February 5, 2012
What a Super Bowl game that was today! The commercials were a little bit underwhelming, but it was an enjoyable experience for our family. I hope everyone else enjoyed their day as well, whether or not you watched the Super Bowl.
Events of the Past Week
In an effort to save your time and mine, the events of the past week went almost exactly as planned. The only deviation from the plan was that we had to finish our pop bead meiosis simulation on Friday, and the quiz on meiosis was pushed back until this Tuesday. Many of the students told me that the simulation we did with playing cards on Friday really helped them in their understanding of meiosis. The concepts of haploid, diploid, and homologous chromosomes were throwing several students for a loop, but many of them said that after the playing card activity they felt much better. It is always great to get that kind of feedback (especially when it was unsolicited) from my students!
Monday - The students will be learning about spermatogenesis (the way in which sperm are formed) and oogenesis (the way in which eggs are formed) at the beginning of class. When we finish that, we will take a look at some of the consequences that mistakes made during meiosis can have. These consequences include children with Down's Syndrome and, like Rick Santorum's 3 year old daughter, trisomy 18. I will not be discussing anything related to politics with the students other than to relate trisomy 18 to someone that many of them may be familiar with right now because he is running in the Republican primaries. Homework will be to study for our quiz on meiosis on Tuesday.
Tuesday - We will begin class with a quiz on the topic of meiosis. When the students complete the quiz, they will be given a vocabulary list of terms that will be important during our genetics unit. They should bring their textbooks with them to class on Tuesday. It is really important that they learn these terms quickly, as we will start using them right away during our unit. Homework will be to complete the vocabulary worksheet.
Wednesday - The students will be introduced to monohybrid crosses, Punnett squares, test crosses, and incomplete dominance. Homework will be to complete Genetics Problem Set 1, which has 10 problems related to those topics. I will pick 5 of those 10 problems to grade at 2 points each. One point will be for showing work, and the other for the answer. No credit will be given for problems that have an answer with no work shown.
Thursday - I will collect Genetics Problem Set 1, and then introduce the students to dihybrid crosses (problems involving two traits). They will then be given Genetics Problem Set 2, which will be due on Friday.
Friday - The students will be introduced to sex-linked inheritance and pedigrees (family trees). We will try to pay close attention to patterns of inheritance with sex-linked traits. The students will then be given problem set 3 for homework, which will be due on Monday.
Graba Geek of the Week
This last week's geek of the week award goes to Hui Tian, who earned a perfect score on our biotechnology quiz. This was Hui's best showing of the year so far and I was very proud of him. Way to go, Hui!