General Biology

Helping you to understand viruses

posted Oct 26, 2012, 7:24 AM by Jerrid Johansen

Here are some additional materials to help you work through your understanding of Viruses.
  • VirusesFrom the Khan Academy.  It gets pretty long, and pretty technical past the 14-15 minute mark, but the introductory information is great.
  • Nathan Wolfe's Jungle Search for VirusesA TED Talk about the search for viruses and trying to stop the next pandemic.  Great stuff on how viruses can jump species and spread around the world
  • Virus PowerPoint: A decent PowerPoint on Viruses and infection cycles.
  • Nova 1918 Flu:  Great video on pandemics, the 1918 flu, and the threat of a new pandemic (a.k.a. the Bird Flu)

Prokaryotes Supplemental Material

posted Oct 25, 2012, 6:21 PM by Jerrid Johansen

Here are a few things you can view to help you get a better understanding of bacteria and archaea (a.k.a. the prokaryotes). 

  • Bacteria:  from the Khan Academy.  Great introduction to all things bacteria
  • How Bacteria "Talk"a TED talk detailing new breakthroughs in our understanding bacteria and how to combat them.
  • Bacteria and Archaeaa PowerPoint covering the basics of bacteria and the archaea.

Hope these are helpful...I'm not saying you have to view them all in their entirety but they will definitely help you gain an understanding of the topic.

Information on Viruses coming soon...

Tuesday, September 11th and Wednesday, September 12th

posted Sep 12, 2012, 10:39 AM by Jerrid Johansen

  1. We spent a little time reviewing HR Diagrams and Star Classification.
  2. Students were then asked to read an article about Habitable Zones and potentially finding life in other places in the solar system/galaxy.  The article can be viewed HERE.
  3. We assigned a reading strategy with the hopes of increasing their reading comprehension, not only for this class, but for all of their classes.
  4. After students had a chance to discuss what they believed to be the important points, students were asked to compare their questions with my list of 10 questions, and were then asked to answer the questions.

Friday, September 7th

posted Sep 6, 2012, 10:50 AM by Jerrid Johansen

As a reminder, I will be gone on Friday.
  1. Students will begin by taking a quiz over the Intro to Biology and the Universe.
  2. Students will then work quietly on the Stars Handout

If students do not finish the handouts by the end of class, it is homework for Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 29th

posted Aug 29, 2012, 9:58 AM by Jerrid Johansen

Students were asked to read the article:  How the Big Bang Theory Works

Students were then asked to answer questions about the article.


Tuesday, August 28th

posted Aug 29, 2012, 9:45 AM by Jerrid Johansen

As an introductory activity students were asked to brainstorm all of the things they would find in the universe.

Students were then asked to work with a group of students to draw their best representation of the universe.

Lastly, students were shown a short video that begins to explain the Big Bang Theory and the expansion of the universe.

Monday, August 27th

posted Aug 29, 2012, 8:51 AM by Jerrid Johansen

We continued our look at living organisms and the smaller things that make living organisms
  • 8 characteristics of living organisms
  • 4 Macromolecules of life
  • 4 atoms of life

Students also took a little universe pre-test for my knowledge and to see what students already know about the formation of the universe.

The notes and pre-test questions can be found HERE

Friday, August 24th

posted Aug 24, 2012, 1:21 PM by Jerrid Johansen

Wrapping up 2-weeks and Introducing our first unit

Two things were accomplished in class today:
  • We wrapped up two big topics in class today.  TOPIC 1 was to summarize the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.  This is a common theme in Biology that we will cover several times throughout the school year.  I strongly encouraged the kids to understand this concepts as quickly as possible to make their lives easier in Biology.  TOPIC 2 was to identify the 8 characteristics or requirements of life.  Those 8 requirements would be:
    • Having cells
    • Having a genetic code (DNA)
    • Reproduction
    • Growth and Development
    • Maintaining a Stable Internal Environment
    • Evolving as a Species
    • Obtaining and Using Materials (Eating, Breathing, Drinking, etc...)
    • Responding to their environment.
  • We also introduced the topic of:  WHERE DID ALL OF THE MATERIALS THAT MAKE UP LIVING THINGS ORIGINATE FROM?

Friday's Notes

Thursday, August 23rd

posted Aug 24, 2012, 1:06 PM by Jerrid Johansen

Strawberry DNA Extraction

Students were again divided into two groups and asked to perform two activities:
  1. Activity 1 required students to follow a set of directions to extract the DNA found in the cells of a Strawberry.  Activity Directions
  2. Activity 2 required students to use the text books to gather some information about the structure and function of DNA.  Guiding Questions

Wednesday, August 22nd

posted Aug 24, 2012, 12:58 PM by Jerrid Johansen

An Intro To Protists and other small organisms

Students were divided into two groups and worked with a partner on two different activities:
  1. Activity 1 required students to use the microscopes in an attempt to find protists and other small organisms within a sample of water from Walnut Creek.  Instructions for the Activity.
  2. Activity 2 required students to use the Biology Text Books to compare and contrast prokaryotes and eukaryotesGuiding Questions

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