skip to main content


Sexual vs Asexual Reproduction Lesson  

Watch all of the videos below:


Rank each video according to this chart:

5:  excellent video that is both extremely educational and very entertaining

4:  pretty good video. Easy to understand and has good information

3:  It was fine. I learned something

2:  Not great. Some good information but needs improvement

1:  This video was terrible and really boring


Create a set of notes that include all the information that you consider important about sexual vs asexual reproduction. Make sure you also include illustrations and you use arrows, boxes, bullets to organize your information




Genetics review materials  

intro to heredity (12/7 and 12/8):  

Punnett Square Review: 

Punnett practice:

Five very short but informative videos from 2 Minute Classroom that teaches the material that we covered on the week of Dec 11-15:

      Genes vs Alleles ( )

      Dominant Alleles vs Recessive Alleles/Understanding Inheritance ( )

      Homozygous vs Heterozygous Alleles/Punnett Square Tips ( )

      Geneotypes vs Phenotype/Understanding Alleles (

      Punnett Square Basics/mendelian Genetic Cross ( )


Genetics Quiz study guide:

1.       Know that genes are segments of a chromosome that control a trait. Each person has two copies of each gene – one from mom  and one from dad

2.       Know what an allele is (the different versions of a gene/the different way that genes can be expressed – ex: eye color is the gene and blue, brown, green, hazel are the alleles)

3.       Alleles can be dominant or recessive. Dominant alleles are ALWAYS expressed when present. Recessive alleles are not expressed unless the individual has two copies of the recessive and no copies of the dominant allele. If Dimples (D) are dominant to no dimples (d), then an individual with DD or Dd will have dimples and an individual with dd will not have dimples.

4.       Genotype:  describes the alleles or genes that the individual has. The genotype combinations:  a) Homozygous dominant:  two dominant alleles (FF, AA);  b) Homozygous recessive:  two recessive alleles (ff, aa);  c) Heterozygous:  one dominant allele and one recessive allele (Ff, Aa)

5.       Phenotype:  the physical characteristic that you can see (freckles, dimples, brown hair)

6.       Punnett squares predict the percentage chance that each offspring will have for each genotype/phenotype. It also predicts the ratios of offspring with each genotype/phenotype. To see how to do punnett squares, watch my videos




Seesaw Notebook for 7th block  

The following should be in your seesaw notebook: 

A seesaw video or a link to a youtube video in which you worked with another student to teach about heredity (based on your heredity sketch notes)

Heredity Sketch notes with three things that connected the notes to the videos

Code to open the class in seesaw:  LWTG HUHK

Seventh Block Tasks  

You have two options for today:

Option 1:

Create a set of the heredity sketch notes using the handout and templete. Watch the videos listed  below and then create a video in seesaw or in youtube. The video should be done in an interview format with one student asking and the other student answering questions about heredity. Your interview should be natural and should not be read from the notes. Every concept shown on the heredity sketch notes sheet should be addressed in the video.

How Mendel’s pea plants helped us understand genetics – Hortensia Jimenez Diaz   ( )

Genes, DNA, and Chromosomes explained (

Option 2:  

Watch the videos shown below and answer the question listed for each video and then complete the sketch notes template. 

How Mendel’s pea plants helped us understand genetics – Hortensia Jimenez Diaz   ( )

·         Who was Gregor Mendel?

·         What did Mendel use for his famous experiment?

·         What happened when Mendel crossed a yellow plant with a green plant?

·         Why did he call the yellow plant dominant?

·         Why did Mendel get a green pea from two yellow parent pea plants?

·         Why did Mendel call the green pea a recessive trait?

·         Where do the offspring get their two ‘factors?’

·         What is an allele?

·         What is a genotype and what is an example?

·         What is meant by a heterozygous genotype and what is an example?

·         What is meant by a homozygous genotype and what is an example?

·         What is the purpose of a Punnett square?

·         Can green peas ever have a heterozygous genotype? Why or why not?

·         Draw a Punnett square for a cross between a homozygous green pea plant and a homozygous yellow pea plant

·         What kind of babies can be produced in this cross?

·         Draw a Punnett square between two heterozygous yellow pea plants

·         What kind of babies can be produced in this cross?


Genes, DNA, and Chromosomes explained (

·         What are DNA, chromosomes, and genes?

·         Where do you get your DNA, genes, and chromosomes?

·         Where are chromosomes located in the cell?

·         How many chromosome pairs are in human cells?

·         How many chromosome pairs are in human cells?

·         What is the difference between the 22 pairs of autosomes and the 23rd pair of chromosomes?

·         What is the difference between boys and girls in that 23rd pair?

·         What are chromosomes made from?

·         What is a gene?

Inheritance of Traits Mini Lesson (

 ·         Identify three things that you saw in this video that you learned from the previous two videos

·         Identify two ideas or examples in this video that either were new or that extended your understanding of a concept from the other videos


What is a trait?-Genetics and Inherited Traits (

·         Identify two things that you saw in this video that you learned from the previous two videos

·         Identify one idea or example in this video that either were new or that extended your understanding of a concept from the other videos

Seesaw Notebook for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th blocks  


Mouse Traits (12/7 and 12/8):  take a photo of the mouse you created with your genes and write three specific things that you learned from the activity

Heredity Sketch Notes (12/7 and 12/8):  photo of the notes and two things in the notes that connected directly to the mouse trait activity



Codes to open the class in seesaw:






Study guide for Semester Exam  



1.       Know the basic functions of the nucleus (control center), nucleolus (creates ribosomes), chloroplast (site of photosynthesis/makes oxygen and glucose), mitochondria (creates energy in respiration), ER (transports), golgi (modifies/packages/ships materials in and out of the cell), lysosome (digests old and damaged cell parts), centrioles (aids in cell division), cell membrane (controls what enters and exits the cell), and cell wall (surrounds plant cells and supports them)

2.       Know that water will travel through a membrane to the side that has the most solute (sugar, salt, starch...). This is called diffusion (it is actually a special type of diffusion called osmosis)   

3.       List the levels of organization in a living organism, starting with the simplest:  organelles, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, organisms

4.       What is a dependent variable (it is what you measure in an experiment)? What is an independent variable (it is the variable that you are testing)? 

5.       Know the major organs in each organ system (circulatory: heart/blood/vessels; respiratory:  lungs/ diaphragm/airway; lymphatic:  lymph/ lymph nodes; endocrine:  glands/ hormones; nervous:  brain/nerves/spinal cord; digestive:  mouth/esophagus/stomach/intestines/rectum/liver; skeletal: bones/joints; muscular:  muscles/tendons; integumentary:  skin/hair/nails/sweat and oil glands

6.       List the stages of the cell cycle and give details about what happens in each stage:  interphase:  cell grows and DNA replicates; Mitosis (prophase: nucleus disappears and chromosomes condense; metaphase:  chromosomes line up in center of cell and spindle fibers attach; anaphase:  spindle separates sister chromatids and pull them to opposite sides; telophase:  nucleus comes back and chromosomes relax); cytokinesis:  cell divides

7.       Describe diffusion:  movement of materials from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration

8.       Know that oxygen moves from plants to animals and that carbon dioxide moves from animals to plants. Also, plants sometimes get carbon dioxide from factories, cars, burning…

9.       Describe osmosis. What happens when this lab experiment is left overnight?  Water diffuses through a membrane moving away from the side with the higher ratio of water to the side with the higher ratio of solute (salt, sugar, …) until both sides are equal

10.   How is it possible that two siblings have different eye colors? Because the chromosomes that they inherit from their parents is random and will combine in different ways

11.   What is the formula for photosynthesis? CO2 + H2O + sunlight ---- C6H12O6 + O2 

12.   What is the formula for respiration?   C6H12O6 + O2  ----  CO2 + H2O +  ATP

13.   Know the functions of the body systems

14.   What type of graph is best for the following? 

a.       Percentages/parts of a whole?  Pie

b.       Comparing? Bar graph

c.       Showing change over time? Line


Study guide for body systems test  

Study Guide- Body Systems Test

1.      What major organs make up the circulatory system?

2.      What is the function of the circulatory system?

3.      What is the function of the digestive system? What organs are involved? Is digestion voluntary/involuntary?

4.      What systems are involved in preventing illness & fighting infection?

5.      Which system filters blood and removes waste from the body?

6.      Which system provides support, structure, and protection for the body?

7.      Which systems help regulate body temperature/maintain homeostasis?

8.      Which system collects and sends info about the outside environment to the nervous system?

9.      Which system contains the thyroid gland and pituitary gland?

10.  Which systems give instructions/signals to all other systems (2)?

11.  Which systems protect our internal organs?

12.  What are the major structures/organs of the respiratory system?

13.  How can someone keep their circulatory system healthy?

14.  List the levels of organization in organisms from least complex to most complex?

15.  Which systems aid in body movement?

16.  What organs and structures make up the integumentary system?

17.  What two systems must work together to help the body move?

18.  What are some examples of how body systems work together to maintain homeostasis?

19.  The skin, nails, and hair are part of which system?

20.  The organ shown in in the abdomen and is responsible for secreting insulin for breaking down food. What is the organ and to which system does it belong?

21.  Two or more organs working together form ________________. Two or more tissues with a common function form _____________. Two or more cells of the same type form _______________. Something that is made of interconnected organ systems is an ______________________

22.  Organize the parts of this body system in the CORRECT order according to the levels of organization from simplest to most complex:

23.  The role of the excretory system is to rid the body of toxic waste products. Which other systems remove waste from the body?

24.  This organ has four chambers in humans and works with the vessels to distribute oxygen to tissues and cells. This organ is part of which system?

25.  What does the digestive system use to propel food through the body?

26.  Homeostasis is:

What are some body functions that are regulated by homeostasis?

Final Review videos for Last five systems  

circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic systems:

 nervous and endocrine systems:

Circulatory Notes

Organs and Tissues:  Heart, blood, blood vessels

·      Heart chambers:  two atrium (top) and two ventricles (bottom). The left ventricle pumps blood to the entire body.

·      Vessels:  arteries carry oxygenated blood; veins carry deoxygenated blood; capillaries are where gases are exchanged.

·      Components of blood:  Plasma (liquid); red blood cells (carry oxygen); white blood cells (fight infection); platelets (cause clotting).

Function:  Delivers oxygen to the body and removes carbon dioxide

Maintaining Homeostasis:  carries nutrients to the cells and removes wastes; heart rate and blood pressure adjust to the needs of the body; blood vessels help to regulate body temperature.

Keeping Healthy:  regular exercise; healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grain; maintain healthy weight; no smoking!

Lymphatic Notes

Organs and Tissues: lymph (fluid); lymphatic vessels; lymph nodes that remove pathogens and debris from the blood; spleen stores lymphocytes (WBC)

Function:  collects excess fluids and debris from cells and return it to the blood; fight infection

Maintaining Homeostasis:  keeps body free of disease

Connection to other systems:  works with skeletal and circulatory system to produce lymphocytes and fight infection

Keeping Healthy:  water, lower stress levels, regular exercise, good diet, rebounding on a trampoline

Respiratory System notes

Organs and Tissues: Lungs, nose, pharynx (upper airway/throat); larynx (vocal cords); trachea (windpipe); bronchi (air passages leading to the lungs); alveoli (small air sacks in the lungs); diaphragm (muscle dividing the chest from the abdomen)

Function:  provide oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the body

Maintaining Homeostasis:  Breathing rate increases or decreases based on body needs

Keeping Healthy:  regular aerobic exercise, water, healthy diet, no smoking!

Nervous System Notes

Organs and Tissues:  Brain and spinal cord and the nerves (connect the body to the brain) which send information through fast moving electrical impulses


Function:  Communication system that allows the body to maintain homeostasis by analyzing and responding to its external environment and internal conditions 

Maintaining Homeostasis:  Protects the body from external dangers; senses changes in body systems and makes necessary adjustments

Connection to other systems:  Every part of the body is controlled by the nervous system. The circulatory system delivers glucose and oxygen to the brain. Without them, the brain will die within six minutes. Nervous system works with the integumentary to collect information about the environment

Keeping Healthy:  Exercise, plenty of sleep, good diet, avoid head trauma, no smoking, drinking, drugs

Endocrine System Notes:

Organs and Tissues:  Glands (organs in all parts of the body that produce hormones) and hormones (chemical messengers that cause changes in cells, tissues, and organs).  Some glands are: pancreas (controls blood sugar with insulin), ovaries and testes (reproductive  hormones), thymus (immune system), thyroid (metabolism), pituitary (controls other hormones)

Function:  endocrine glands create hormones that regulate growth, development, and homeostasis in the body.

