With several students in each of my classes absent because of the Algebra EOC, we used the class period to review a variety of concepts up through Unit 4. Students reviewed the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles by reviewing posters they had made earlier in the school year. For students who were absent, an example of one poster is provided below:
We also reviewed genetics (vocabulary, single-trait Punnett Squares, and dihybrid crosses) along with mitosis, meiosis, and fertilization.
Students in attendance also received a copy of the EOC-style writing prompt called Research and Explore. We spent a few minutes discussing the prompt and looking at the rubric, and students are welcome to practice working through the prompt as homework. The prompt will not be collected as homework.
With many students out of class because of three different field trips happening today, we had to reschedule our quiz for tomorrow. For a starter activity today, students received a worksheet instructing them to write a paragraph comparing mitosis and meiosis, using 10 different key vocabulary words in their paragraph. Students who finished early had time to complete missing assignments.
Notes from the white board after 5th period are shown below:
Class began with a “pop quiz” – an entry task designed to serve multiple purposes. First, students were tasked with thinking about whether they thought there was a relationship between males, females, dominant alleles, and recessive alleles. After some private think/write time, students followed the structured partner talk protocol, sharing their understanding and then engaging in a respectful debate if needed. After a class share-out that included a review of key unit vocabulary terms, students learned that although dominant and recessive alleles are not linked to a particular parent, there are examples of sex-linked conditions like color-blindness. We finished with an activity in which students used the purple books to model the process of meiosis. Many students used Play-Doh and a few were able to create stop-motion videos of the process using the cell phones. Slides for the lesson can be viewed here.
We kicked off 4th quarter with a review of content covered during the first week of the Meiosis Unit. After a one-week interruption by Spring Break, students watched the Crash Course meiosis video (below), focusing on crossing over and homologous recombination. We wrapped up with a vocabulary review. Slides for today can be downloaded here.
Today we had a lively discussion of the effects of nature and nurture on various traits. We realized that the information encoded in our genes might make us appear and think a certain way, and yet our environment also plays an important role in making us who we are. The discussion transitioned to Lesson 6: mitosis and meiosis. Our previous emphasis on DNA replication and the vocabulary associated with the project from Lesson 1, coupled with the videos of DNA replication from Lesson 2, all created the foundation for readily understanding cell division.