This page contains information about important things, such as notes, spreadsheet examples, web guides, and some general notes about class that I share. These entries will help students and parents follow what's happening in Physical Science so they can discuss assignments with students and ask them about their progress on particular projects and so on.
If you have questions or concerns, you can e-mail me at

9-2 Tue

Welcome back to school! In the first few days of class, we will be covering needed materials and classroom expectations.
First of all, items that will be needed for class are:
  • Pens and pencils
  • Loose-leaf paper (or notebook)
  • A ruler, preferably with metric measurements included.
  • A small pack (6-8) colored pencils or markers.
  • Scientific calculator. This does NOT need to be a graphing calculator, but it needs to have exponent functions on it.
  • Sturdy pocket folder to house your lab papers, handouts and so on.
  • USB (Flash/Jump/Thumb/etc.) drive - 2 GB minimum

Lab Safety
Word version

Lab Safety

  • If you do not have your notes from last year with you, find them. You will want them.

Today's Task:
Take Accel Sci 7 Final and Accel Sci 8 Pre-Test on Quia.

9-4 Thu
Discuss the article on pandemics that was handed out yesterday.
Discuss the focus on science process this year.
Review chemistry terms and the periodic table.

9-10 Wed
  • Check and discuss answers on the Isotopes worksheet
  • Hand out blended worksheet on determining number of protons, neutrons and electrons in neutral atoms, ions and isotopes
  • Assignment:
    • Complete the worksheet
    • Visit the site on the following Atom Builder Webguide and answer the questions on the document. Save and rename it for yourself.

9-15 Mon
Briefly review
  • Atomic structure, ions and isotopes
  • Periodic table
Discuss/demo how to draw atom diagrams
Assign diagrams for neutral atoms

9-16 Tue
Check the Atom diagrams in class
Discuss/demo drawing ions
Assign ions drawings for Wednesday

9-17 Wed (late start Wed)
Check the ion drawings
  • Discuss why ions form and stable octets
  • Compare the noble gas electron configurations to the ions' electron configurations
Hand out notes on Chemical Bonding to read for Thursday

9-18 Thu
Check atom diagram pop quiz from yesterday
Hand them back and discuss
Collect scores
Discuss chemical bonding per the notes from yesterday

9--19 Fri
Here is today's assignment to get you started on background on the life is. You will write a 1 page essay that answers the questions posed below and summarizes the key ideas related to the information presented in the links provided. Do not merely answer the questions! You will continue this the following class period..

1. Describe some important people and/or events that helped launch the early study of cells and the further development of cell theory. (Include a time reference with your answers)
2. Describe the purpose and procedure of Louis Pasteur’s classic experiment.
3. What is abiogenesis and why was it a controversy?
4. What was the Miller-Urey experiment about and what is its significance in the studying life?

9-25 Thu
Going outside today!
Remember that you have a quiz on the periodic table tomorrow!

9-26 Fri
Do this survey for Monday
Is This Thing Alive?

9-30 Tue
Outside to collect samples today!

10-1 Wed
We will work with the samples collected yesterday. Record qualitative and quantitative observations about them on notes cards.

10-2 Thu
Match the descriptions of the items from outside to the items and evaluate the person's observations. Hand the card back to the teacher.
Reminder: Your "Life" paper you were working on should be complete and shared with me, allowing me to comment.
(Continue from before) Go to the following sites and generate a basic list in your notes of the main characteristics of living things. What makes something "living"?
Characteristics of Living Things
More Characteristics of Living Things
Still More on Characteristics of Living Things
The Last Link on Characteristics of Living Things

10-6 Mon
Going outside tomorrow. Be prepared!
Develop list of essential Characteristics of Living Things (notes)
Take note cards, find the items that you made observations of and record any changes from last week to this week on the second note card. Put your name on the note card and hand in, stapled to your original note card.

Outside to collect samples today!

10-8 Wed
Read about taxonomy on the following links. Take notes on this material.
Taxonomy - another view

10-13 Mon
Complete any drawing/recording of specimens from last week. Make sure we have covered all of them!
You will then continue working on taxonomy by getting some experience with dichotomous keys and how they work. We briefly discussed some plant terminology that will help you identify plants. The following site will enhance our discussion. Add any information to your notes that will extend and/or clarify what was discussed in class.
More about plant structure
Use some the next sites to get some background on the use and development of taxonomic keys.
Dichotomous Key Basics
Using a dichotomous keys - Click on the Plant Identification link and get some practice on how a dichotomous key works. Add to your notes any terminology that will be helpful identifying the specimens that we brought in from outside.

