September 9, 2012
Happy first day of the NFL season! It's been a beautiful weekend. I hope many of you have been able to get out and enjoy it!
Events of the Past Week
Last week went as planned. There were no major changes to the schedule I had planned in last week's blog. If you would like to review it, you can find it in the September 3rd post.
Monday - Except for first hour students, my other students will be taking a prefix quiz on our second set of prefixes. Due to a couple of circumstances, my first hour class will take their prefix quiz on Thursday. After the quiz, we will be conducting a lab experiment to investigate the role of buffers in living things. Students will be comparing the time it takes to neutralize a weakly basic solution that I have made using sodium hydroxide, versus how long it takes to neutralize an egg white solution with the same pH as the basic solution I made. It should take much longer for the egg white to neutralize because it has a chemical called a buffer in it to resist changes to the pH of the egg white. This, of course, is to help maintain the health of the developing embryo inside of the egg (if there were one). Homework will be to complete all questions in the acid/base lab.
Tuesday - We will spend Tuesday reviewing some information about acids and bases and the role of buffers in living things. We will then review for our quiz on basic chemistry on Wednesday. The quiz will cover atomic structure, the periodic table, bonding, properties of water, and acids and bases. Homework will be to study for the quiz.
Wednesday - We will take our quiz on chemistry. Students should bring their textbooks and their packet called "Biochemistry Worksheet" to class. They will work on questions that I assign to them from that packet when they finish their quiz. Homework will be to complete the assigned questions.
Thursday - We will process the results from the quiz to begin class. Then, after a brief explanation of the difference between molecular and structural formulas, the students will complete a lab activity building different molecules with important roles in biology. The purpose of the lab is for the students to learn how to draw structural formulas, and to introduce students to important groups of atoms called "functional groups". For homework, the students will need to complete the questions I assign to them from their Biochemistry Worksheet packet.
Friday - The students will be given some time at the beginning of class to finish the molecule building activity with their lab partners. Following the completion of the lab activity, the students will take notes on the properties of carbohydrates. I will be drawing on the knowledge they should have gained from completing their homework to help get them involved in the process. When we are done with the notes, the students will be reading a packet titled, "Why Structure?" about the important role of proteins in living things. This handout came from the National Institutes of Health, and I personally find it to be a really interesting read, aimed at people who may not necessarily have a PhD in biochemistry! For homework, there will be questions assigned from the Biochemistry Worksheet packet on the topic of proteins.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week's Geek of the Week award goes to Caleb Vail, who has done a great job of getting involved in class discussions. His willingness to volunteer and answer questions has really helped to keep our 8th hour class moving in the right direction! Hopefully more students in class will follow his lead!