Energy, Matter, and Organization: Human Strength Video

To introduce our second unit, students watched the Discovery Channel video Human Body: Pushing the Limits – Strength and completed worksheet questions.  Note: The worksheet will be entered as an assignment in the grade book, so students should turn it in upon completion.

The entire video is available to watch online on the Daily Motion website.  For students having difficulty accessing the video using a Chromebook, here are segments of the video found on YouTube containing the majority of the important video content.

Matter, Atomic Structure, and Bonding: Transition Metal Chemistry

We began class by continuing the learning from Lesson 22.  We created polyatomic ionic compounds using the Card Masters game deck.  We also briefly reviewed the Lesson 22 PowerPoint slide deck, focusing on key vocabulary terms.  With the end of the quarter approaching, students are not required to complete the Lesson 22 worksheet but are welcome to work through it as a study tool.  For the final segment of class, students received the Lesson 23.1 worksheet.  Lesson 23 revolves around a lab activity where students make paint.  We will use the short class period tomorrow to make blue paint and review the Lesson 23 PowerPoint and selected worksheet responses.

Matter, Atomic Structure, and Bonding: Polyatomic Ions

We elected to skip the Lesson 21 game and instead focused on answering student questions and continuing the work of learning how to name ionic compounds.  We transitioned to Lesson 22, introducing the concept of polyatomic ionic compounds.  Students were introduced to some of the more common polyatomic anions and cations, with a list of some of the compounds discussed pictured below:


Cells & Homeostasis: Unit 1 Final Exam Review

As Unit 1 draws to a close, today students spent the first part of class completing the HAB PBL Post-Assessment worksheet which will be used to assess student growth in understanding the content and in helping to determine how individual points are allocated for each member of the group.  For the second half of class, we reviewed for the Unit 1 exam by matching a list of cell organelles with a list of organelle functions:


Next, we reviewed the structure of cell membranes and then finished with a review of osmosis:

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Matter, Atomic Structure, and Bonding: Formulas for Ionic Compounds

We worked through student questions about Lesson 20 for the first part of class, with several of the questions guiding students through the learning the textbook intended to introduce through the Salty Eights game in Lesson 21.  Rather than play the game, students instead used the last part of class to begin working with molecular modeling kits (something they will be introduced to later in the textbook).  Although we did not use it today, the Lesson 21 PowerPoint is available for download.  We will work through portions of the Lesson 21 worksheet tomorrow, playing the game at the beginning of class.

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Cells & Homeostasis: PBL Presentation Day

Our Project-Based Learning mini-unit concluded today with students presenting their solutions to the problem of harmful algal blooms.  Special thanks to our many “stakeholders” who visited with students today.  The students did a great job sharing their ideas, answering questions, and engaging with the stakeholders to learn more about career paths.  We will debrief the experience tomorrow and then transition to a review of Unit 1 content in preparation for the Unit 1 Exam scheduled for Thursday.

Updated June 1, 2016: To conclude the WABS PBL, I presented the results of our efforts in the form of a poster at the Showcase of Success meeting at the Hyatt Hotel in Seattle on Thursday, May 26.  Again, a huge thank you to my students, the Environmental Science Center, the chaperones who made our field trip to Seahurst Park possible, the groups who worked with my students on the field trip, the stakeholders who shared information with student groups, stakeholders who attended our in-class poster session, and of course, WABS and King County Public Health for inspiring our work.


Matter, Atomic Structure, and Bonding: Ionic Compounds

We began the class period by discussing questions students had about Lessons 17-19.  The whiteboard work is shown below:


We extended our learning about ions to the study of ionic compounds, reviewing the Lesson 20 PowerPoint which included the vocabulary terms of cation and anion and learning about how different numbers of anions and cations combine by following the Rule of Zero Charge.  Students worked on the Lesson 20 Worksheet and for homework should complete Lesson 20 textbook questions #1-7 and read Lesson 21 in the textbook.

Cells & Homeostasis: Practice PBL Presentations

On the final day of work before students share their work by presenting to stakeholders tomorrow, groups put the finishing touches on tri-folds and formulated responses to questions they should anticipate during their presentations.  Each student should be prepared to share their understanding of the following list of questions:

  • What exactly are algae?
  • How do algae obtain energy?
  • How do algae fit into the ecosystem?
  • How do algae make more algae?
  • What does it mean for algae to “bloom”?
  • Why do algae bloom?
  • When do algae bloom?
  • What happens to the ecosystem when algae bloom?
  • Why do algae only bloom at certain times?
  • What are the conditions that lead to algal blooms?
  • Why do algal blooms end?

There are a number of excellent resources on the Internet to help students formulate answers to these questions and many more.  Here are a selection: