Mr. Barron's Science Web Page

     In case, you haven't heard of me, I graduated from New London High School in 1985.  I have taught at New London for 14 years and have been a teacher for a total of 16 years, with a brief stop in Houston, Texas.  I graduated from the University of Iowa in 1989 with a B.A. in Political Science.  I graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1992, with a B.S. in Elementary Education.  I obtained an M.A. in Elementary Education in 2002 and garnered a Pk-12 Administration License from Viterbo in 2006.  I used to be a news and sports writer at the Mount Pleasant News and then the Burlington Hawk Eye.  Then I was an assistant editor of Voice of the Hawkeyes magazine in Iowa City.  That's a little bit about me.  I hope to keep this site updated for your convenience.

      Parents.....Please know that we have quizzes almost every Friday.  You should see your child's text book and notes on Thursday.   With this in mind, we as a team can keep your kids focused on the big picture of science.  I like to have some homework, but not anything that can't be handled with just a little time at home or within a study hall.  Please check your child's planner and our website.  If there are any questions, let me know at the school's phone number of 319 367 0500. 

 We are starting with the book From Bacteria To Plants.
2012-13: School Year
August 22, 2012:  First Day!  
Purpose Statement:  To get acquainted with computers and school rules.  Read handbook to all students.   
August 23, 2012:  Day Two!
Purpose Statement: To get acquainted with computers and class rules.  Took a typing test to 
let the kids know what the atmosphere of the class will be like.
August 24, 2012: 
Purpose Statement:  To get acquainted with procedures of class and receive text books.  To find out what
students already know about their subject matter.  To become acquainted with web pages for organization
August 27, 2012: 
Purpose Statement:  The student will know the four tissues that comprise the human body, including muscle, nerve, connective and epithelial.  The eighth grade student will know scientists such as Schwann, Schleiden, and Virchow and their contributions to science.
August 28, 2012: 
Purpose Statement:  The student will know how nerve and connective tissue are composed in the human body and the function that they serve.  The student will be able to identify and explain concepts such as the cell, plant cell, human cell, nucleus, cell membrane, resolution and magnification.

 August 29, 2012:  Day Six!
Purpose Statement:  The seventh grade will identify aspects of connective tissue and nerve tissue and be able to discuss the functionalities of the two.  The eighth grade will be able to identify six different things about a plant an animal cell, including: cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, nuclear membrane and pores. 

August 30, 2012:  Day Seven!
Purpose statement:  

August 31, 2012: Day Eight!
Purpose statement:  
Sept. 4, 2012: Day Nine!
Purpose statement:  The seventh graders will begin study of homeostasis.  The eighth graders will continue to learn about various aspects of the human and plant cell.  Last quizzes were examined.  They looked pretty good.  The Seventh graders are going to be talking about homeostasis this week.  The eighth graders have learned about nucleolus, chromatin, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria.  

Sept. 5, 2012: Day Ten!  Purpose Statement:  The seventh grade will begin study of wellness.  The eighth grade will begin to identify and state the purpose of the following organelles in the cell.  They will need to know, lysosome, vacuole, Golgi Bodies, Chloroplast.  There will not be a quiz this week for either the seventh or eighth grade!
Sept. 6, 2012: Day 11!  Eighth Grade listened to 'Cell Rap', which was an innovative way of discussing the structures of the cell.  A worksheet was given, but it is not due until class is 1/2 done tomorrow.  The quiz for this week has been postponed due to various reasons.  The seventh grade watched four different segments of movies, to discuss the aspects of physical health, social health and mental health.  The three types of health are all interconnected and form the basis of overall wellness.  The seventh grade quiz for this week has also been postponed due to various reasons.
Sept. 10, 2012!
   Seventh grade continued their discussion of physical health, mental health and social health.  We will have a bit more reading to do, but be aware that there is going to be a test on WEDNESDAY over Chp. 1.  Eighth grade learned the difference between elements, atoms, compounds, molecules, etc.  They learned why certain chemicals can be mixed and why some can't.  They should know that protons have a positive charge, neutrons have no charge and electrons have a negative charge.  They should also know how the periodic table works.

Sept,. 11, 2012:  Seventh grade learned about peer pressure and fight vs. flight as they pertain to their overall wellness and health.  They learned that adrenaline pushes them forward when they feel they can't go further.  Eighth grade is informed that they need to bring crackers tomorrow.  This will enable us to talk about the enzymes in the saliva which change starch molecules to sugar.  As it relates to the cell, the project will allow for discussion of how ATP is transmitted for energy boost in the body.

Sept. 12, 2012:  Seventh grade took their test and we will discuss the answers tomorrow.  As I walked around the room, it looked like some genuine learning has been done in the last few weeks.  We will know more tomorrow.  If you are a parent and didn't notice your child's science textbook last night, they were told on Monday that the test was going to be Wednesday.  The eighth grade is currently authoring a report on their 'cracker' experiment.  They had to take five crackers and eat them without swallowing.  This triggers the body to release saliva, which contains an enzyme, which breaks up food and speeds up chemical reactions.  The starch that is sitting in their body begins to be converted to sugar, so that the body can have enough energy to swallow the starch.  It is always fascinating to see that the conversion happens at roughly the same time for all individuals.  They are required to write a report, telling of their experiment.

Sept. 13, 2012:  Seventh grade examined their tests today and reviewed.  I then showed a 3:30 film on the skeleton.  Some of the vocabulary they learned was appendicular skeleton, axial skeleton, periosteum, diaphysis and the four functions of bone, blood cell production, protect vital organs, support, and allow for movement.  Eighth grade looked at more portions of the cell.  These portions have never been taught in middle school before.  They learned peroxisome, cytoskeleton and autophagosomes.  They also were encouraged to use elements and chemicals together via a computer app.  A good day

Sept. 14, 2012:  Eighth grade will have to continue with their quiz on Monday.  It was 50 points long today, and it seems to be giving them some trouble.  If your child does not have a lab experiment report turned into me by Monday, it will be a zero out of 20.  They were to write a short paragraph on what happened during a cracker experiment where they ate five crackers and noticed the conversion the body makes as starch becomes sugar.  They can e-mail their results as soon as possible.  Seventh grade learned the difference between the axial and appendicular skeletons.  They are aware that the bones of the ankle and foot have to sustain the weight of the human for an entire lifetime.  We learned why the hips might be the most vital area for the appendicular skeleton and pelvic girdle because without the hips, the legs can't move.  They also reviewed marrow, and the portions of the bone discussed on Thursday.

Sept. 17, 2012:  Eighth grade finished their tests and we graded them in class.  SHOEBOX/CELL PROJECT WILL BE DUE ON OCT. 4, 2012.  THEY NEED TO FIND A SHOEBOX AND ASSORTED ITEMS AROUND THE HOUSE THAT REPLICATE HE ANIMAL OR PLANT CELL. They can work in pairs, threes or by themselves, depending on what suits their needs best.  Seventh grade reviewed portions of bone and started taking notes for Chp. 2, section 1 of their book.  They, along with the seventh grade will have a quiz on Friday.

Sept. 18, 2012:  Eighth grade began talking about diffusion.  They will soon learn about osmosis and active transport.  Seventh grade had interactive films about the skeleton, broken bones and scoliosis as part of skeletal system studies.

Sept. 19, 2012:  Eighth graders had two short movies about diffusion and active transport.  Some key words to stress here are endocytosis and exocytosis.  These are words that do not appear in our text.  It is referred to as 'engulfing' in the text.  Seventh graders continued with their study of the human skeleton.  We stressed different types of fractures yesterday and today, we talked about four types of moveable joints: Pivot, Gliding, Ball-and-Socket and Hinge joint.  See if your kids can demonstrate these four joints to you at home.

Sept. 20, 2012:  Eighth graders refocused on carboyhydrates, lipids, proteins and amino acids.  I decided today to go ahead and teach them about the structure of DNA and the chemicals that comprise it - Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine.  The seventh graders have a quiz tomorrow and we will have 30 questions about the bones and skeletons.  We practiced a majority of the quiz today.  

Sept. 24/25:  Eighth graders have been working for two days on diffusion.  They had to figure out different ratios to use, since our lab equipment was not the same as the specifications of the kit, we used for the experiment.  They made two separate batches of diffusion media.  They made clay modeling agar.  On Wednesday, they will see how the cell becomes diffused.  The larger the surface area and volume of the cube, the more difficult it is for the diffusion media to go through the cell.  Seventh grade looked at various bone injuries, including sprain, dislocation and fracture.  Then we discussed x-rays.

Sept. 26:  Eighth graders were able to work on their lab on diffusion.  It will be a fourth day when we finish, so we are going to make their lab reports worth 50 points and not have a quiz this week.  We will likely have to do a worksheet on Friday.  Seventh graders discussed MRI and CT scans today and took a quiz through Tim and Moby interactive media.  We will stress the importance of knowing the difference between what injuries lead to what machines will be used by the doctors.  The MRI is for soft tissue injuries and the x-ray is for bone injury.

Sept. 27:  Backup notes are on this page for both eighth grade and seventh grade.  Eighth grade finished their lab reports and we finished osmosis.  Seventh grade looked at a few x-rays and did a worksheet.  Quiz tomorrow for seventh grade.

Sept. 28:  Seventh grade took a 40 point quiz.  Eighth Grade ventured over to Osmosis by exploring some websites.  

Oct. 1/2:  Eighth grade took a 40 point homework assignment and studied for WEDNESDAY TEST!  The test will be based on this worksheet.  Seventh grade began work on muscles and took notes on them on Tuesday.  Spent day clarifying concept of involuntary and voluntary muscle movements.

Oct. 3:  Seventh grade went ahead with the skin and the epidermis.  Eighth grade took their first test of the year and did very well.

Oct. 4:  Seventh grade learned how to use  Eighth grade tackled photosynthesis and learned about how light energy (photons) are transferred into useable energy (glucose) - converted by ATP in the mitochondria.  They also learned a new concept.  How ADAHP breaks energy into useable carbohydrates also in the mitochondria.

Oct. 5:  Seventh grade took a quiz.  Eighth grade took a few more notes on how respiration occurs.  Their cell/shoebox is due on Oct. 8.

Oct. 8:  Seventh grade learned more about the skin, this time concentrating on the dermis and melanocytes and melanin.  The eighth grade finished respiration and presented their cell/shoebox project.

Oct. 9:  Seventh grade learned about the follicle, acne, athletes' foot and skin care.  Eighth grade learned about the DNA replication process of Interphase.  They will be tackling Mitosis tomorrow.  The seventh grade will have a test on Friday.  Eighth grade will have a quiz.

Oct. 11: Eighth grade quiz is being canceled! For this week....Seventh grade has a test on skin and muscles (Chapter 2).

Oct. 15:  Seventh grade proceeds to chapter 3, which is about health and nutrition.  Eighth grade is starting to focus more on mitosis and we will begin to examine the DNA strands and chromosomes.

Oct. 16:  Seventh grade began to look at the six aspects of nutrition, including:  Vitamins, Minerals, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Lipids, etc.  Eighth grade went over to teach the other fifth grade class about parts of the cell.  It should be noted that I found an online biology test for a college course.  It covered things that we have talked about and things that we haven't talked about.  Both classes got passing grades and both classes were very close to getting a "C" on the test.  What makes it remarkable is that there was no chance to study and there were no prompts for the test.  Yet, they were able to take the material we had learned and extrapolate it to a college level.  Proud of them.

Oct. 17:  Seventh grade started to look at nutrition through the spectrum of what foods cause the body to do certain things.  Closely examined sugars and carbs and had an instructional film that detailed those points.  Eighth grade also had an instructional film on mitosis as we try to closely examine the cell division cycle or sequence.  Each class will have a quiz on Friday.  The notes for those tests are below.

Oct. 18:  I have decided to postpone our weekly quiz this week because the concepts of the more recent materials need to be explored and discussed more thoroughly.  It is complicated material for the eighth grade and the seventh grade has a lot of data to sift through.  So, we're going to postpone for a little while.  That will put more emphasis on doing well next week as the quarter is getting close to being done.

Oct. 22:  I allowed the eighth graders to finish their Mitosis flip books.  They will be due on Tuesday and they will also have to finish a worksheet 1-19.  (Sec. 2-3).  The seventh graders analyzed the diet diaries of their classmates and they also finished a worksheet.  Both classes will have quizzes on WEDNESDAY!  It will be the last entry for the first quarter.

Oct. 23:  Went over materials for both seventh and eighth grade quiz.  Seventh grade had films and discussion on nutrition.  Eighth grade was introduced to interactive web site.

Oct. 24:  Took quizzes in both the eighth and seventh grade.  The first quarter is about to end.  Finish up strong. 
Oct. 25:  Looked at nutrition in seventh grade and cancer cells in eighth grade.

Oct. 26:  Continued with nutrition and labels for health in nutrition and more about cancer cells in eighth grade.

On Oct. 29 - We will have Carrie Burdstadt from the Henry County Conservation Service come in and teach a lesson about cells that should be entertaining and provide enrichment.

Oct. 30 - finished with collaborative project concerning mitosis.  Eighth grade finished their sub-unit on Cancer.  Seventh grade is working on digestion and some thinking strategies that are prompts of science.  Eighth grade will have a test on Thursday, this week!  It is over chapter 2.  We will practice on Wed.

Oct. 31- Halloween - It was too scary to put a quiz together for eighth grade, so we will have a test on Thursday!!  Seventh grade is studying the digestion process some more.

Nov. 5- Seventh grade looked at lower portion of the digestive tract after reviewing mechanical digestion, chemical digestion, the four sets of teeth that are vital for digestion, the stomach and esophagus.  We are now looking at the large intestine, the small intestine, the pancreas, the gall bladder, bile the liver.  The eighth grade is looking at Gregor Mendel and his work with pea plants.  We are looking at the F1 generation versus the F2 generation.  We are looking at the different traits that are passed down from one generation to another.  The kids should be able to distinguish between dominant and recessive alleles by the end of the week.

Nov. 8 - Seventh grade took a quiz today and proved they know the following:  Duodenem, Jejuenem, Illeum, Descending Colon, Ascending Colon, Sigmoid Colon and Transverse Colon.  They also were quizzed on villus, villi, chyme, the large intestine versus the small intestine.  They also looked at a video from a medical school of someone working on an intestine to get an idea of the fibrous nature of the organ.  The seventh grade also knows a lot about the liver, gall bladder, the pancreas.  Eighth grade is learning about genes, traits and the work of Gregor Mendel, who worked with pea plants and discovered how inherited traits are masked (recessive alleles) and how they are prominent (dominant alleles).

Nov. 12 - Seventh grade, started the circulatory system...They learned right and left atrium and right and left ventricle.  They learned how deoxygenated blood enters the right atrium and passes through the tricuspid valve.  If there is leakage in the valve, it is called a heart murmur.  They learned all about the 'lub-dub of the heart.  The 'lub' is the portion of the heart that pushes blood to the lungs to pick up an oxygen supply.  The 'dub' is the portion of the heart that has to push the blood throughout the entire body.  They learned that arteries push blood away from the heart, and therefore veins have to bring blood into the heart.  
     Eighth grade looked at the laws of probability.   The quizzes have been graded for both the seventh and the eighth grade.  The eighth grade took notes and then discussed probability through the means of poker and how certain cards are not going to come up very often.  They will transfer this information into a study of genetics in the near future.

Nov. 14 - Seventh grade learned the following items, Superior vena cava, inferior vena cava, murmurs, pulmonary trunk, pulmonary veins, lungs, deoxygenated blood, oxygenated blood, aortic valve, aorta, tricuspid valve, capillaries, myocardial muscle, myocardial Infarction, right and left atrium, right and left ventricle.......Eighth grade is studying the punnett square and how probability determines the phenotypes and genotypes of each organism.  Phenotype means physical traits or attributes.  Genotypes means genetic traits or attributes.

Nov. 15 - Seventh grade quiz has been postponed until next Tuesday.  Today they learned about the circulatory system and learned three types of circulation: Pulmonary, Coronary and Systemic.   Pulmonary takes blood from heart to lungs.  Coronary takes blood to various cells within the heart.  Systemic takes the blood throughout the entire body.  Eighth grade quiz was also postponed until Tuesday.  Today, the learned the difference between codominance, heterozygous traits and homozygous traits.  Today, we looked at what cattle breeders have to look at when they are determining whether or not to purchase cattle.  We looked at phenotypes, specifically with a mention of genotypes.

Nov. 26 - Seventh and eighth grade quizzes were checked.  Seventh grade is learning about blood pressure and how the vessels of the circulatory system work in combination to allow blood to flow faster in times where the heart is working harder.  The eighth grade is learning about chromosomes and how sex cells are reproduced in meiosis.  Today, they started the conversation by learning about how 1/2 the chromosomes from each person comes from each parent.

Nov. 27 - Seventh grade learned about how the capillaries, veins and arteries have to be in a working harmony in order to work.  We are trying to stress how important it is to know the structural limitations of the body and why it is necessary to take measures that prevent heart disease or just the deterioration of the body.  The eighth grade is wrapping up their genetics unit by doing a poster project which helps them with probability and genes.  They are having to work in cooperation with other students in class and construct a 'family' based on the probability of the traits they put together.

Nov. 28 - Seventh grade looked at what diastolic and systolic pressure meant.  Eighth grade was shown a movie on meiosis and given an chance to put their projects together.

Nov. 29 - Seventh grade received a demonstration from Mrs. Loyd about blood pressure, while the eighth grade was given a chance to finish their projects.  The quiz for this week in the eighth grade has been postponed until Monday.  Thank you!

Dec 3, 4 - Eighth graders are beginning to study about electricity and magnetism.  Eighth grade on Monday, learned about potential difference, electrons and on Tuesday learned about how like charges repel and how unlike charges attract.  They learned about the Van Allen belts and they learned about the Earth being one gigantic magnet.  They learned the fact that James Van Allen was from Mount Pleasant.  Seventh grade is learning about the ancient Egyptian calendar and I am trying to get them to realize how accurate they were event though they put it together 5,000 years ago.  They based their planting season on the Sirius star and they used that star to realize when to plant.  I found a video of a college professor explaining that today for them, which is accessible on Youtube.

