Biology EOC Review

Here are the documents available for review prior to the Biology EOC this Thursday:

Key areas of review using information previously learned in class this year:

Evolution: Evolving Bodies, Evolving Switches

We have entered the Math EOC testing period (Geometry today, Algebra tomorrow).  Students attend periods 1-3 today and 4-6 tomorrow afternoon, following the SBAC testing bell schedule.

Today, students watched the HHMI Biointeractive video titled Evolving Bodies, Evolving Switches (watch below).  The video explains how the stickleback fish has evolved and adapted to its environment, and shows how scientists are using genetics to further understanding of evolution as well as developmental biology.  After watching the video, students completed a worksheet to reinforce and extend their learning.

Evolution: Bean Game

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, we spent the first half of class outside today playing an evolution bean game.  The class was divided into thirds, with one-third of students receiving a plastic fork, spoon, or knife.  All students received a plastic cup.  The cup served as the “mouth” and the eating utensil was the “hand”.  One bag of 1000 pinto beans was scattered in a section of the front lawn, and students had to move the beans from the ground to the cup using only the utensil.  After two minutes, the students gathered in their utensil groups and counted the total number of beans collected.  We repeated the activity again, changing the number of students with each utensil and collecting additional data.  We then went back into the classroom and analyzed our results.   Students calculated the average number of beans obtained by each group member, the average number of beans available to each group, and how many students it would take with each utensil to obtain the average number of beans available to each group.  Students then thought about the factors that affected the class results, sharing their ideas on the white board (below).  Finally, students were challenged to improve the game, writing ideas for how to evolve the bean game and make it even more engaging for all students.

Bean Game Factors

Evolution: The Beak of the Finch – Day 1

After some great discussion around evolution, pseudogenes, and the reactivation of the gene encoding teeth in chickens, we started off the lesson with a TED Talk from Jack Horner: Building a dinosaur from a chicken.  Students engaged in a spirited debate about the ethical considerations around tinkering with genetics.  We then transitioned to the HHMI Biointeractive video: The Beak of the Finch.  Students received a copy of the student quiz to work on in class and to either take home and complete as homework (for students taking the AP History exam tomorrow) or to complete in class tomorrow.

Evolution: Some of the things that molecules do

As an introduction to our final unit this year, we watched Cosmos, Episode 2: Some of the Things That Molecules Do.  Students responded to worksheet questions while they watched, and the worksheet is due tomorrow at the beginning of class for full credit.  Late work will now be accepted for 65% credit.  The entire Cosmos series is available streaming on Netflix, and Netflix offers a one month free trial for students who do not currently subscribe.

Reminder: Biology EOC review sessions will be held tomorrow (5/12), Thursday (5/14), and the following Tuesday (5/19) in my room after school from 2:20-3:30.  Students are also encouraged to continue working through the EOC study guide that went home with them on Friday.

Field Study: Conclusion Writing

We wrapped up the Field Study mini-unit with a conclusion writing exercise.  In preparation for the biology end-of-course exam scheduled for May 28, students practiced writing a conclusion based on some actual field study results obtained by students in one of my classes.  The field study scenario and slides for today, including a reminder about turning in the field study work, are available for review.

Field Study: Data Analysis

After three days of conducting field study work outside, students spent the class period analyzing their samples and then organizing and analyzing their data.  Using the field study analysis worksheet, students made tables and graphs, and then shared their results with other students before completing the summary questions.

With 4 of our 6 classroom computers suddenly out of commission, there has been a backlog of students wanting to analyze pictures taken during the field study.  For students with Internet access and a computer available outside of school, histogram analysis can be conducted with software like GIMP 2.8 (available for free) or Adobe Photoshop (sign up for a free 30 day trial).