activities:

Section 1-3 (pages 34-41)Cell structures and their functions
-cell art
-cell analogies
-WB pages 10-11
-online review
This site has an interactive review of plant and animal cells.
Section 2-1 (pages 52-55) Chemical Compounds in Cells
- WB pages 15-17 and Skill --Table
-Molecular model activities and worksheets: #10 (carbohydrates), #11 (lipids), and #12 (proteins)
Section 2-2 The Cell in Its Environment (pages 56-60)
- Remember our egg-speriment lab and report
Do the WB pages 17-19 for extra practice if you have time.
Section 2-3 on Photosynthesis and Section 2-4 on Respiration (pages 61-70)
-Compare and Contrast table and paragraph
Do the workbook pages 19-23 if you have time.
Section 2-5 Cell Division (pages 72-79)
-Modeling mitosis activity and questions handout
-Online onion root tip lab and viewing prepared slides with microscopes
-Two column note on the cell cycle
Remember to check out the resources on an earlier post of the blog.
- 2 optional coloring worksheets on The Cell Cycle and Mitosis - Bring these to class tomorrow for a few bonus points on your test.

posted on: October 06, 2005

Cell Division Activities

Remember that there is a test this Friday and that you have a science news article summary due on Thursday.

Monday 10/3 - Online onion root tips lab: What percent the life cycle of root tip cells is spent in interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telphase? Identify the stage of cells and calculate the percentage. Also- view prepared slides of onion root tips (cs and ls) using a microscope. Draw a cell in each of the above stages.
HW- workbook pages 26-29 (sec. 2-5).

Tuesday 10/4- Finish the cell cycle modeling activity and questions. Answer questions during lab. Cell cycle and mitosis color sheets available as an optional activity.

Wednesday 10/5 - Check and correct answers to the modeling activity. Begin working on your study guide for the test.

posted on: October 06, 2005

Online Cell Cycle Activities

Here are some interesting links for increasing your understanding of the cell cycle.

This is a Trackstar Lesson. It is track #174520.

Simply click on the sites that are listed on the left. Some sites have comments and instructions listed above.

posted on: September 30, 2005


As we approach the end of our unit on cell organelles and cell processes, students need to begin reviewing and preparing for a test. The test is tentatively scheduled for Friday, 10/7. Wednesday the 5th is an early release day and the grading period ends on the 11th.

Friday, 9/23, students worked on their formal reports on laptops in the media center. Lab teams learned how to input their data in Excel and create a graph. Students should have collaborated on assignments for the completion of the formal lab report. See the rubric in an earlier post. The deadline was extended until Friday, Sept. 30 due to the cancellation of school on Mon. and Tues. All classes were able to work in the maclab on Thursday to finish their reports.

The science news article and summary paragraph for 9/29 was cancelled for this week. Students will need to do this ongoing assignment for next week.

posted on: September 30, 2005

Cell Division

Why is cell division important?
Name and describe the events involved in the life cycle of cells.

Class Activity:
Use props to model the stages in the life cycle of a cell.
Relate the props used in the modeling activity to the actual cell parts and events that occur.

cell cycle: interphase, mitosis, cytokinesis

simulate mitotic chromosome replication and cell division
differentiate among the various stages in the life cycle of a cell
evaluate the importance of the process of cell division

Performance checklist - individual and group
Exploration questions answered.
Test/ formal assessment

posted on: September 30, 2005

Comparing Photosynthesis and Respiration

Classwork on Wednesday (9/28):
-Apply the survey (pre-reading) strategy for pages 66-70
-Read the section and answer your self-generated questions
-Complete the compare and contrast handout for photosynthesis and respiration
-Analyze and summarize the similarities and differences in these two cellular processes by writing a paragraph.

Your paragraph should be completed for homework.

posted on: September 30, 2005

Writing a Lab Report

Download file
Use the document above to help you create your final report for your eggsperiment.
The formal report is due on Tuesday, Sept. 27th.
See me if you have any questions.

posted on: September 22, 2005

Egg/ cell membranes

Today is the last data collecting day for our "egg-speriment". Students will organize information in table form and begin analysis of the results. It is important for data to be recorded neatly and accurately in the lab journal. Your journal will be an individual lab/classwork grade- to be checked on Wednesday. Your lab team will prepare a formal report which will count as a test- due on Tuesday 9/27.

