Thursday, October 25, 2012

Starting Unit 2

On Tuesday, we started the second unit of the year. Students will be learning about cells for the next several weeks. As I introduced some of the new vocabulary terms, I explained why science terms are often based on Greek and Latin. Until about 100 years ago, everyone who went to college in America or Europe studied Greek and Latin as part of their educations. So, science used that universal language; it didn't matter whether a scientist was from France, England, or America, the scientist could understand scientific terms.

Of course today few people know Greek and Latin. So, science terms often seem confusing. One of my goals is to teach students some of the most common prefixes, suffixes and roots, so science will actually make sense to them. Plus, many common English words are based on Greek and Latin, which means learning these words will help them with their English vocabularies, too.

We began with the names of the two most common cell types: eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. In Greek, eu means good, and pro means before. Karyon means kernel, like a popcorn kernel. So, eukaryotic means good kernal. A eukaryotic cell has a nucleus, which looks like a kernel when seen through a microscope. Prokaryotic cells do not have nuclei.

In everyday English, eu is used in the words eulogy and euphoria.

Next week, students will learn how to create outlines of their textbooks. I teach students different ways to take notes and to study because as they move farther along in school, they will need to take notes. Of course, I want students to do well in my class. But, I also want them to be well prepared for their futures. That is the real purpose of them being here at all.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Extra Credit due Thurs, Oct 18

This week, you can earn up to 150 points of extra credit. I have included links for five stories about recent scientific research. And for each story, there are three simple questions. You can earn up to 10 points for each question that you correctly answer. But, to earn the full points, you need to write your answers in complete sentences, and the answers need to be correct. Write your answers on a sheet of paper and bring them to class. This is due Thursday.

Click the link in the article title to open a browser and read the article. Then, answer the questions.

"Poor Sleep Hampers Vaccines"

1. What was the independent variable?
2. What was the dependent variable?
3. What was the conclusion?

"Zap Sweet Potatoes to Boost Antioxidants"

4. What was the independent variable?
5. What was the dependent variable?
6. What was the conclusion?

"Fun Veggie Names Ups Kid Intake"

7. What was the independent variable?
8. What was the dependent variable?
9. What was the conclusion?

"Eye Movements Do Not Reveal Lying"

10. What was the independent variable?
11. What was the dependent variable?
12. What was the conclusion?

"Give Time to Feel Less Time-Squeeze"

13. What was the independent variable?
14. What was the dependent variable?
15. What was the conclusion?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Extra Credit, due Friday, Oct 12

This extra credit opportunity is worth up to 300 points, depending on how well you do on the assignment.

Last Friday, students wrote an essay explaining the changing hypotheses related to Kennewick Man. Then, on Monday, we created bubble maps outlining the key details for each hypothesis. For extra credit, students can use what they learned creating the bubble map to write new, and improved, essays.

Just like before, I am going to give you the first paragraph, and the main ideas for paragraphs 2, 3 and 4. Then, you will need to complete the whole essay with your own conclusion paragraph.
Introduction paragraph: The story of Kennewick Man illustrates how scientists often change their hypotheses as they learn more information. Shortly after Kennewick Man was discovered, scientists thought the skeleton was just a couple hundred years old. Soon, however, they realized the skeleton was much older. Eventually, as scientists pieced together the Kennewick Man puzzle, new ideas developed about how people first inhabited North America.

paragraph 2 main idea: One of the early hypotheses about Kennewick Man was that he was an American settler from the 1800s.

paragraph 3 main idea: As scientists continued studying Kennewick Man, they formed a hypothesis that he was far more ancient than they originally believed.

paragraph 4 main idea: The investigations into Kennewick Man have led some scientists to change their ideas about how humans first came to North America.

Finally, don't forget to write your own conlcusion paragraph.
Remember to include paragraph labels, and underline at least two terms from the Word Wall in each paragraph. Here are some of the terms that you might use: scientific inquiry, scientific method, investigation, experiment, hypothesis, data analysis, conclusion, and procedure.

Write your essay and bring it to class on Friday.

Here's a picture of the bubble map created in one of the classes.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Extra Credit due Tues, Oct 9

This extra credit assignment is due Tues, Oct 9. Each question is worth 20 points. So, you can earn a total of 100 points.

Read the article, "Stalking Plants by Scent." Then, answer these questions:
  1. When the dodder first sprouts, how long can it survive without finding food?
  2. How did scientists test the idea that the dodder can smell?
  3. Why doesn't the dodder grow toward wheat plants?
  4. How can this research help farmers?
  5. What characteristic makes dodders unique compared to other species of plants?
 Answer the questions and then give the paper to me before class on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Extra Credit due Friday, Oct 5

For extra credit, you can create Word Maps for the following vocabulary terms:
independent variable
dependent variable
controlled variable
control group
experimental group
Each Word Map is worth up to 20 points, depending on the quality of the work. Make sure you have good definitions. We have covered them in class many times.

You do not need to create all 6 Maps in order to earn points. You can earn points for each one you complete.

You can print out this template or write the Word Maps on your own paper.