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Your textbook is HRW's Biology: Principles and Explorations.  Find support at

Find the link to Massachusetts Biology Frameworks at the Department of Education

Check out Kahn Academy's Biology lessons and other online support sites and let me know how well they work for you!

Preparing for 90sec – 2min Community Poster presentation
1-Introduce your 2 habitats and season
2-Draw your audience’s attention to 3 fabulous features
3-Ecology concepts: describe 3 interactions between organisms (specific species) that illustrate 3 different ecological concepts … teacher pays attention to this!
4-Convince your audience that all of your animals will stay healthy and happy for 30 days

5-Wrap up … receive applause

Life and Practice of Science Essentials below ... HW's 1,2,3 here
... check the green folder for your personal specifics

HW/CW 1 = 16 points
-VLO rough draft
-Tools WS
-Candle CFR (contribute, focus, be responsible)
-p1042 q 2, p1043 1-4
-Life Vocab WS
-p9 1-5

HW/CW 2 = 20 points
-Energy WS
-5 Kingdoms WS
-Comparing Cells WS
-Size Relations WS
-PoS Proficiency WS
 - Life Proficiency WS
- CPB vid notes: Unity & Diversity of Life

HW/CW 3 = 10 points
-Evolution (Horse) and Gene Flow WS's
-5 mid- and high- level predators in western MA
-p352 q 1-5
- p326 Cladogram of Mythical Beasts, with 3 sentence defence

Mastery Learning ... earning back points on assignments
In order to receive this credit, you are to complete the following on a clean sheet of paper, stapled to the front of the original… 
1) State the new score you anticipate on the assignment.
2) Rewrite the original question.
3) Reflection:  Explain the mistakes you made or the misunderstanding you had when answering the question initially.  The reflections must be thoughtful, complete and concise.
4) Re-answer the question or re-work the problem, explaining your correct answer fully.  If the problem is mathematical, show all steps.
5) Repeat steps 2-4 for each question on which you wish to earn back points
The packet must be handed in on or before the third class meeting after the assignment was passed back to the class.

Life Essentials

Basic level of understanding includes …
  • Alive = utilizes energy, changes as it ages, responds to the environment, reproduce with DNA or RNA, composed of cells
  • Virus = alive?  Know the meaning of virulence
  • Species = distinctive; gene pool; reproductive success = viable and fertile
  • Prokaryotic vs Eukaryotic cells … esp. eukaryotes have membrane-bound organelles
  • Binomial nomenclature … humans are Homo sapiens, Carolus Linnaeus

Proficient level of understanding includes all above, plus…
  • Domains: Archea and Eubacteria, Eukaryae
  • Prokaryotic Domains are Archea and Eubacteria, Eukaryotic Kingdoms are Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia
  • Taxonomy/classification: grouping of organisms by evolutionary relatedness
  • Define adaptation(as insurance), natural selection(best fit), microevolution (separates gene pools)
  • 5 kingdom system, 6 kingdom system, our understanding changes as new information comes to light
  • Sexual selection is sexy

  • Emergent properties:  whole > sum of the parts; molecules-organelles-cells
  • Cladistics = Phylogeny … the cladogram illustrates relationships over deep time, lengths of time since split with ancestors, derived characters illustrate how the similarities between ancestral relatives has changed
  • Haeckel (3 Kingdoms–1860’s), Whittaker(5 Kingdoms–1960’s), Woese(3 Domains–1970’s)
  • Define niche, fitness, selective pressure
  • Oldest Archae & Eubacteria 3400 mya, oldest Eukaryote 1700 mya, oldest multicellular 600mya
  • Examples        
    • Archae ex. methanogens, extremophiles
    • Eubacteria ex.  E.coli, Spirogyra, Cyanobacteria
    • Protista ex.  Euglena, Chlamydomonas, Paramecium, Amoeba, Algae
    • Fungi ex.  Acidophilus, S. cerevisiae, Mushroom, Slime mold
    • Plantae ex.  Arabidopsis (mustard), Teosinte(maize), Idaho fescue(grass), American Chestnut
    • Animalia Invertebrate ex.  C.elegans(worm), Aplysia (snail), D.melanogaster(fruit fly), Cnidaria (jellyfish and corals)
    • Animalia Vertebrate  ex. Zebrafish, Medaka(ricefish), Fugu, Xenops(African clawed frog), Lab rat/mouse, guinea pig, Rhesus monkey

Practice of Science Essentials

Basic level of understanding includes …
  • Definition and construction of a testable hypothesis
  • Theory as explanation
  • Design of a controlled experiment
  • Distinguish dependent from independent variable in a controlled experiment
  • Qualities of reliable data

Proficient level of understanding includes all above, plus…
  • The perspective/gestalt of science research
  • The vital role of objective observation in collecting reliable data
  • Graphing: Independent and dependent variables on correct axes, labels & units, setting appropriate axis-scales
  • The utility of well-designed models
  • The 4 qualities of reliable research: replicable, falsifiable, precise, straightforward
  • Distinction between precision and accuracy


  • The most reliable theories are solidly supported by experimental results from 3+ branches of a science
  • Reliable science uses logic to analyze results and meticulously links cause and effect to describe observable relationships
  • It’s not a scientific theory if it can’t be modified or disproved by new results.  Anecdotes are valuable as observations, but cannot by themselves prove or disprove a theory
  • Occam’s razor:  All else being held equal, the simplest explanation is usually correct
  • Bias:  the natural human tendency to wish for desired outcomes, overcome by conducting experiments rigorously and analyzing results honestly