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Interactive Notebooks Make Teaching Viruses and Bacteria a Snap

Do you need a new/better routine for your classroom?
Are you looking for a way to review and reinforce the volume of biology information you must cover?
Looking for quality warm up activities or homework assignments?

I use warm ups or bell ringers every single day as a method of getting my students settled, on task, and ready to learn.  These activities are short, and take only a few minutes to complete.  Once students are used to the routine, they will enter the classroom and get right to work.  I like that the first few minutes of class are spent "getting down to business."

There is such great versatility in how you can use these interactive notebook pages.  As already stated, they are perfect for turning the first chaotic minutes of class into a time of meaningful learning and reinforcement.  I also use them for homework assignments, and they are perfect to leave in my sub folder in case I am absent.

If students are required to keep them in a notebook, they have a perfect study guide for the unit test and semester exams.

This is the 7th set of warm up activities posted to my TpT store.  (Check out the blog archive in the right side bar to see previous articles.)  This set covers "Viruses and Bacteria."  The set of 23 student pages covers all the topics found in a typical first year biology textbook.

The student pages are printed landscape style.  The pages look best if printed in color, but also look great if printed in black/white.  Each activity is one-half page in size.  Two identical warm-ups are printed per page in order to conserve paper.  Simply print the pages and cut them in half.

All teacher pages are set up in this style.  The student activity is on the left, and the answers are on the right side of the page.  Print these pages for your teacher notebook.

Click here to view in my TpT store.

You can download a FREE sampler pack from my store.  The pack includes 1-2 warm ups from each of my warm up sets..

Previous sets include:

Holiday Recipe eBook

Funny and Yummy!!

The secondary teacher/authors of have teamed up to bring you the most fabulous (FREE!!) eBook for the holiday season.  Each participant submitted a favorite recipe that is ravenously consumed by our families during the holiday season.

What's included?  46 scrumptious recipes ranging from appetizers, main dishes, salads, desserts, drinks, and even dog treats!   Click the images below to download the free eBook.  You will not be disappointed!

This super idea was the brain-child of Karol Steele (Mrs. S on TpT).  Many thanks to Karol for organizing, compiling, and publishing this fun eBook.

Holiday giving ... With a Science Twist!!

Your students will have a blast with this dichotomous  classification key!

(It's educational ... sort of ....)

Very rarely in my high school biology classes do we have the time to devote to a holiday activity.  I make an exception each year for this fun, but very important activity.  I do this activity each year to remind my students of the importance of community service and “giving back” to our community. 

The purpose of the activity is very simple:  To put together stockings of candy and Ziploc bags of toiletries that can be donated to a local charity.

This is a free download from my TpT store, and is suitable for grades 5-12. Click here to download.

Just before Thanksgiving, I place a donation box in my room.  I explain to my students that I am collecting their spare change for a service project that we will do just before school is out for the holidays.  I talk briefly about being thankful for what we have, and that we have an obligation to help others who are less fortunate than us.  I ask them to place their donations in the collection box whenever they have a bit of change in their pockets to spare.  I encourage them to give what they can, and that all donations are a personal and private matter.   I accept the donations for about 3 weeks prior to the activity.  The students are not allowed to ask each other how much they donated, etc.  I use this change to purchase the items needed for the activity.  

Students will use the dichotomous classification key to identify each of the candies and each of the toiletries seen above.  Each item has been given a very special and unique name for this fun activity!  Ok, I'm going to admit that the science is a little "shaky" in this activity, but the students deserve a break from time to time, and they do love doing this activity.

The end result is that you have stockings of candy and bags of toiletries to donate to a food bank, a nursing home, a homeless shelter, or other charity of your choice.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your students and families!

Secondary Smorgasbord: A Buffet of Resources for Secondary Teachers

The Secondary Smorgasbord Theme of the Week??
Free and Fabulous!!

I am super excited to be participating in a new monthly blog hop / linky for secondary teachers.  This terrific idea is the brainstorm of two friends Darlene Anne Curran (The ELA Buffet) and Pamela Kranz (Desktop Learning Adventures).  I was fortunate enough to finally meet both new friends this past summer at the TeachersPayTeachers convention in Las Vegas.

The idea behind this blog hop is to provide you secondary teachers with some new ideas, tips for your classroom, free teaching materials, and anything else we can think of.  So welcome to the first installment of the Secondary Smorgasbord!  The theme for this month is "Free and Fabulous!"  Be sure to click on the links in the first paragraph of the post so that you can grab all of the awesome free teaching materials.

What is on the smorgasbord menu from Science Stuff?  I have decided to highlight two freebies that I have in my store.  Both are simple one-page references tables, but I have used both of these in just the last week!  If you are a biology or a chemistry teacher you know that both of these play a very important role in our classes.  I know you already have these tables, but I have spruced them up to make them attractive for our students.

For the Biology teachers:  Here is a chart of all 64 mRNA codons and the amino acids they code for.  This is a must-have during your unit on DNA, RNA and Protein synthesis.  (Click image or red text to download freebie.)