Dec. 5-7:  Eighth graders learned properties of magnetism and magnetic declination.  Seventh graders continued with study of space.  Each class watched numerous clips from movies to help accentuate the points made by teacher-led discussion.  Both seventh and eighth grade took quizzes that will be graded on Monday.  There have been numerous absences in the middle school lately, and it is difficult to keep everyone on the same page.  Please check this web site routinely to ensure that your child can continuously keep up with his or her peers.

Dec. 11-12:  Eighth grade has begun a new project, where they are to research the capabilities of the MAGLEV system in Japan and Germany.  These are trains that can travel on a cushion of air, generated by magnetism, which can reach 300-400 miles per hour.  To make this a life-like situation, I have put the students in groups of three of their choosing.  They are to lobby, a member of the federal government (in this case, me) and persuade the federal agent to take their proposal to the President of the United States.  So far, about 1/2 the groups are in support of the federally financed project, while about 1/2 is against it.  Their proposals are scheduled for Thursday, but I will allocate more time, if research starts to take on new dimensions that haven't been explored before.
     The seventh grade is talking about the tides, the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon and orbits.  We then started to talk about the phases of the moon and how they are created.  The students were presented with a film today that discussed lunar and solar eclipse.  They will have a project after Christmas break, where they have to create a travel package to a planet or moon.

Dec. 13:  Eighth grade completed MAGLEV projects.  Seventh grade looked at how rocket propulsion takes place.

Jan. 3:  Getting back in gear.  Every question of Friday quiz was discussed and evaluated.  Be prepared for tomorrow.

Jan 4:  Took quizzes and it looks like we have shaken off the rust.  It appears that all of the students benefited greatly from our day of review yesterday.  Now, ready to really tackle the stuff that will enable to finish our semester.  

Jan 7-8:  Seventh grade knows the difference between Ptolemy, Copernicus, Gallileo, Brahe and Kepler and how the thinking of how our world was created has shifted from a geocentric to a heliocentric theory.  In eighth grade, we looked at valence electrons, covalent bonds and how temperature affects conductivity and resistance in electrical charges.  The eighth grade needs to look at bringing aluminum cans and balloons as we see why electrical charges are attracted to a conductor.

Jan 9-10-11:  Wrap up.  Seventh grade looked at inertia and gravity.  Eighth grade looks at electromagnetism, solenoids and electrical conductivity and insulation.

Jan. 15, 2013:  Eighth grade will be doing an experiment with conduction of electricity - If they bring the materials needed.  If not, then there will be a test on Wednesday over Chp. 1 ..... Seventh grade took two notes on the sun, and reviewed their five astronomers, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Gallileo, Brahe and Kepler.

Jan. 16, 2013:  Eighth grade did the scientific experiment concerning electron charge and conduction.  Seventh grade learned about the corona, the photosphere, the chromosphere, magnetosphere, solar winds, auroras, the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis.  The eighth grade lab report is due by the end of the period on Thursday, but they will also have some inclass assignments due as well.  

Jan. 21, 2013:  Eighth grade looked at energy efficiency and geopolitics of environment and energy needs.  The seventh grade started to examine why Mercury is the planet it is today.  Talked about slow rotation, no magnetosphere and how the planet is a catch all for the flying debris of the solar system.

Jan. 23, 2013:  Eighth grade looked at induction of electrical charge, while seventh grade is looking at the terrestrial planets.  First was Mercury and today was Venus.  We are trying to find outside sources of information to deal with the theories of why the planets are the way they are as far as atmosphere and topography are concerned.

Jan 24, 2013:  Eighth grade looked at how charges are induced and conducted.  We created lightning by using electrical charges, manipulated by rubbing a balloon and then inducing them to a metallic rod.  We also used a portable Van De Graf machine to show how metallic strips of material could be induced into a dance.  The seventh grade listened to War of the Worlds and then we discussed Mars.  Olympus Mons, Valles Marinaris and phobos and deimos were discussed.

Jan 25, 2013:  Eighth grade looked at charges being conducted through various gaseous media.  We discussed how the concept of St. Elmo's Fire actually happens and why.  We compared it to fire and how it acts in air.  We compared it to lightning.  We compared it to how neon reacts.  The seventh grade put the final touches on Phobos and Deimos and Mars.  We looked at how moons, likely came about and compared the two moons of Mars to our own moon in size and appearance.

Jan. 28, 2013:  Eighth grade looked at Ohm's Law (V=IR).  V is for Volts.  I is for current or amps.  R is for resistance or ohms.  Seventh grade looked at Jupiter and Europa.  Spent 20 minutes reviewing previously studied planets and moons.

Jan. 29, 2013:  Eighth grade practiced with the formula for Ohm's Law.  Seventh grade saw a film on Jupiter's moons, discussed the possibility of life on those moons and began a discussion of Saturn.

Jan. 30, 2013:  School canceled.

Jan. 31, 2013:  Eighth grade reviewed Ohm's Law and saw another video that helped explain the concepts of voltage, current and resistance.  Seventh grade began their study of Saturn and the moon of Titan, which is the second largest moon in the solar system and a possible source of liquid.

Feb. 5, 2013:  Eighth grade has begun series and parallel circuitry and we have some films to accentuate the concepts.  Seventh grade looked at Uranus and the strange color and tilt of the planet.  They also theorized why the planet has moons that are made of lava and other moons made of ice.  They were show the reason, the planet rotates with underpin rather than in a forward or retrograde rotation.

Feb. 6, 2013:  Eighth grade has begun to incorporate the uses of Ohm's Law.  They will be receiving more complicated uses of the law.  They also looked at notes and typed in the information to their laptop concerning parallel and series circuitry.  The seventh grade learned the following things about Neptune:  13 moons.  Triton is the largest moon.  There are four faint rings.  Triton has retrograde rotation.  Triton is loaded with geysers that spew out nitrogen.  Then we looked at Pluto and how it has been downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet.  

