Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween + NOLS bus = a great day

Today the NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) Bus came to campus to talk about alternative and sustainable energy. Here's the NOLS bus mission:

"In an effort to educate the public on ways to reduce these impacts, the NOLS bus has a specially converted diesel engine designed to run on recycled vegetable oil (RVO), a cleaner, renewable alternative to petroleum. As we travel around the country, we’ll fill up at restaurants and dining halls where RVO is available, and get the word out about environmentally-friendly alternative energy."

Here are some pictures from the day..

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Signal Transduction: The big picture

Today our goal was to look at the big picture when it comes to cellular communication and signal transduction. Also, there has been a change of plans: You do not have a quiz on chapter 11 on Friday. Instead, your homework is to find a disease, condition or poison that is related to the function of cyclic AMP.

What is cyclic AMP (cAMP)? cAMP is a secondary messenger that is produced from ATP by adenylyl cyclase. As a second messenger, cAMP initiates a series of additional reactions in the cell such as phosphorylation and activation of enzymes.Where can you look for information:
Science Daily

What should you search for? Try looking up, "genetic disorders cyclic AMP" "toxin cyclic AMP" etc..

Monday, October 29, 2007

Chapter 11: Cell to Cell Communication

Today students had a quiz on sections 11.1 and 11.2.

By the end of today students should feel somewhat confident in their abilities to:

1. Describe the basic signal-transduction pathway used for mating in yeast.
2. Define paracrine signaling and give an example.
3. Define local regulation and explain why hormones are not local regulators.
4. Explain how plant and animal hormones travel to target cells.
5. List and briefly define the three stages of cell signaling.
Signal Reception and the Initiation of Transduction
6. Describe the nature of a ligand-receptor interaction and state how such interactions initiate a signal-transduction system.
7. State where signal receptors may be located in target cells.
8. Compare and contrast G-protein-linked receptors, tyrosine-kinase receptors, and ligand-gated ion channels.

Homework: Read 11.3 and 11.4 As far as taking notes: notes are designed to HELP you. If taking notes helps you, TAKE NOTES. If taking notes doesn't seem to do much good, don't take notes. You know what type of learning style you have, WORK WITH IT.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chapter 9 cellular respiration assessment

Today we finally wrapped up Chapter 9 on Cellular Respiration. In an effort to be fair, students were given the option to decide if they wanted the assessment to count as a quiz or a test grade. Students must decide by circling "test" or "quiz" at the top of their paper.

Homework: Read sections 11.1 and 11.2. You will have a reading quiz on Monday and may use any notes that you take.

Video on Signal Transduction

Video on G-Protein Linked Receptors (pages 206-207 in your book)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Practice Test Review

Today we took a practice test on Chapter 9 to review for the assessment tomorrow. I am on duty tonight in Moore if you would like to come for extra help or review. To get to the post with the animations on cellular respiration click here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fermentation and Review

Today we are wrapping up chapter 9 with a quick overview of fermentation. The rest of the class period will be used for starting to review for the final exam. We still have two full weeks of class before the final, but it's never to early to start reviewing.

Before the final we are going to do two more chapters: 11 (cell-cell signaling) and 12 (mitosis)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Glycolysis Quiz

I hope you're all having a great fall break. Your quiz for both classes on Chapter 9 will be on Friday. Click here to check out this drag and drop quiz for glycolysis to review.

NOTE: the game only works with internet explorer (I don't know why, but it doesn't work with Safari or Firefox).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Parents Weekend!

Today parents and students worked together to build models out of play-doh for the three stages of cellular respiration: glycolysis, the krebs cycle and the electron transport chain.

Homework: study for a quiz on chapter 9 on Thursday if you are in D block and on Friday if you are in B block.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wrapping up Cellular Respiration

Today we wrapped up cellular respiration by reviewing glycolysis and the krebs cycle, as well as learning about the electron transport chain. To see any of the animations we have looked at in class, click here.

Homework: complete the electron transport chain reading and coloring sheet from the Biology Coloring Book.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Today was actually fun."

D block:
"Today was actually fun."

Who thought learning glycolysis could actually be fun? Using an animation, the whiteboard and handouts we learned the steps of glycolysis, why we needed to learn those functional groups in chapter 4, and how to name compounds.

Homework: create some kind of study guide for all the steps of glycolysis (poster, flash cards etc.)

B Block:

"I thought our body was supposed to be efficient? This seems like a lot of work.."
"It is efficient, because it doesn't have a lot of waste."

A quick review of glycolysis, before an overview of the krebs cycle and short video of the electron transport chain.

Homework: read and color the info from the Biology Coloring Book.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


After several technological struggles, we reverted back to our good 'ol friend, "the whiteboard." Today we completed the steps of glycolysis, which is the first step in cellular respiration.

Despite all the various chemical names and transitions, please remember the big idea of glycolysis:
1. Happens in the cytosol
2. Breaks down glucose, a 6 carbon sugar, into 2 pyruvates, 3 carbon sugars.
3. Is powered by a shifting of phosphate molecules between ATP and ADP (phosphorylation).

For links to the animations we tried to watch in class, see the post below.

Homework: Rewrite or draw the steps of glycolysis in some way to help you remember them. Nate asked if he could do them on flashcards and string them together, I think this is a great idea. You could make a poster, flip book etc..

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cellular Respiration Animations

Having trouble understanding cellular respiration? Check out these links for animations to help you understand it better.

A basic animation of the whole process (glycolysis, krebs cycle and ETC)

Anaerobic and Aerobic Respiration Tutorial

Glycolysis Movie (needs shockwave player, click here to download it free).

Virtual Cell Animation for the Electron Transport Chain

Vocab Quiz and Cellular Respiration

Today students took a quiz on chapter 8 vocab and we moved forward into chapter 9, on cellular respiration.

Homework: read and take notes on sections 9.1 and 9.2

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Metabolism continued

On Friday students had a quiz on sections 8.1-8.3 and learned a valuable lesson. The concept check boxes are really helpful when it comes time to studying.

Homework for the weekend:
Read sections 8.4-8.5. There will be a vocab quiz on all of chapter 8 on Monday. Any words in bold, black lettering are fair game.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


What is metabolism? Why do some people say, "I'm skinny because my metabolism is really fast"? Is metabolism only related to digestion?

These are some of the questions we are going to answer over the next few classes.

On August 10, 2007 Scientists made an important discovery...

Skeleton Is An Endocrine Organ, Crucial To Regulating Energy Metabolism

Science Daily Bones are typically thought of as calcified, inert structures, but researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have now identified a surprising and critically important novel function of the skeleton. They've shown for the first time that the skeleton is an endocrine organ that helps control our sugar metabolism and weight and, as such, is a major determinant of the development of type 2 diabetes.
Click here for the entire article

Homework: Read sections 8.1-8.3. You will have a quiz on these sections on Friday and you may use any notes you take. In addition, look over your most recent test and highlight all the questions you got wrong because you didn't know the material and all the questions you got wrong because of careless mistakes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Test on Chapters 6,7, and Lab 1

Today B block had a test on chapters 6, 7 and lab 1. D block will have their test on Wednesday. Believe it or not, we are somewhat on schedule with our syllabus. Our next topic will be Chapter 8: Enzymes which we will complete this week.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Chapter 7: Membranes and their functions

Today we wrapped up chapter 7 on membrane structure and function. For additional information and online activities on membranes check out these links:

Membrane Structure and Function (thanks Dana!)

Cell Membrane Tutorial Questions & Answers

Cell Membrane Animation

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Finishing chapter 6

Today we got to be in room 206 and sit around the big table to finish up chapter 6 on the parts of the cell.

Check out Cells Alive for the basic overview of cell parts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Objective Summary Sheets & Vocab

Beginning with chapter 6, each time we start a new chapter, I will place a copy of the teaching objectives, vocabulary and word root lists on reserve in the ARC.

What does it mean if something is "on reserve"?

This means that you can check out the materials for 1 block during the academic day or 1 hour at night. These materials DO NOT LEAVE THE ARC. You may photocopy these or just read them. Please return them promptly to the circulation desk so that another student may use them.

Hooray! Chapter 6 is done!

Today B block finished Chapter 6! The questions on the last page of the packet are to be completed as review for your quiz on Monday 10/8.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Week of October 1: Chapters 6 & 7

Trying to stay on schedule (despite foliage day) we're moving forward with chapters 6 & 7.
Here's the schedule for the up coming week:

Monday: B long : fill in notes for chapter 6, sections 1-4

Tuesday: B block: fill in notes, complete chapter 6. Finish reading chapter 6 for homework.

Wednesday: D long : fill in notes for chapter 6, sections 1-4, read chapter 6
B block: Chapter 7, sections 1, 2, and 3

Thursday: D block: fill in notes, complete chapter 6. Finish reading chapter 6 for homework

Friday: D Block: Chapter 7, sections 1, 2, and 3
B Block: Chapter 7, sections 4 and 5

Saturday: D block: Chapter 7, sections 4 and 5

Monday: You will have a quiz on Chapters 6, 7 and lab 1 (parts a & b).