BLOG: Marine Biology


Marine Biology


(or....what happened in Marine Biology today)


December 11
We spent the day going over "everything fishy."

Dec 7 (Pearl Harbor Day)
Everyone dissected a sea perch to complete oue comparison of fish (cartilaginous vs bony).  In addition folks were supposed to make a gyotaku, label the anatomy, and post it to the wall.  IF ABSENT...Google (image) gyotaku, pick your favorite, print it, cut it out, and stick it to the gyotaku page in your notebook.

Dec 5
Prepped notebooks for the CH 6 check (due in TWO WEEKS). Then spent a half hour watching The Ultimate Shark.  Finished up by starting the pre-lab for Friday's perch dissection (representing BONY fish)...power pt available if needed.  Students were given ALL papers needed for CH 6.

CH 6 TO-DO List;
--coloring page
--finish shark families worksheet
--finish FAV5 by picking a shark and recording notes
--"polish-up" BOTH labs
--complete the 2 yellow review sheets
--make/label an awesome gyotaku



Dec 3
Students turned in their SOS miniPosters.

We then wrapped up notes on the FAV5 Sharks...and watched a couple short video clips (sharks).

Notebooks are due TODAY (check the Arthropod chapter, #5).
I went over a calendar...outlining everything between now and Winter Break (no surprises).

November 29
Shark Lab!
We dissected the dogfish shark, Squalus acanthias today.


Nov 27
Almost finished our shark notes (will wrap up Monday) the pre-Lab for Thursday's shark dissection.

SOS mini-poster and Notebook CH 5 DUE MONDAY.

Nov 21
SOS miniPoster project assigned.  Students began taking notes on "everything shark."

Have a great Turkey Day!

Nov 19
We watched a documentary on Sharkfin Soup and got the CH 5 table of contents update.

Nov 15
Spent the day getting the "back story" on the Final Phylum: Chordata.  If absent, use the ppt (DOCs) or get it from a friend.

Turned in notebooks today...checking CH 4 (Echinoderms).

Nov 3

Nov 8
We spent the morning prepping for Tuesday's MIDTERM EXAM (100 multiple choice questions ON SKYWARD).  Student took notes (the BIG picture), playing a version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkeyfish for bonus points, and we started a Kahoot.  I highly recommend doing the ENTIRE Kahoot.  If you have the app, use this link;
and this pin:  0926072
It's 36 questions and a really good practice tool (do it MULTIPLE is "open" until the test starts on Tuesday).

Nov 6
Today was spent reviewing "everything Arthropod." review...Kahoot...we did it all.

Also, there's a food drive so ...bring some food?


Nov 1
Crayfish lab today...representing the Phylum ArthropodaStudents turned in their notebooks today for a check on CH 3.

What does the world look like through the eyes of a  crayfish?...


October 30
We spent the day reviewing "everything echinoderm."  Homework? Crayfish pre-lab?


Oct 26
Double-header today!  Students dissected both seastars AND sea urchins as representatives of the Phylum Echinodermata.

Oct 24
Today was "everything mollusk."  Students took notes, watched videos, and made Chapter 3 look awesome.  Try your hand at the KAHOOT "Mollusk Review" with this link...   and this PIN...   0589247
(available to play until Monday at 1 PM)


Friday is the dissection lab for echinoderms (pre-lab?)...seastars & urchins.

Want EXTRA CREDIT on your notebook?  Then you should scroll down and read the blog entry for Sept 24... just sayin...

Oct 22
A tad on the smelly side but we dissected squid today.

Oct 18
Want EXTRA CREDIT on your notebook?  Then you should scroll down and read the blog entry for Sept 24... just sayin...

To make expectations crystal-clear, I "walked" everyone through the Clam Lab.
Clams are one of two specimens representing the Phylum Mollusca.  Every Phylum will have one or two animals to represent their various anatomical compare/contrast...and in the Big Picture, get a beautifully-arranged progression of life (aka evolution).  Each lab will focus on 3 elements; Taxonomy, Anatomy, and Physiology.  And remember, USE THE POWER POINTS (Virtual Dissection page)...for help on the pre-lab, as a virtual lab partner during the lab, as a substitute if you are absent, and even as a "review quiz" (last couple slides).  Today's specimen was a freshwater mussel, Anadonata

Those that were so inclined, picked up a copy of the Squid Lab for Monday's dissection



Oct 16
Kicking off COMPLEX INVERTEBRATES, today was mostly about prepping for the rest of the semester...specifically, dissection protocols; expectations for sketching, lab layout, equipment & cleaning, support materials...I walked students through the lab intro and explained how to get bonus pts (do the pre-lab) and extra credit (bring in fresh squid Monday).  The VIRTUAL DISSECTION page has the power pt...