Feb. 7, 2013:  Eighth Grade looked at parallel circuits and used a worksheet and enrichment assignment to make sure that the concepts have been learned.  The seventh grade looked at Pluto and Charon and we will read about the gas giants and have discussion questions.  Both the eighth grade and the seventh grade are going to have quizzes on Friday.

Feb. 10, 2013:  Eighth grade is looking at the safety measures for electricity.  Seventh grade is going to look at asteroids, comets, meteors.  We looked at the asteroid that is going to come within 17,000 miles of Earth this Friday.

Feb. 11, 2013:  Eighth grade continues to look at electrical safety issues.  Seventh grade is studying comets and took time to compete in the name Pluto's moons contest.  We were informed of two more moons today!  Parent Teacher Conferences as well.

Feb 13, 2013:  Eighth grade learned more about grounding, safety issues and circuitry.  They were assigned 1-4 pg. 72 to be completed in class.  Seventh grade was assigned 1-5 on page 92.  This could also be done in class.  Both classes will have a test on Wednesday.  Chapter two for the eighth grade and chapter two for seventh grade.

Feb 14, 2013:  Eighth grade finished unit on electrical safety and did a practice sheet for understanding.  There will be a chapter practice day on Tuesday of next week and they will have a test on Wed.  The seventh grade will finish their material on extra-terrestrial life and there will be a chapter review assignment on Tuesday.  They will have a test on Wednesday of next week.  Thank you and have a happy Valentine's Day.  

Feb. 19, 2013:  Both seventh and eighth grade took part in some in-school research concerning formative assessment.  For H.S. there will be a track meeting tomorrow at 2:30.

Feb. 25, 2013:  Seventh grade is looking at black holes, worm holes, galaxies and quasars.  Eighth grade is looking at the process for converting electrical energy into mechanical energy.

Feb. 27, 2013:  Seventh grade looked at how stars are created.  Focused most of our attention on nebulas and protostars.  Eighth grade watched a Bill Nye film on circuits for review and are assigned 1-5 on page 81 from their text.

March 4, 2013:  Eighth grade and seventh grade will be taking end of unit tests on Friday.  Seventh grade astronomy project is due on Monday of next week.  Bad weather needs to take a break from us, so we can get back on track.

March 11, 2013:  Eighth Grade is now focused on motion, energy, power, force, work, etc.  Seventh grade is starting to look at the planet earth and what makes it the way that it is right now.  I will be posting pictures of the seventh grade solar system projects in the near future.

March 14, 2013:  Eighth grade is focused on the formula for speed, V=D/T.  Velocity, which is speed and a given direction.  Acceleration.  We have viewed various sports films and tried to look at biomechanics in how they relate to these subjects.  Seventh grade concluded presentations on space and solar system.  We will be looking at how the Earth evolved over the hundreds of millions of years of plate tectonics.

March 17-21:  Eighth grade has received various films and interactive demonstrations concerning velocity, speed, direction.  They have some formulas to know and there will be a test on Friday.  Seventh grade should know the difference between basalt, granite, and plate tectonics.  They have studied the interior of the earth and the different layers.  They have started on looking at how heat is transferred.  Conduction, Convection and Radiation.

March 25:  Seventh graders will be talking about convection currents in the mantle and how that relates to plates moving around the world.  We will soon be studying the concept of pangea.  Eighth graders will be looking at unbalanced force and how it relates to motion and movement.  It will be the first step in biomechanics.

March 28:  Seventh graders learned about evidence that supports the concept of pangaea.  Eighth graders are busy with inertia, Newton's Laws and motion.  They should know that F=MA (Force is equal to mass times acceleration).  They should know that force is measured in Newtons.  Have a good break!

April 1 & 2:  Eighth graders were asked to use Newton Scooters in the PE room in an attempt to figure out how force is applied.  They were able to use Newton's second law effectively and were adept at explaining Newton's first law.  Tomorrow, they will tackle Newton's third law and learn about friction and inertia and they will examine how motion is compromised.  Seventh grade looked at Harry Hess and have had supportive films that helped explain how sea-floor spreading and the mid-ocean ridge are connected.  Both classes will have a quiz on April 4.  Thanks.

April 4:  Took quizzes over force, and acceleration by using the concepts of Newton's Laws.  Took Quiz over Alfred Wegener, Harry Hess, Pangaea and sea-floor spreading.

April 9:  Eighth grade is looking at friction and surfaces.  Seventh grade is looking at divergent, convergent and transform boundaries.

April 15:  Newton's third law and momentum.  Seventh grade is looking at how earthquakes are formed.  Both classes received extensive video footage to help make concepts clearer.  Both classes are required to hand in daily assessments for the first three days of the week.  Both classes will be tested for comprehension on Friday.

April 18:  Eighth grade learned about fluid dynamics and put it to test, by taking their paper air planes to gym. Cole Helmerson was the winner of the first class.  Seventh grade learned about anticlines, synclines, hanging walls, footwalls, compression force, tension force and shearing force.  Thanks to all the parents who helped out with the donations in getting this lesson taught.  Because of the success of both experiments, the quizzes for Friday have been pushed back yet again.  Collin Cumpton was the winner for the second eighth grade class.

April 30-May 1:  Seventh grade has shifted over to a study of volcanoes and their project will be due on May 10.  They may work in pairs.  The eighth grade just completed their final 'big' test of the year and we are grading it currently.  They still have a 'trick-shot' physics film to present on May 6, 2013.  Some of the better films of the past have appeared on youtube.  The eighth grade learned about Bernoulli's Principle today, which indicates that faster moving air above an object, there will be lift below.

May 2:  Seventh grade learned about the inner workings of the volcano, including Aa, Pahohoe, Pele's hair, vents, neck, pyroclastic flow, pyroclastic bombs, etc.  Eighth grade finished Bernoulli's Principle.  They will have to present their 'Trick Shot' video on Monday.  I have seen two people film their project at school and it was a very good attempt at an egg drop.  I am looking forward to seeing other projects next week.