Monday we will also review and check our answers to the molecular model worksheets on organic compounds. (classwork grade)

1. Measure and record data using appropriate tools.
2. Organize data into tables.
3. Analyze data using graphs; relate to diffusion of materials across a membrane.
4. Create graphs of data using Excell.
5. Communicate - explain results and conclusions using sentences and diagrams.

1. Lab journal entry for egg-speriment with a cell.
2. Formal report of the experiment (one per lab group).

posted on: September 19, 2005

Egg-speriment with a cell

Page 50 in your text introduces an experiment that students will be working on during this entire week. The goal is to investigate how materials move into and out of a cell using an uncooked egg that has had the shell dissolved away as a model.

Students should measure and record data daily in their journals. Each student team should plan and bring in at least two liquids to use as soaking solution for their eggs.
More information about the formal report and due dates will follow in a later post.

Measure and record data
Organize information in a table
Analyze and compare the effect of different liquids on the size of the egg (graph data)
Formulate an explanation for the behavior of the egg in various liquids (draw conclusions)
Demonstrate safety practices for lab situations
Cooperate and collaborate with others

Lab journal write up- individual
Formal report- group
Observed lab techniques in data collection and safety practices

posted on: September 13, 2005

Chemical Compounds in Cells

Classwork for Friday, Sept. 10th:
Read pages 52-55 in your text and complete the guided reading workbook pages for section 1. Create a table to compare the major chemical compounds in cells. You should include whether the compound is organic or inorganic, the elements it is made of, the job that it performs in the cell, and the foods that it is found in.

Also-Read the article that Eli found about extreme loving microbes in the AJC. Write three examples of cause and effect that are found in the article.

Remember that your cell analogies are due on Monday.

posted on: September 13, 2005


While working on the "Egg-speriment" this week, students will be investigating the major chemicals of life using molecular models.
Monday and Tuesday student groups created molecular models of carbohydrates.

Homework - due on Thursday:
Find an interesting science news article for this week. Read and write a paragraph summary of the facts of the article. Include the MLA citation for your source on your summary.

Assemble molecular models of carbohydrates
Analyze and compare the models, structural formulas, and molecular formulas of carbohydrates
Determine how simple sugars combine to form more complex sugars

Worksheet # 10
Completed models of specific molecules

posted on: September 13, 2005

Test Review

There is a science test scheduled for Thursday. You already know what to expect on this evaluation. Here are a few reminders:
-lab safety
-scientific inquiry (experimental design diagrams, observations & inferences, other vocab.)
-microscopes (label all parts and know how to use)
-characteristics of living things
-needs of organisms
-Cell Theory (history and development)
-cell parts (cell membrane, nucleus, cytoplasm, cell wall, chloroplasts) You do not have to know the function of all of the cell organelles yet- but it is important to know how plant and animal cells compare- see your lab.

Today we checked the responses to the guided reading workbook assignment (pages 8-11). We watched a short video about the characteristics of life and used a power point progarm to review. Students are urged to complete the remaining workbook pages 1-7 to help review for the test. I will not take a homeowork grade on this assignment.

Please study WB pages 1-11 and all of the class assignments that we have done in the past few weeks.

posted on: August 30, 2005

Observing Cells

Friday students prepared slides of Elodea leaves and cheek cells to compare plant and animal cells. This lab activity is on p. 43 in the text and should be completed during class on Monday.

There is a test scheduled for Thursday over microscopes and their use, experimental design (scientific inquiry), characteristics of life, the development of cell theory, and some on the structure of cells. More details will follow.

posted on: August 29, 2005

Evaluating Experiments

Today students worked in groups to evaluate the design qualities of several experiment scenarios. If you were absent from class today, see me for a copy of the scenarios and directions.
For homework that is due on Wednesday, 8/24, you should select one of the experiment scenarios (2-5 on the back) and complete the experiment design diagram.

We will go to the Sweat Mountain Park (adjacent to Mabry)for our lesson tomorrow. Please wear shoes on Tuesday that are suitable for a walk through the park.

posted on: August 22, 2005

Summarize your science article

For homework tonight, write a one paragraph summary of your science article. You may write your summary on notebook paper neatly in pen or you may type it. Remember- DO NOT begin with "This article is about..."

