Magic Words Monday

Happy new week!

This week we are focusing on the cycle of energy through an ecosystem. Today in class we played a fun game to introduce ourselves to this week’s vocabulary words.  It is a cross between BoomBag and another game (which the name of it has actually escaped my mind at the moment).

Content Cards 8.L.3.3

Just like BoomBag, students were grouped into pods of 4 (Partners A + B are a team and Partners C + D are a team) each team sitting across from his/her partner and the “Concept Cards” were placed in the bag.

Partner A blindly draws a card and holds it above his/her head – out of sight. Partner B (the partner sitting across from him/her) first reads the definition.If Partner A knows the concept/word he/she can guess, if not, then Partner B reads the critical attributes. If Partner A still doesn’t know, Partner B can read the IS/AND IS NOT statement. Partner B can add more details to the description if possible.

If Partner A gets the concept/word correct, the Concept Card is theirs to keep; if not, it goes back into the bag. The turns alternate between teams — Partner A / Partner C / Partner B / Partner D.

Note: This game could easily be played in pairs too, depending on the number of  Concept Cards you have available. 

It was a great introduction activity that kept everyone engaged and promoted a fun, safe practicing environment. Students were allowed to copy down the definitions after playing the game.

Here’s our vocabulary list for the week:

Weekly Vocabulary - 8.L.3.3 - Feb 2

Our Concept Cards (4 per page) can be found here: 8.L.3.3 – Vocabulary Concept Cards.

The homework can be found here: Weekly HW 8.L.3.3 – Energy Flow in Ecosystems

Flashcards are due tomorrow! Remember the criteria below: Flashcards Reference

Have a great evening!



8.L.3 – Ecosystems Assessment

Hi there and happy Friday everybody!

Today students spent the majority of class time taking our unit test on ecosystems. It was computer based so we brought out the Chromebooks for the 3rd time this week (yes, this was definitely a technology-based learning week!).

If you were absent, please email me OR see me during homeroom to get your personal login so you can take this test! The window ends on February 28th so make sure you have time to make it up!

All in all, it was a great [FULL]week back. I cannot stress enough how much Mrs. Hill-Norman and I enjoy working with our students. They (you all) are such a great group of kids and you make teaching so much fun for us!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday!


Web Quest #2 : The Nitrogen and Carbon Cycles

Let’s gear up for round 2 of web quests! Today we’ll venture into the realm of cycles – specifically the nitrogen cycle and the carbon cycle.

Nitrogen and Carbon Cycles Web Quest

The Nitrogen Cycle:

Remember: Watch clip –> take notes –> review notes & diagram –> take quiz –> record score

The Carbon Cycle:

Remember: Watch clip –> take notes –> review notes & diagram –> take quiz –> record score

All finished? Click the link below and take a ride through this interactive carbon cycle game. Be sure to complete the table on your worksheet, noting where you started/are, how you got there, and where you went next.

Don’t forget to submit your work product to your block’s Turn It In Bin!

Need an extra copy? Get yours here: Web Quest – Nitrogen & Carbon Cycle

Good luck!

Mrs. Barton Signature


Web Quest: Food Chains & Food Webs

Adapted from Life Sciences Wahiawa (

We’ve learned that all organisms need energy to survive. The primary source of energy for all organisms begins with the sun. Sunlight provides the necessary energy for producers (plants) to complete photosynthesis. These producers are eaten by primary consumers (herbivores).These herbivore consumers are eaten by carnivores or secondary consumers. Sometimes, carnivores will eat other carnivores. These consumers are known as tertiary consumers. These interactions can be represented by a simple food chain. A bunch of food chains in the same ecosystem put together can make a food web. Food chains and food webs show the flow energy from one organism to another.

Food Chain vs Food Web

Recall that the arrows in a food chain and a food web show the direction that the energy is flowing. For example, in the food chain above, the energy flows from the sun, to the grass, to the grasshopper, to the shrew, to the owl. The arrows indicate the direction energy is being transferred with arrow pointing away from the eaten (prey or plant) and towards the eater (predator or grazer).


