January 2, 2012
Happy New Year, everyone! It was exactly 1 year ago today that I began this blog. Hopefully everyone is still finding it useful.
Events of the Past Week
Monday - It seems like forever ago that we were in class, but on the last Monday we met, we took a quiz on photosynthesis. It took the kids approximately 30 minutes to finish the quiz. When everyone was done, the students had a chance to review their results from the enzyme quiz we had taken the previous week. At the end of reviewing the quiz results, there were about 10 minutes left for me to begin lecture on cellular respiration.
Tuesday - I lectured on cellular respiration for the whole class period. This was really one of our few (and last) days of bell-to-bell lecture of the school year. For homework, the students had a study guide from their textbook to complete on the topic of cellular respiration.
Wednesday - I finished up lecturing, and the students began to create graphic organizers to help them group all of the information from their notes on enzymes, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration. For homework, they were given a matching study guide asking them several questions about those same topics.
Thursday - We looked at the results from our photosynthesis quiz to begin our review. Then, we graded in class the study guide the students had completed for homework on Wednesday. Finally, the students worked on their graphic organizers that we had begun the previous day in class.
Friday - On Friday, the students took their test on bioenergetics. This was definitely our toughest unit of the first semester, and one of the toughest of the entire school year. The test took the entire class period for some students, and there was no homework over break.
Monday - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday - We will be using a webquest that I created using the http://www.dnai.org/ website to learn about the discovery of the structure of DNA. It really is a great example of the process of science, and is also a great way to introduce the structure of the DNA molecule to students. There is a study guide that they will complete to go along with it. Homework will be to complete the project by Thursday.
Wednesday - I will review the structure of DNA with the students, and then explain to them, briefly, how it is that DNA replicates. DNA replication is the first stage of what Francis Crick called "The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology." Your kids should be able, by the end of this week, to explain what that is to you. Afterwards, they will complete some reinforcement activities in class on the structure of DNA and DNA replication.
Thursday - The topic on Thursday will be protein synthesis. The kids will begin a two day paper and pencil lab on how the instructions encoded in DNA are used to build a protein. Homework will be a protein synthesis reinforcement worksheet
Friday - We will complete the two day lab on protein synthesis on Friday. Homework will be to complete the questions in the lab.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week's Geek of the Week award goest to Tara Nenninger, who missed a few days of class time during our last unit, but took the time to come in and meet with me, ask me questions, and make sure she was completely caught up with everything she missed. The extra effort paid off, as Tara tied for the highest grade in her class on our test on enzymes, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration!