Happy Thursday & Early Weekend!

Greetings everyone!

Today is quite the day! We have a Thursday that feels like a Friday (since there’s a TEACHER WORKDAY no school for students)! Also, today is Halloween  so the kids are excited to have fun tonight and not have to go to school tomorrow (I know the teachers will be okay with not seeing loads of candy and candy wrappers everywhere).

Today we took Quiz 3.1 to assess our knowledge on the theory of and evidence for evolution, why animals adapt, and natural selection. Afterwards, students were given Flashcard Friday List #10. These vocabulary flashcard are DUE ON MONDAY 11/4!

Find the flashcard list here:Flashcard Friday List #10 – October 31

I hope everyone has a SAFE and fun night and a long enjoyable weekend!

See you back here on Monday!

Mrs. Barton Signature


Wednesday: Honing in on Homologous Structures

Hey hey everyone!

Today we took a closer look at homologous structures by doing a gallery walk, analyzing a picture with various animal limbs, and answering conclusion/synthesis questions.

In order to complete this activity, students learned a new vocabulary phrase “ANALOGOUS STRUCTURES“. We differentiated between homologous and analogous by using the following chart.

Homologous & Analagous Comparison Chart

Early finishers completed “Hand it to the Animals“, an interactive activity on the SmartBoard. You can find the link below.

Need resources? Find them here!


Class prezi: prezi.com/fsss2hi3gnkt/homologous-analogous-structures/

Student booklet: Homologous and Analgous Structures

Gallery walk posters: Homologous & Analogous Structures Posters

Animal limbs picture: Homologous & Analogous Limbs Printout

Hand it to the Animals link: http://www.simplescience.org/Lessons/Biology/AH/Lesson0.htm


Tomorrow (because we have a teacher workday on Friday) we have a quiz covering the Theory of Evolution, natural selection, and homologous structures. We’ll also include a vocabulary section to make sure you study your vocabulary words!

Study study study!

Mrs. Barton Signature

Text Tuesday: Natural Selection & Homologous Structures

Hello everyone!

Today we looked a mini-lesson about natural selection to prepare us for our in-depth study next week, and then switched gears to complete a Text Tuesday on homologous structures.

We began class by playing a fun game/demo that modeled natural selection. Each student was given a card with a wing size (small/short, medium, large and extra large).  Every student stood up behind their seat, representing a living member of a species. Different environmental changes occurred (severe weather change, volcano erupts, and hunters hunted birds for feather pillows) and one by one, depending on the wing size variations, all the birds perished until there was only 1 wing-type remaining. Students were able to identify the medium wing birds as the population that would mate and produce a new generation of medium size birds (this game can be found in the prezi). We also visited the classic example of the peppered moth, pre- and post-Industrial Revolution (great for incorporating cross discipline material!).

We took several notes on page 47 of our notebook as we moved through our class prezi. Our notes are below:

Page 47 notes

Afterwards we switched gears and staying true to Text Tuesday we read a Common Core text on homologous structures! Students completed the reading “collaborative” style where each partner in the pair/group reads round-robin style (ie Partner A reads a paragraph, then Partner B reads a paragraph, then Partner A reads again, and so on and so forth). Once they completed the reading, students answered 3 comprehension-based questions as a group (each person taking turns writing the answer on the group paper) and submitted it to the class block bin.

Need some materials? Find them below!


Here’s the link to our class prezi: http://prezi.com/3rocmka8hhfi/what-is-evolution/

Here is our Text Tuesday reading: Homologous Structures CC Reading

See you Wednesday!

Mrs. Barton Signature

Monday Happiness

Happy Monday everyone,

Today was the best Monday to start to the week this school year! I have some of the BEST (I’m talking “créme de la créme” status) students this year! They really made today (my birthday) special with creative cards, happy hugs, and generous gifts. So I send a HUGE thank you to my favorite bunch of students, ever! Also, a special thank you to Mrs. Hill-Norman, Ms. Bain, Ms. Hinton, Mr. DixonMr. Gibson and Mr. Pleasant for sharing the love and good wishes! B-day Thank You

Alright – now back to our day’s work!

Today we began our new unit on the Theory of Evolution and Genetic Variation. I made students aware that I understand this may be a “tough” topic for some to learn, but in science it is important for students to differentiate between a LAW and a Theory at this point. So far this year, students have learned about two laws (Law of Conservation of Mass and the Law of Superposition) as well as theories (Theory of Continental Drift/Pangaea and theories for dinosaur extinction). Today, we clearly differentiated between each to help get us in the right mindset for learning.

