Saturday, December 22, 2007

Week of 12/17 Protists!

Another Busy Week!

The protists arrived and we were back on the microscopes! On Monday, Wednesday and Friday we observed and asked meaningful questions about paramecium, euglena, stentor, blepharisma, and more! It was exciting to watch them move and interact and allowed us to refine our microscopy skills.

Here is a website with a few images of the organisms we observed:

Click Here

Here are some links that will allow you to learn more! Write some notes and submit them for extra credit!!

1) Protist Link #1- good info

2) Protist Link #2- good video clips

3) Protist Link #3- colecting and studying protists

Have a great break!

Mr. Forde :-)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Week of 12/10

Hi All,

Last week we reviewed the process of respiration and we discovered tat it occurs in the mitochondria, uses oxygen and simple sugars (glucose) to produce energy (in the form" of ATP) and produces water and carbon dioxide gas. I asked questions of the group like, "Why do we breath? and "Why do we eat?", in order to see if you could make the connection from breathing and eating to what happens in the mitochondria. We also discovered that without the "powerhouses of the cells", cells would have no way of getting the energy they need to live.

Next, we turned out attention to Mitosis:

Please remember to finish your flip-books and review the stages on the provided notes. Remember IPMAT..(interphase,prophase,metaphase, anaphase, telophase).

Also, think you all for signing my birthday card on Monday. I appreciated the warm wishes.

Mr. Forde :-)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Girls Rock at Science Competition!

See the details at this NY Times link.

Click here

*This may require a registration on the NYT web site....don't do this without parent permission!!!

Mr. Forde :-)

Enrichment Post #6- Demo-ing Mitosis

Hi Black Team,

If you were challenged to demonstrate the process of Mitosis any way you wanted...what would you do?

Would you rap about it, sing about it, dance about it, shoot a video, create an animation make a 3-D demo...or what?

The only rules would be that whatever you did creatively would have to demonstrate the phases of mitosis to the class. (Interpase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophases and Cytokinesis,)

I may be challenging you soon to do this soon (hint,hint) so let's share some of our ideas here!

Mr. Forde :-)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Enrichment Post #5 - Mitosis

Head to this web site and review the process of mitosis! (Click on the word mitosis in the left hand menu.) For extra credit write a brief summary of each stage of this process.

Good Luck!

Mr. Forde :-)

Week of 12/3

Hi All,

This past week brought with it a science test on the cell and microscope, as well as, the culmination of our hyper cell projects. Throw in a field trip to a modern art museum and you have a pretty busy week!

This coming week I hope to tie up a few loose ends. Since we haven't been working in my classroom a lot, I am hoping to finally connect you to your projects and return your test papers. Most students did quite well, but if there is a need to stay for extra help (especially if you scored less than 70% on the test) plan on staying with me one day this week for extra help.

We will try and cover the topic of cellular respiration and start building our understanding of cell division by the end of the week!

All the best!

Mr. Forde :-)

Monday, December 3, 2007

cell/microscope jeopardy!

Hi All,

Here is the link...
I hope it helps. Sorry about the one category that isn't behaving. Study the cell diagram (plant/animal) on the hand out I provided you with last week.

Mr. F :-)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Week of 11/19 and 11/26

Hi All,

The past two weeks have been a non-stop CELL-ebration in science class. The two full days we had on 11/19 and 11/20 (prior to Thanksgiving) we spent drawing cell city analogies. We will be cleaning them up and grading them this week!

This past week we start interactive HYPER cells using hyperstudio software. When these are completed they will be clickable cells with lots of information about cell organelles!

Here are a couple of shot of kids working on their cells!

Test ALERT--> Next week we will have a cell/microscope test in science class. Please review you cell notes and anything we have in our notebooks since we started out new table of contents.

All the best!

Mr. Forde :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

cell cities - part 1

Hi All,

For the two full days prior to our break the students were working on their cell cities! here are some pictures of working teams. Ask the students to explain the parts of their cell cities.

Happy Turkey Day --- Statistics!

Hi All,

Follow this link to see some turkey data!

Click Here

If you turn any of these statistics into a graph for me I'll give you extra credit on monday!

All the best.

Mr. Forde :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Enrichment Post #4 - New Cell Game

Hi All,

Here is a cute game that will help you review the organelles of the cell.

Guess the letters and if you miss you pop the balloons on the poor bear! I hope you win!!

Click here to play!