For the Chemistry teachers:  This is a table of electronegativities.  This is a must-have during units on the periodic table and bonding.  Click image or red text to download freebie.)

Again, be sure to check out all the posts / freebies by clicking the links in the first paragraph.  I hope you find something you can use!  Be sure to watch each month for the Secondary Smorgasbord Buffet of Resources!

Evolution and Classification Warm Ups and Interactive Notebook Pages

Do you love teaching about evolution or dread it?

I am the biggest biology nerd ever, so I love ALL of biology.  But I really, really, really love teaching about evolution, followed up with classification.  My first year biology students have very poor (and uninformed!!) ideas and knowledge about evolution.  For many of them, it is the first time they have been taught about it.  Others come with a lot of misinformation.

This makes for such a fun teaching situation!  Just for kicks, ask your students about their opinions on the topic of evolution BEFORE you teach them the unit. I am always amazed at their misconceptions and poor knowledge base.  When you have finished teaching your unit, ask the students again about their opinions.  I love that over the course of a couple of weeks the opinions of many will be changed, and the knowledge level of all has been increased.

And the best part?  There is never a dull moment in class.  I love the discussion and the questions and the arguing!  I love to see the wheels turning in their brains.

Since this material tends to be new for most of my students, I developed a set of 61 warm ups / bell ringers / interactive notebook pages to use during the unit.

There are so many ways to use these pages.  I have my students keep a "Biology Warm Up Notebook."  It is a perfect way to review and reinforce material from the previous day, and it is a fantastic classroom management tool. 

My students come in, grab the warm up and get right to work. By the time I have finished taking roll, answering questions, dealing with the "stuff" that we teachers always have to deal with, my students are settled down and are already hard at work. There are too many pages to be completed in class, so I often use them as homework assignments, and review guides for the unit test.

Keeping a "warm up" notebook provides a perfect way to
review for the semester exam or end of course testing.

Below is a table of contents.  The 61 pages include all of these titles.

Here is a look at format.....

As always, I hope you are having a terrific year with your students.

Links to all Warm Ups / Bellringers/ Interactive Notebook Topics:

DNA and RNA and Protein Synthesis: Warm Ups or Interactive Notebooks

There are so many possibilities for these interactive pages!

The concepts involved in a unit on DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis are difficult and complex. Although this is one of my most favorite topics to teach, I fully realize that some of my students will struggle and will have a hard time "visualizing" the information.

I began "dabbling" with the use of warm ups / bell ringers / interactive notebook pages at the end of last school year.  I was pleased with the results, but wished I had started my students on this path from the start of the school year.  So this year, I did.  I love the flexibility of the different ways they can be used:  Interactive notebooks, warm ups, bell ringers, exit slips, homework assignments, or short daily quizzes.

This set on DNA and RNA is actually the 5th set of these activity pages that I have completed. If interested, here are the previous blog posts on the other 4 sets:
Introduction to Biology: Great Classroom Management Tool
Biology Interactive Notebooks (Cell Structure and Physiology)
Ecology Warm Ups
Genetics Activities for Interactive Notebooks

I ended up with 35 student pages in this set on DNA and RNA.  They have a really good range in difficulty.  When taken in order, the first few pages are very basic, and they increase in complexity as you move through the entire set. Teachers of middle school students will find plenty of pages that are suitable for their students, and the high school teachers will find the advanced topics they need to move their students to a higher level.

The 35 pages have a good mix of question types.  Some pages require drawing, while others require more problem solving and critical thinking skills.  But the key element of every page is reinforcement and review of the concepts and details of protein synthesis.

Below you will find the titles of the 35 pages included in this product.

DNA and Replication Titles (14 pages):
·    The Early Experiments
·    The Basics of DNA Structure
·    Nucleotides
·    DNA: Label It!
·    Complete the Drawing
·    Can You Draw It?
·    DNA Structure
·    DNA Replication
·    A Detailed Look At Replication
·    Proofreading the DNA
·    Repairing the Damage
·    The Genetic Code
·    Deciphering the Code
·    Thinking Critically About DNA

RNA and Transcription Titles (8 pages):
·    Differences Between DNA and RNA
·    RNA: The Big Picture
·    Types of RNA
·    Overview of Transcription
·    Steps to Transcription
·    Transcription: Complete It!
·    RNA Processing and Editing
·    The Genetic Code

Translation and Protein Synthesis Titles (5 pages):
·    Overview of Protein Synthesis
·    Translating the Code
·    Translating the Code 2
·    Mutations
·    Mutations 2

Gene Expression Titles (3 pages):
·    Gene Expression in Prokaryotes
·    Gene Expression in Eukaryotes
·    Cancer

Genetic Engineering Titles (5 pages):
·    Changing the Living World
·    Manipulating DNA
·    Cell Transformation
·    Transgenic Organisms

·    Thinking Critically About Genetic Engineering

These are fantastic for your interactive notebooks.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  I hope you are having a wonderful school year!

Links to products in my TpT Store:
Introduction to Biology Warm Ups
Cell Structure and Physiology Warm Ups
Ecology Warm Ups
Genetics Warm Ups
DNA, RNA, and Protein Synthesis Warm Ups