February 12, 2012
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
Events of the Past Week
Monday - I collected the students' labs on meiosis. Afterwards, we learned about the differences between spermatogenesis (the formation of sperm) and oogenesis (the formation of eggs). Following that, we took a look at what happens if mistakes are made during meiosis (called nondisjunction). Homework was to study for our meiosis quiz.
Tuesday - Students took their meiosis quiz. Afterwards, they were given a genetics vocabulary sheet, a genetics fact or fiction sheet, and a reading from Scienfitic American. Homework was to complete the vocabulary sheet. The fact or fiction sheet was completed in class, and the reading, titled "Go Ahead, Kiss Your Cousin" was for those who were interested in reading it.
Wednesday - My son was sick Tuesday night, so I stayed home with him on Wednesday. The students watched a movie called "Ghost in Your Genes." The movie was about the effect that the environment has on your genes, and many of the students found it quite interesting!
Thursday - We spent time going over our meiosis quiz. Afterwards, I went over how to perform a monohybrid cross (those crosses involving just one trait) and a test cross. This took some time, as I made sure to incorporate all of our vocabulary into the lesson to see who had studied the words and who had not.
Following that, Problem Set 1 was handed out, and the assignment was to complete questions 1-7 for homework.
Friday - First, I introduced the students to incomplete dominance, where one trait is not dominant over the other. Then, I showed the students how to complete dihybrid crosses, where they look at two traits being inherited at once, rather than just one.
The students were then given a worksheet that reviewed chromosome numbers , since many of them struggled with that particular area of the quiz. There was an opportunity to earn points back on the quiz tied to that assignment. Afterwards, they were able to finish Problem Set 1, and get started on Problem Set 2. Both problem sets are due on Monday.
Monday - We will be learning about sex-linked inheritance on Monday. With this, we will be learning about traits that are carried on the X-chromosome such as red-green color blindness, hemophilia, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It might be interesting for your kids to look into their family history and see which of their relatives (if any) are red-green color blind. If there are any, they should notice a pattern about the gender of the people in their family who were or are color blind.
After learning about sex-linked traits, the students will be given time to work on Problem Set 3, which will be completed up through number 7 for homework.
Tuesday - The students will be introduced to pedigrees (family trees). They will then complete a brief activity called "The Case of the Hooded Murderer" We'll also take a look at Queen Victoria's pedigree and see how the fact that she was a carrier for hemophilia led to the Russian Revolution, the rise of Communism, and the Cold War! The students usually think I'm a little geeky for drawing all of these connections, but it's also usually pretty fun for them and for me. Afterwards, they will complete Problem Set 3 and begin an assignment called Human Pedigree Genetics. The Human Pedigree Genetics worksheet will need to be completed for homework.
Wednesday - We will have our first genetics quiz on Wednesday. The quiz will cover monohybrid and dihybrid crosses, incomplete dominance, test crosses, and sex-linked traits. This will probably take most of the class period.
Thursday - My guess is that on Thursday the students will start identifying the mutations in their fruit flies and remove the parent flies from their vials. If the flies aren't ready for us to do this yet, then we will listen to a song called "I'm My Own Grandpa" by Ray Stevens. The students will then try to draw a pedigree based on the information in the song. After that, I will introduce the students to a type of inheritance referred to as Multiple Alleles, as well as another type of inheritance called codominance. They will then have time to begin working on Problem Set 4.
Friday - If the flies weren't ready on Thursday, then we will work with them on Friday. If they were ready on Thursday, then we will listen to the song and do the other things I listed on Thursday.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week's Geek of the Week goes to Konstantin Schroeter, who has been volunteering consistently all year long, and also asked some very good questions that led to some great discussions during the first week of our genetics unit. I look forward to answering a lot of questions during this unit, and hope that they keep coming!
Have a great week, everyone!