Thursday, February 25, 2010
Red seaweed are found all over the ocean, dominate in the tropics and in deep water because they can tolerate low light.
Green seaweeds are the ones we are used to seeing because green seaweeds dominate in fresh water. They require the most sunlight of all seaweeds and are not found at depth.
Brown seaweeds are the most common in the saltwater of Virginia. They are the most common to find on beaches on the east and west coast.Seaweeds are flexible and often hold air bubbles to stay near the surface. Many seawweeds make gels so they don't dessicate (dry out) when the tide goes out.
Monday, February 22, 2010
We started the Plankton Grand Prix today. So far Michelle is in first with Diamond Spike and 20.5 seconds, an awesome float and then sink strategy. Second place so far is Ethan with six seconds (his plankton is named Ethan too), but as they have been saying in the Olympics, we still have a lot of strong competitors to come! You can see Ethan and Courtney in the photo to the right. Races will be finished tomorrow and awards presented.
The funniest plankton so far was Stacey's plankton Fred, seen her with our current first place competitor Diamond Spike (in floating phase).
Friday, February 19, 2010
A lot of seaweed has air bladders to help it float towards the surface. Other important adaptations include flexibility and gels to stay hydrated when the tide goes out. Students observed samples of dried seaweed and also one fresh sample of green algae that I collected from the pond yesterday.
Students also did plankton observations from the pond sample and were able to find some very large clear zooplankton. One looked like a large worm and others were zooming around. Who knew that zooplankton were so active in icy February?
Thursday, February 18, 2010
How to apply that knowledge? It's time for the Plankton Grand Prix. Each student designs a plankton to race and the point of the race is to be the slowest sinker. But... you have to start sinking within two minutes otherwise you are disqualified as a floater!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
After completing the tests, we talked about plankton. There are three types of phytoplankton - cyanobacteria, diatoms, and dinoflagellates. Phytoplankton are a really important food source in the ocean because they are the only "plants" in the middle of the ocean where the seafloor is miles down.
Next we discussed zooplankton. Zooplankton are animal plankton (because they belong in the zoo). There are two types of zooplankton - meroplankton and holoplankton. Holoplankton are plankton for their whole lives. Meroplankton are only plankton for part of their lives. As they develop they will become part of the nekton or benthos.
The students worked on a challenge and had to match larval plankton forms with the adult forms. Many of the organisms change a lot - like this cone snail larvae. Ethan, Rick, Justin, Beth and maybe someone else only missed two, matching seven of the nine correctly. Congrats.
Check out this awesome website Beyond the Reef for more information about plankton and more meroplankton transformation pics. Tomorrow we will continue to discuss plankton and start the Plankton Grand Prix!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Students will be taking their test when they return and will begin Unit 3 plants, plankton, and biomes.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Make sure you have completed your Unit 2 Review Sheet and that your entire Unit 2 packet is complete including the vocabulary on the first page and your fishies are colored on the last page.
You will have a Unit 2 Test when we return to school after a little bit of review. Make sure you are ready.
Computer Lab Etiquette
You are in the computer lab to do work for this class. If you are not doing work, then we will have problems.
Do not pack up early. Work until the bell or until MsJ says.
SAVE OFTEN. And if you save to a key, also save it to your number. If you lose it, you will have to do it again.
If MsJ asks for your attention, stop what you are doing and listen to what she has to say.
You may watch videos about your organism through reliable websites.
You may listen to music through the computer if you have your own headphones. Rule1 MsJ cannot hear it. You get one warning. Rule2 Turn it on and listen – no million clicks and constant changing. Take both ear phones out when MsJ is talking.