Mr Forde :-)

Week of 11/7 and 11/13

Hi All,

Just a brief review of things that we have done in the last couple of weeks!

On the week of 11/7 we started by doing a cell concept map in our ISNs and exploring the ideas of spontaneous generation and the cell theory. We then learned about the microscope and took a microscope quiz of the parts. We ended the week by starting to look at prepared Elodea slides in low power (40x).

On the week of 11/13 we continued to use the microscopes to explore the elodea slides on medium power (100x). We then observed a metric ruler on low and medium power in order to determine the size of the field of view in low and high power. We ended the week by preparing wet mount slides of plant cells. (Although the salt water solution did not have the desired effect on the cytoplasm of the plant cells...I think the week was a success!)

I hope you have all been enjoying utilizing the scopes!

Mr. Forde :-)

ps- see the previous post for some images of students working in the lab!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Microscopists at Work!

Here are some of the students working hard on their microscope sketches of prepared slides of elodea! (A freshwater plant.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Play "Free Rice" game

Hi There!

Play in order to learn vocabulary and feed the hungry!

I am on level 39!

Mr. Forde :-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Final Look at the Chia Heads!

We'll be writing up this experiment this week! Here is a look at some of the final products!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Enrichment Post #3

Try this virtual animal cell pinning game to see if you can learn to recognize the parts of an animal cell!

Simply click on the part name and see if you can match it to the right pin on the cell.

Good luck!

We'll be talking more about about plant and animal cell over the next two weeks!

Mr. Forde :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Reading Word Wall Games

Try these out to learn more about your reading word wall terms.

Click here for the games!

Let me know what you think. Some of the definitions may get cut-off. I'll work on that.

Mr. F :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Enrichment Post #2

Get ahead of your peers and start learning more about cell parts and their jobs!

Click here and here to play some Quia quiz games that will take you to the top of the class and write me a reaction post below!


Mr. Forde :-)

Week of 10/29

HI All,

Last week was full of crazy schedules, assessments and tech work as we wrapped up the last week of the quarter.

In science class on Monday we had "Deer Dilemma" conferences where students were told their grades or given a second chance to improve them...through a little editing or elaboration. Tuesday was community service day (see my last post for what kept me busy). Wednesday was our Jeopardy review of ecology concepts and Thursday was our Science Assessment. On Friday we worked on the Stamford Project interdisciplinary newspapers! They are looking good!

Although next week is broken up by a day off and a half day i look forward to kicking off our Cell/Microscope Unit! See the next post for a way to get ahead of the class and start learning more!

Mr. Forde :-)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Food Bank Visit 10/07

We had a great time helping out the food bank! Great Job Advisory!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Enrichment Post #1

Hi Students,

If you do the following on-line experience you will be issued extra credit for science class. There will be a new one each week.

This week what I would like you to do is play the game called WEED WIPEOUT by clicking here. Go to the PLAY THE GANE link on the bottom right and read the instructions.

I would like you to reflect on the game and the different techniques that one can use to manage invasive weeds that need to be controlled in a postinf for extra credit. It isn't easy to beat them!

I look forward to your reactions.

Mr. F :-)

Week of 10/22

Hi All,

It was another busy week in science class. This really was a week of chia head data collection! Every team (including those who had to re-start) are now collecting meaningful data at the beginning of each science class. There wil be a report from this experiment due in a couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted. Just try and continue to be meticulous about your data collection. Also, try and use metric units (mm and cm) instead of standard units (inches). One inch equals 2.5 cm, for those teams that need to convert there data.

On Monday we continued our Deer Dilemma essays. I hope you found the time useful. I should have most corrected by Monday morning. So far they look great. I'll be talking to you more about them next week. Being able to communicate and defend you science ideas are important skills, along with using technical language to persuade others.

Tuesday was our "Discover Stamford" experience. I hope you found the Cove Island segment informative and fun. I enjoyed trying to teach you in the wind! Thanksfully, the rain helpd off for everyone! See this link for more info on the Long Island Sound. See the previous posting for some images from the trip.

Wednesday brought the Deer Dilemma conclusion and the Notebook clean-up campaign. We concluded on Friday by my issuing a grade for the vast majority of notebooks. Most looked very organized and received appropriately high grades. Trouble areas that were identified were headings for the cornell notes and data tables for the chia head experiments.

Next week is the final week of the quarter. We have a science assessment on Thursday. Don't let it upset you, but prepare by studying your science notes and reviewing any science sheets in your notebook. The topics for the test are the topics that we have been learning about so simply relax and do your best! :-) It does come from the city and all 7th graders in the city will take it. It is intended to help prepare our students for the coming SCIENCE CMT. There will be one at the end of each quarter. It is my hope that whatever results come from this will help me become a better teacher.

All the best!

Mr. Forde :-)

ps- Sorry I miised the chance to do the "solja boy" at the school dance. My family required me to stay closer to home friday night. I'll be at the next one for sure and I hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cove Island Ecology

Hi All,

Hope you enjoyed my Cove Island Sandy Beach/Salt marsh ecology walk.

Here are some picture from that day!

Mr. F :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Deer Hunting in Fairfield County!

Here is an article from FRIDAY that elaborates on the deer hunting which is allowed for the next 10 days in Fairfield County on some public land. This excellent article covers many related issues and will help you with you persuasive letters!

Click Here for the ADVOCATE article.

Mr. Forde :-)

Week of 10/15

Hi all,

This week we learned about photosynthesis and created photosynthesis diagrams for homework. We also started our "Deer Dilemma" discussions. These will result in a persuasive letter written to a fictional DEP director who is advocating the reduction of deer in public parks due to over population issues. We will continue our work on this letter on Monday. I am hoping for a final draft of that letter on Wedsday 10/24. **The first draft is due on Monday.

In the mean time, we kept moving our chia-head projects forward. We are finally seeing growth on many of them! This is allowing us to start collecting measurement data. See the before and after images of one project above!

Here is BOB who gets spoken to "ad naseum" by a couple of my advisees!

Quick Note: Several teams had to re-start their experiments due to mold or excessive smell (which my advisory was not enjoying each day). We did set them up with alternative experiments which should be yielding data soon! We hope to keep these running for several more weeks. As I said to the kids, "failed experiments are NOT failures because we learn from them. That is how science works!" :-)

All the best!

Mr. Forde :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Illuminating Photosynthesis

Go to this tutorial to review some aspects of photosynthesis!

Clck here

Select Illuminating Photosynthesis from the links on the page.

Mr. Forde :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Monarch Butterfly Migration

See this animation to follow the butterfly migration towards Mexico!

Click Here

The data is interesting!

Mr. Forde

Friday, October 12, 2007

What is this experiment trying to show us?

This picture is of an experiment set-up in my classroom. What is it tryng to show us? Comment below.

Chia Heads Created!

The students took their original questions about the abiotic factors that effect plants and designed their chia head experiments. Each team decided on a question that they thought was interesting and we are now under way. It may take a week or so to see any results but we'll keep checking in on them and recording the changes on our ISNs. Some of the variables being investigated are the effect of: no light, grow light, colored light, coffee, peanut butter, plant food, red bull, diet coke, pudding, bran cereal, nerds (the candy...not me and my friends), coolada, ice packs, M&Ms, heatng elements, ......and many more!

Wish us luck!

Mr. Forde :-)

ps- Thanks for all of the panty hose! They are helping to move science forward!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Panyhose request?

If you were at open house you heard my plea for help.

I am looking for pantyhose to help conduct plant experiments in my class.

See this link to see how the experiment may work.

Please help by starting to send them (the pantyhose) in. Place them in a baggie with the student name on a small piece of paper!


Mr. Forde :-)

Week of 10/1

It was a big week in science class!

We had new academic groups and a new schedule! Hopefully we are all settling in and finding our way though it! If there is one thing that is is change!

We started on Monday with a simulation in energy flow through the ecosystem. Kids lined up outside and were predators. The prey were poker chips. Mayhem ensued and different conditions were applied to the simulation. We also introduced an invasive species with greater ability to eat. (They used two hands.) To see their impact on the population. This allowed us to review the terms population density, birth rate, death rate, emigration and immigration. We then returned to the classroom and discussed the homework which related to the predator prey relationship of the wolf and Moose!

Wednesday we had a half day schedule but were able to finish distributing science textbooks, return their Inspired food webs (See their ISN), and conduct a lily pad simulation that demonstrated the power of logarithmic growth in a population. This allowed us to discuss terms like carrying capacity and limiting factors.

Thursday was the Jeopardy review for the test. Click here to see the slides! This allowed us to review key ideas and see what types of questions would be on the test, in a fun format.

Friday was test day! It was not a very tough test for them (they'll get tougher) but I am happy to see that most kids took it very seriously and were well prepared. They will be returned on Tuesday.

