Gainesville Middle School

  • Life Science Blog 2019 2020
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    I hope everyone is doing well and had a good weekend. We will be continuig with review activities this week, however we will be moving into using teams as we prepare for the next stages of education laid out by our superintendant.  Many of you have been able to open teams and leave a message in the general channel and I am very proud of you.  To get to teams, you open your 365 account and look for the Science team. I used a plant cell as your icon to make it easier to identify. Once you are in our team, you can first go to the general channel and answer the questions or respond to the question.  Then go to the St 16-18 Classification Standard.  There is a link on that channel for doing a nearpod.  This is an interactive type lesson that I will be offering later in the year.  Take this opportunity not only to review but to become familiar with the program. I may add one more activitiy before the end of the week  I will also be including edpuzzles and more. The goal is to get you comfortable with many different ways of learning as we prepare for eighth grade.  They use many of these platforms. If and when you have questions, please ask. YOu may then go to the Passions Project channel.  There is a padlet to try as well as a flip grid when you get there. Do not forget their is the nature scavenger hunt on my web page as well.  If you check out the pictures page of the web page you can see some of the creatures your fellow classmates found.  If you take a picture of one of your finds and email it to me I will add it to the collection. Take care of yourselves and your family and have a great week.
    Posted by armstrem  On Mar 30, 2020 at 8:14 AM
    As we discussed in team time, we are beginning our passion projects. The time you have at home is the perfect time to get started. Take time to consider what you want to do.  I will be placing material in Files and Documents in the Work from Home folder. Before we start, I want to have us brainstorm ideas for this project as well as get inspired.  Please participate in the Padlet for the link provided. When you do decide on a project you need to think of the following parameters; What do I need for this project in terms of space, money and movement? Am I keeping the “End in Mind” and the other 6 Habits for Highly Effective People, will this project take sufficient time and effort? You need a project that will take a minimum of a half hour a day for 10 days to complete. Then you must get your parents approval. I will be providing a list of ideas for you to use as a starting place as well.  However, you really need to pick something your heart desires and not just something from a list. Once you choose your project you will need to fill out the proposal form.  I will be asking for updates as you work on your project.  At the completion of the project you will put together a poster or presentation such as PowerPoint to show what you have done.  A form for these requirements will be coming out later. I hope you enjoy this project and I cannot wait to see what you come up with. Please email me if you have any questions. Passion Project Proposal.docx Passion Project Ideas.docx
    Posted by armstrem  On Mar 22, 2020 at 11:46 AM
    Hello Students and Families!  I have updated the gradebook. Please email me if you have any questions. Currently, no new work is being assigned. The Disney Dichotomous Keys were due on Friday March 13. You may email me or bring it in through April 17th as well as any late work.  (Subject to change with further developments.)  Class Standing Currently in our class we have completed standards 1-15.  We have been working on standards 16-18 for the past few weeks.  No new assignments have been assigned at this time. Please use this time to review what we have learned thus far and to explore what interests you. Looking for what you can do? 1. Check out Armstrong's Useful Links in resources. (Check out the other 7th Grade Science Teachers links) 2. Create review activities using your notes or the Life Science Packet.  -Flash Cards  - Create your own online game such as Kahoot or Quizizz -Design a review game of your own imagination 3. Go to my Files and Documents and find things to do in the work from home folder. (I have been posting the pictures you have sent from doing the Nature Hunts on the Amrstong's Class Photos' Page!) 4. Do your workbook for the different units if you have not done them already. Passion Project In team-time, I had discussed starting a passion project.  This is a project that you work on that you have always wanted to do.  Examples include but are not limited starting to learn a new language, designing and building something, try a new hobby.  I will be creating a folder in my files and documents to assist with what to do.  The most important is to first figure out what you want to do and how to get the resources to make it happen. Please have a discussion with your parent or guardian about your decision. I will be deciding on a method for us to share all that we have done.
    Posted by armstrem  On Mar 20, 2020 at 2:33 PM
    Good evening.  I've been thinking a lot about you and your families, and hope everyone is doing well.   Please bare with me, as I'm  trying to figure this out myself.  First,I handed out three charts for students to fill out and help them understand the kingdoms for our current unit, classification on Friday.  I asked students to transfer their notes on Bacteria from the Bateria vs Viruses to the 6 Chrachteristics chart as well as fill in the Human collumn. Then in class we filled in the 6 Kingdom Triaits chart. If you were not in class on Friday please complete this chart.  In addition,  I passed out a packet for students to study habitats and biomes I felt that many students have been studying habitats for most of their lives and they would need the least assistance with this content.  Again there is a chart for all the biomes as well as readings.  Students are to identify the tyes of animal, plants and weather goes to each of the biomes.  For many students this is not new material.  Then there is a project to go with it.  These are not required at this time, but it is often helpful if students review the materials and ask any questions they may have incase situations change. All these materials are in my files and documents.  I have created a special folder titled "Work from Home."  I will be positng other activities students can do to enjoy and explore the natural workd around them. We are still awaiting updates on what is required for teachers during this break, so if/when that changes, I'll be sure to let you know.  I will be working on grading and entering all of the grades that I have for you. Thank you for your support and flexibility during this time. I will do my best to communicate to you every week and let you know of any updates that we become aware of. Please check your emails  for an update regarding assignments/grades/etc.!  Lastly, if your child/children are in need of breakfast and lunch during this closure, PWCS have set up locations in our area for you to go and get breakfast and lunch to go. Meals are free to children under 18 and can be picked up, Monday-Friday from 9-10 am. For more information, including additional sites, please click this link: To-go meals available free during closure - Prince William County Public Schools Prince William County Public Schools. Close Search Modal. Division Home Please know that I feel your family's well being and health, and your children's sense of security, is a priority at this time.  I am merely sharing resources for those who may want them and be able to use them at this time. I look forward to seeing you all again soon!  Email me if you have any questions.