May 7:  Seventh grade learned about more volcanic structures, including sills, dikes, batholiths and calderas.  Eighth grade enjoyed the second day of their trick shot videos.  So far, they have been pretty good.  Just so, you know, I never encouraged anyone to do a shot that would be considered dangerous.  Thank you.

May 8:  Seventh grade learned about volcanic structures on earth and other planets.  There will be a wrap up tomorrow.  Volcanic eruption day will be Friday.  Eighth grade is still in the midst of their "Trick Shot" video assignment where they have to try to perform various shots using physics, which requires force, buoyancy, mass, acceleration, velocity, etc.  They soon will be moving on to Earth's waters.

May 13:  Subject changes for the middle school.  The eighth grade is learning about Earth's waters.  The seventh grade is learning about the relationship between man and the environment.  There is an awareness emphasized on how biological and environmental problems occur.  The seventh grade explored supply and demand and how it evolved into the 1980s Farm Crisis.

May 15:  Eighth grade learned about capillary action, surface tension and viscosity of fluid.  Learning about atomic structure of water molecules gives the student an indication of how fluid behaves.  Seventh grade learned about litter, topsoil, subsoil and bedrock.  They finished the day learning about desertification and fallow.  Eighth grade has also discussed leachate and desalination.  Seventh grade discussed slash and burn techniques used to clear out vast jungle vegetation.  The seventh grade was encouraged to bring 'Talking Points' to class on this subject.  

May 20:  Seventh grade looked at how recycling is done for solid waste, nuclear waste and toxic waste.  Eighth grade looked at the workings of a waste water treatment facility and their key word for the day was bioremediation.  

May 22:  Seventh grade is continuing to look at how solid waste is dealt with in relationship to environmental needs.  As a sub-lesson, we are looking at environmental impact of tornadoes, since there was an EF-Five tornado in Oklahoma this last week.  The eighth grade is also looking at tornadoes, but they are looking at it through the lens of water vapor and water how air flows.  They learned words like windshear and microburst.

May 28-31:  The culmination of the year is at hand and we had a 100 point essay exam on whatever was learned in the seventh grade text (Environmental Science)  and eighth grade text (Earth's Waters).  Everyone did fairly well, although many of the students had to meet with me for further explanation or elaboration on their answers.  Essay exams will be more of a part of their studies in high school and it is essential that they practice these skills as often as possible in the middle school years.

August 26, 2013:  We're off and running.  I will put everything in order of highest grade to lowest for the remainder of the year.  I will not include PE....
Eighth Grade:  We are looking at the cell and it's function in the bodies of plants and animals.  Today, we looked at Robert Hooke, Schleiden, Schwann and Anton Von Luhwvenhoek.  We are starting to realize that cells compose other larger organisms.

Seventh Grade:  We are looking at how the human body functions in times of stress and how the body compensates for other aspects of the body.  We know that cells make up tissues, and tissues make up organs. Organs make up organ systems.  There are three parts of the cell, cell membrane, cytoplasm and nucleus.  There are four types of tissues, including, connective, epithelial, muscle and nerve.

Sixth Grade:  What is life?  What is the difference between a non-living structure and a living structure.  Today, we looked at the difference between the two.  Today we simply looked at computer issues that are out there.

August 27, 2013:  Eighth Grade discussed the five scientists who came up with the cell theory and why.  
Seventh grade learned about the four levels of body organization, the four types of tissue and various kinds of connective tissue, including adipose tissue, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.  
The sixth grade began station learning.  They were asked to finish their first homework assignment and then asked to observe nine petri dishes and calculate what the items might be.

Sept. 3, 2013:  Eighth grade learned about the nuclear envelope, how lipids and proteins comprise the nuclear envelope, the nucleolus, chromatin, ribosomes and nucleoplasm.  Seventh grade learned Tai Chi and how that relates to wellness.  Sixth grade is still learning about the meaning of life.  The students did a worksheet in class for practice.  

Sept. 5, 2013:  Eighth grade learned about endocytosis, exocytosis, endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria.  They have a coloring project that isn't due for awhile, but it will have several organelles that need to be learned in the future.  Seventh grade learned about the three aspects of wellness and how the continuum is affected by life choices and how the illness-wellness continuum is different for different people.  Sixth grade is learning about how water is essential to life.  They are learning about homeostasis.  They have spent several sessions learning about autotrophs and heterotrophs.

Sept. 9, 2013:  Eighth grade learned about Golgi Bodies, Lysosomes, and practiced the parts of the cell.  They received a practice worksheet that could be beneficial.  Seventh grade read Chps. 1-2 and 1-3.  Sixth grade played "jeopardy' to practice Chapter 1-1.  All three grades have quizzes on Tuesday.  You should see books in their hands tonight.

Sept. 11, 2013:  All three classes took quizzes yesterday and all three classes spent time today going over answers and looking for alternative methods of learning the material.

Sept. 12, 2013:  Eighth grade studied why bacteria and virus are so difficult to control and analyze.  Seventh grade is beginning to look at bone structure.  Sixth grade is trying to formulate a hypothesis on life's origins and why Earth and Mars may have had  a similar history or perhaps a similar future.

Sept. 17, 2013:  Eighth Grade: More in depth study of bacteria.  Seventh grade:  Lots of work on the bones, which includes: Periosteum, Osteocytes, Cancellous Bones, Ephysis, Diaphysis, Parietal Bones, Temporal Bones, Frontal Bones, Occipital Bones.  We also learned the scapula, clavicle, etc.  Sixth Grade:  Learned about the taxonomic system, which goes:  Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.  They also learned that there are six separate categories in the Kingdom.  It includes:  Archebacteria, Eubacteria, Protists, Fungi, Plants and Animals.

Oct. 3:  Eight Grade is looking at osmosis and diffusion.  Seventh grade is looking at three types of muscles.  Sixth grade is understanding how the taxonomy is working and the six kingdoms.  They are basically practicing their classification skills.

Oct. 10:  Eighth grade is looking at the chemical combinations needed to make photosynthesis work.  Seventh grade is looking at how the skin is divided into layers.  The sixth grade is looking at how bacteria is used in both a healthy manner and how deadly it can be.  ALL QUIZZES HAVE BEEN MOVED TO NEXT WEDNESDAY, OCT. 16.