Here is an image of a hard working class performing well under great pressure!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A spider video

One of my students saw this spider making a web and did what any 21st century learner would do. He video-taped it a put it on youtube!

Check it out.

Mr. Forde :-)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Week of 9/24

Hi All!

This past week we worked in the media center on our "Inspired" Scofield Food Webs! Using Inspiration we placed producers, and primary, secondary and tertiary consumers in a complex web! The organisms we used were identified by scofield students during the 6th grade bio-litz last June. They look great and re-inforced some key concepts in our ecology unit.

Here are some hard working students in the media center!

Test Alert!! Later this week (thurs/fri) we will have our first formal ecology test. Students can start to prepare by reviewing the cornell notes in their ISN.

Also, it was really great to see such a large turn-out at open school night. What a great message that sends to your kids about the importance of school. Here is a link for my advisory parents to my PPT presentation from the evening. Even though it was brief, I hope you were reassured by what you heard. I am looking forward to a great school year!

Talk at you next week.

Mr. Forde :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Week of 9/17

It was another interesting week in science class. We finished up with the last groups for the mealworm experiments on Monday. All lab reports were due on Friday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we learned about ecosystem organization and did a brief population study of the plants on one section of the Scofield campus. This gave us a chance to experience what a population census feels like and to see how biologists can estimate the population of some organisms that can be too numerous to count. (like clover plants)

On Thursday and Friday we turned our attention to food webs and energy flow in ecosystems. We then created a food web in the classroom by using yarn and critter cards. We covered the concepts of producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and tertiary consumers.

Next week we head to the tech lab to produce food webs utilizing data collected in last years bio-blitz! I hope they enjoy utilizing Inspiration software.

I look forward to seeing you all on Thursday night! :-)

Mr. Forde

ps- For a free trial version of Inspiration software go here!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Beach Clean-up Success!

Hi All,

While it wasn't a record turn-out, we did accomplish our goal of leaving our local environment cleaner and safer for L.I. Sound organisms. I would like to thank Ciara and Deepali for helping me out on our section of beach at Cove Island Park!

Here are a few pictures from the event!
Thanks for yor help!!
Mr. Forde :-)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Great Critter Links

As we start our discussion of organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems you may want to start learning more about producers and consumers! Here are some helpful links.

Yahoo Kids Animals- A great place to see what different critters eat. (Think food web!)

Zoo Books Animal Profiles- A good place to see what different organisms eat.

EcoKids Web Page and their Eco-Field Guide for more animal info.

Try the Food Chain Game

More to come! :-)
Mr. Forde

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Week of 9/10

Although it was a short week we did accomplish a few things together in science class!

We completed our measurement madness activity and started our discussion of life science by learning more about organisms and the characteristics of living things.

We culminated the week by doing a mealworm experiment to determine whether or not mealworms are attracted to certain substances. The data was collected and now the students will required to produce their first lab report.

I hope everyone has a great break and I look forward to seeing you on Monday (or Saturday if you are attending the Beach Clean-up)

All the best!

Mr. Forde :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

International Beach Clean-up

International Beach Clean-up!

Cove Island Park
Sept. 15, 2007, 11 a.m.

Contact: Erik Anderson,
(203) 406-3311,

Let's help our local environment!

Mr. Forde :-)

Week of 9/4 Update

It has been a busy week in Mr. Forde's Class!

After a brief introduction to Mr. Forde on Friday the Black team students started learning more about themselves in science on Tuesday and Wednesday. This "Who am I?" day explored three questions: 1) Are you squeamish? (What grosses you out?) 2) Are you a scientist? (Do you have the same traits as a scientist and 3) Are you golden? (Do you possess the golden ratio?). The MOST golden student was awarded the coveted golden necklace which they wore as a sign that their golden ratio was closed to the value known as Phi (1.618).

On Wednesday and Thursday the students took on Mr. Forde's Measurement Madness challenge and set-up their interactive science notebooks. The six measurement stations were designed to have the students review some basic measurement skills. It also allowed them to get their hands on some of science equipment that they will be using next week when they design their first experiment of the year.

I hope they have been enjoying the start of the school year. I certainly have enjoyed having them in my science class.

All the best!

Mr. Forde :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Welcome to my blog!

If you are reading this it means that I actually started teaching life science at Scofield Magnet Middle School again!

Stop by for more information about my class!

Leave a note for me by clcking on the comment box on the bottom right.


Mr. Forde :-)