Maintaining Homeostasis:  some hormones speed up the heart rate when the body is stressed; other hormones control your metabolism (the chemical processes that regulate your body); others protect your body from disease

Keeping Healthy:  reduce stress; good diet with healthy oils, fruits, and vegetables; exercise

Review videos for digestive and urinary quiz  

link to digestive Video:

Link to urinary Video:

Quiz Study Guide for Nov 16-17  

I hate to give a second quiz this week but am afraid to wait and put too much stuff on the quiz when we return from the break. These quizzes are supposed to be helpful practice for you and will let you know what you need to study before the test.  This quiz will be over the digestive and urinary systems. Here are the notes:

Digestive and Excretory System Notes:

Organs and Tissues:  the digestive tract is a series of tubes (esophagus, stomach, intestines) that begin at your mouth and end at your anus. Also includes the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and salivary glands. Enzymes break food down into smaller units that the body can use.

Function:  uses mechanical and chemical digestion to convert food into a usable fuel; expels wastes from the body.

Maintaining Homeostasis:  system shuts down in times of stress or increased activity to shunt energy to arms and legs,

Keeping Healthy:  diet high in fiber and pro-biotics and low in saturated fats; exercise; water

Urinary System Notes

Organs and Tissues: the kidneys (in the back of the abdominal cavity) filter the blood to remove waste; urine travels from the kidney to the bladder where it is stored and then leaves the body through the urethra

Function:  removes waste from blood and excretes it from the body

Maintaining Homeostasis:  kidneys maintain water balance in the body by regulating urine output

Keeping Healthy:  exercise, avoid too much salt, plenty of water (urine should be the color of apple juice)

Science update for Nov 13-17  

This week, we will be finishing up body systems that eliminate waste and will begin talking about systems that circulate necessary materials throughout the body. 

Students will have a quiz over the skeletal and muscular systems on Monday. The notes have been attached below.

We have a notebook check coming up in two weeks. We are going to attempt a digital notebook this time and are in the process of signing kids up for a digital portfolio app called Seesaw. The beauty of this system is that it allows parents to view the kids notebooks and give feedback. I will be sending home an instruction sheet that shows parents how to sign up for this app and view their child's work.

Thanks again for the tape and left-over candy. We now have enough tape to hopefully get us through the winter.  

Have a great weekend!


Skeletal System:

 Organs and Tissues:  Bones, joints, cartilage, connective tissue.

·         Bones have two parts: compact bone (the rigid, solid part) and spongy bone (the soft part). The inside of the bone contains marrow.

·         Joints are where bones meet. Some are fixed (immovable) and others are movable.

·         Ligaments attach bone to bone.

·         Babies bones are made mostly of cartilage but most (except nose and ears) eventually converts  to bone.

Function:  Gives structure and support, protect organs, stores minerals and fat, moves the body, form blood cells (in marrow)

Maintaining Homeostasis:   Bones store and release fats and minerals as needed by the body.

Connection to other systems:  The skeletal system provides minerals to the nervous system; bones create blood cells for the circulatory system; cool off and narrow when you need to conserve heat; sweat that evaporates from your skin helps you to stay cool.


Muscular System:

Organs and Tissues:  Muscles and tendons (tendons attach muscle to bone)

·         Muscles move in pairs and can only contract. The flexors bend the body part and the extensors straightens it.

·         Two types of muscles:  voluntary (you control it – arms, legs) and involuntary (automatic – heart, digestive muscles)

Functions:  Movement and protection

Maintaining Homeostasis: maintain body temperature by generating heat and by ‘shivering’; muscles allow other systems (digestive, circulatory) to do their jobs

Keeping Healthy:  regular exercise; eating lean protein, stretching







Science Update and Integumentary Study guide Nov 6-10  

Parents -

 We have concluded our unit on photosynthesis and respiration and the kids killed it on the test! I was so pleased with them because this material is very confusing for kids who have not yet had chemistry. They did great.

 We have started my favorite unit of the year - the human body. I worked as a paramedic for 15 years before entering teaching and can relate much of what we learn in this unit to real life and experiences. It is so interesting and we have lots of great labs and activities. It should be a fascinating 4 weeks.

 We have a quiz tomorrow on the levels of organization, homeostasis, and the integumentary system (the skin). I will paste the notes below and I also have them on my teacher website.

 Have a great week!


Study Guide for Quiz:

 Integumentary System:

Organs and tissues: Skin, hair, nails, sweat and oil glands

Function:  to protect the body’s internal tissues and organs from trauma, temperature, and infectious agents; prevent water loss; communicate with nervous system about the environment

Connection to other systems: nervous system and skin work together to collect information; circulatory system and integumentary system work together to control body temperature; skin absorbs vitamins from the sun and sends them to the digestive system; integumentary and immune systems work together to fight infection

Maintaining Homeostasis:  Your body controls temperature in three ways:  the hairs stand up to trap warm air, capillaries near the surface open when your body needs to

Keeping the integumentary system healthy:  good diet, no smoking, plenty of water, protection from the sun


Levels of organization (simple to complex):

  • Organelles

  • Different organelles make up cells

  • Cells of one type join together to create tissues

  • Tissues that have a common function make up organs

  • Organs that work together for a common goal make up organ systems

  • Organisms have a set of organ systems that allow them to survive in their environment

Homeostasis:  the steady, balanced state maintained by the body (temperature, pH, water balance, blood pressure…).  All of the systems in the body work together to maintain this steady state.

Science update for October 30 - Nov 3  

We are finishing up a challenging unit on photosynthesis and respiration and so far, the kids have been handling it very well. They did not do so well on the first quiz over photosynthesis but did really well on the retake (which was a totally different set of questions). We have now covered the second process of respiration and have a test over this unit on Tuesday/Wednesday. I have placed review videos and a study guide on the school website. They also have notes, bell work assignments, and labs that will serve as useful study materials. Students should be active rather than passive in using these resources. They should stop the videos or cover the notes and try to summarize what they have heard or read without looking at their source. They should try to teach the material to another person (a friend, sibling, or parent). They can make flash cards or take online quizzes. All of these strategies will help.


I have three requests: 

  1. We use a LOT of tape in class and will run out by the end of the month. If possible, could you donate a couple of rolls of tape to the classroom?
  2. If you have Halloween candy left over and would like to rehome it, we can use it for rewards.
  3. If you know of anyone (person or a business) who has old devices or laptops that are no longer being used, we need about 10 in the classroom for kids who don't have a personal device. I would like to incorporate more technology in my lessons but can't do it unless every kid has access.


Thanks for all you do and have a nice (albeit rainy) weekend.

Study Guide for photosynthesis respiration test  

Study Guide for Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration Test

1. Write the complete formulas for photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

2. Label the reactants and products in each reaction.

3. Where do these 2 reactions take place in a cell?

4. What is ATP? What is glucose? How are carbohydrates related to these terms?

5. How is carbon dioxide returned to the atmosphere?

6. What happens to the mass gained by a plant cell through photosynthesis?

7. What contributes the most to the mass of a plant? (In other words, what makes up a plant? Hint: Use the formula for photosynthesis.) 

Videos for respiration and photosynthesis  

cell respiration:

Photosynthesis overview:

Photosynthesis equation:

Chemical formulas:



Update for October 2-5  

Four days until fall break! It will be a busy four days, too. This week, kids will be finishing up a project and we will have the cell cycle test on Wednesday (2nd and 4th blocks) and Thursday (3rd, 5th, and 7th blocks). The review video for this test is below on this announcement page and the study guide is in file manager. There are also multiple resources (videos, illustrations) shown below on this page 

As a service project for this unit, we will be participating as a 7th grade team in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure on October 22. Service projects help to build empathy in kids and show them that they can make a difference in the world. When families participate together, these feelings strengthen. In addition, this opportunity is linked to our unit since we have been studying cell division through the lens of cancer (cell division gone haywire). My husband and I will be there and so will many of the other middle school teachers. The race begins at 2 pm at the McKenzie Arena on the UTC campus. It is a voluntary event but we encourage all students and their families to participate. We will be wearing Signal Mountain Eagle apparel (as many SMMHS items as you can possibly cram your body into) and will meet before the race in a location that will be announced closer to the race day. It is a very fun event and hopefully we can present with huge numbers. To register, just go to the website ( click on the drop-down menu under 'register' and click on 'join a team.' Our team is the Magnificent Signal Mountain Seventh Grade. If you enter the code EDU17, you will get $10 off of your registration fee. 

Have a good week and please encourage your child to study for this test since we will not have time for retests before the quarter ends.

Science update for 9/25 - 9/29  

Well, first quarter is rapidly coming to an close. The end of the quarter and the beginning of fall break will be October 5. Students need to make sure that all grade discrepancies or makeup tests are resolved by the end of this week. After Friday (9/29), zeros and low test grades will be permanent. 

Our last test of the quarter over the cell cycle will be on Wednesday (10/4) and Thursday (10/5). I have posted a review video on this page to help students who are still struggling. They can also look at the links posted here that were recommended for our class research assignment and/or their sketch notes that we will do in class tomorrow. 

