March 4, 2012

March 4, 2012

Hello everyone!  Spring is almost here, I hope. 

Events of the Past Week

The only difference between what last week's blog said we would do and what we actually did was that the students took a 10 question district benchmark assessment on genetics.  Almost everyone found the assessment to be relatively easy.  We set a goal that all of our accelerated students would earn a 74% or better on that assessment (because that is our bottom B, which at the accelerated level is considered the lowest level of mastery).  Out of approximately 110 students who took the assessment, only 2 did not meet the 74% goal, which means almost everyone earned an 8 out of 10 or better.

Upcoming Events

Monday - We will be looking at our second generation vials to see if we need to start counting the offspring in those yet.  If not, we will be taking time in class to review the homework from the weekend.  Afterwards, I will be introducing the students to the requirements of their lab reports on the fruit flies they have been working with for the past two weeks.  I will be as specific as possible for them so that they have the best possible chance for demonstrating effectively to me their understanding of the experiment.  Homework will be a writing assignment in relation to the reading they did last Thursday.  The reading was about Charles Darwin and his explorations.  The assignment will be to type a one page paper (double-spaced) about what they think they know about evolution, and what their opinions on evolution are.  This will give me a baseline for what the students do and do not know about evolution.

Tuesday - My guess is that we will not have any flies to count on Monday, but will on Tuesday.  If we do not, then the students will be introduced to a statistical analysis tool called a chi-square analysis.  This will be used in their fruit fly lab reports to determine whether or not the difference between their observed results with the fruit flies and their expected results based on the way they think the traits are inherited is due to random chance events , or due to mistakes that they made either in their experimentation (most likely) or in determining how the traits were inherited.  Homework would be some chi-square practice problems if we cover this topic in class.

Wednesday - If we count flies on Tuesday, then we will learn about chi-square on Wednesday.  If we do not count flies on Tuesday, then we will count them on Wednesday.

Thursday - This will definitely be a day for counting flies.  If there are any students who finish early, they will be given some genetics review problems. 

Friday - We will again count flies on Friday, then review together the review problems from the previous day.  The test on genetics will be the following Tuesday and Thursday.  The genetics test is no longer in the number of questions than any of our previous tests; however, since genetics problems take longer to complete than most, the test is broken up over two days.  We will not be able to take the test on back to back days because the students will need to count flies on Monday, and then again on Wednesday.  If we went from Monday to Thursday without counting flies in between, there would be waaaaaaaaaaay too many flies in the vials.

Graba Geek of the Week

This week's geek of the week is Will Lefevre.  Will has been working extremely hard on his genetics problems, even coming in for extra help on several of his lunch hours.  As a result of all of his hard work, he earned himself a perfect score on our last genetics quiz.  Way to go, Will!

Have a great week everyone!

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