Through this Web Quest, you’ll practice making food chains and food webs in a variety of ways.

Food Chain Web Quest Tasks


Make at least 3 food chains or food webs from the following sites. Write down the name of each food chain or food web you complete AND draw a quick illustration of that food chain/web. Click on the links below to get started. 


Take the food chain quiz by clicking the link below. Be SURE to RECORD YOUR ANSWERS and your SCORE!


Try and Score the HIGHEST score (100) on the Rutgers Food Web Game


Food Chain Web Quest Self Eval

Food Chain Conclusion

All finished? SUBMITyour assignment! Now you can play some of these practice games!

Who Wants to be a Millionaire:

Fill in the Blanks:

An additional copy of the worksheet can be found here:

Food Chains Web Quest

Good luck!

Mrs. Barton Signature

Back Again!

Hi everyone,

Welcome BACK! It has been quite the stretch of absence! As you remember, we had early dismissal on Tuesday 2/11 and were out of school on Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday due to that crazy snow storm!

In order to get us back on track and remember what we had begun learning about we reviewed our flashcards and played BoomBag to re-familiarize ourselves with this unit’s vocabulary. Afterwards, we worked on a rather challenging crossword puzzle and word sort!

Today’s activities will adequately prepare us for tomorrow’s web quest on the Chromebooks! Whooo!

Here’s the link the worksheets:

Students handed in their work products at the end of class for a grade! If you were absent please make sure you get this submitted upon your return!

See you on Tuesday,

Mrs. Barton Signature

A Snowy Text Tuesday

Greetings guys & gals,

It’s SNOWING! Here’s a quick pic of the outside of ARMS before I left…. looks like we’re in for a few inches!

Snowy outside @ ARMS on Feb 11, 2014

Today was an exciting, pretty snowy Text Tuesday! We had a modified schedule because of early dismissal so I only was able to see my 1st, 3rd, and 4th blocks.

Today students studied their flashcards to play a game of vocabulary baseball before digging into our Text Tuesday assignment. It is always entertaining and fun to play vocabulary baseball (at least we try to make it that way), and the students get to brush up on their vocabulary words… you’d be surprised how tough it is memorizing some of these science words!

Afterwards, as a class, we worked on our text assignment. This text was adapted from a Coach-like book (I forget the name) from when I taught in New Orleans. Side note: it’s always interesting to me to see how the same content/idea is covered in different grades/different states. Anyways, I only had a hard copy of this and made it for the students, but when I can turn in into a digital copy I’ll be sure to post!

Anyways, I enjoyed this text because it was broken into short, manageable paragraphs and had lots of figures and “stop and process” questions in between! It was easy for us to discuss each section and connect previously learned ideas!

Tomorrow is up in the air… pun intended (as of the moment I’m writing this post). If we’re at school we will power through using the Chromebooks to complete an online activity and writing assignment! If we’re not at school tomorrow, check out these links below for some extra practice!

1) Slightly Advanced:

2)Basic Practice up to Increasing Complexity: 

3) Good Overview & Practice:


Stay warm & safe!

Mrs. Barton Signature

Magic Words Monday

Hey everyone!

We’re back and ready for another week of ECOSYSTEMS!

We started out by being introduced to our new set of vocabulary words for the week. Check out our words below:

Ecosystem Vocab Week 3


We worked on our vocabulary flashcards by ensuring that each of our cards were high quality. What are the standards for high quality? Check out this criteria for credit:

  1. Word on the FRONT of the card
  2. Picture/illustration on the FRONT
  3. Student initials on the FRONT (corner) of the card
  4. Definition on the BACK of the card
  5. Source of definition on the BACK 

Check out the flashcards below for some inspiration/ideas!

photo (9)


If, for some reason, you were not able to finish your flashcards in class they are DUE TOMORROW 2/11/14!


Tomorrow we’re getting into some Text Tuesday assignments so come ready!

See you then,

Mrs. Barton Signature