(all classes) Science Project grades (and more!)

At this point I have graded virtually every science project (woo hoo!) and entered the grades into grade portal. A few things:

  • If you are missing a grade for your ABSTRACT it wasn’t turned in on the due date.  You may still submit a copy to me.
  • If you are missing a grade on your SPJ than it wasn’t submitted with your project(or didn’t have your name clearly on it). No biggie — when we get back from winter break we just need to meet and find them ” in the stack.”
    • IF YOU HAVE A ZERO IN THE GRADE BOOK FOR YOUR PROJECT  than I DON’T have a project from you at all.  You need to complete your project and get it to me ASAP.

Congrats to all the Science Fair participants and winners.  I will let you know exactly what your next steps are with your projects when we get back from break!


(8th Grade)

If your scores on the tide columns from our Sun-Earth-Moon columns are less than 55 you may earn some more points

If your scores on the tide columns from our Sun-Earth-Moon columns are less than 55 you may earn some more points by successfully completing one or both of the following GIZMOS:
Ocean Tides and/or Tides. Each is worth 25 points. Yes, that includes the STUDENT EXPLORATION GUIDE (you may either print it or write out the questions and answers) and the ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS.  This work is due on either January 5 or January 6 during your first class of the new year. NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.


Winter Break Home Learning:

(7th Grade)

  • Rainfall and Bird Beak Gizmo SEG + AQ.  Due Jan 5/6

(8th Grade)

Dec. 15-18 (7th Grade) Natural Selection

Essential Question – How can an adaptation for one individual in a species impact the survival of the species?

In class we continued our lesson on Evolution by natural selection. I collected the Natural Selection Gizmo (SEG + AQ) and Peppered Moth Graphing Activity.

Natural Selection Notes

Natural selection is credited to the famous biologist, Charles Darwin. The idea behind this theory is “survival of the fittest”, or the idea that natural causes will eliminate the weakest or least-adaptable members of a species.  

, if a particular species of frog comes in a variety of shades of green, predators may more easily spot the frogs whose natural coloring is not like the foliage around them. Most of the frogs that live long enough to breed will be the specific shade of green found in the surrounding foliage. Because most of the frogs that remain are this shade of green, more of the frogs born in the next generation will be that color. If predators continue to see, catch and eat the frogs that are not this particular color, the process will continue until the frog species is entirely made up of foliage-colored green frogs.

1. OVERPRODUCTION: Species produce more offspring than will survive. 
Examples may include sea turtles and spiders.

2. VARIATION: Individuals in a population have different traits.
An example is the different size beaks of the Finches.

3.  ADAPTATION: The various traits that enable an organism to survive.
Examples may include, but not limited to; camouflage, mimicry, speed, toxicity, deception, deterrence, acute perception, etc.

4. SELECTION: Individuals with adaptions best suited for their environment(s) are more likely to survive.
*Artificial, Natural and Sexual
“Survival of the Fittest” This also may include sexual selection in which the organisms choose the best mate in order to carry on the genes to their offspring.  (For example, the Peacock or the Bird of Paradise.  The more colorful the feathers, the better the mate)

The Moths

The story of the peppered moth, Biston betularia, is one of the best-known examples of natural selection in action. The peppered moth is common in Europe, North America, and Asia. It shelters on trees during the day and is eaten by birds. Peppered moths are found in three forms, ormorphs:

  • Biston betularia morpha typica is light gray in color and speckled.
  • Biston betularia morpha carbonaria is dark gray in color.
  • Biston betularia morpha insularia is intermediate in color.

Prior to 1800, the typica morph was much more common than the darker carbonariamorph in the English countryside. The speckled-gray moths blended in well with light-colored tree bark and lichens. The dark carbonaria form contrasted with the tree bark, making it easier to spot.

During the 1800s, the Industrial Revolution changed the landscape of England. New coal-powered factories spewed tons of dirty smoke into the air, blanketing the forests with soot. The lichens on tree trunks died, and tree trunks were darkened. When this happened, the typica form was easier to spot than the carbonaria form, and as a result more were eaten. By 1895, dark moths accounted for nearly 100% of the total population in some forests. The pattern of darkening is described by the term industrial melanism.

Throughout the 20th century, air quality improved, trees became lighter in color, and the proportion of typica moths increased. Today, carbonaria is almost as rare as it was before the Industrial Revolution.