Oct. 31:  Eighth grade is looking at how cancer cells replicate and how mutations occur.  The next subject is how genetics and traits are studied.  Seventh grade is starting to tackle circulation and circulatory processes. The vocabulary they will need to know is aorta, vein, capillary, atrium, ventricle, Co2 blood, oxygenated blood, etc.  Sixth grade is starting to realize that not only is there unicellular life, multicellular life and other aspects of life, they are trying to figure out what makes each different and how those axaptations translate to other aspects of time.

Nov. 4:  Eighth grade will be looking at Mendelian genetics and traits.  Seventh grade is starting to finalize materials for the heart and circulation and sixth grade is looking at algal blooms and the differences between red and green algae.

Nov. 11:  Eighth grade looking at Gregor Mendel and the probability of genetics.  Seventh grade looking at the individual blood vessel.  The sixth grade is trying to differentiate the characteristics of fungus, bacteria and virus.

Nov. 12 & 13:  Eighth grade discussing how the traits can be expressed in an individual.  Phenotypes and Genotypes.  Seventh grade is discussing how the heart works as far as pressure is concerned.  The left side that is more muscular has systemic circulation and has to force the blood against gravity to get throughout the body.  The sixth grade is looking at spores.  The vocabulary that they have learned is the cap, gills, mycelia, hyphae and why the fungus could be so strong.  We learned how the spores are released.

Nov. 18:  Eighth grade is discussing probability and will soon translate to genetic probability.  Seventh grade is looking at the cardiovascular system and circulatory system.  We are looking at the cell wells and thickness of the three blood vessels, artery, vein and capillary.  The sixth grade saw a film of Bozemanscience on fungus.  We will be assessing tomorrow on fungus.  The class will put together a comprehensive slide powerpoint.

Nov. 20:  Eighth grade is looking at genetics and making a family of characters based on probability.  Seventh grade is doing some enrichment work on infectious diseases.  Sixth grade is starting to complete their slide show presentations on fungus and how fungus works in modern society in both beneficial and harmful ways.

Dec. 2:  Eighth Grade is finishing up the determination process of meiosis.  Seventh grade began their studies of the solar system and space.  Sixth grade is looking at plant cells and their structures.

Dec. 3:  Eighth Grade is finalizing it's study between meiosis and mitosis.  Seventh grade is examining how the first ancient calendars were created and how it led to study of how our earth is tilted and how it orbits.  The sixth grade was introduced to the vascular system and the cuticle as means to keeping plant life hydrated.

Dec. 6:  Eighth Grade is beginning work on magnetism and electricity.  Seventh grade is starting to look at how the earth rotates and the moon phases coupled with gravitational fields.  The sixth grade is finalizing work on how plants reproduce.

Dec. 10:  Eighth grade, Seventh Grade and Sixth Grade all have quizzes on Friday of this week.  Eighth grade is looking at ferromagnetic materials and how atomic structures are related to magnetism and electricity.  Seventh grade is looking at how tides and gravity are interrelated and how ecosystems can be affected by high and low tides.  Sixth grade is looking at the inner-workings of plant reproduction and how photosynthesis produces sugar and oxygen, if light, carbon dioxide and water are available.

Dec. 11:  Eighth grade learned the difference between magnetic declination and geographic north pole.  There is also some information about James Van Allen involving the magnetosphere that should be learned.  Seventh Grade took a day away from astronomy to talk about how quick an infectious disease would circle the globe.  The sixth grade has a quiz coming up and we spent the greater portion of the day looking at vocabulary from that material.  They will also need to complete an 8-point worksheet, due tomorrow.

Jan. 13:  Eighth grade is currently trying to do a project where they are to lobby for approval from the President, on whether the U.S. should invest in infrastructure concerning Maglev trains, blimps for short-range hauling and hydrogen fuel-based cars.  The seventh grade is starting to look at the moon and the terrestrial planets.  We have looked at theories at how the moon originated.  The sixth grade just finished working with ferns and plants and we have just finished that book.  We will now work with chemical interactions.

Jan. 16:  Sixth grade has been working with phases of matter (liquid, solid, gas) and the atomic structure of elements work in relation to what forms particular types of molecules and solutions.  Seventh grade has been doing in-depth study of how the sun is formed (nuclear fusion)  and what the solar particles that are released from the sun could affect the earth.  The eighth grade is in the third day of their project, which is due on Wednesday, Jan. 22 -- that discusses how the maglev train, hydrogen car and hydrogen dirigible could be used more effectively in modern day society.

Jan. 21:  Sixth grade working with computerized games to get grasp on elements in the periodic table and it's structure.  Seventh grade is working with the first four planets and the eighth grade did one more day of research in preparation for their presentation with the president (me).

Jan. 22:  Sixth grade had Mrs. Scott co-teach and she demonstrated the differences of how solutions work chemically and how reactions occur.  Seventh grade continued with their exploration of the terrestrial planets.  Eighth grade was given one more day to work on their presentations, which was good because they usually needed just a bit more information.  They will speaking with the president (me) tomorrow.

Jan. 26:  The sixth grade worked with bonds today and they saw how vinegar is bound, chemically.  The seventh grade is discussing the differences between the Mercury, Venus and Earth all three of their relationships with the sun.  The eighth grade had their class cut in half because of an assembly and they took a survey of future college interests because of the lack of time in class.

Feb. 10:  The eighth grade is working on ohm's law.  Seventh grade is working on aspects of Mars.  Sixth grade is looking at the following terms;  reactants, reactions, coefficients, subscripts, atom, molecule, synthesis, decompose, replacement reaction as we prepare for chemical interactions.

Feb. 13:  The eighth grade has moved onto electrical safety measures.  Seventh grade is comparing Jupiter and Saturn and trying to deduce how the rings originated on the gaseous giants versus the terrestrial planets.  The sixth grade finished balancing equations and is looking at endothermic and exothermic reaction and how they transfer energy.

Feb. 25:  The eighth grade did their chapter 2 test after learning about series and parallel circuits.  Seventh grade is learning about Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus and their moons.  The sixth grade is learning about how combustion works.