    Posted by armstrem  On Mar 15, 2020 at 10:25 PM
    Hope everyone had a good day off.  The tests from last week have been posted in the gradebook.  We have now started classification.  We started with tools we use to classify different organisms including cladograms and dichotomous keys.  We will move onto how we name and organize organisms and then go into the different domains and kingdoms of organisms.  This includes a discussion on viruses versus bacteria.  We currently have a prime casestudy on infectious diseases going on right now,  the coronavirus. I have posted articles in my links page and ask that you discuss these topics with your children.  A big focus will be on taking a break from social media if they are feeling anxious.  To discuss with you theiir feelings, look at our circles of control and rely on scientific sites. We will discuss be proavtive instead of reactive.
    Posted by armstrem  On Mar 04, 2020 at 5:57 AM
    This week we will be taking the Evolution Test. 3rd Period on Tuesday and the other periods on Wednesday.  Here is a quizizz code to help prepare. 142569 We will take the midterm later this week and then will start Classification.
    Posted by armstrem  On Feb 24, 2020 at 5:51 AM
    Test Proposed for Tuesday February 25th on Standards 14 and 15 Evolution.
    Posted by armstrem  On Feb 18, 2020 at 4:56 AM
    I would like to start by thanking all the families that came out to the science fair. The students did a phenomenal job.  Starting today, students may take their boards home.  They should all be picked up by next Friday.  If you do not want the board I can take care of them here at school. Students who are redoing aspects of their project have until February 25th to complete the changes. This is the same date for the deadline of test retakes. This week we have started our study on Evolution standard 14 and 15. We have looked at how organisms change over time and this is evolution.  Please take time to discuss what they are learning at home.  I am looking at having the test on  February 25th. As a reminder this is a three day weekend.
    Posted by armstrem  On Feb 14, 2020 at 11:22 AM
    Thank you to all the students and their families who participated in the student led conferences. This week we have been dilegently working on punnett squares. We will continue our discussion on genetics over the next couple days as we discuss genetic engineering, CRISPR, Cloning, and more.  The enriched students have already discussed them. These topics are very important to have diasucssions on at home.  In class we discuss mainly how they work and that there are ethical issues that need to be considered very carefully.  Students should be working in their workbooks on Chapters 6, 7, and 8 and 3 collumn vocabulary sheets.. By the end of today students will also have a review sheet to complete.  Students may also play quizizz to help review for the test we intend to take next week.  Enriched will take their test Tuesday while the 1st, 2nd, and 7th will take theirs Firday. The code is 576784.  Students have taken quick checks on two of the standards already.  Just as a reminder the retake for the quick checks is the test.  If they test higher than the test grade will replace the quick check score.   Monday, the science fair boards are due. We will go over presentations techniques and practice.  Then the students will do their presentations.  Most presentations are less than 5 minutes.  Please email me if you have any questions and have a wonderful weekend.  
    Posted by armstrem  On Jan 31, 2020 at 5:45 AM
    We have completed our first week from break and have been working on DNA.  This unit that not only deals with DNA but genetics relates to wonderful topics for family discussions.  These include discussions on family history and geneology, gmo's and genetic modified organisms, cloning, and more.  As we enter a wold where we have begun to modify humans it is important to start the moral discussions of these topics at home.  Other interesting discussions include 23 and me and genetic testing done on infants for medical purposes. In class we will discuss what was the human genome project, what is a clone and how did the first scientist accomplish this in a sheep, what is a GMO and what are some arguments for and against, what is CRISPR and how did the first genetically modified human come to be as well as how do we predict the possibility of different traits and the genome project.  We will learn about Mendel and his peas and the history of the discovery of the shape of DNA. Last week, amongst all the snow days, we learned the shape of DNA, What the letters in DNA stand for and what makes up the strand of DNA.  We reviewed how Chromosomes are made of DNA and that a section represents a gene.  The gene is code for a specific trait. Students have been givien there vocabulary and should be working on them at home.  We are also on oue last weeks of working on the science fair projects. Last friday the graph, data table and results paragraphs were due.  Before break, students were given aids, a demonstration, and class time (including this past Thursday) to work on their projects.  This Friday, the rough draft for the conclusion paragraph is due.  The firnal report is to be typed, printed and submited on January 24th.  In addition, retakes for standards 9 and 10 must be completed by Friday.  Please email me if you have any questions.
    Posted by armstrem  On Jan 13, 2020 at 5:39 AM
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