Friday, August 30, 2013

Dichotomous Keys

Learning Objective: I will understand dichotomous keys.

Have you ever heard of a dichotomous key?  Do you know what one is?  Well, just in case you have never heard of one, here is a GREAT definition:

Dichotomous Key: is constructed using contrasting characteristics to divide the organisms in the key into smaller and smaller groups; each time a choice is made, a number of organisms are eliminated. If sufficient characteristics are contrasted, the number of possibilities for the identity of the unknown organism is eventually reduced to one. Keys that are based on successive choices between only two statements are known as dichotomous keys and are the type of key preferred by most biologists.
"Dichotomous" comes from a Greek word that means cut into two parts. Therefore, dichotomous keys always give two choices in each step.
An example of a dichotomous key
Aristotle was one of the great thinkers of his time. One of his achievements was to outline a scientific classification of animals.   He observed many animals to find features by which to classify them.  

This figure is a dichotomous key which shows animals classified by the characteristics determined by Aristotle.

Watch the videos below so you can learn how to make your own dichotomous keys. They can be used to classify pretty much anything! A bonus to watching the video. . .the narrator has an accent! Gotta love that!!!


IF YOU WERE ABSENT ON FRIDAY!!! Below is the SAFETY VIDEO to watch so that you can finish the worksheet :)

 Good luck!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dependent and Independent Variables

Do you remember the difference between dependent and independent variables???

Here's a video to help you review them.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lab Safety Procedures Review

Last week we talked about lab safety and how important it is to be on our best behavior when we are in the lab.  Don't forget, in the lab it is one strike and you are out.  That may sound a little bit harsh, but we absolutely don't want anyone getting hurt when we are in there doing experiments. So, ALWAYS remember to follow instructions, listen to Mrs. Simonson, and follow ALL lab safety procedures when we go to the lab.

Here are two silly little videos to help you remember how to stay safe in the science lab.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Wednesday. . .ALREADY?

WOW!  These weeks FLY BY!  I am having a great time in Science with all this spectacular kiddos.  We had some fun today using the Scientific Method to try and figure out how  to recreate a paper structure that doesn't seem to be possible to make.

It was so great to watch how the student's wheels started churning in their minds to try and figure it out.  The look on their faces when they finally succeeded was PRICELESS!  

For those who have not figured it out, I will share the "secret" tomorrow in class.

REMINDER!  Don't forget that tomorrow is picture day and we will be taking our pictures during the first half of Science.  So, look pretty! :)

As I promised, I am posting the second video to the A Day Made of Glass that we watched in class.  I have loved listening to all of the ideas that these videos have sparked.  Some of you will make great scientists and engineers one day!

As a bonus, I am also adding a video about the strength of the glass.  Some of you have wondered about how strong the items in the video are. The second video on this post will help you understand how amazingly strong this Gorilla Glass actually is.

Have a SPECTACULAR evening, and I will see you tomorrow.

Monday, August 19, 2013

HOMEWORK! Million Words or Less

Students will be bringing home a green paper with a letter from me about their homework assignment this week.  It is actually an assignment for the parents/guardians of the student.  It is due by August 30th.

Just in case your student lost their paper, or forgot to give it to you, here is a copy of what was sent home.

As always, PLEASE let me know if you have any questions or concerns about your child. Thanks! Mrs. Simonson

 PS- I am also attaching the two video clips we watched in class today just in case any of you would like to rewatch them. Have fun learning!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Week Success!

So far so good this week.  I am pleased with how AMAZING all of my students have been so far.  When you have about 150 students, that's saying a lot!!!

Just a quick update on stuff we have covered this week. . .

Items Needed by MONDAY 08/19/2013:
Composition Notebook, Yellow Highlighter, Folder with prongs, Pencils

Disclosure Statements should be signed and turned in by Friday August 16th.

QUIZ! On Friday 08/16.  Are you ready???  The quiz will be facts about Mrs. Simonson and our class goals, procedures, and expectations.

Next Week:
*  Scientific Method
*  Policies/Procedures and Lab Safety

Here is a song to get you started with the Scientific Method.  Enjoy!