We will spend this week studying the case of Henrietta Lacks and we will have a seminar discussion. We will also start a group project in which students use their understanding of the cell cycle to propose cancer cures based on disrupting that cycle in each of the phases of mitosis. It should be a fun project and will give them a chance to show their understanding in a creative and authentic way. On Wednesday during directed studies, we will have a panel discussion in the library where cancer patients discuss and describe their experience. A representative from Susan G Komen will be present to talk about local statistics and the Race for the Cure.  As a service project, we will have a Signal Mountain team at the race (October 22 at 2 pm). We are encouraging students and families to sign up and join us on that day. 

Science Update for 9-18  

This week, we begin a new unit on the cell cycle and cell division. Because cancer is a disease of a faulty cell cycle, this unit will focus on cell division as it relates to cancer. It is an important but emotional unit for some kids, particularly those who have family members who have suffered with this disease. It is important for students to understand how cancer works and understand some of the treatment protocols. We will have a panel discussion with cancer survivors and some people who are currently undergoing treatment. We will also study the case of Henrietta Lacks as part of the 7th grade inequality unit. I encourage you to check in with your child during the next few weeks and give him or her a chance to talk about some of the things we have done. 


We we will be doing an optional service project for this unit in which all families can participate.  I am organizing a Signal Mountain Middle School team for the Susan Komondor Race for the Cure on October 21 in Chattanooga. Students will be encouraged to register for this race and try to raise money by getting sponsors. We would love for parents and siblings to join us. I will send out more information soon. 


Have a a great week. 



Science Update for 9-11  

Last week. we finished talking about cels and now students are working on a 'Shark Tank' project in which they use a cell organalle as the inspiration for their creation and design of a new product that meets some human need or solves some human problem. They will present this to their peers in a shark tank format. This project is simply to apply and transfer learning to a new set of circumstances and learn group cooperative skills. The project will not be graded.

The first major test will be tomorrow (Monday, 9-11). On this page, I have two review videos and I have placed a study guide in the file manager on this site and on the managebac calendar. Please encourage your child to study for this test because it will be a large portion of his or her grade.

The cell-in-a-bag projects were pretty good for the most part. There were a lot of bags that looked very similar but a few kids found some pretty amazing analogies and some creative items. I was looking for students to make original connections that gave evidence of deep understanding of the material and the ability to use that information in new ways. Hopefully, we will be able to work towards that goal in future projects. 

Have a good rest of the weekend!

Kim Brown

Science Update Sept 5-8  
Parents - I hope you are enjoying your long weekend (I know the kids are). I enjoyed meeting many of you in the open house. Last week, we studied the concepts of diffusion and osmosis (cell transport) and completed our first full lab paper. Students will do a self-evaluation of this paper and then a rewrite before submitting it. I had planned a quiz over cell transport on Tuesday/Wednesday of next week, but feel that the kids need a little more instruction because the paper took longer than expected. We will finish notes and a couple of demonstrations on Tuesday/Wednesday and will have the quiz on Thursday/Friday (Sept 7/8). The study guide for the quiz is on managebac. Next week, we will start our end of unit project in which students work in collaborative groups to design a human product based on the structure and function of an organelle. The product design and prototype will be presented to a group of peers in a 'Shark Tank' scenario and students will be expected to identify the need/problem that it solves, explain the development process, and tie the product function to that of the cellular organelle upon which it is based. The project will be evaluated and feedback will be given but the project will not be scored. This allows the students the freedom to be creative and take academic risk without worrying about how it affects their grade. The final assessment on cells will be on Monday, Sept 11. The study guide will be on managebac by the middle of next week. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Kim Brown

Science Update for 8/28 - 9/1  

Parents and students - 

i hope you enjoyed the eclipse as much as I did. Some of the kids came in with amazing photos and stories and most took full advantage of the day off. 

We had our first quiz on Tuesday/Wednesday and will have the next one tomorrow (Monday, 8/28) on organelles. The study guide is on managebac and I have emailed a copy to you for kids who do not yet have their managebac login info. This will be the last time I will email the study guide, so kids need to make sure they can login by Friday. 

This week, we will finish up organelles and begin cell transport. We will do our first inquiry and lab paper in class. This lab paper will count as an IB grade and a test grade. There will be plenty of support and scaffolding for this paper so students can have an exemplar copy to use as a reference for future papers. As long as they pay attention as we go, everyone should do well. 

