Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Crustaceans and Echinoderms

Sorry I have been a little busy... my how time flies!

Yesterday and today we finished up crustaceans (crabs, shrimps, lobsters) and echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers). Students took a test yesterday and a practical today and did fabulous on both of them. My fridge in the classroom is covered in A+ papers (encourage your student to bring these papers home to decorate the fridge at home).

Today as a Jump In we watched a rap video called What invert? covering a song by a rapper named TI. It's pretty amusing and now that the students know some invertebrates... they understand why some of it is pretty funny.

Next the students had 15 minutes to make a costume for the crustacean or invertebrate that they randomly chose. The results were awesome and hilarious. Enjoy the photos. :)

Here is TJ the male fiddler crab with his giant claw (courtesy of Lauren, Mariah S, and Oneisha)
Next is Stacey with the Barnacle headdress (with the help of Courtney and Michelle)
Beth's mantis shrimp looked amazing... and she even pow=pow=powed me. (with help from Ashleigh and Victoria)
Mariah M modeled her spiny lobster costume... check out those antenna whips! (Her assistant was Ethan.
Carl, Ramon, and Greg worked on costumes depciting the difference in abdomen's of boy and girl crabs... can you tell the difference? Here's a hint... girl crabs have to hold their eggs on their abdomen...

The girls, Kelsea, Kelsi, Sharron, and Jazzy made a beautiful brittle star, but I missed a photo of it when they presented. It is now hanging on my wall.

I assigned one table extra things... and did not capture them on film. I cannot beleive I do not have a picture of the amazing male horseshoe crab that Rick and Brandon designed... according to Rick, it is the third most ridiculous thing he's ever worn. Meg did a great acting out of a decorator crab and Justin wore a sea star design.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crazy Cool Cephalopods

We started class by comparing the first three classes of molluscs - chitons, bivalves, gastopods. Students took a shell challenge to see how they were doing with remembering them and more than five people got a perfect score. Good job! For the rest, there is plenty of practice to come. Shell Bingo is a favorite and we are playing on Monday.

Today we discussed cephalopods (head foots). This class included octopi, squid, cuttlefish, and chambered nautilus. All of these molluscs are highly mobile, intelligent, and fearsome predators. We watched a video of a giant pacific octopus eating a shark!

Students will have the Unit 4 Test on Monday and the Unit 4 practical on Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shells continued

Yesterday there was a fire drill during first period... I used that time for impromptu shell quizzing to see how well the students knew their shells so far. Everyone had a good time and earned a few stickers while enjoying the sunshine.

We spent some time discussing sea shells and learning their adaptations. Then we talked about pearls. Pearls can be made by any mollusc that has a shell. I passed around my pearls and some shells that I have with pearls on the sides - not all pearls are free floating - they can be attached to the side of a shell. A mollusc makes a pearl to cover an irritating spot like a piece of sand that gets inside the shell.

more later

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sally Sells Sea Shells

Students are in the midst of Unit 4 Molluscs busily learning about the different classes of Molluscs and trying to learn a variety of sea shells.

Today's cool mollusc was the chiton, an odd mollusc that has 8 plates held together by its mantle. The chiton can be found on the rocky coast and it has great suction to stay put. When pulled off a rock, it can roll into a ball to protect its squishy parts. More info can be found here.

Students also learned the four major classes of bivalves - clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops. Bivalves have 2 shells and 2 siphons, as well as adductor muscles to help keep their shells from opening for hungry predators.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Biome Review

Sorry I have not posted in a while... it's been a little busy round here.

In Marine Ecology we have been focusing on biomes in the ocean - and there are a lot of them. On the East Coast right here in Virginia, we can find salt marshes, sea grasses, sandy beaches, and maritime forests. In Florida you can find mangroves (trees that grow in salt water) and coral reefs. On the west coast, rocky coasts and kelp forests are the two dominant biomes.

Other biomes found on the ocean include the ones at the bottom like the deep sea benthos, whalefall, and hydrothermal vents. These biomes exist without sunlight, but the first two get nutrient inputs from the surface. Other biomes include the polar seas, open ocean (pictures with the mola mola), and the daily migration from the aphotic to the photic to feed.

The unit 3 test is tomorrow and covers plankton, seaweed, sea shores, and biomes. After that we will begin Unit 4 Molluscs (slimy squishy things with sea shells).

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.