Project Time!

Hey everyone!

Today we took notes on genetic variation in a “concept map” form similar to what we did on Monday. We looked at various types of things that can cause mutations and their impacts. Afterwards, we were introduced our… drumroll please……


Discover a New Species Project Snip

For this project, students were given a project choice menu from which they picked 1 option from to complete. This project is due FRIDAY NOVEMBER 15.

Below you can find the criteria cards for each project and the grading rubric I’ll be using:

Adaptations Choice Board Snip

Adaptations Choice Board Project Rubric SnipNeed another copy of the project booklet? Find that here:Discover A New Species Choice Board

Need to revisit the project introduction PowerPoint? Find it here: Discover A New Species Project Introduction

Remember, you’re starting with a basic animal and ADDING ADAPTATIONS that you believe would make this animal FIT (able to reproduce!) for a given environment!

I’ve already heard some super stellar ideas and I can’t wait to see them come to life!

Good luck!

Mrs. Barton Signature



Text Tuesday: Adaptations

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today we were formally introduced to different types of adaptations. We learned that adaptations help animals thrive, survive, and reproduce in their environments.

We focused on learning about 3 types of adaptations: structural, behavioral, and physiological. Students saw many examples of organisms that have (1) structural adaptations to help them such as camouflage, mimicry, disruptive coloring, and (2) behavioral adaptations such as migration, hibernation, and learned behaviors vs. instincts.

We watched an informative clip (only the first 5 minutes) about adaptations. Next, we viewed our PowerPoint about adaptations. Finally, we moved to our classic assignment for Tuesdays…. TEXT!

We had a different format for our text today. Students read a small passage, then answered a few questions, read another small passage, then answered a few more questions. Question format varied between fill-in-the-blank, comprehension and definition questions, providing examples, and completing charts.

The adaptations booklet can be found here:  Adaptations Booklet

The video clip link can be found here:

*note: this link works well on Google Chrome and you do not have to sign up to view the video!

Want to learn more about adaptations? Mrs. Bursk’s science class website has some cool information! Find that link here:

Tomorrow we’re going to look at genetic variations. Students will also be provided with a “ChoiceBoard” of activities to complete by FRIDAY 11/8.

Have a great day!

Mrs. Barton Signature

Quarter 2, New Beginnings

Hello there,

Today began the first full week of the second quarter. We continued with our learning about ways and causes for organisms changing over time.

To begin class, we completed a small NSTA probe to see what we know about the phrase “survival of the fittest”. That probe can be found here: Is It Fitter Assessment Probe

Next, we took notes in a “map” form. I loved seeing the creative colors my students used! I also liked this because it showed connections between different topics. Check out some stellar student work below!

Page 49 Notes 2


Page 49 Notes 1

Here’s the Prezi we used to create our “map”:

We also began looking at vocabulary terms/phrases by using the Frayer model. The terms we examined were:

  1. Natural Selection
  2. Fit/Fitness
  3. Charles Darwin

An example of a Frayer model can be found here:

Tomorrow we’re going to take a closer look at 3 forms of adaptations that can occur due to environmental pressures.

Don’t forget: HOMEWORK PACKET 8.L.4.2 IS DUE THURSDAY 11/7/13!

Have a great evening!

Mrs. Barton Signature


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:

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:


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:

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:

2. Discovery Education video link (you’ll need to log in):

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

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