Earth Day Extended Celebration

Last Friday and today, Ms. Kass and I took the students in her Science classes outside to do a little exploration of our environment. In a scavenger hunt type activity, we made a list of concepts the kids have studied during the year and went outside to look for examples. We looked for stages of life cycles, evidence of the water cycle, erosion, pollution, and documented the organisms in our ecosystem. Over the next few days, students will share the images they made with their iPad cameras in a Schoology class discussion. We will discuss what we found, and if we have a chance, we will make a plan to clean up the substantial amount of trash we found in the woods.

Here are a few of the pictures I made of during our outings of little things the students found.

Soldier beetle

Lichen and moss



Sawfly larvae



Thinking About Citizen Science

I’m currently working on a children’s book about ladybugs, and after collecting video of a larva eating an aphid this weekend, I was trying to find out if ladybug larvae have teeth. In my searching, I ran across something I had heard about before, but forgotten: The Lost Ladybug Project. This, combined with an article sent to me by a friend earlier in the month, made me think this and other citizen science projects could be resources for a really interesting G21 Project next year.

What if kids with iPads went outside a few minutes once or twice a week, or even volunteered time during recess, to document the biodiveristy of the playground? Teachers could create a classroom account on Project Noah and other similar websites. Using LeafSnap, students could learn to tell the difference between oak trees, or even more relevant, between poison oak and ivy. Instead of ordering a butterfly kit from a school supply catalog, students could find their own caterpillars, watch them grow, and document the process.

I have not searched my blog, but I think I’ve written almost exactly the same paragraph above at least once before. This is something I value. It is something important to me. I believe in using the technology kids enjoy to help us better understand and save the ecosystems that keep us alive. I also believe it is important that kids see things outside of books, in real life, to connect school to the outside world.

Note: The ladybug larva is not the cutest bug out there, and watching it eat is not everyone’s cup of tea. I have it here if you would like to see it.

When is my exam?

Tuesday, May 21

D1B1- Pre-AP Biology 8:20-10:29 

Wednesday, May 22

D2B1- Collaborative Biology 8:20-10:29 

Thursday, May 23 

D1B2- Biology 8:20-10:25

D1B4- Ecology 10:29-1:15 (Lunch 10:50-11:15)

Friday, May 24 

D2B2- Collaborative Biology 8:20-10:25

D2B4- Collaborative Ecology 10:29-1:15 (Lunch 10:50-11:15)

Important Dates


Friday April 12/Monday April 15- Unit 9 (Ecology) Test

Monday April 22/Tuesday April 23- milli-oo, ovi Quiz


Friday April 12/Monday April 15- Chapter 10 Vocabulary Quiz

Sometime Next Week- Tree ID Quiz- Be sure you’ve completed the Tree ID Lab Worksheet as you’ll be able to use it on the quiz.

Monday April 22/Tuesday April 23- Chapter 10 Quiz

Wednesday April 24/Thursday April 25- Chapter 10 Test

Ecology News

Just a reminder that the SNOW DAY on Monday pushed our plans back… which means you will have your Chapter 9 test on Monday/Tuesday when we return from Spring Break!

MP 3 exam is looming… and other important stuff

Pre-AP students should come see me ASAP to get a study guide for the MP test since you’ll be on the field trip during our class time on Monday. Otherwise, I’ll give you one on Wednesday when I see you again.

D1B2 students– please remember to ask me for a study guide on Monday when I see you as you’re turning in your projects. Otherwise, I’ll give you one on Wednesday.

D2 students will receive a study guide tomorrow.

The study guide for standard and collab only covers the information covered during MP3. The test will cover all information from Day 1!!! That means you need to study EVERYTHING! Your study guide is due the day of your exam. No study guides will be accepted following your test. (How does that help you?)

milli-photo quiz next Wednesday/Thursday!

Ecology students received, or will receive tomorrow, a study guide for MP3. The test covers information from Day 1. Chapter 1-10. Be sure to study it all. Your study guide is due March 11 or 12. No study guide can be turned in following review.

Ecology students did not do well on their Chapter 8 Quiz. Day 1 students may stay after school to retake. Day 2 students will be given the opportunity to retake the quiz on Tuesday during class.

Ecology- Day 1

Day 1 Students were given progress reports today to check for missing work.

All Chapter 7 work was due at the end of class. I have graded any missing assignments that were turned in.

This comes from our decision to change the policy for second semester. I wrote about it here.

At this point, any zeros in the grade book are final.

Please discuss with your student the importance of completing all work for the next unit in a timely manner.

Also, students need to be sure and organize their binders before next class. A table of contents can be found by using the link at the top of this page.

hint, hint

Week 2 is in full swing!

Week 2 after a long break that is!

It seems like everyone has gotten back into the swing of things… but this rain is not making it easy for anyone to be excited about genetics or water ecosystems!



Today D1 students took a quiz on milli-pod/ped… D2 students, don’t forget that your quiz is tomorrow! Then we worked on Punnett squares, more Punnett squares, and more Punnett squares. Practice makes perfect!

Biology students will have a quiz on Thursday/Friday on Meiosis and Mendalian Genetics (the Punnett square stuff).

I also warned students that the information we’re covering on Thursday/Friday is complicated… it’ll be hard to understand if they are not in class… please make every effort to ensure your child is in school on Thursday/Friday.



