January 13, 2013
One semester is almost in the books! It's hard to believe how quickly the year goes by.
Events of the Past Week
Monday - After discussing the history of DNA homework the students had over break, they were introduced to the structure of a DNA molecule. After that was done, we did an activity where we acted out the process of DNA replication. Following the activity, the students were given a worksheet to reinforce the concepts we learned during the class period, and to introduce the students to RNA, as well. Homework was to finish the reinforcement worksheet.
Tuesday - The students were introduced to the process of transcription, which I drew on the board for them. Then, they modeled transcription with a paper and scissors activity. Finally, I explained the process of translation on the board at the end of the period. Transcription and translation are the two steps to a process called protein synthesis. In protein synthesis, the instructions for building a protein coded into our DNA, called a gene, are first copied onto a molecule of messenger RNA. Then, the instructions on the messenger RNA are read by a ribosome in the cell, which uses those instructions to build a protein.
Wednesday - We modeled the process of translation by finishing the paper activity we had started the day before. The students then worked on the questions at the end of the activity for the remainder of the period. Homework was to finish the activity.
Thursday - We reviewed the material learned on Tuesday and Wednesday with 3 review sheets and one review packet. I lectured for the last 15 minutes of class about the different types of mutations and their impact on the protein that was supposed to be built from the instructions that were changed in the DNA by a mutation. Homework was to complete the review packet.
Friday - The students began class by taking the district benchmark assessment on DNA structure, replication, transcription, and translation. After completing the benchmark assessment, we began an activity studying the impact of mutations on two different proteins. The first mutation studied impacts a protein called myostatin. Ask your students if they can explain what that protein is supposed to do, and what happens when it doesn't work. It's pretty interesting! The second mutation studied impacts the protein hemoglobin, which carries oxygen around our bodies. Most students had finished the myostatin portion of the activity, but not the hemoglobin portion. For homework, the students were asked to study for finals rather than complete the activity.
Monday - We will complete the activity on mutations that we began on Friday. Then, the students will be given the opportunity to ask any questions that they have in regards to the material on the final exam. Homework will be to study for finals.
Tuesday - We will play a review game with remote control clickers to help the students prepare for the final exam.
Wednesday - Students in my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd hour classes will take their final exam. The final exam periods are 90 minutes long. There are 140 questions on the test, which the students should have no trouble completing in time.
Thursday - None of my freshman classes have their final exams on Thursday.
Friday - My 8th hour class will have their final exam on Friday.
Graba Geek of the Week
This week's Graba Geek of the Week is Allison Leczycki, who earned A's on both our bioenergetics test and our DNA Benchmark Assessment. Allison learned that the most important thing to do before a test is to look at the objectives sheet that I pass out at the beginning of a unit so she knows which material is important to know. Good job, Allison!