(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

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(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.

(7th Grade) Jan 10/12 -Wrapping up Evolution (and the 9 weeks)


It’s the end of the 9 weeks!

I have spoken to a handful of students who I am still missing assignments from about turning them in for partial credit.  Remember to return signed scholarship warnings the following class period.

We are finishing up our unit on Evolution with a couple of different review activities and our final checkpoint of the quarter on  Tuesday/Wednesday.  Next stop: Geology!



If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel (Solar System Distances)

This might hurt your brain a little bit, but it does a GREAT job of showing just how far apart objects are in the solar system.  Click below to check it out!

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Also, you can check out Solar System Scope for more information on the Terrestrial and Gas Giant Planets


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(8th Grade) Jan 10/12- Assignments and Postcards…FROM SPACE!!!!!

We are wrapping up our lesson on the Terrestrial and Gas Giant planets with a project called Postcards… FROM SPACE!!!

Click below to download the Rubric and Blank Postcard Templates.


 Blank Postcard Template


We are nearing the end of the 9 weeks – double check grade portal to make sure you aren’t missing any assignments.  The following assignments have been added to the gradebook:

  • Geocentric/Heliocentric Foldable
  • Fusion: Historic Models L. Review
  • Fusion: Gravity L. Review

Additionally you still have the following FCAT Explorer activities to complete:

  • How Science Works lesson
  • Particulate Nature of Matter lesson
  • Physical & Chemical questions

Home Learning: 

Postcards…FROM SPACE! Due Jan 13/14

(7th Grade) Jan 7/8- From Fins to Feet : The Origins of Tetrapods

Today we learned about the discovery of Tiktaalik – the transitional fossil between fish and Tetrapods (four-legged animals).

Students read and discussed the article “From Fins to Feet.”  Thanks to Mr. Rawlins (www.RawlinsScience.com) for the article.


We also watched the following video


1.What are transitional fossils?  Why are they important?
2. What evidence suggests that four-legged animals evolved from fish?
3. Why did the paleontologists decide to hunt for the transitional fossils in Alaska?
4. why is Tikaalik considered a transitional fossil?
5. Did the transition from fish to tetrapod happen quickly or slowly?


Review Evolution material for checkpoint assessment.