June 5, 2011
Another school year is coming to a close! This will be the last post of the school year. It's hard to believe that the year is actually ending. I've had a really enjoyable experience with this group of students, so it will be hard to say goodbye to them.
Events of the Past Week
Monday - No School. Thank you to all those who have served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Tuesday - We first learned a little bit about a topic called succession. There are two types of succession, both primary and secondary, which the students learned about through a PowerPoint presentation. Afterwards, they worked on a packet that had them try to relate some vocabulary words we learned during the course of the unit. There were also some questions related to succession in that packet. Homework was to finish the packet.
Wednesday - We first did a worksheet that taught students about the concept of population density, and had them calculate population density in two ways. The first was the counting method, where every individual in a given area is counted. The second was the census method, in which a few small areas within an entire habitat are chosen to be counted, and the population density is calculated from the sample taken.
Afterwards, the students were introduced to age structure graphs. They were given population data for Germany, Haiti, and the United States. The population data was divided by age groups (0-4, 5-9, 10-14, etc. all the way to 100+). It was also divided by gender within each age group. The students created a bar graph using this data, then answered questions about the graphs they created. One of their tasks was to identify which country went with which graph (they were not given that information at the start).
Homework was to finish the age structure graphs by Friday.
Thursday - The students took the district assessment test, which was a pilot test this year. Not surprisingly, the topics on which the students did the worst were first semester topics like biochemistry. There will be a small point value assigned to this test. Homework was to complete the age structure graphs if they were not done with them yet.
Friday - I collected the age structure graphs from the students and talked to them about the results of the district assessment test. Following that, we went over the population density assignment together. Then we learned about our last two ecology concepts: the niche, and survivorship curves. Neither concept is extremely complex, and everyone seemed to have a good handle on the concepts when we were done. Finally, we watched the YouTube video "Battle at Kruger," which showed the interactions between predators and their prey in a very real, very interesting way!
Monday - We will review for finals. The students will be able to ask me any questions they have about any second semester topics. Afterwards, they will be given time to study on their own or with a partner, whichever they choose.
Tuesday - The plan is the same as Monday.
Wednesday - Final Exams for my second and third hour accelerated biology classes. The final exam for all of my classes is 165 multiple choice questions covering the following topics: Meiosis, Mendelian Genetics, Evolution, Taxonomy, Anatomy and Physiology, and Ecology.
Thursday - Final Exam for my fourth hour accelerated biology class.
Friday - Final Exam for my eighth hour accelerated biology class.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week, my geek of the week goes to all of my students who managed to make it through a whole year of accelerated freshman biology! It was not an easy road to make it to the end, and I know it. I think, however, that most of my students would tell you that they have learned a lot about biology, about being successful in school, and about how much they are capable of accomplishing when they are pushed. Have a good summer, everyone!