Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Welcome to my blog!  I'll be teaching 7th grade again this year.  Some of you may be confused that my link to the school webpage shows that I am teaching 6th Grade, but it will be updated soon!  

I'm looking forward to meeting all of my new 7th Grade students, and getting re-acquainted with all of those students I taught last year in 6th Grade science, Robotics, or our Egypt Interdisciplinary Unit! 

Parents: watch this space for updates.  Almost every day for the last several years, I have used this blog to let students (and parents) know their homework assignments.  There are also announcements about upcoming school events and educational opportunities such as sign ups for Remind (formerly Remind101).  So you may want to bookmark this page just to check what homework your child is doing for my science class.  Parents, I look forward to meeting you or seeing you again.  We have Open Schools Night scheduled for Thursday, October 9.  I hope to have 100% of my students' caregivers attend Open Schools night this year! If you can think of any suggestions that will make it possible for you to attend, please let me know.  

Meanwhile, please sign up for www.Remind.com to have 1-way text message reminders of important class events (such as notification of field trip permission slips, progress report or report card releases, upcoming tests or projects) and selected school events.
Here's how to sign up for my Remind texts.  Use your cell phone to dial (203) 684-5174.  If your student is in my:
Enjoy the rest of summer vacation!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I hope you're all enjoying summer vacation. 

Just for fun, here's a picture of one cool cat:
See you in September! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This year's Science Final Exam will be given on June 11. We have spent 3 days in class reviewing for the final.

Homework for tonight is to finish answering your Review Sheet and study the information on your Review Sheet.

Answers for the Ecology portion of the District's Review Sheet are shown below:

Grade 6 Honors Science Final Review 2014

Ecology (final section - all others have been worked on and reviewed in class)
Key Vocabulary
o Invasive Speciesspecies outside of its normal range.
o Photosynthesischloroplasts in plant cells use sun’s energy to break down       water & CO2, make O2 and sugar (their own food).         
o Consumer - Organism that must eat other organisms to obtain energy
o Producer–make their own food through photosynthesis. Ex: phytoplankton
o Decomposerbreak down dead organisms and waste into nutrients.  Without decomposers, those nutrients don't get recycled.
o Classificationorganize living things based on physical structures & origin (genetic similarities).

Analysis questions:
o What are the differences between consumers, producers, and 
·        Producers make (produce) their own food with photosynthesis; ex: grass, phytoplankton, pear trees; carrots; palm trees.
·        Consumers eat other organisms to get energy; ex: wolves, tigers; and
·        Decomposers break down dead organisms and waste. Ex: mushrooms, fungi, bacteria, worms.
o What are the effects of an introduced species in a new area?
Introduced species:
  • can cause harm and/or good in new habitat, such as:
  • often have no predators in a new area, so 
  • they out-compete existing organisms for food & resources (sunlight, water); 
  • drive other species into extinction;  
  • grow bodies or population more quickly than native species;
  • mess up the habitat indirectly, ex: Nile Perch caused Algal blooms and dead zones in Lake Victoria.   
  • but also can provide food & shelter or other resources (shade, etc.). 

o Give examples of Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers in an aquatic food web.        P= phytoplankton, sea weed; C= zooplankton, fish, seals, whales.   D= crabs, shrimp, worms, bacteria, some fish (ex: catfish).
o What are the major differences between plant and animals?
Plants are producers with the power of photosynthesis; Animals are consumers, sometimes decomposers.  Most animals move freely and breathe in oxygen; plants do not move and breathe in CO2.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

   Ecology Unit Test is tomorrow.  Finish your study guide tonight and read it over.   Be sure to bring it with you tomorrow for credit.  Answers shown below include many questions we did not cover in class.

     Ecology Study Guide 
1.What is an introduced species? Define and give an example:

       Species now found outside of their normal range. 
Ex: zebra Musselmussel

2. Are introduced species bad? Why or why not? Consider 
what could happen  if you released the following animals into 
the wild:

  a. your house cat

         BAD: could wipe other species from their habitat 
(disease, competition, hunt and kill), cruelty – could die 
from hunger or predators or disease or accident.

         GOOD:  easy way out (LAZY); could be food for 
consumers in the habitat

b. your Burmese Python

            Same, much more effective at killing all other 

3. What factors influence the survival of any introduced 
species? Name at least 3:

     Adequate prey (food), water, climate, (temperature),  
shelter , competitors, predators in new habitat.

4. James, a boy from Kenya, spoke about the Nile Perch & 
results/ consequences (both intended & unintended) of 
introducing the species. Describe:

  a. Three advantages of introducing Nile Perch into Lake 

        More jobs, money, and fish (food)

  b. Three disadvantages of introducing Nile Perch into Lake 

     Loss of independent small businesses, wiped out 
smaller fish species (Cichlids), perch overpopulated, 
more competition, fewer kinds of fish, and wrecked the 
food chain, allowed algal blooms.

  c. Knowing what we know now, if you had had the choice, 
would you have introduced the Nile Perch into Lake 
Victoria?  Write about a trade-off (compare at least one 
advantage and at least one disadvantage to make that 

5. What is Ecology?

    Study of relationships between living organisms &  the physical environment.

6. What does classification show and what factors is classification base on? See p. E-19

Grouping organisms based on relationships between similar organisms, based on genetic makeup and similar physical structures.

 7. What  is an Invertebrate?  Animal without a spinal cord or backbone

8. Classification Levels:   A. ex: domains contain 5 Kingdoms;                   

                                            B. Kingdoms contain 35 phyla

                                            C.  Phyla contain many classes

                                            D. classes contain many Genuses

                                            E. Genuses contain many species

9. What is a species? Define & give an example:

        Species - level of biological classification made up of organisms or populations capable of interbreeding. Ex: homo sapiens; brown snake.

10. Explain photosynthesis, including: 

a.Who does it? (role)


b.Who does it? (which kingdom)?


c.What are the starting materials (inputs or reactants)?

             CO2 + H2O + sunlight

d. What are the ending materials (outputs or products)?

             food (sugar) + O2

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Field Day was great! 

Please complete your Ecology Study guide for homework tonight.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Please complete the first half of your Ecology Study guide for homework tonight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Homework: 5/28 - Work on your Introduced Species Project, plan to complete it so the final project can be turned in on Friday.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Homework tonight:
All classes: Rough Draft of your Introduced Species Project is due tomorrow (5/28). Your Report is due on Friday. Remember, your project will earn a zero (0) if you turn it in without a bibliography.
Also ( Periods 1, 2 & 6): Answer Analysis Questions 5, 6, and 7 from p. E-65 (activity 83) in your science notebooks.

Extra credit Opportunities (on SPP - maximum time investment: 1/2 hour):
1. Describe how a tropical rain forest biome is different from a grasslands biome . Example:Hawaii vs.North Dakota.  Construct a Venn diagram or write one paragraph. Double e.c. if you briefly cite your specific research sources, even if you only take notes.
2. Use the classification practice found at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/classifying-life.html and record all classification levels for all 3 organisms.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

5/21/14- Homework tonight: work on your Introduced Species Project.  Draft report is due tomorrow, but due to scheduling changes, I will extend that to Tuesday May 27.  Final Report with images and sources is due Thursday May 29.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

12-2 What Are Food Chains and Food Webs?
plus Introduced Species Project work

Don't forget: Saturday May 17th - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Soundwaters: Make A Difference Day at the Cove

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

12-1 What Are Producers and Consumers?
plus Introduced Species Project work

Don't forget: Saturday May 17th - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Soundwaters Make A Difference Day at the Cove

