Our 7th grade classes have completed our unit on linear equations. Throughout the unit the students were asked to graph ordered pairs and equations, determine if two lines were parallel, or perpendicular, and write equations for lines given specific characteristics. The culminating activity was the summative assessment, where students had to record the drop height and bounce height of a bouncy ball. With this data they were able to create a scatterplot and write an equation that could model their data. Then they were able to use their equation to predict the bounce height of a ball dropped from 200 cm. I really enjoyed seeing their faces when we actually dropped the ball from 200 cm and they realized how close their prediction was to the actual bounce height. It was a very fun way to assess the students understanding and a great way for the students connect the math to a real life problem.
After Spring Break, 7th grade students began a unit on Genetics. So far, we’ve studied the cell processes of Mitosis and Meiosis to give the students a strong foundation in the structure of DNA and chromosomes, and the role they play in making us who we are. One of my favorite ways to help students understand structure is to build models. Sometimes we use pipe-cleaners or clay, but this time we used a middle school favorite – candy! Students built 3D models of DNA using Twizzlers and colored marshmallows. This not only helps students understand the physical structure of DNA itself, but grasp the concept of complementary base pairing with the use of different colored marshmallows coding for each of the four nucleotide bases in our DNA. After successful verbal explanation of the structure and function of DNA with me individually, students were rewarded with being able to consume their DNA model. All in a day’s work (and fun) in science!
Language Arts & Humanities
The culmination of the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression unit of study for both Humanities and Language Arts went very successfully last Tuesday. The students presented their character skits to great approval and laughter from the audience of students, parents, and teachers. The goal, to teach the audience about historical characters and their connection to our studies, was easily achieved. The skits were informative, creative, and highly entertaining. Great work everyone!
In our next unit of study, students will be “drafted” into World War II for both HU and LA. This is a great unit with students learning the facts through the perspective of characters who would have lived and been involved in the war. More fun facts to come.