Attention Ms. Smith’s Students

HELIOPHYSICS: What is it and how does it affect us on Earth?

Go to and view the videos under the Sun-Earth Connection. Use two column note taking to record notes. It should look like this. Put the notes in your ISN.

Video Title

Notes from the video

Go to, read the site, watch the two parts of the FAQ video and answer the following questions.

Part One

1. What is space weather?

2. What are coronal mass ejections?

3. What are solar flares?

4. What are solar energetic particles?

5. What causes flares and CMEs?

Part Two

1. Do all flares and CMEs affect the Earth?

2. What happens when a flare or CME hits the Earth?

3. How quickly can we feel the effects of space weather?

4. Why are there more flares and CMEs happening now?

(8th Grade) Jan 28/29- Intro to the Sun (Video + Model of the Sun)

In class we wrapped up Small Bodies in the Solar System by grading our rotation center activities.  These grades should be updated throughout the weekend.

Model of the Sun Activity

In your ISN create a diagram to show the structure of the Sun.
Label and include information on the:

  • Corona,
  • Chromosphere,
  • Photosphere,
  • Convective Zone,
  • Radiative Zone,
  • Core.

We also got started on the “Secrets of the Sun” video.  (We might be able to watch a little bit more next class depending on time!)

Comlete Model of the Sun in your ISN.  

(7th Grade) Jan 28/29 – Rock Cycle Notes/Gizmo

We got a visit from our old friend Mr. Pencil and got some specific information on the steps in the rock cycle.

Click here to check out the powerpoint notes

Students were also given time in class to get started on the Rock Cycle Gizmo

Home Learning: 

Complete Rock Cycle Gizmo SEG+ Assessment Questions (Due Next Class) 

Asteroid Flyby last Monday

I don’t know if you saw this story, but there was an asteroid that flew pretty close to Earth earlier this week. Well… in this case “pretty close” means 745,000 miles (To put it in perspective, the Moon orbits about 238,900 miles from Earth).

“The trajectory of asteroid 2004 BL86 is well understood. Monday’s flyby was the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries. It is also the closest a known asteroid this size will come to Earth until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past our planet in 2027.”

-Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

The REALLY cool thing about it is the asteroid had its own natural satellite!

Click the image below to read more about it!
Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.05.23 PM

(8th Grade) Pluto articles

A few students wanted me to post the articles we were reading about Pluto’s “change in status”

Pluto and the Developing Landscape of our Solar System 

Resolution B5: Definition of a Planet in the Solar System

And finally, here’s an funny picture for my fellow Star Wars fans

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 1.59.51 PM

(8th Grade) Jan 21/22- Small Bodies in Solar System rotation

Click here to download a copy of the CGA 2 study guide

ALL STUDENTS have received a CGA Study guide which is due the date we take the CGA. 

Essential Question- Why was the Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet?

This class we did a “Small Bodies” rotation where students did a few activities to explore some of the smaller things we can find out in space.

  • Reading Activity- Read about the IAU’s decision to reclassify Pluto, discuss with your classmates and write a reflection in your ISN.
  • Vocabulary Activity- Students looked deeper into comets, asteroids, meteors and dwarf planets with vocabulary strategies.
  • Investigation Activity- Use a variety of different objects to design an investigation to explore impact craters.

These activities (along with the notes) will all be part of a single “Small Bodies in Solar System” assignment grade.

If you want to watch more of the video we started in class:

Home Learning: 

CGA 2 will be next Monday/Tuesday.  Study guide due on day you take the test. (A day 1/26, B day 1/27) 

(7th Grade) Jan 20/21 Layers of the Earth Notes/Foldable

Essential Question: What would you find if you took a journey into the center of the Earth?
Welcome to the 3rd 9 weeks!  Today we started our lessons on Geology with the layers of the Earth.


Layers of the Earth Chart

PowerPoint Notes


Click the image below for the foldable instructions.

layers image







Layers of Earth Foldable Instructions


Next class — you should have the “Front” of the foldable completed (colored and labeled).  We will add information to it in class.  


(8th Grade) Jan 15/20- Small Bodies in the Solar System

Essential Question: What is found in the solar system besides the sun, planets, and moons?

Today we started a two-day lesson on all of the “other stuff” we can find in the solar system.

  • ISN Right Side
    Small Bodies in the Solar System NOTES (student choice of strategy) 

    • ›All Vocab (bold)
    • ›Info on Dwarf planets, KBOs, Comets, Asteroids, Meteors/-oid/-ites
  • ISN LEFT Side
    Small Bodies Creative Activity

    • ›Demonstrate your understanding of small bodies in a creative way: Design a comic, poster, or something else involving one or more “small objects” that you learned about today.
    • ›Be creative and include scientifically accurate information.

Home Learning:

Complete the LEFT and RIGHT side activities for “Small Bodies in the Solar System” in your ISN.  Due at the beginning of next class.

A quick note about FCAT Explorer

Update: I have added the FCAT Explorer assignment to the grade portal.  Please look at the notes for more information on your score.

Right now you only need to have completed two lessons (Part. Nature of Matter/How Science Works) and the Physical & Chemical portion of the ship.

As I said in class: I do not expect you to complete the entire FCAT Explorer ship right now.

 We will be working on throughout the 3rd 9 weeks to prepare for FCAT.

Take your time and do as well as you can because I am going to count your “first try” scores as a grade.

(8th Grade) Jan 13/14 – A3k & FCAT Explorer

Students have expressed concern that they haven’t had enough time to work on FCAT Explorer at home, so we are meeting in the media center this class to use the computers. Students have two A3K articles to complete:

  • Picture This!
  • Way out in Space

You may use any additional time in the lab to work on FCAT Explorer:

  1. COMPLETE 2 lessons (Nature of Matter & How Science Works) AND ALL Physical & Chemical questions.
  2. Earth and Space Lesson.
  3. Earth and Space questions.