Monday, May 12, 2014

Homework for tonight:
Period 1 and 2 classes: Make your Food Web - show at least 3 foods that you like to eat, where they come from, what they consume, and what consumers or predators might compete for the same food items.
Period 5 & 6 classes -  This same homework is due from you on Wednesday along with tomorrow's homework. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Work on Introduced Species Projects tonight. 
All classes: research notes plus sources (2 or more), except Period 2 must also sign up tomorrow for their choices of Introduced Species  to research. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Period 5 - reflection - write 3 sentences on what you learned in class today.
Period 6, 1, 2 - You should be researching your Introduced species project. 
Students who did not take homework sheet home must do the "Producers and consumers" homework tonight and turn it in tomorrow.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Homework: Producers and Consumers worksheet: Using the Word Bank, fill in the blanks to complete the sentences. Also, Choose an Introduced Species to write on the sign up sheet if you haven't already. Research notes WITH SOURCES due at the end of this week. Sources means you must write down the name of the books, magazines, websites where you got the information.

I'm here at Study Hall (voluntary) with 16 students who are here to do homework.  Not only do they have a somewhat quiet place to do homework, study or research, but they also get a snack, extra credit, and access to an I-pad on which to research their Introduced Species project.

Also read about Element # 117, newly made and confirmed by data: http://www.slashgear.com/science-adding-new-element-117-to-periodic-table-05327644/

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday Homework: Plant vs. Animal (pt. 1) - Students should read text, then fill in the blanks on the other side of the page, using the Word Bank.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Update 4/25/14- This homework is due on MOnday from my 6th period class.
All periods except Period 6 are excused from homework tonight.

Period 6 homework:
1.  Copy the following definitions into your science notebook vocab section.  You will need to show this to me in class tomorrow:

Ecologists – scientists who study 
relationships between organisms and 
Evidence – reproducible data or other 
information that is helpful in forming a
 conclusion supported by data.
trade-offs-  Any desired outcome (or 
advantage) that must be given up when one option is chosen over another during a
decision-making process.  Compromise 
decision  when each choice involves both advantages and disadvantages.  

2. In your science notes, please write at least one paragraph about the differences between the old definition and the new one.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Period 6 and 1 classes were assigned to write a Reflection on a Separate Piece of  Paper. As members of an IB community, we try to be Reflective, which means we:

Write 3 sentences about a time when you were Reflective. For example, was there a time when you looked back and thought about how you could improve something that you'd done, like how you wrote a paper, or how you answered a test question?   

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tonight's homework:
Current Event: Frog Study Receives National Geographic's 7000th Research Grant.  Read the article and answer questions.
If you did not get the article, then read the article on line at :
Then answer the following questions:
Name___________________________________    Date_________
Current Event Form A
1. title of Article: _____________
2. Author's Name: _______________
3. Source (what website, newspaper or magazine published it)? __________________________
4. Date of Article: ______________________________________
5. Summary - read the article, and using complete written sentences, briefly:
a. Focus on the main idea (what is important in the article):
b. Strengthen it with supporting details (3 or more):
c. USE YOUR OWN WORDS!!!!!! Just repeating what the author wrote will get you a 0.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Water Unit Study Guide, pt. 2

15. Corrected version: H = 4 cm, L = 6cm, w = 2 cm
   A (top)= L      x     W
   A        = 6 cm x  2 cm= 12 cm2
    V =   L      x     W    x   H
    V = 6 cm x  2 cm    x   4cm = 48 cm3
D = m/v  (where mas sis given as 24 g)
   =  24g/48 cm3 = ____ g/cm3          

16. water            

                                 oF          oC

           melts at:   32            0
           boils at:    212         100

17. Elements vs. Compounds: 

  •        consists of only one kind of atom,
  •        cannot be broken down into a simpler type of matter, and
  •        can exist as either atoms (e.g. argon) or molecules (e.g., nitrogen).
  •        consists of atoms of two or more different elements bonded (bound) together,
  •        can be broken down into a simpler type of matter (elements) by chemical means (but not by physical means),
  •        has properties that are different from its component elements, and
  •         always contains the same ratio of its component atoms.
Both: made up of atoms