You should reference your article on your summary. To do this, you should create a bibliography of your one reference using the format required for the source of your article. You can find this information needed to write your bibliography on the media center blog or use the "citation machine" site that I posted in general information. You should use the MLA format option. I will demonstrate this for you in class tomorrow. If you do not understand how to do it tonight, I will show you and you can add the reference/bibliography later.

posted on: August 18, 2005

Science in the News

For homework, find an interesting science article to share. Bring a copy of the article to class. You may find interesting articles in the newspaper, in magazines and journals in your home, or online. I posted some links a few days ago. Here are a few more.

NSTA science news

Science Daily

Today in class, students completed the microscope lab and planned an investigation using "gummi bears" to review and apply good scientific practices.

posted on: August 17, 2005


Tuesday we will learn how to use microscopes and the names and functions of the various parts. Students will set up their science journals for an introductory lab on microscope use.

As a notebook assignment, you should draw and label a diagram of a microscope. Create two column notes for the microscope parts and their functions as found in your text on pages 802-803.

Setting up your science journal:
-You should use a blue of black pen to record information and data in your journal. Take your time to write neatly. Your journal should be organized and legible. Write in complete sentences when analyzing data and recording observations. You may write on both sides of your paper, but may not want to if it is messy (sometimes the ink goes through the paper). Drawings may be done in pencil initially and outlined in pen later.
-Number your pages consistently (all the same place and size number) beginning on the first page with (1). Number from 1 to 50 just to get us started. You can finish numbering later when you have more time.
-Page (1) will be your title page for the journal. Center your name on the top line; write AC Life Science Journal below your name; Teacher- Mrs. Carroll follows; and 2005-2006 below that.
-Write "Table of Contents" on the top line of page (3). Below that, write the headings "Page" and "Activity" and "Date" across the page as column headings. I will show you in class how this should look.
-You will begin recording your first activity on page (7).

posted on: August 16, 2005

Science Safety

Students are learning about the importance of following safety rules during science activities. They should have their safety contract signed by a parent and returned to me. Students are creating a cartoon or bookmark to reinforce their review and learning of the safety rules. This assignment is due on Tuesday. Criteria for grading were posted in class as follows: your cartoon must be about a specific rule (or a few); neatness; clarity of message; use of color. Be creative and think safety!

posted on: August 16, 2005

Science Articles

Remember that your reading log of 15 science articles is due Monday, 5/16.  I hope that you enjoyed your reading.

Plan to have some fun at the Wild Dog Film Festival on Monday, May 16th from 6:30 - 8:00.  We will begin and end on time so you can get back to your end of school studies.  Dress safari or coastal or whatever your group decides to do to fit their movie theme.  School clothes are fine too.  You may even choose to dress up- just come and join the fun.  Good luck to our nominated films! 

posted on: May 16, 2005

Wild Dog Film Festival is Monday!

Monday is the big show. Plan to be there.  May the best dog win!

Monday from 6:30 until 8:00 in the Mabry theater the Wild Dog Film Festival will showcase some of our student created films this year.  Students and their families will want to come for the film competition and also the showing of the Jekyll movie.  Come join the celebration of our great year in science class.   

posted on: May 13, 2005

Class Pictures

What a lovely class!


Top row left to right: Squidward, Funky Monkey, Mini Mouse, Clarice.  Middle Row: McGee, Fattima, Fabio, Harry, Yolanda.  Front row: Mr. Headphones, Baby, Quisha, Cutie, Scary Spice.

Graduation_088   Graduation_086




posted on: May 13, 2005

Assignment Update

For homework, you should be working to complete your reading log of 15 science articles.  You may select any articles of interest that are science related.  One of the sites on an earlier post had some good article links relating to environmental issues.  Go there if you are having trouble finding good reading material.  Remember to record the bibliographic information and write a few sentence or paragraph summary.  This is due on Monday. 

posted on: May 12, 2005

Plants Activities

The final exam for science was given on Wednesday and should be posted soon.  We are continuing our observations of the life cycle the Fast Plants for another week.  They were pollinated by students using dried bees glued to toothpicks early this week or last Friday.  Many of the plants are showing evidence of developing seeds in elongated pods where the pistil once was located.  Of course there are some casualities, but it has been fun observing the variation within the classroom plant population and the various stages in the life cycle.  No, you will not fail if your plant dies but, why do some plants fare better than others?   Here are a few pictures of our plants and our grass head project. 


As you can see, the grass heads are looking great.  We have had fun creating them and watching them grow. 

posted on: May 12, 2005

Making Learning Irresitable for Over 25 Years.
Celebrating over 25 years of academic excellence
Working to attain world-class student achievement