Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekly Reflection for week of 5/22

This week was the third week of Genius Hour. This week I completed my research on biological and chemical weapons. I researched how multiple chemical and biological weapons worked. I also researched the categories and classifications of these weapons.

With my research complete I was able to turn towards my presentation. I spent Friday making double-sided handouts to give out during my presentation. These handouts have all of the essential information on them. I now need to decide what kind of presentation I want to do. I want to do something more exciting that a standard powerpoint.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 5/15

This was the first full week of Genius Hour. My topic of research is biological and chemical weapons. I am looking at what the weapons do to the body from a biological standpoint.

This week was spent on researching my topic. I am looking at many different biological and chemical weapons. These weapons include agents like Sarin gas and Anthrax. Anthrax is famous for being a poison that lines envelopes. Sarin gas is a nerve gas that causes asphyxiation.

The next week I will spend finishing my research and move on to putting together my presentation.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 5/7

How did you do on the work?
This week was the AP Exam on Monday. The rest of the week was spent on choosing our Genius Hour topic. The topic that I picked was Biological and Chemical Weapons. 

What do you think you understand well?
I understood the information on the AP Exam that we covered in class. I felt very solid on Domains 1 to 4.

Where do you think you could improve?
I struggled with the AP Exam questions that were on topics that we didn't cover in class. I didn't feel great on questions that covered topics in Domains 5 to 7.

What strategies will you use to improve?
I can't do anything about the exam now; I'll just have to wait and see my score in July.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
We are currently working on our Genius Hour projects. Our projects must cover a topic that in some way relates to biology.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 4/24

How did you do on the work?
This week was spent looking at transpiration, neurons, and community ecology. The week featured the transpiration lab in which my group tested how a pH similar to that of acid rain affects the rate of transpiration.

What do you think you understand well?
I understand the community ecology pieces well. And I am looking forward to seeing the other groups presentations on their transpiration labs to see how transpiration can be affected.

Where do you think you could improve?
I don't understand the electricity parts of neurons very well. When the POGIL started talking about millivolts I was left very confused. 

What strategies will you use to improve?
I will go back and go through the packet. As well as search for some YouTube videos on neurons. 

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
We are currently looking at neurons, transpiration and community ecology. All of which are integral parts of an AP Bio course.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 4/10

How did you do on the work?
This week was heart week. I enjoyed getting to look at an actual heart as opposed to one online. Thursday was our exam on 4.7-4.12. I thought the exam went well.

What do you think you understand well?
I understand how blood flows through the heart. Being able to see and follow the paths through the deer heart really helped. I also studied meiosis a lot for the exam, so I understand that well.

Where do you think you could improve?
I don't understand 4.10 to 4.12 as well as I should for the AP Exam.

What strategies will you use to improve?
I will go back and go through the vodcasts again, as well as watch the other videos provided,

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
We are currently looking at circulation by studying deer hearts. Our test was on 4.7 to 4.12 which covers meiosis to gene expression.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekly Reflection for 4/3

How did you do on the work?
The beginning of this week was spent on the Stickleback fish and the PitXI gene. I finished the packet and watched the video. Wednesday and Thursday were spent putting together our handouts in groups. My group was researching circulation. Our group's handout turned out really well.

What do you think you understand well?
I understand how genes can be active in some parts of the body but not in other parts. The PitX1 packet showed that very well. I also understand circulation well because that was what my group was responsible for.

Where do you think you could improve?
I don't understand excretion and nutrition great. It was hard for me to understand all of the concepts reading really long paragraphs of small fonts. 

What strategies will you use to improve?
I will go back and reread the handouts and do some research of my own.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
We are currently looking gene expression as well as circulation, nutrition, and excretion. These are all very important to how the body functions. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reflection for Week of 3/27

How did you do on the work?
Much of this week was spent looking at Mendelian Genetics and inheritance patterns. We also looked at using Chi Square tests to test inheritance patterns. The lab this week was the virtual fly lab. We also did vodcasts 4.10-4.12.

What do you think you understand well?
I now understand dihybrid crosses well; that was something I struggled with initially. I can perform dihybrid crosses with no problem and calculate expected genotypes/phenotypes. 