10-14 Tue
Brief discussion on classifying, hierarchy and taxonomy.
  • Why do we need a system of classification?
  • What is a hierarchy?
  • What is a taxon?
Read some background on the development of scientific classification. Take notes on the important points for future discussion. Background on scientific classification

Go to the following site and complete the worksheet given in class.
Practice with Taxonomy

10-15 Wed
Pamishan Creatures activity - Use a dichotomous key to correctly identify the 20 "alien" creatures. The key and pictures of the creatures are handed out in class.

10-22 Wed
Use the following keys/guides to try and identify the specimens that were brought into class.
Tree Key 3
Tree Key 2
Tree Key 1
Also, feel free to find an online tool that you may find more suitable or easier to use than the ones provided.

10-23 Thu
*Check out the partial SOLAR eclipse today at approximately 4:30 in the afternoon. The clouds are supposed to clear and it should be visible, but don't look directly at it!
Check Pamishan Creatures answers and
Peer evaluation of the dichotomous keys that you developed to identify the lab utensils. (Postponed)
Continue identifying the specimens that were brought in from class. As you can see, I have posted one more key that you can use if you find it helpful.
I will also be calling students up to discuss their Life papers before I enter grades for them. (Postponed)

10-27 Mon
Wrap up specimen identification today by compiling a class list of specimen numbers and their identified names
Take someone else's lab equipment key and use it to key out 3 items. List which item you keyed and an evaluation of how effective, or ineffective, the key was in identifying the items. Hand in your evaluation stapled behind the person's key that you used.

10-28 Tue
With our continued study of life and return to a microscopic level, we you will investigate something that has been largely in the news lately - Ebola! You will learn what a virus is and how it works, as well as some specifics about the Ebola virus itself. Visit the sites below, take notes, and write a one-page paper using the following as a framework for your paper: What is a virus? Is it a life form? What is it's structure? How does it survive and spread? What are some specifics pertaining to the Ebola virus that you and the general public should know to have a basic accurate understanding of it and how to deal with it and minimize the spread of it? Cap off your paper by stating your position on dealing with a situation where someone refuses to be quarantined. Remember that this is an essay. It is not merely long answers to the questions I have posed an is YOUR paper, not someone else's words.
How viruses work
PBS - Ebola

10-31 Fri
*Make any modifications you feel you need to make to your "Life" papers by tomorrow and I will give them a final grade to record before posting them next week
*You will have a test on Tuesday on the following items:
  • History of cell theory - Hooke, Schleiden, Schwaan, etc
  • The levels of taxa from most general to most specific
  • Using a dichotomous key and terminology used in class that pertained to keying out our specimens
    • Examples - palmate, pinnate, compound, simple, opposite, alternate, whorled, etc
  • The list of essential characteristics of living things we developed in class
Hand in your printed Ebola paper
View the following Cell Tutorial site and read about prokaryotes v. eukaryotes. List the main characteristics of each. Then look at plant v. animal cells. Draw a diagram of a plant cell and an animal cell and label the position, form and function of each structure in each cell. You can omit the extra structures that are not on your main structure list that you already have. Try constructing a cell at the end of the activity. Keep your cell notes and diagrams for review and discussion.

11-3 Mon
Review vectors!
Complete the cell tutorial notes

11-4 Tue
Test today!!! See last week's notes.

11-5 Wed
Review and complete your test from yesterday
Check out One more cell structure site and add any structures you do not already have in your diagrams
Hand in your drawings when done.

*Try adding the vectors given in class using the Vector Addition Grid. Report your RV to the teacher.
Note: For those of you having problems with running off the grid, I ran the vectors again and it worked fine for me. Did you start at the intersect of the X and Y axes, as I suggested? Again, the vectors to add are 24 NE, 9 E, 18 N, 13 W, 39.6 SE, 23 W, 29.7 NE, 28 S. ?RV

11-6 Thu
We will be working with vectors a little more and use the site linked above to added vectors and complete the documentation to go with it as prescribed in class. Hand in the card and the printed page.

11-7 Fri
Review your cell diagrams/notes and make sure they are handed in when completed.
Then, continue on with the following assignment:
  • You will work on how one cell becomes another. This should be a bit of a review from 6th grade science and Human Growth and Development. Read the short descriptions, view the illustrations and ultimately draw the progression of cell division for mitosis and meiosis. The video posted below gives a rather detailed version that may be helpful. There is audio with it, so you will need earbuds/headphones.