I have assigned the first project called Cell-in-a-Bag. Students will collect items from their homes that have functions similar tho those of the organelles and will put them in a ziplock bag. They will then create a key that names the organelle and the item, describes the organelle function, and explains the connection between that organelle and the item chosen. The project will be due the day we return from Labor Day. 

Open House is from 5-7 on August 31st. Hope to see you then!

Kim Brown

Science Update for 8/20 - 24  

Week two in science was a fantastic week - the kids were enthusiastic, insightful, and cooperative. We studied and used microscopes and learned about how cells were discovered. In week 3, we will be learning about the cellular organelles and preparing for our first project - the Cell-in-a-Bag. In this project, students will fill a ziplock bag with items that have functions and/or structures similar to those of ten cellular organelles. They will present these in class. The project sheet for this task can be found in Managebac. 

On Tuesday/Wednesday, students will have a quiz over the information from week 2. Although I will put the quiz study guides in managebac this year, I am pasting the study guide for this first quiz below because many of the kids have not yet figured out their login and passwords. Hopefully, we can get that sorted out this week. 

Don't forget that the open house will be on August 31 from 5-7. Hope to see you there.


Intro to Cell Theory and microscopes Quiz Study Guide

1.       What procedure would be most successful for focusing on your subject in the microscope?  Start with the red objective lens (the low power), focus, and then increase your magnification with the other objective lenses.

2.       Which of the following occur when you increase the magnification of the lens? You see less of the slide, the light dims, and the depth of field becomes shallower.

3.       What is true about the focus knobs? The large knob is the course focus and makes big changes. The smaller knob is the fine focus and fine-tunes the image.

4.       What is the magnification of the red objective lens? It is 4x and when combined with the ocular lens, it is 40x

5.       Which lens is 100x? The blue lens is 100x and is 1000x when combined with the objective lens.

6.       Where do you place the slide? Use the clips to secure it to the microscope stage

7.       Who discovered the microscope? Robert Hooke, a monk, discovered cells while looking at cork

8.       Where can you find cells? In all living organisms

9.       Where do cells come from? Cells come from pre-existing cells

10.    What are the three parts of the cell theory (this will be a short answer question)? Cells are the basic unit/building block of all living things; all living things are made of cells; cells come from pre-existing cells


Week 1 update  

Science Update for Week 1

Welcome to 7th Grade Science!

I am really looking forward to this year with my 7th graders. The curriculum for 7th grade is a lot of fun and allows for great projects, discussion, and labs. We will spend the first two weeks learning and reinforcing classroom routines and procedures and will begin our first unit (Cells) on Tuesday, August 15. 

I will be posting a weekly update on this page every week and will archive all of the old weekly updates in a file for those who miss them. I will also keep a calendar of events and assessments on managebac. All students and parents should have a managebac login that will give them access to materials and due dates

This class revolves around learning content and developing skills rather than accumulating grades. The grades will come from weekly quizzes, unit tests, and project tasks rather than homework and daily activities. Student work will be saved in a science notebook that will be assessed at random times during the semester. Much of the notebook grade will come from the student's reflection of his or her work and the progress that they make. 

Because most of our classroom learning involves non-graded hands-on group activities, students who miss class might not be able to make up some of the work at home. Students who miss the lesson will be directed to a video or a set of notes that will catch them up. The make-up work will not be graded - it will be the student's responsibility to learn the material before they return and they will be responsible for that material on the next quiz and/or test. 

Open house is on August 31. I hope to see you then.

Kim Brown

Student Online Textbook  

To use the online textbook, go to

Username will be sstudent5431

Password will be h9w8k

Science Update for Oct 23-27  

In the past, I have referred you to my website because I didn't want to bother parents with emails but I have had several parents ask that I just go ahead and send the update in the reminder email so that they don't have to go find it. From here on out, I will include it in the email and on the website.

 The kids took a quiz today on photosynthesis. They were supposed to have watched two very short videos on my website over the weekend (about 10 minutes total between both videos). They could also have watched during DS. We did a quiz and some kids did not do very well. I am giving them a chance for a retake tomorrow/Wednesday. I recommend that they try to be active rather than passive learners while watching the videos by pausing occasionally to recap/summarize what was said or try to write down some of the formulas or equations from memory. I also recommended that they try to teach the material to a family member.

 Parent-teacher conference night is Thursday. If you would like a conference, please contact me so that we can set one up.