Where do you think you could improve?
The only thing that gave me trouble was identifying some of the inheritance patterns. 

What strategies will you use to improve?
It will take practice to be able to identify all of the inheritance patterns.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
We are currently looking at inheritance patterns. How genes are passed on is a big part of biology and this course. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 3/20

How did you do on the work?
I finished all 3 vodcasts this week. I was also able to finish the Mendelian Genetics and Pedigrees packet. On Friday I finished the argumentation activity on Meiosis and Tetrad Formation. 

What do you think you understand well?
I understand monohybrid crosses, phenotypes, and genotypes well. I am able to do monohybrid crosses. I am then able to use the results to predict genotypes and phenotypes. 

Where do you think you could improve?
I struggle with dihybrid crosses and test crosses. I also have difficulty with knowing how many chromosomes are in the cell/cells at different parts of meiosis.

What strategies will you use to improve?
For the dihybrid crosses and test crosses I need to do some practice problems. I also need to look more closely at meiosis. 

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
We are currently looking at standard 4.5. This standard looks at meiosis. Meiosis is very important to biology because it creates the cells that allow organisms to reproduce. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cell Cycle And Cancer

Three Things I Learned
1. Some chromosome have many more cancer genes on them than other chromosomes.
2. There are many more genes for cell survival and fate than genome maintenance.
3. You do not need a tumor suppressor and an onco gene to have cancer.

2 Questions I Still Have
1. Why are there less genes for genome maintenance?
2. How do cell survival genes cause cancer?

1 Thing That Surprised Me
1. No genes coded for multiple types of cancer.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 3/6

How did you do on the work?
I finished all 3 vodcasts this week. I was also able to get through the Cell Cycle Regulation POGIL during Wednesday's class. On Thursday and Friday I did the HHMI Cell Cycle and Cancer.

What do you think you understand well?
I understand the cell cycle well. The POGIL really reinforced what I learned in the vodcasts. The HHMI Click and Learn was a good way to mix it up to help make the cell regulators easier to understand. 

Where do you think you could improve?
I think that I could improve on my ability to identify what phases the cells are in based on looking at them.

What strategies will you use to improve?
It would be helpful for me to go back through my vodcast notes after doing the POGIL and Click and Learn.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
The cell cycle has a lot to do with the beginnings of cancer, which is a very widely studied topic in biology.

Weekly Reflection for Week of 2/28

I was at Junior Nationals this week. The class did the PCR lab. I don't have much to say because I wasn't around to take part in the lab.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 2/6


How did you do on the work?
I felt that the quiz on Friday went well. There were only 1 or 2 questions that I was truly stumped on. I also think the playdough animation video is going well.
What do you think you understand well?
The playdough project really cemented the parts of transcription and translation for me. I also think that I understood the big picture of the vodcast, but maybe not the small details.

Where do you think you could improve?
As with other long vodcasts like 4.3, I should chunk them up so that I am not overloaded with information all at once. This will help me to better learn the concepts on the first attempt.

What strategies will you use to improve?
As I stated for the previous question, I will try to do the large vodcasts in parts so that I am not overloaded with information at one time.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
The concepts we are studying are very important for the future of combating diseases.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 1/30

Standards 4.1 and 4.2

How did you do on the work?
I felt that the packets that we did on replication and transcription went well. I also think my group did well on figuring out who the heck is Jeff. Vodcast 4.1 I did with no trouble. Vodcast 4.2 I did in one night so I will definitely be revisiting that to better learn what it was covering.

What do you think you understand well?
After doing the packets on DNA replication and transcription I believe that I have a much better grasp on those concepts. I do still struggle with some of the terminology.

Where do you think you could improve?
With long vodcasts like 4.2, I should chunk them up so that I am not overloaded with information all at once. This will help me to better learn the concepts on the first attempt.

What strategies will you use to improve?
As I stated for the previous question, I will try to do the large vodcasts in parts so that I am not overloaded with information at one time.

How does the work we are doing fit into the context/narrative of the course?
DNA is a big part of every living thing. With biology being the study of living things, it is important that we study the blueprints for all living things.