Here is a nice animation of mitosis in which the viewer can control to speed of the sequence.
Mitosis Animation

Try these cell games to see how well you do.
Animal Cell Game Plant Cell Game Bacteria

11-10 Mon
You can start thinking,planning, and laying out your "Life" poster. Create a poster that will show and explain the evolution of human knowledge and understanding of what life is, what it takes to consider something living and how living things are organized.from atoms to organisms.
Elements that must be addressed in the poster are:
  • Abiogenesis
  • Cell theory (including major contributors to it)
  • Plant cells v. animal cells (including organelles)
  • Cell division
  • DNA to protein
  • Levels of organization
  • Characteristics of living things
  • Levels of taxonomy

11-11 Tue
Take the Cell Quiz 1 on Quia
After the quiz, start the assignment on the process of going from DNA to forming proteins.

DNA to protein: View the materials posted below to learn about how the message held in DNA eventually become molecules that make up a body and allow processes to occur.

Here is another link that has a lot of supplemental information on it. Supplemental Information on DNA to Protein

View the presentations linked above and answer the related questions below.
  1. What are the two types of RNA mentioned in these presentations and what is the role of each?
  2. What is transcription?
  3. What is translation?
  4. What are the four letters that are represented in the strands of DNA and RNA, and what do those letters represent?
  5. What is a codon?
  6. What is an anti-codon?
  7. What is an amino acid?
  8. What make up the “sides of the ladder” in the DNA and RNA structures respectively?
  9. What make up the “steps of the ladder” in the DNA and RNA structures respectively?
  10. What does it mean to say the DNA and RNA strands are complimentary?
  11. What is the role of the ribosomes?

* Here is the additional site for cells that I said I would post to make up for the old site that I ad to drop.

11-13-14 Thu
Hand back papers today and discuss
Wrap up the DNA to Protein assignment today and keep your answers to the questions

11-14-14 Fri
Retake your Cell Quiz 1.
In light of the recent historic comet landing, please do the following Comet Landing assignment.

11-17-14 Mon
Continue working on the Comet Landing assignment

11-19-14 Wed
After completing all of the DNA to Protein assignment, keep your notes for now and try the DNA to Protein Order activity I have opened up for you on Quia.
Good luck!

Discuss and evaluate a few of the DNA to Protein student drawings and then hand them back. Review your own and think about improvements that could be made as you do your "Organization of Life" poster.
Hand back the DNA Sentences cards previously done to make corrections and be returned to me.
Assignment for the break:
  • Review and evaluate the DNA to Protein Order list on Quia and make suggestions for me to improve it in any way. If your order differs from mine, write the order down on a piece of paper and hand it to me on Monday.
  • Regarding the DNA to Protein activity we did in class, think about the following items and be ready to address them on Monday!
  1. What structure did my desk represent?
  2. What substance did the person who came to my desk represent?
  3. What process was the person in #2 representing?
  4. What is the term used for the letters resulting from the first conversion that occurred?
  5. What is the term for the letters resulting from the second conversion that occurred
  6. What structure did the student table represent?
  7. Where in the cell would the structure from #6 be located
  8. What specific step in the DNA to Protein process does the structure from #6 make happen?
  9. What substance did the combination of the third person and the cards represent?
  10. What was the specific step in the DNA to Protein process did the third person represent?
  11. What did the letters on the counter cards represent?
  12. What did the words on the backs of the counter cards represent?
  13. What did the sentence represent?
  14. What is the cellular term for what would hold the words together to form the sentence?
12-1 Mon
View the following items and note the different levels of physical organization that make up living things. This may help with your poster.
Levels of organization in living things

Here is Google version of the ppt. Levels of Organization 2
Levels of Organization Animation
*Organization of Life Posters
Students will create a poster that will show and explain the evolution of human knowledge and understanding of what life, different aspects of organization associated with living things and processes crucial to the essence of continuing the existence of living things. .
Elements that must be addressed in the poster are:
  • Development of Cell theory (including major contributors to it)
  • Abiogenesis
  • Characteristics of living things
  • Plant cells v. animal cells (including organelles)
  • Taxonomic levels of organization
  • Physical levels of organization
  • Cell division
  • DNA to protein process
The poster is due Monday, December 22. Get going!

Start Tuesday's assignment on Protein Structure:
  • Go to the following site and address the items listed below in your notebook.
  1. Draw the basic representative structure of an amino acid and label the parts.
  2. List some common functions of proteins and a brief description or example of those functions.
  3. List and draw, or describe, the four levels of protein structure
  4. Read about the roles of hemoglobin and myoglobin and iron in oxygen transport. What levels of protein organization are represented in these two proteins?

12-4 Thu
We will start on heredity today. Here the is first link that is associated with the questions handed out in class.

12-5 Fri
  • Share your protein structure document with your classmates. On your own paper, evaluate the document of the other groups and simply state what you think is good and what you think could be better, added, left out, etc. Make sure your names are on the paper and clearly list the names for each group that you are evaluating. Hand in the paper to the Daily tray.
  • Complete the genetics/heredity overview assignment from yesterday and hold onto it for Monday
  • Work through the links on the following document to refresh and strengthen your knowledge of Punnet squares and doing genetics problems. Take any notes you need to and do the practice problems in your notebook.