Yesterday D2 students took a quiz on Chapter 7 Vocabulary. D1 students will take the quiz today.

We finished Freshwater Ecosystems last class and are doing Marine Ecosystems starting today.

Ecology Changes Are Here!

In an effort to curb “senior-itis/junior-itis” and help students succeed, the Ecology team has decided to implement the following changes for second semester:
  • All chapter work will be due the day prior to the chapter test. This means, no work for that chapter will be accepted past this date. A zero will stay a zero. This is to help you stay on top of your grades! This should also help because the work is given to help further your understanding of notes and lectures. Doing the work after the test to simply bring up your classwork or homework grade is not acceptable any longer.
  • Study guides will be handed out earlier. They will be due the day before the test. We will grade for completion, then go over the answers so you will have the correct answers to study on test day.
  • Projects– both in class and out of class– will be broken down into parts with different due dates. This will help keep you on track as well as give you a few extra points to bump your grade.
If you  have any questions after reading this, please see me or Mrs. Parker to clarify.

Day 2 Students, Semester 1 is almost over!

Today was our last meeting before the exam!

Biology students went over most if not all the questions on the study guide. Then we played Jeopardy!

Ecology students played a review game of Jeopardy! Then we took time to answer the questions on the study guide.


All students should remember that their study guide is due the day of their exam.

D2B1 Biology- Tuesday

D2B2 Biology- Thursday

D2 Ecology- Thursday

Day 1 Students Semester 1 is Almost Over!

Today was our last meeting before the exam!

Biology students took a quiz on Prefix/Suffixes milli-extra. They all did pretty well! Then we transcribed and translated Alien DNA into traits! They drew some wonderful aliens. If they didn’t finish, they are to complete them for homework.

Ecology students played a review game of Jeopardy! Then we took time to answer the questions on the study guide.


All students should remember that their study guide is due the day of their exam.

Pre-AP Biology- Monday!

D1 Biology B2- Wednesday!

D1 Ecology- Wednesday!

Grades are coming due!

Day 2 Students received progress reports today– not to be signed, but to show them anything they are missing. Their Unit 5 Test Grades are on the reports. They have until next Friday, December 17 to make up any missing assignments and do test corrections.

Day 1 Students will receive progress reports tomorrow– the same info applies for them.

Biology- Students have a 13 page study guide that is due on the day of their exam. If they complete 1 page a night, they have plenty of time to get this completed without cramming before the exam. The pages do not have a ton of info, this should be easily completed in 30 minutes a night.

Ecology- Students have a 2 page study guide. It is due on the day of their exam.


Your study guide is no longer an extra credit grade. You must turn it in PRIOR to taking the test for a grade. I will not accept any study guides late.

All Classes! Test Tuesday/Wednesday!

All classes, Biology and Ecology, will have their Unit 5 Test on Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

Biology students- your study guide is a grade! It must be turned prior to taking the test. NO STUDY GUIDES WILL BE ACCEPTED LATE!

Ecology students- your study guide is worth 3 points extra credit. Please complete it as well as your Biome Book to help you prepare for this test!


Have a great weekend!

Biome Book Save/Upload/Share Tutorial

Biome Books are due Wednesday/Thursday. This tutorial will show you how to save as a PDF, upload to GoogleDocs, and then share with me :)

This will need to be done by the time you report to class on the day your book is due!

Video Tutorial

There is one issue with the tutorial. Instead of clicking GoogleApps on the webpage, type in to log in to your GoogleDocs account.

Share to

Ecology Week of 11/26


  • Last day to work on your Biome Book in class!


  • Biome Books Due!
  • Peer Review of Biome Books
  • Review Matching Game
  • Biome Map


  • Planet Earth-Deserts Video
  • Review Sheet
  • Review Game

Unit 5 Test will be Tuesday, December 4 (D2) or Wednesday, December 5 (D1)

Ecology Unit 4 Test

Unit 4 Tests have been graded. Students may stay after school to do test corrections on this test.

I will not be available after school Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week for corrections. But I will be around the next week. :)

Day 2 Block 4

Students spent about 20 minutes today organizing their binders. We discovered that out of 144 potential grades, there are 55 zeros in our grade book.

Hopefully, this time spent organizing helped students find missing assignments that can now be completed and turned in. Please ask your student if s/he is missing anything (or check PowerSchool). We’re happy to help bring these grades up as much as possible. These low grades are not a reflection of the ability of any student in our classroom! They are capable of so much more!


Also, we have offered to stay after school Tuesday-Friday of this week for any student who would like to retake the Chapter 5 Vocabulary Quiz. We will average the two scores.

What a busy week! Ecology Edition

Since Sandy upturned our lives a lot has happened!

Wednesday/Thursday Discussed appropriate behavior and dress for the field trip

Notes on Matter Cycles in ecosystems


Friday- FIELD TRIP! I took pictures, be prepared for a photo dump soon!


Watched Planet Earth: Deep Ocean which showed how energy flows through the deep ocean ecosystem Writing assignment- definition of three diagrams of energy flow (energy pyramid, food web, food chain)


Succession Notes

Succession Lab

Unit 4 Study Guide


Succession Lab, Study Guide, Writing Assignment are all due

Unit 4 Test– Be sure your kids are studying!

Unit 5 Vocabulary