March 1-9:  The Sixth grade learned about valence electrons and isotopes.  The sixth grade has been learning how to interpret the periodic table and without actually balancing equations, they have been able to see how electrons move to other substances to make compounds.  The sixth grade has been able to determine the charges of each particle that makes up an atom.  They learned that the proton is the positive charge that is within the nucleus.  They learned that the electrons are orbiting the nucleus and they do that in electron shells.  They learned that there are two electrons in the first electron shell and that there are eight electrons in the second and third shells.  We didn't go beyond that.  They were also able to identify what the noble gases are and why they are called that.  We looked at balancing equations, but soon learned that this was a skill that was not necessary for sixth grade.  So, we then turned our attention to dot diagrams.
    We also looked at covalent bonds and the conductivity of atoms.  We will need to identify suspensions in the future.

March 14-23:  We began a new book this week in the sixth grade.  We started to look at the composition of gases in the air.  We have found that the sequence of chemistry that we used was beneficial for this as they recognize the atomic structure of these gases and this was important to see how they react.  We are looking at why some of the other planets in the solar system have little or no atmosphere (mercury) and how some planets have oppressive atmosphere and why these gases allow for life creation on Earth.  They are becoming familiar with the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere and the ionosphere/exosphere.  They needed to revisit some of the chemistry units to demonstrate comprehension of what an ion is.  This discussion also gives us the foundation for the Aurora Borealis and leads to the greenhouse effect.

March 25:  The sixth grade is learning how photochemical smog has been created and the value of air quality in the urban cities versus the air quality in our own states.  We have begun a foundation discussion for what environmental regulations are necessary and which ones are obtrusive.

March 28:  The sixth grade is learning about how air pressure is related to cold fronts and low pressure air systems.  This is the foundation for how weather happens and how environmental factors do weigh on how the weather is formed.  We looked at how the weather has become more violent and unstable in the last five years and are proposing on whether these violent weather storms have a direct correlation to the warming of our planet in the last 100 years.

April 1:  The students of sixth grade are looking at scattering and how radiation is refracted into other atmospheres.  We used a garden hose to show how the water scatters in different directions when there is a thumb on a hose and how the molecules are dispersed.

April 4-8:  The students of sixth grade are looking at heat transfer which is done by either convection, radiation and conduction.  The seventh grade is looking at convergent, divergent and transform boundaries and reverse, normal and strike slip faults.  They also learned about the anticlines, synclines and plateaus of land formations.  

April 11-16:  The students of sixth grade are looking at how the jet stream works and how the coriolis effect creates weather patterns throughout the Earth.  We looked at where the doldrums were and how the weather is effected by the spinning of our planet and how the sun is heating the ground and that this heat is released  into the upper atmosphere as the tilt of our planet absorbs more energy at this time of year, based on the season.  The students are also looking at how the southern hemisphere has opposite weather patterns based on this tilt.  The students have looked at how monsoons form and the difference between typhoons and hurricanes.  Seventh grade has been learning about the focus, the epicenter and the P-wave and S-wave of a earthquake.  They are also learning about liquefaction and today we saw some films of how a tsunami works.  The seventh grade also learned about the concepts of a tsunami through a Tim and Moby cartoon.  The eighth grade has been learning about Newton's Three Laws.  We took a catapult to the gym on April 16th and the kids demonstrated how they actually know how the catapult uses all three laws.  We had a brainstorm on how to make the catapult more of an effective lesson for us.  We found a chair with a hole in the back.  The kids then began to try to calculate in their mind how far the arm of the catapult had to be pulled back and how the arm of the catapult twisted on impact.  So they started to launch the objects with a slight angle to them.  They also began to calculate the mass of the ball and saw that the heavier the ball was, the less they had to get the ball into the air because the ball would skim off the surface of the chair and proceed through the hole.  The catapult was a very valuable resource to add to our lecture.

April 21-23:  The students examined the difference between evaporation and condensation.  We also looked at the sixth grade's ability to determine humidity, relative humidity, fog, etc.  Because of the Tier I & 2 gifts of their Iowa Basic Assessment Tests, there will be several students at the Burlington Bees game, this Thursday.  There will be a quick assessment quiz on Friday for all grades to determine where we stand as we approach the final stages of the year.

May 16, 2014:  The eighth grade has performed a buoyancy test in the last three weeks, an explanation of their trick shot video and an assessment of how their design concepts related to both flight and air resistance and buoyancy.  The seventh grade has shifted from an exploration of volcanoes and seismic activity and are now pursuing environmental science.  Sixth grade has shifted to the sound wave, where they are studying the crest, trough, amplitude, pitch wave length and wave strength.  They are looking at what a wave would like with high frequency and low frequency.  They have looked at compression waves, mechanical waves and transverse waves.  The eighth grade will be looking at their last few notes in the next few weeks.

August 20, 2014:  New school year:  I will do my best to indicate what standards are being addressed with each lesson.  First day was simply an introduction to the course and an introduction of myself and my policies.

August 21, 2014:  Second day:  Eighth grade began with a film and an introduction to living cells.  Seventh grade began with a film an introduction to the body's cells and systems.  Sixth grade began with a film and an introduction to what life is and how it is classified.

August 25, 2014:  Fourth day:  Eighth Grade is going to tackle the portions of the cell tomorrow.  Their warm-up assignment was to find an animal that is in an environment where it doesn't belong and talk about the potential damage to the environment.  Seventh grade is looking at cellular organization and practice the bones of the skeleton.  By the end of the week, they should know the following:  Cranium, coccyx, patella, pelvis, mandible, vertebrae, rib, tibia, clavicle, scapula, femur, radius.  Sixth grade:  They learned more about how prokaryotes behave:  Bacteria have no nucleus to control it, but have a protein coat and a wall of protection, which is why it makes bacteria so dangerous.
August 26, 2014:  Fifth Day:  Checked daily assessments for all grades.  Eighth grade did a worksheet over the inventors and the seventh grade practiced their bones and began to learn about tissues.  Sixth grade examined bacteria.

Shane Barron,
Oct 16, 2012, 12:58 PM
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