Oct 12
We pretty much wrapped up notes on Simple Invertebrates.  Loomis got on his soapbox and "preached" about climate change, coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and yes...the political connection.  While no names/parties were mentioned, if you care about the ocean (and we ALL should), you're being naïve if think the two (politics and the health of the ocean) are somehow ...disconnected: elections have consequences. Ignorance costs lives. Billions of them.

We wrapped up by briefly talking about the final simple phylum: worms.  I showed a video on Riftia and discussed the concept (and repercussions) of chemosynthesis.  If you missed the notes, the ppt is available on the DOCs page.


Oct 10
Today we took aim at Cnidarians. After a brief video of sponges feeding, students spent the remainder of class taking  notes (corals), watching jellyfish videos, and learning about coral bleaching.

Stanford Lab is due tomorrow!

Oct 8
We began our investigation of Simple Invertebrates (sponges, jellies & worms) today.  After a ppt on symmetry, students were given all the pages necessary for Notebook Check #2 (due next Tuesday, 10/16).

I explained how to do the coloring pages (the method behind the madness) then we took notes: compare and contrast 3 phyla, Porifera, Cnidaria, and Annelida.

Oct 4
After turning in the homework (which we reviewed before the quiz), students logged in to Skyward to take a quiz covering Plankton & Algae.  While we were waiting for our faulty, slow tech, we went over the plankton worksheet that was part of the Algae Lab.


After the quiz students were assigned homework, due next FRIDAY, Oct 12th.  Essentially, students need to log into Stanford University's website and do a "virtual lab" on the impact of ocean acidification on marine life.  With a due date more than a week away, even students with poor/no internet access can come in during power hour and use rm219 to do the lab.  If you find yourself without a hard copy but want to do the lab, you can download/print a copy from DOCs: marbio...the link is listed on the LINKS page. Being absent is no excuse since you have access to everything...


We wrapped up the day with an introduction to Simple Invertebrates.


Oct 2

NEW MONTH, NEW GRADES? Looking on Skyward, your gradebook includes an item called


What is that?? Download the POLICIES & PROCEDURES from the Documents page and all will be explained.


Algae Lab today.  If absent, you can download the data from DOCs: MarBio.  The lab is graded as part of the notebook check for CH 2.  Essentially, we made wet mounts and looked at samples of marine algae then used our growing familiarity to be able to determine the identity of an unknown specimen.  Also, since Thursday's QUIZ is on Skyward, students were urged to practice getting on Skyward so any connectivity issues were dealt with prior to the assessment. From what I could tell, some folks took my advice...others will live-and-learn...aka "IF YOU FAIL TO HEED MY ADVICE...
As folks were pouring out the door, headed for 2nd period, they grabbed a copy of the QUIZ PREP Assignment.  It is due first-thing Thursday...before the quiz.



September 28
The algae wordsearch was due today, first-thing.

After we finished the notes on marine algae students had the opportunity to engage in a Carrageenan Party, eating a rhodophyta-thickened dairy product (an ice cream cone)...YAY SEAWEED! While chowing down we watched a 1970s era classic The Silent Forest about the kelp forests of the Pacific coastal waters.

There will be a QUIZ next Thursday on plankton and algae.  It will be administered via Skyward so hopefully, everyone has had an opportunity to log on at least once.

Sept 26
Busy day!  After watching 

 worlds below.JPG

(& filling out a worksheet*) I explained the why and how of "coloring pages" in the notebook...did a demo


and everyone followed along. We then took notes on the major algal groups.  I'll post the algae notes ppt after we finish Friday.

*if you were absent, your worksheet for the video is excused if you write the following phrase at the bottom of the World's Below worksheet: "Patrick's pants AREN'T square."

Traditionally, students celebrate algae with a "Carrageenan Party" this Friday.  I had 5 people volunteer to bring stuff to share Friday...just as long as it contains the (secret) ingredient CARRAGEENAN.


Sept 24
The day was spent looking at various plankton under the microscope.

