Monday, April 29th
Today in science: Dr. M was surprised to see how many students were already familiar with Greta Thunberg, a young person who has been in the international news lately. Greta is a 16-year-old student from Sweden who, as a 15-year-old, began the (now international) movement known as the “School Strike for Climate.”
In class, Dr. Merritt outlined for our 7th grade students the key issues that Greta highlighted in recent speeches to members of both the UK and EU parliamentary bodies, as well as in her meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican. These science curriculum-related issues include concerns about 1) human-induced climate change, 2) the sixth mass extinction, 3) acidification of the oceans (plus coral reef losses), 4) deforestation, and 5) loss of soil (erosion) and soil fertility.
Tuesday-Wednesday, April 30th-May 1st
Today in science: We had an in-class working session devoted to helping students 1) complete and improve their Materials section, 2) complete and improve their Procedure section, 3) copy and paste their Research Question to the top of the “RESULTS” section, and 4) number, name, organize, and improve their data tables.
Homework: All students have been asked to print 1 copy of their most current MATERIALS and PROCEDURE sections of their Seed Lab Report (and bring it to Thursday’s class). The printed assignment does NOT need to be printed in color. The printed assignment can be on 1 or more pages. The printed assignment does NOT need to include any sections coming before or after the “Method” section. If a functioning printer is not available, students will need to write the Materials and Procedure sections neatly by hand.
Thursday, May 2nd
Today in science: After turning in the homework assignment, students learned how to write scientific hypotheses and to make hypothesis-based predictions. For the hypotheses, students were introduced to “If…then…” and “As…the…” statements that propose a clear relationship between the manipulated and responding variables. These statements were also described as cause/effect and action/reaction statements. All work done in class was put into students’ Google Document(s), meaning that much of the “Introduction” section of the Seed Lab Report is now complete.
Homework: There is no homework assignment tonight.
Friday, May 3rd
Today in science: We had another in-class working session devoted to helping students improve their experiment procedures by identifying–using 3 different color highlighter markers–to identify where, in students’ existing procedures, they have identified and addressed the manipulated variable (pink), the responding variable (green), and the controlling variables (yellow). This highlighting exercise was done on Monday’s homework assignment, which was returned as the start of class, and then by entering all newly made changes/revisions directly into students’ Seed Experiment Google Documents.
Homework: Students have been asked to print all of their seed experiment data tables and glue them into their Lab Notebooks before the start of Monday’s lesson. If computer printing is not available, then students should use a ruler (or straight edge) to draw them into their Lab Notebooks. Please make sure the data tables are numbered clearly, for example, Table 1., Table 2., Table 3., etc. The title for this particular Lab Notebook entry should be “Seed Experiment Results” or “Plant Experiment Results.”