Events of the Past Week
Monday - We took our classification quest with 35 multiple choice questions and one written question. In general the students did well on it.
Tuesday - We began our pig dissection by looking at the external anatomy of the pig, determining if they were male or female, and finding a salivary gland. Some groups began cutting open the abdominal cavity and finding some of the organs in the abdominal cavity.
Wednesday - No school for freshmen while our sophomores took a practice ACT exam and our juniors took the real thing. This was day one of the PSAE exam which our school's success or failure in meeting the standards set by No Child Left Behind is measured.
Thursday - School started late as our sophomores took a practice WorkKeys test and our juniors took the real thing. This was day two of the PSAE exam. This test is designed by the state using the state standards in science, math, and English as a guide. The science exam, for example, contains questions from biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics.
Friday - We completed our dissection of the digestive system of the fetal pig. The lab questions will be due on Monday. In addition, each lab team needs to bring one posterboard, their textbooks, and colored pencils or markers to class for Monday.
Monday - The students will be doing a group project that is designed to be a hands-on way for them to learn the parts of the digestive system and their functions. They will have to put the parts of the digestive system together like a puzzle and then answer several questions about the digestive system. I believe it will take two days of class time to complete, but that is an estimate because this is the first time we will be trying this project in one of my classes.
Tuesday - We will finish the digestive system project on Tuesday.
Wednesday - We will review the functions of all of the parts of the digestive system with a PowerPoint presentation I have put together.
Thursday - On Thursday the students will be taking a quiz on the digestive system. There will be twenty multiple choice questions and five questions that will involve the students looking at pictures of the fetal pig's digestive system and identifying organs or answering questions about the functions of organs in the picture.
This will help me assess the students' progress in their dissections, as well as prepare them for their test at the end of the unit, which will include stations set up around the room with the fetal pigs. The students will have 1 minute per station to answer 2-3 questions about different parts of each pig.
Friday - We will begin studying the circulatory system by dissecting the thoracic cavity of the fetal pig to look at its heart. This will include removing the heart in order to look at the internal anatomy, which essentially the same as the internal anatomy of our hearts.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week's geek of the week is Susan Szuch. Susan is an incredibly kind, honest young lady who has been a positive contributor to class all year long. She did well on her classification quest and worked really hard on her pig dissection this week. Good job, Susan!
Finally, this is the time of year when summer internship/job/learning opportunities start coming in for me. For those students who might be interested in the environmental sciences and green technologies, there is a summer camp available at Northern Illinois University. It sounds exciting and I wish I could take part in it myself! The description from their website says, "Get ready to play at the farm, in the forest, and with green technologies. Participants in this year’s Environment and Sustainability Camp will dig into today’s efforts to address environmental challenges and improve sustainable practices. Campers will test water quality, experiment with alternative fuels, and visit a local sustainable farm, among other green activities. Professors of anthropology, geology, biology, geography, and technology will help students get dirty while working for a cleaner, more sustainable future."
Here is a link where with that description and more information about the program: http://www.niu.edu/clasep/camps/science/index.shtml
Have a good week!