Home Learning: 

  • Rainfall and Bird Beaks Gizmo (SEG + AQ)

Dec. 15/16- (8th grade) Geocentric vs. Heliocentric Models of the Solar System

Essential Question – How has our model of the Solar System changed over time?

This class students explored the historical models of the solar system by checking out the solar system scope website.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 3.35.55 PM







Home Learning: 

Fusion textbook: Historical Models of the Solar System — read and answer questions (including Lesson Review).   Due at the beginning of next class.  


Solar System Scope – Geocentric/Heliocentric observations

Click the image below to explore the Solar System Scope simulation (how’s that for alliteration!?)



Use the handout in your ISN to record your observations, inferences and conclusions about the Geocentric, Heliocentric and Panoramic models of the Solar System.

Wed. Dec. 10 (All Classes) Daily Agenda

I have to be at a science teacher’s meeting today, so there will be a substitute.

Please note that these assignments are for A day students only (B day students will get them in a few days) 

  • 1A: 
    1. Natural Selection Gizmo SEG +AQ:  Complete the Student Exploration Guide and Assessment Questions.  This should be turned in by the end of the class period. In order to get full credit on the assignment each student has to complete the 5 Assessment Questions on their own account.
    2. Fusion Textbook: Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection (pg. 366-377).  Read and answer ALL QUESTIONS in the section (including the Lesson Review).  I will be checking this first thing next class period.
  • 2A/3A: 
    1. Achieve 3000- Floating Free article. Students will go to the 2nd floor computer lab to work on an Achieve article- Make sure you log into science class! There is more than enough time for it to be completed in class. Do the activity as well as the thought question.  In order to get full credit you must score above a 75% on your first try.
    2. Free Fall Tower Gizmo SEG + AQ: Complete the Student Exploration Guide and Assessment Questions.  This should be turned in at the beginning of next class.

Home Learning: 

  • Prepare for Science Project Presentations (day 3) on Friday. 

  • 7th Grade – Finish Fusion Textbook activity. Due Friday. 

  • 8th Grade -Finish Free Fall Tower Gizmo. Due Friday.

(All Classes) Dec. 4/5- Science Projects, day 1

We have officially begun our classroom science fair!

  We started class by watching a short video on what NOT to do during a presentation.  We also added a few items to our ISN to help reflect on the science project activity.



All classes have completed day 1 of project presentations. Students set up their display boards around the room and gave their presentation to small groups of students (and myself).

I really appreciate all the students who volunteered to present on the first day (as well as the great attitudes from students who were randomly chosen to present) Thank you all! 

Home Learning:

  • (all classes) Prepare for Day 2 of project presentations! 
  • (all classes) Make sure that your student feedback forms are filed in your ISN and you have completed the Day 1 reflection
  • (8th Grade only) -Gravity Notes/Lesson Review is due at the BEGINNING of next class. 


(8th Grade) Dec. 2/3- Gravity in the Solar System

This class students turned in their Science Project Abstracts and signed up for presentation dates for our class science fair. Presentations will begin on Thursday/Friday of this week!  Make sure you bring your display board, your science project journal and a polished presentation on the day you present.


Essential Question:  “Why is gravity the most important force in the universe?”

Read Fusion Unit 3, Lesson 2 “Gravity in the Solar System”

  • Take notes in ISN – (student choice– Cornell notes, guided question strips, or another format of your choice)
  • Complete the LESSON REVIEW questions and turn in next class.

Home Learning:

  • Prepare science project presentation
  • Complete Gravity notes and Lesson Review.  Due in class Thurs/Fri.

Quick Reminder about Science Projects

I mentioned this a number of times in class, but I wanted to do a quick update in case there is still some confusion:

Please remember that only your completed ABSTRACT is due Dec. 2/3rd.  When you get to class we will sign up for presentation dates.  You will bring everything else (display board, science project journal, and polished presentation) on the date you sign up to present.

I will go more in depth about presentations today/tomorrow in class.

Science Project Rubric(s)

Click below to download the Science Project Rubrics

Science Project Rubrics 2014-15


(All Classes) Achieve 3000

Update: Don’t worry about the thought question! Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick reminder about our Achieve 3000 lessons.  Students in both my 7th and 8th grade classes have one A3K lesson to complete this week (some students have already got started in class):

  • 7th Grade- “Were You Born to be a Sports Star?”
  • 8th Grade- “The Sky Went Dark”

Remember that in order to get full credit you need to get to score above a 75% on your first try.  Don’t forget to choose your science class when logging in.