Today marked the beginning of the Nervous System Project. Students with a grade of a C or higher have earned the opportunity to extra credit in exchange for researching an aspect of the nervous system of interest to them. As a student-driven project, the purpose is to provide students with the time and space to research topics like depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or any other condition of interest to the student. The goal is to learn more about the condition and to explore the condition at the system, organ, cell, and molecular level. Students were encouraged to explore the role of neurotransmitters in their chosen condition. To help support students, one possible research path might be:
- Select a condition that affects the nervous system
- Select a neurotransmitter known to be involved in the condition
- Research the function of the neurotransmitter and its’ receptor
- Research the source of the neurotransmitter (which cells release it?)
- Research the neurotransmitter receptor – what is it, and where is it expressed?
- Research how the neurotransmitter imbalance may occur
- Research available treatment options
Summarize findings in a Google Slides document (then share it with Mr. Swart)
+30 EC for completed project; +5 EC for presentation to class (optional)
Class was divided into two parts today: organizing student portfolios and using the work to revise the initial model from the second day of the unit. For the first part, students received a worksheet with a list of all of the Unit 2 assignments to date. They located the work and checked off completed items. The process gave students a clear idea of their progress toward work completion in the class. To gauge comprehension, students used their work to revise their initial models of how someone can survive an extreme scenario (like running from a fire or swimming the English Channel). By thinking through the process of how the body systems interact and obtain and use energy, students are primed for the writing assessment for tomorrow. After the assessment, students will turn in their portfolios for grading over the weekend, with the portfolio grade, revised initial model, and writing assessment comprising the majority of their mid-quarter grade.
Last week, students were introduced to body systems. They watched a video showing how the human body reacts under extreme conditions, and then researched body systems involved in the scenarios they saw in the video. This week, we began with a reading from the class textbook. The reading introduces students to the concept of homeostasis and feedback loops, while introducing those feedback loops in the context of specific body systems. Students read page 177, and then pages 229-236, answering questions 2a-d on page 178. Students finishing early also answered question 3, and then were challenged with searching for the mechanism behind the cycle they wrote about in question 2d. The directions were also written on the white board and are shown below:
Our work today is to organize student prior knowledge of how humans obtain energy into a model that can be revised over the course of the unit. Recent learning from the Strength video and worksheet from Monday should be used to help students fill out the initial model worksheet. The worksheet must be turned in at the end of class, so students should work efficiently to:
- Select one of the four scenarios from the video
- Review that scenario by watching that segment of the video (see Monday’s post for a link to the video)
- Draw and label the body systems involved (including the major organs of the body systems) on the worksheet
- Explain how the person in the scenario both gets and uses the energy and matter needed to survive in the scenario.
- Complete the three questions on the back of the worksheet, answering as completely as possible.
- Turn in the worksheet at the end of class for credit.
For a review of body systems, visit the website InnerBody.com and watch the Crash Course body systems videos to learn more about body systems relevant to the selected scenario.
Today we launched into our body systems project work. Students worked together in their project teams and completed a worksheet to help them define the parameters of the project. From there, they used the resources available in the room (library books about body systems, textbooks, and Internet websites like InnerBody.com) to research the content for the poster. Students are also responsible for identifying at least one test the doctor seeing Josh would order to validate the diagnosis that the specified body system is negatively affected. Students received a list of tests with “normal” values and were referred to MUSC Health for information about each test (which could also be researched with a Google search).
Today we had an unannounced clicker quiz that served multiple purposes. First, the quiz allowed students to assess their knowledge of body systems vocabulary. Second, students were able to voice which body system they though twas most affected in Josh when he became sick. Their opinions determined which body systems would be available for the group projects. Finally, students with the highest scores quiz scores were identified as project team leads, and their “reward” was being able to select from the list of available body systems. Students who were not team leads then had to identify which body system and team leader their skill set would best fit, and then sign up to join that group. We will launch the projects tomorrow. Click here for the slides presented today showing new vocabulary around the levels of cellular organization (cell, tissue, organ, and organ system – synonymous with body system) and the requirements of the project.
In lesson 12, students learned about the systems of the human body. After taking a quick pre-assessment, we watched a video explaining biological organization. Organ systems were included in the hierarchy, and that led in to a second video about the human body. Students were given a worksheet and each student was assigned one or two questions per video to answer. At the end of the videos, everyone shared responses. The final video focused on the respiratory system, and students followed along with the breathing exercises. After the lesson, students received copies of two additional worksheets. The first worksheet directed them to the website www.innerbody.com which they were instructed to use to learn about the various body systems. The second worksheet guided students through the process of integrating their understanding of body systems relevant to the Heredity Project trait they completed as part of the Genetics Unit. Students will have at least two additional class periods to complete the assignments from this lesson.