Wednesday, May 11, 2016


flower-parts-pt.jpg (901×535)
Students will have to know the plant parts and what they do.

Students must be able to label a flower similar to the one pictured.

Students will also have to know about plant reproduction: asexual and sexual.

Some different ways plants are pollinated are by birds, insects, bats, and wind. Wind-pollination is not guaranteed so they produce large amounts of pollen grains. A wind-pollinated flower will also have small petals, large anthers, and a feathery stigma.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Vertebrates cont'd

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata

We've been talking about the subphylum, Vertebrata. Vertebrates are all members of the phylum, Chordata. What does it mean to be a chordate? Chordates have bilateral symmetry, meaning if cut down the middle, one side would match the other. Chordates also have a notochord and at some point in their lives had gills slits. In fish, the gill slits become gills, but in other animals the gill slits disappear.

There are a few characteristics of vertebrates that make them special. The first is that they have an endoskeleton (bones on the inside). Vertebrates also have spinal cords, backbones, and usually eyes, nostrils, and a mouth on their head.

Vertebrates are either endothermic or ectothermic. Being endothermic means you must keep your own body temperature. This requires energy and the body working around the clock to do so. Being ectothermic means your body temperature is determined by the outside temperatures. Birds and mammals are endothermic. Amphibians, reptiles, and fish are ectothermic.

Some vertebrates give live birth, some lay eggs, and some do both. Birds and amphibians just lay eggs. Reptiles and fish lay eggs and give live birth. Most people think that mammals only give live birth, but there are 2 species that lay eggs, the platypus and echidna. Reptile eggs are different from other eggs because they are leathery and hard making them waterproof. Bird eggs are also tough, but not waterproof. Fish and frogs lay their eggs in the water.

There are 3 groups of mammals: monotremes, marsupials, and placental. Monotremes are the mammals that lay eggs. Marsupials carry their young in a pouch like kangaroos, opposums, koalas.Placental animals give live birth and the babies are grown inside the mother's body being nourished by a placenta.

There are 3 types of fish: cartilaginous, jawless, and bony.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Our new unit is on Vertebrates. All vertebrates have a backbone.There are 5 kinds of vertebrates: fish, mammals, amphibians, birds, and reptiles. Here is a link to more information on vertebrates. Another helpful website is

Fish: cold-blooded, most have scales, breath in water (gills)
Birds: warm-blooded, feathers, lay eggs
Reptiles: cold-blooded, scales, lay eggs
Amphibians: cold-blooded, start out living in water with gills and transition to land growing lungs (transition), lays eggs in water
Mammals: warm-blooded, nurse their young, fur/hair

Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone/spine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Digestive, Integumentary, and Excretory System

The digestive system: ingestion, digestion, elimination. Digestion begins as soon as food enters the body. The saliva starts to break down the food in the mouth and it is further digested as it moves down the esophagus into the stomach. After the stomach food moves into the  small intestines where nutrients are absorbed and then to the large intestine where water is absorbed. After that it comes out the anus.

The integumentary system protects the body. The skin is the largest organ in the body. There are 3 layers of skin: epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layer sometimes called the deep layer or fatty layer. The epidermis serves as a water repellent layer the is the bodies main defense. The dermis is where nerves and blood vessels are located so it responsible for our sensory response. It also is where the oil and sweat glands are located. It helps with controlling body temperature and releasing waste. The fatty layer helps us with insulation and attaches the skin to the muscles.

The excretory system removes liquid waste from our body in the form of urine. The main organs are the kidneys and bladder. There are 3 tubes that are part of the system: 2 ureters and the urethra. The kidneys work to clean the blood and make urine. The bladder is the storage system for the urine. The urine travels down the ureters and out through the urethra.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Respiratory, Muscular, Skeletal Systems

Students are learning about breathing and how the respiratory system works. We've talked about it briefly already when we discussed the circulatory system because they work so closely together. They will need to know the path oxygen takes as it enters the body as well as the functions of each structure.

The muscular system helps with all daily movements: relaxing, contracting, and providing the force for movement. We have voluntary and involuntary muscles. Voluntary are the ones we control, but involuntary we cannot control consciously. Muscles always pull, and when one muscle of a pair contracts, the other relaxes. Students will NOT have to name any specific muscles.

The skeletal system includes all the bones in our body and has five major functions:
  1. give shape and support body
  2. protect organs
  3. help major muscles move
  4. form blood cells in the marrow
  5. store calcium and phosphorus
Joints are a very important part of the skeletal system. A joint is shere two or more bones come together. There are two kinds of joints: immovable and movable. The immovable joints are the ones in your skull and pelvis because they don't move. There are 4 kinds of movable joints: ball-and-socket, gliding, hinge, and pivot. A pivot joint is when one bone rotates in a ring of another bone that doesn't move, like turning your head. A ball-and-socket joint consists of a bone with a rounded end that fits into a cavity in another bone, like your shoulders and hips. A hinge joint has a back and forth movement like a door hinge. An example of this is the knee, it only moves one way. The last joint is a gliding joint. These joints allow one bone to slide over another, like in your wrists, ankles, and vertebrae.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Body Systems

We are working on the 11 body systems until Spring Break.
  • Reproductive (Feb 22-26)
  • Circulatory (Feb 22-26)
  • Endocrine (Feb 22-26)
  • Respiratory (Feb 29- March 4)
  • Muscular (Feb 29- March 4)
  • Skeletal (Feb 29- March 4)
  • Digestive (March 7-11)
  • Integumentary (March 7-11)
  • Excretory (March 7-11)
  • Nervous (March 14-18)
  • Immune (March 14-18)

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Students will need to about the development of an embryo. They got to see some interesting stages in the development when we looked at microslides last week.
Look at our sheet on embryology for info on:
  • Morula
  • Blastula
  • Gastrula: endoderm, ectoderm, mesoderm