Google version: Punnett Square Overview-Google
We will continue the Punnet square assignment on Monday!

12-10 Wed
Complete the Punnet Square assignment from above. This will be the last day for this.

12-11 Thu
Take Heredity Quiz 1on Quia today.
Work on the Genetics Worksheet handed out in class - due Friday
You can also play the Cells and Heredity challenge board game on Quia. It is like Jeopardy and you can play against a classmate.

12-12 Fri
Continue working on the Genetics Worksheet today

12-15 Mon
How are the Life posters coming?
Finish going over the Genetics Worksheet problems from last week
Hand out and work on the for tomorrow.

12-16 Tue
Go over the Punnet square worksheet problems from Mon. The answers are posted below

Hand out the notes/worksheet on Incomplete Dominance/Codominance and the work out the problems for practice in class. That sheet is also posted below.

12-22 Mon
We went over the aquatic Arthropod problems #6 and #7 today. Here is the
I also assigned the problems #1 and 2 on the Dyhibrid Cross wkst for Tuesday

1-12 Mon
After the geologic timeline paper strip is done, thoroughly read the following web page:
How Did Life Begin?
Then, go the following site and launch the video that gives an additional spin to the search for the the origin of life on Earth.
Revealing the Origins of LIfe

1-14 Wed
Complete the geologic timeline and hand it in
Review for the semester test. Here is a Semester Test Review for you to use to prepare.

1-15 Thu
Here is a link to the Final Test for today.

1-28 Wed
Use this as an overview of work, power and simple machines. View it and answer the corresponding questions handed out in class.

Work, Power and Simple Machines power point Google version.

2-3 Tue
  • Discuss Simple Machines today and the Lever notes that were handed out in class before
  • Classified the levers on the back of the lever notes.
  • Assign the problems on the back of the Lever Lab. Classify each lever and determine any mechanical advantages (MA) that are feasible to do.

2-4 Wed
Discuss how to set up and run the Lever Lab
Start the lab

2-5 Thu
Continue the Lever Lab

2-6 Fri
No class - Students gone on ski trip

2-9 Mon
  • Hand out wkst on Calculating Efficiency.
  • Work on the Simple Machines Quiz 1 Practice when done with the Lever Lab.
  • The practice problems are due for Tuesday. Do not do the efficiency problems, as we will get that tomorrow.
  • Here is a copy of the wkst

2-10 Tue
Go over the Simple Machines Quiz 1 Practice problems
Review inclined planes
Discuss how to set up and run the Inclined Plane Lab
Start the lab

3-2 Mon
There will be a TEST tomorrow on work. power and simple machines!

3-3 Tue
Discuss Pulley Lab and any other lab with simple machines
Questions on review sheet?
Do the W,P,Simp Mach Review-Quia

3-4 Wed
Start test on work, power and simple machines

3-5 Thu
Complete work, power and simple machines test
After the test, reflect on waves and see what you remember about waves and their characteristics

3-6 Fri
We will briefly explore alternative and renewable energies before we get into chemistry
Alternative and Renewable Eneregy

4-20 Mon
  • Finish the test from last week
  • Discuss logging into the Pearson Online Textbook
  • Look for the first red book on the left, with the volcano on it
  • Start Chapter 4, "Minerals" and fill out the guided reading below. A hard copy will be given in class.
  • ASSIGNMENT Start "Properties of Minerals GR"

4-27 Mon

You will make your own Mineral Hardness scale based on the results of your hardness tests performed here: Hardness Testing Lab. Follow the directions given by me as well as what's on your handout to put 10 unknown minerals in the proper order of hardness, from softest to hardest.

Here are the Mineral Basics.
  • Make sure you know the 5 basic characteristics of minerals.
  • List and describe the properties that are used to identify minerals.

4-30-15 Thu
Do not forget to give your input to the Fracking Google doc! You will get points for THOUGHTFUL input.

We will continue on with minerals.
Here is the link that will take you to today's lab: Virtual Mineral Identification Lab
This is the accompanying lab sheet:

5-12 Tue
Complete the Mineral ID Lab and keep your notes for the "unknown

Go to the Pearson Online Textbook link posted above on this wiki and start on the the . Also,
Video Preview on Chapter 5, "Rocks"

5-14 Thu

5-15 Fri
Use the online textbook to complete the You will need to print a copy of this for yourself. Remember that we print to the Tech Ed computer lab
I have posted a link to the online textbook in the navigation menu on the left side of the wiki.
You are still working from the first red book with the volcano on the cover.