Theories vs Laws

We began with a warm up looking at similarities and differences of 4 organisms. Afterwards, we made a vocabulary foldable and later wrote down the definition for the Theory of Evolution. This set us up for completing a series of questions based on a Discovery Education video (we only covered the half of the video that related to our current content). Finally, students answered the synthesis question written on page 44 of our notebooks.

Need some resources? Find them below!


1. Class Prezi Link: http://prezi.com/9ibwvz8qr16q/the-theory-of-evolution/

2. Discovery Education video link (you’ll need to log in): http://app.discoveryeducation.com/player/view/assetGuid/56A5F7FE-FBBE-469B-AB79-3A4E63A7AED3

(SEE – Discovery Education,  (2006). Elements of Biology: Biological Evolution. [Full Video]. Available from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/ )

3. Video Questions (formatted for 2 per page front & back printing): DE – Theory of Evolution Video Worksheet


Have a GREAT evening! See you tomorrow!

Mrs. Barton Signature

Friday – CFA #2

Hello everyone,

Another weekend has arrived (I can hear the cheers and “YAAAY”s echoing in the background)!

Today we took Common Formative Assessment #2 – a unit test on Earth’s history, structures and processes. I was pleased by the overall growth in 100% of my classes! I’d like to recognize two classes right now:

Top Performance Celebrations for Block 5

Most Improved Awards for Block 3

There were 10 students across the board who scored a PERFECT 100%! Tremendous! I am really pleased with their performances.

In looking at our 8th grade science department as a whole, I’d like to extend a special shoutout and recognition for ALL the students who worked hard, came to tutoring, showed up to school each day and really put forth their best effort this unit — your hard work is paying off! THANK YOU!

When looking at this data, a little quote came to mind… It’s important to remember that though we may start off “low” or “not the best” everyone is capable of growth and being successful in some way, shape, or form.

From humble beginnings

On Monday we will begin our next unit on the Theory of Evolution and Genetic Variation (NC Essential Standard 8.L.4.1). 

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Barton Signature

We’re Really Thinking this Thursday!

Hey everyone!

Today we covered a few mini lessons to prepare for our CFA #2 (Earth’s History, Structures & Processes). We did a brief overview for mechanical weathering, unconformity, porous and permeability, and geologic time scales and recorded those pieces on page 42 of our notebooks.

Next we played Jeopardy! It was an extremely competitive atmosphere, but it was a great way to cover a variety of material to prepare for CFA#2

Way to go Blocks 4 & 5

Here’s our class prezi: prezi.com/q576vqosd4lz/ready-to-review

Here’s the link for today’s Jeopardyhttps://jeopardylabs.com/play/cfa-2-earths-history-processes-review

(It doesn’t matter how many teams you select, you can just press “start” to begin the game.)

Study study study! Good luck!

Mrs. Barton Signature

Writing Wednesday Presents: Dinosaurs & Disasters!

Happy Wednesday all!

I hope your week has been positive so far! Today we examined and analyzed 4 theories about the extinction of dinosaurs and wrote a persuasive argument for 1 of the theories.

First, we began by discussing things we had already learned about dinosaurs and extinction. Then we watched a Discovery Education clip called “The End of Dinosaurs“. Afterwards, students took quick notes on page 43 of their notebooks to get  prepped for our gallery walk.

We visited 4 primary theories:

Theory 1: Asteroid Impact

Theory 2. Excessive Volcanism

Theory 3: Radiation

Theory 4. Ice Age

Dino Posters

Students toured each poster and in their chart, wrote down the cause (i.e. asteroid impact), what happened in that theory, evidence supporting that theory as well as evidence against the theory. Afterwards, they used this information to help them create a persuasive writing piece.

Overall, it is great to see how writing samples have improved over the past 9 weeks!

Below you can find our materials from the day’s lesson:


Class prezi: http://prezi.com/nrgai828ldgv/dinos-disasters/

Dinosaurs & Disasters Gallery Walk Posters: Dino Gallery Walk Posters

Dinosaurs & Disasters Student Answer Chart:Dino Extinction Gallery Walk – Student Answer Sheet

Extinction Writing Prompt: Writing Wednesday Extinction Prompt


Tomorrow we will look at one final mini-lesson on rocks (porosity and permeability) and then do a review for CFA #2.


Have a great afternoon!

Mrs. Barton Signature