If absent, you can get a copy of the lab from the DOCUMENTs page...then download the "microscopic views" from the ONLINE LAB also available on the DOCs page.


NOTEBOOKS are DUE WEDNESDAY.  I will be checking (grading) chapter 1.  In addition to formatting and organization, I will assess both the Plankton Match activity and today's Plankton Lab.  WANT EXTRA CREDIT ON YOUR NOTEBOOK?  Add a little "flair."  Decorate the outside of your Marine Biology binder in an appropriate motif (something that communicates, "YO! This here is a MARINE BIOLOGY book") pics, not words.  Sketch, draw, doodle, download then copy & paste, just decorate the thing with "all things marine & biology." Points for effort, being unique, looking "cool."  Oh, and don't tell anyone...let's just keep this our little secret...a reward for those folks that pay attention to this blog.

Sept 20
A couple of TEDtalks RE: plankton and everyone (should have) finished their Plankton Match  today.  We updated Chapter 1 of the notebook.

Sept 18
Create-a-Creatures DUE TODAY. Here's a couple...


After watching a brief video on the definition of life, students took notes* on (old school) classification then we started the Plankton Match activity.

*available under DOCs: marbio

Sept 14
We spent the day discussing the definition of life. CREATURES DUE TUESDAY!!!!

Sept 12
After watching a short video on Trogdor, students spent the day working on their creatures...drawing, sketching, coloring AND NAMING.  You can turn it in early but the "due date" isn't until Tuesday.

Sept 10
The focus of today's lesson was scientific naming.  We took some notes (the 4 rules), learned the 7 taxons, and the reasoning behind it all.  Gave some examples (and non-examples) then proceeded to articulate the rubric for our first "project"; Create-a-Creature.  THIS IS NOT HOMEWORK. Students have (at least) the next day or two to work on this IN CLASS.  If you come to class on Wednesday with your entire project finished, you get to experience "grouchy LoomDog." 


Sept 6
Wrapped up some "official bookends" (drills, room tour, etc) then began "building our textbook."  Everyone received the first few pages of their lab notebook and placed them in a 3-ring binder (one inch rings REQUIRED). If you borrowed a used binder, please bring YOUR OWN soon and return the borrowed binder.

We filled out the Table of Contents, were given a "thought experiment" for HOMEWORK (think about a cool creature...JUST THINK about it), then began the "Name Game" which will be completed in class on Monday.

If absent, you have some paperwork to collect in class...


Sept 4, 2018

First day of class...


School-wide, we spent the first day discussing the 3Cs of Community, Commitment, and Character... participating in some ice breakers.


 Then everyone took a "prequiz" and I went over room-specific policies & procedures (you can find a copy under the DOCUMENTS page of this website).



1) Get the Course Expectations "signed"* and returned

2) Get a 3-ring (1") binder 


 *either hard copy/old school-style or scroll down/read for the "green" version



Students WILL have HOMEWORK: turn in the course expectations ("syllabus").  You can do it on paper (sign & return) or "go green" AND get EXTRA CREDIT by doing it online...scroll down to find out exactly what to do.


Students MUST HAVE a 3-ring binder (with 1" rings), one that will hold NOTHING but the REQUIRED paperwork.  None of your materials from other classes allowed.  If you're not too picky, I have a few "used" ones available in class (Reduce, Reuse, know the mantra)...but don't count on it.  It's best to arrive with your own.  If your backpack is already too full, ask, and I'll provide you a safe space to store it in class.

HOMEWORK:  Course "syllabus" (see extra credit below)...the necessary items are available under the link on the left titled DOCUMENTS: Marine Bio. If this isn't a good option for you right now, you can simply go "old school" and get a hardcopy (ask me for one in class or print it) to sign/return on the First Day of class.

Extra Credit opportunities;
(1) I would like to be able to send you important reminders via text message...without violating anyone's privacy.  Scroll down and text me the message below to "sign up" with REMIND. You will earn 10 points XC for joining (and parents/guardians can join if they want but sorry, no extra credit for them).
(2) You can then score another 10 extra credit points if you can get your parent/guardian to ...(a) download the course description (syllabus) found under DOCUMENTS: Marine Biology, (b) look it over (DON'T PRINT IT), and (c) send me an email as follows;


 SUBJECT: student name

EMAIL: I am___'s (parent).  I've read the marine biology course expectations.



Get EXTRA CREDIT!!  Sign up for REMIND;

 Don't forget the @ symbol!!