February 20, 2012
Happy President's Day everyone. This post is one day late. Since we had a day off on Monday this week, I took the time I usually spend writing the blog on Sundays and spent it with my family instead. Now that everyone is in bed on Monday night, let me share with you what happened last week and what is going to be happening next week!
Events of the Past Week
Monday - We started the week off with an unannounced lockdown drill which set my plans back 10 minutes first hour. Since I didn't want all of my classes to be at different spots in the unit, all of them ended up getting pushed back by 10 minutes. After the lockdown drill, we celebrated Darwin Day. Charles Darwin was born on February 9, on the same day and in the same year as Abraham Lincoln. The kids answered some Charles Darwin related trivia questions for some Blue Footed Booby prizes. They were mostly lab safety pins or pens or pencils that I had laying around from hosting the regional science bowl competition at Fremd a few years ago.
When we were done with our trivia, I collected Problem Sets 1 and 2, and took any questions the students had. Afterwards, the students were introduced to traits being carried on the X chromosome, called sex-linked traits or X-linked traits, and assigned problems 1 and 2 in Problem Set 3. Your children should be able to name 3 X-linked recessive traits, identify which gender is more likely to get an X-linked recessive trait, and tell you from whom a male inherits an X-linked recessive trait.
Tuesday - The students were given the opportunity to ask about questions 1 and 2 from Problem Set 3, and then were introduced to doing dihybrid crosses where one of the two traits being used is an X-linked recessive one.
Once we did a couple of practice problems, the students were introduced to pedigrees, which are family trees using symbols. One fun thing that we did with pedigrees was to take a look at Queen Victoria's family tree, and trace the fact that Queen Victoria was a carrier for hemophilia to the downfall of the Russian Royal Family and the rise of communism. It all relates back to biology!
For homework, the students were assigned to finish Problem Set 3.
Wednesday - My guess would be that you may have heard a little bit about what we did in class on Wednesday! The students were taught how to identify a male and female fruit fly, as well as how to knock fruit flies out. Then, they were assigned into lab groups, and each group had to knock out the flies I put into their vials for them. They compared those flies to what are called wild type (normal) fruit flies, and determined what was different from normal about their flies. Every group was able to tell me what was different about their flies, and correctly distinguish between male and female fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) by the end of the period.
Thursday - We were supposed to have a quiz on Thursday. However, after grading Problem Sets 1 and 2, I did not feel that all of the students were prepared for the quiz. Therefore, we did some reinforcement activities (extra problems) working in our fruit fly groups. The idea was for those students who were absolutely getting it to help those who were struggling. In addition, students had the opportunity to talk to me if they needed help, and I had the opportunity to talk to those students whom I was particularly concerned for about coming in for some extra help. Homework was to finish the problems from the review packet that I had assigned as review for the quiz.
Friday - Due to the half period on Friday, the students did not take the quiz, as they would not have had time to complete it. Instead, they did some review pedigree problems, which will also be on their quiz. Homework was to study for their quiz that will be given on Tuesday.
Monday - NO SCHOOL. PRESIDENTS' DAY.
Tuesday - The students will be taking their genetics quiz on Tuesday. For some students, this will take the full class period. For many, it will not, and there will be a reading for them to do when they are done with their quiz. Homework will be to finish the reading. I will be gone from class on Tuesday with a field trip with my AP Biology students.
Wednesday - We will spend the day on Wednesday with our flies. This will be the first day of counting and classifying offspring based on gender and mutations for the students. This data will be used by them to start to determine how their flies' mutations are inherited. There will not be any homework on Wednesday night.
Thursday - Thursday will either be another day of counting or a day where the students are introduced to another type of inheritance referred to as codominance. The example for codominance will be human blood types. Homework will be to complete Problem Set 4 if the students are introduced to codominance. If they are given a day for counting, then they will be introduced to codominance on Friday and Problem Set 4 will be homework over the weekend.
Friday - We will either be counting or learning about codominance on Friday.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week's Geek of the Week is awarded to Perry Christodolopolous, whose knowledge of history was on display as he helped to tell the story of Queen Victoria's family tree. Thanks, Perry! Have a great week everyone.