Thursday, May 27, 2010

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of school for the students at Henry World School. They spent the morning doing activities and watching a movie. This afternoon students will participate in our end of the year carnival. Some events that are going on during the carnival are pie throw, dunk tank, three-legged races and relay races, fortune telling, basketball, and lots of good food. I want to give all me students this year in life science a huge thank you. You all tried very hard and truly made me feel proud. Over 90% of my life science students showed growth! I had an amazing year and hope that you will stop by and see me next year. Yes, I will still be in room 309!
Have a great summer!

Mrs. Johnson

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Activity 101: Birds of a feather

On Friday students read activity 101 which was about the Dodo bird and the common pigeon. The reading compared the two types of birds, and looked at human impact on each type of bird. The Dodo bird came from a small island Mauritius next to Madagascar. The Dodo bird was 30-50 pounds, could run fast, and would eat fruit that fell from the trees. Sailors traveling between Asia and Europe started stopping at Mauritius and started hunted the Dodo bird. Rats, Monkeys, and Pigs that came on the ships would eat the eggs of the Dodo birds. In less than 200 years because of these incidents, the Dodo bird went extinct. The Common Pigeon is a relative of the Dodo bird. It was domesticated and was used for various things like racing, delivering mail, stunts, and shows. Over time the common pigeon escaped its home and breed with wild pigeons making offspring that are called Feral Pigeons. These offspring can run very fast, breed at a young age, have many offspring and are very successful making the wild pigeons population very small. Both birds had adaptations while natural selection allowed Feral pigeons to survive.

HMK: Study for year final on Tuesday!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Activity 96: Battling Beaks

Today and Tomorrow during the block periods, students will do activity 96: which was called Battling Beaks. Students looked at bird beak variation to see how natural selection changes beak characteristics. Each student had 3 different type of beaks, 1-tined, 2-tined, and 4-tined. All students started with the 2-tined birds. each student had to try to eat the most food (fruit loops) in order to survive. The winner of each round would keep their beak and role a dice to see what type of beaks the losers or their offspring would be. Over time, the (4-tined) birds would start to increase because they could eat the most food. Natural selection allowed the 4-tined to survive while the 1-tined and 2-tined birds were not able to survive.

Homework: Study of Final!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Activity 91 and 95

On Monday and Tuesday this week students did a couple different activities. On Monday they looked at fossil footprints that had been discovered by paleontologists. The a 3 different cards that were connected together, but they could only look at one card at a time. When they looked at the card they had to make observations of what they saw on the card and then they had to make inferences on what they thought was going on during that time. After the students made the observations and inferences the continued on to the next card which connected to the previous card. After seeing all three cards they had to make a hypothesis of what behaviors were going on from the fossil footprints. The next activity was on adaptations and natural selection. Students had to model how species who are well adapted to their environment have a higher chance of surviving through the process of natural selection. Students modeled this by showing three generations of green worms and beige worms which were eaten by birds. They modeled that the beige worms that blended in with the floor survived and reproduced while the green worms that stood out ended up dying and their population decreased.

Hmk: Study for Life Science Final Next Tuesday

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Activity #90 Figuring out Fossils

During today's block as well as tomorrow's block, students did Activity #90 which was called "Figuring out Fossils." Student had to examine 8 different types of fossils. They had to make a sketch each fossil and make a prediction about which type of species each fossil may have been. Students also had to decide what type of habitat the species may have lived in and what type of food it may have eaten. They also had to predict which fossil was the oldest, youngest, and related to other fossils. They then had to reflect on what fossils tell us about species in the past who are now extinct. Overall students did a great job working with the 8 different fossils.

Homework: Finish fossil sketches!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Activity #89: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Today students did activity #89 which is called: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. The activity was a reading about species that are endangered or extinct. It talked about possible theories in which the Mammoth went extinct and we discussed whether or not we should try to re-create extinct species. The second part of the reading was about the Asian Elephants who are on the Endangered Species List. We talked about why this species was threatened and what should be done to protect them from going extinct. This was the first activity for Unit F: Evolution and its objective was to discuss the trade-offs of either helping endangered species or trying to re-create extinct species. The students than looked at similarities and differences in the Mammoth's extinction and possible extinction of the Asian Elephants in the future.

Homework: Start Reviewing earlier units :)

Hint of the day: Put your name under comments for a free homework pass :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Presentation Day #2

Today students finished presenting their introduced species project. Before we began students handed in their zoo packets which will be graded by all their teachers as an interdisciplinary grade. Students then presented their project which could be a power point, paper, story, brochure, poster, timeline or role play. While the students presented, the class had to take notes about the species which will be used on the final in Life Science. Once the presentations were done, students updated their science vocabulary. Tomorrow we will begin Unit F: Evolution!

HMK: Last call for Zoo Packets and Projects is Tomorrow!!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zoo Trip

On Friday students attended the 7th grade Denver Zoo Trip. We were lucky to have enough chaperones to have 28 groups of students. Students went to the zoo and completed their interdisciplinary unit: "Exploring species from around the world." They each had a packet which contained a history portion on endangered species, a math portion of looking at animal behaviors and graphing the behaviors, a science portion of making a food web on a specific species, and a language portion where they had to write a reflection about their experience at the zoo. Overall the students did very well and represented Henry well!

HMK: Students, the packet is due on Monday!