March 31, 2013
Hopefully all of your children had a restful, relaxing spring break and are ready to start 4th quarter with renewed energy!
Events of the Past Week
Monday - I began class by collecting the homework from over the weekend, then lectured for about 15 minutes on spontaneous generation and biogenesis. The students were then given a radioactive dating activity to begin working on.
Tuesday - I was gone on Tuesday at a conference. The students watched a video on from the NOVA series "Origins." However, my directions for the substitute were not clear enough and the wrong video was shown. That was my fault, so we watched the correct video on Friday.
Wednesday - We completed the radioactive dating activity, and I lectured to the students about the age of the earth. For homework, the students needed to complete the questions in the radioactive dating lab.
Thursday - The students completed an ACT style passage related to evolution on Thursday. They also had a reading to do on Alexandre von Humboldt. For homework, they were to tell me about a place they liked to explore growing up.
Friday - We watched a video from the NOVA "Origins" series that explains some of the hypotheses for how the first organic compounds may have arrived or been formed on our planet. Homework, that will be due the Tuesday after we get back from break, is to complete a study guide that goes along with Chapter 14 in the textbook.
Monday - The students will be introduced to the concept of natural
selection. After I lecture to them for a little bit, we will spend the
rest of the class period doing a jigsaw reading activity about the different
ideas presented in the 1800's that tried to explain the mechanism of
change in organisms over time. The ideas that we will be investigating
were proposed by Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace, and Jean
Tuesday - We will be doing a lab investigating natural selection using
different colored dots punched out of paper placed onto different colored backgrounds. The students
will investigate the change in their dot "population" over time.
Homework will be to complete the questions in the lab.
Wednesday - Class will begin with the students getting an introduction
to the evidence that supports evolution. When that is complete, we will
begin a lab investigation looking at different vertebrate skeletons to
investigate homologous and analogous structures. Your children should
be able to explain the difference between those two types of structures
when they come home on Wednesday night. Homework will be to complete
the lab questions that go along with the investigation.
Thursday - We will investigate a second type of evidence that supports
evolution on Thursday - biochemical evidence. This investigation will
take a close look at amino acid sequences for the same protein in
different organisms. The students will find that the more closely
related two organisms are, the more similarities there are between their
amino acid sequences for the same protein. Homework will again be to complete the questions
associated with this investigation.
Friday - We will be watching a NOVA video called "Great Transformations"
on Friday. This video shows students the ways in which whales have
changed over time, explains how tetrapods evolved, and looks at the
genes that control the development of the embryo in organisms from Drosophila melanogaster (oh yeah!) to Homo sapiens.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week's Geek of the Week goes to the lab group of Melinda Coleman, Cara Ward, and Daniel Xu, who wrote an OUTSTANDING fruit fly report! Good job, group!