I’ve posted about this before, and have ExtremeBiology featured as an RSS Feed at the bottom of this page. For those who have yet to visit though, check out Stacy Baker’s Extreme Biology website. Clearly an inspirational Biology teacher, her students have been blogging and podcasting about Biology. Some are now featured bloggers on Nature’s Scitable learning resource. Way to go!
It looks like Stacy is taking a break from teaching (it is an exhausting career!) – but hopefully not the blog. Thank-you for your work and congratulations and good luck to your graduating students.
Tip: to print your completed rubric, first save as a pdf file- it doesn’t confuse the printers. For the same document as 4 portrait A4 pages, which can be easily copy-pasted onto your write-up, click here.
BIS Students: make sure that you use this in all stages of your experimental work, from design to the final write-up. Use it to:
- Check your work as you plan and carry out the investigation
- Self-assess your write-up as you go through the process
- Reflect on the feedback given via Moodle/Turnitin
For more IA help, click here.
The codes on the checklist correspond to those that appear on your marked work via Moodle/Turnitin. Other teachers – you can download these comments here, to be used or adapted as long as your school uses the full Turnitin WriteCycle package.
Something we go over and over in class is the relationship between the words we use in Biology and their Latin and Greek roots. There is a massive vocabulary to use in Biology*, and if you learn to break down words into their components, you might get a better understanding of the meaning behind them.
It’s a code – and if you can crack it, you can even make a good guess at the meaning of many unknown words in exam papers, textbooks and articles. Language should not be a barrier to Biology students – even those who are ESL learners.
Revision tip for the semester exams: Build a vocab list for each subtopic and rather than just define the terms, break them into their components. Can you use the roots in another word or sentence?
Here is a nice SlideShare presentation on how Greek and Latin roots aid understanding:
Glossary of Greek and Latin Roots in Science, Exploring Science Site
Greek and Latin Roots in English, Wikipedia
A multitude of lesson plans for vocabulary, from vocabulary-lesson-plans.com
Interestingly, in modern science and media, some words are formed from compounds of Greek and Latin. Here is a classic quote from C.P. Snow: “Television. The word is half-Greek and half-Latin; no good can come of it.”
*I heard a quote once that there was more vocab in HL Biology than in a Language B subject. It would be cool to find out how true that is. Can anyone estimate the number of vocabulary terms learned by a Biology student?
DrosophiLab is a brilliant, free and downloadable piece of software that allows students and teachers to edit fruit flies and carry out crosses. The teacher can use the chromosome editor to set up parent flies of any genotype and there are 20 genes and traits represented, on four chromosomes. This allows for simple monohybrid crosses, sex-linkage, gene linkage and many other combinations – so the problems you set can be differentiated by level. There is also a password-protected teacher setting, to restrict students’ access to results tables and chromosome maps (so they have to work it out for themselves!).
Here are our class resources:
Fly files in this folder: http://www.box.net/shared/dy326rb01d
Chi-Calc (Chi-squared calculator, .xlsx)
How to catch and observe Drosophila:
And this is how you tell the sexes apart:
When trying to observe the flies for real, think about the following questions:
– How are you ensuring ethical treatment of the animals?
– How long would it take to determine the phenotypes of the number of flies you have set for your investigations?
– What difficulties do you encounter when observing the flies?
– What are the limitations or sources of error that might affect the reliability of your results?
Why are fruit flies so important in science?
Science loves fruit flies, and there was even a fruit fly Nobel awarded in 1995 for studies in embryonic development. This links neatly to the assessment statements regarding the differentiation of cells through expression of different genes.
Fruit fly cells are relatively easily observed, and Drosophila makes for an ideal model organism for Mendelian genetics as it has a short life cycle, reproduces quickly and is easily phenotyped.
Drosophila buscki from Journal of Endocrinology
Fruit fly graphic and DrosophiLab banner from DrosophiLab
Good luck Grade 12!
We’ve had our final lesson
I hope the work that you’ve put in
Is going to to get you where
You need to be for the exam
So you can feel prepared.
When you sit down to the paper
Remember this advice
Don’t rush into the answers
Read the question twice.
What is the command term?
Stick to it, don’t digress.
How many points is the question worth?
Be clear, don’t make a mess.
Sleep well and smile,
Think for a while
Before you use that pen
And if you’re feeling really stuck,
Read the question again.
Practice, practice, practice,
Use correct terminology
And you will surely experience success
In the one true subject:
Here are some review quizzes to play with:
And for when you’re gone, here are 97 Ways to Save Money in College.
This 9-minute clip is an ideal ‘watcher’ to go along with the reader in the Course Companion – it tells the story of the discovery of the DNA double helix structure by Watson and Crick and how their discovery was dependant on the prior work of Rosalind Franklin and the compeitive/cooperative nature of research:
This clip is taken from the vdeo lesson resource provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s ‘Secrets of the Sequence’ website. They have 50 different videos, each with accompanying lesson plans and activities.
They also have a YouTube channel: VCULifeSciences.