Sunday, September 28, 2008

PJ's cell analogy

Hi there,
In my diligent research for the best projects, I found this YouTube video that I have to share. PJ created a video demonstrating how parts of his house and parts of a cell perform similar tasks. This is great because it is both really good science and really funny. Cell theory and the parts of a cell will be our focus for the week of Sept 29 through Oct 3rd. Enjoy!

If you have any questions please feel email me at my teacher space can be found at

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mid-terms are almost here

Hello there!
Mid terms are right around the corner (Oct 1st) and things are starting to move much faster in the Pangaea house. All the beginning of the year business, paperwork and procedures are finished and more time is being spent moving faster into the curriculum.
The week of Sept 29 through Oct 3rd will have students understanding the 6 traits of all living things. These are:

All living things are made of cells.
All living things reproduce.
All living things have DNA.
All living things respond to change.
All living things grow and develop.
All living things use energy.

Some scientists still argue over this topic mostly due to the fact that these 6 traits exclude viruses from the list of being technically alive.

Cell theory is the foundation of biology and one of the major standards students focus on this quarter. We will begin our investigation into the structure and function of the parts of cells starting next week. Below is a good visual of an animal cell which may aid in student study.

If you have any questions please feel email me at my teacher space can be found at

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back for a new year

Welcome Back!

Crosswinds Arts and Science Magnet School is off to a pretty good start. Our 2008 / 2009 school year began a few weeks ago and we have hit the ground running. Students have received orientation and toured the grounds the first week. Students then took the Measure of Academic Progress or MAP test in math, Language Arts, and science (only 7th graders... not sure why) the second week. Finally, students have spent last week setting up their science notebook which they will use for the remainder of the year.
Somewhere in there we also found a little time to help out a non-profit in their efforts to gather 1,000,000 acorns used to start forests all over the world. Around the same time we made some leaf prints for a project students will not begin for some time. Leaf prints need fresh, green leaves to work well and this was the only chance we will have for many months.

In the weeks to come students will begin their investigation of life science. We will explore the structure and function of the inner workings of cells, see how they clone themselves in the process of mitosis and start to apply this to the larger picture of tissues and organs of the human body.

If you have any questions please feel email me at my teacher space page is