Jul 13 2019

Summer Vacation

Hey everyone! I know I’ve been pretty quiet the past couple of weeks… just been enjoying my time with my family. 🙂 We have been spending a lot of time up in northern MI. LOTS of butterflies up there! There’s milkweed everywhere all along the roadside and you can always find monarchs flying around in it! I took a break from egg hunting but yesterday I went and found 5 eggs. We’re going to go on another hunt on Sunday or Monday to see if we can find more. It’s a very relaxing hobby!

Something else that was kinda cool is that we were up at my parents’ house and a HUGE cecropia moth came to visit! They are crazy awesome! They have fuzzy antennae and bodies and a HUGE wingspan. He filled up my whole hand! I needed both hands to grab him out of the grass so i didn’t get a picture of that… but still so cool! We thought he was unable to fly due to a damaged wing but he took off shortly after I took this photo. 🙂 Nature is so wild…

Jun 21 2019

He’s Here!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… Louis Vuitton. 🙂 A male.

I just got home from adventures with my kids, so I’m not sure how long he’s been hanging to dry but he’s not really moving around just yet which is a sign he’s not ready. When he starts to flap his wings a bit I will take him outside and free him!

Jun 20 2019

It’s almost time!

Our chrysalis is getting dark which is the first sign that the butterfly is going to come out soon. It should be within the next 48 hours!

It’s kind of hard to see in this picture because it’s only a little bit dark so far. Over the next day or so the chrysalis itself will become completely transparent / see-through and we will be able to see the butterfly inside… then it breaks out and hangs to dry… that’s why I had to get creative here and prop up the lid of the container with a McDonald’s cup! Otherwise he/she wouldn’t have enough room to hang dry!

Jun 12 2019


Hello families!

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the last day that any changes can be made to quarter grades.

I will be available during class to pull students from the day’s activities to make up quizzes or assignments as needed, and I will also be staying after school for students who want to retake any assessment except for their Plate Tectonics / Boundaries quiz we took today. (With the exception of absent students, that quiz grade is final.)

So far I will say that I graded today’s quiz and scores are available on Student Connect. I am taking a break from my grading pile to write this and I’m not sure how long it will take me to enter the rest of the items I am grading — the lab and two classwork assignments. Have students check Student Connect in the morning to see what their report card grade will look like if they do not change anything tomorrow.

It’s been a great few months! I am happy to see how much everyone has grown in such a short time and I’m excited to see what the summer does for everyone! Please check back to see pictures of our class butterfly and find out if it was a boy or a girl! That should be within about 2 weeks from now depending on nature… 😉


Have a great summer!

Jun 11 2019

Plate Tectonics Task Cards Lab

Today, we completed a lab in class where students answered questions on a series of task cards. These task cards will help students improve their summative assessment score. If you were absent or unable to be part of the lab in class, here are the task cards for you to complete. They must be submitted by the end of the day Thursday for credit.

Plate Tectonics Task Cards

Jun 11 2019

Plate Tectonics Notes

Good morning,

Due to locker cleanouts and end of the year chaos, some students have complained that their notebook has gone missing. This is a problem because we still have one last quiz to take tomorrow! As a result, I have decided to post a copy of my written notes and my doodle notes for students to look over tonight. All quizzes are open-notes… however they must be in the student’s own handwriting to use on their quiz. (So, if the student is using my notes tonight, they can’t just print them out, they have to be written down in their own handwriting.)

Jun 2 2019

Caterpillar Friend Update!

Hey everyone!

So, when I find caterpillar eggs on milkweed plants “in the wild,” what I do is clip the leaf away from the stem towards the bottom so that I can stick the stems through holes in a condiment cup lid or some other type of plastic container. Then, once the eggs start to hatch I LEAVE IT ALONE! You all saw how small the caterpillars are after they hatch. If I mess with the plants when there are small caterpillars on them, it’s more likely that I will accidentally squish somebody or throw them out with old plant leafs. Instead, I waited about a week before I even touched them at all!

I took out the container and one by one, I removed the leaves from their holes in the container. (I know it’s hard to see in this picture… but the container is about the size of a cheeseburger and it has about 20 or 30 holes drilled in the lid for me to stick stems in. I searched each leaf for a caterpillar and counted how many hatched and lived the fist week. Then, I threw away any leaves that were too crunchy, too hole-y, or otherwise going bad. I added about 5 new leafs in between the older ones and over time, the caterpillars will most likely wander onto the newest leaves naturally just like we all would rather eat fresh food than week old food!

Out of 21 eggs I found, 18 made it this far.. plus the one I have been bringing to school that was already a caterpillar when I found him. From this point on, most of the caterpillars will live and become butterflies. There are still some things that can happen… they could fight, or they could wander away from the food and not know how to get back. I try to help them but sometimes it’s just too late. I’ve only ever had 1 large caterpillar die mysteriously. It’s possible he had parasites or something that kept him from becoming full size and forming a chrysalis. Who knows… nature is cruel sometimes. And as for chrysalis, I’ve only ever had one not make it. The silk the caterpillar spun to attach to the ceiling of container was not strong enough and when I was moving the lid to take out frass (science word for poop!) and add food, it fell off of the silk and the impact on the floor cracked the chrysalis open. I was sad! But that means in a few weeks I should have about 19 beautiful butterflies to release and I can’t wait to show you all on here!

Speaking of “our” caterpillar… I decided on the name suggested by my 2nd hour students. “He” will be Louis Vuitton… and if “he” ends up being a female, Louise Vuitton! (I won’t know for sure until the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis.)

Louis Vuitton is now 19mm long!!!! And about 3-4 mm wide. What a chunker!

I will change his leaf out today, too… but I wanted to show you a picture of him on his original leaf so you could compare the size and how much he has eaten first!

Jun 1 2019

Caterpillar Friend

Our caterpillar friend is 16 mm long now! He was 10mm on Thursday. 🙂

May 30 2019

Sea Floor Spreading – Source linked at the bottom


Harry Hess

Harry Hammond Hess (1906 – 1969)

Harry Hess was a professor of geology at Princeton University (USA), and became interested in the geology of the oceans while serving in the US Navy in World War II. His time as a Navy officer was an opportunity to use sonar(also called echo sounding), then a new technology, to map the ocean floor across the North Pacific.

He published ‘The History of Ocean Basins‘ in 1962, in which he outlined a theory that could explain how the continents could actually drift. This theory later became known as ‘Sea Floor Spreading‘.

Hess discovered that the oceans were shallower in the middle and identified the presence of Mid Ocean Ridges, raised above the surrounding generally flat sea floor (abyssal plain) by as much as 1.5 km. In addition he found that the deepest parts of the oceans were very close to continental margins in the Pacific with Ocean Trenches extending down to depths of over 11 km in the case of the Marianas Trench off the coast of Japan.

Hess envisaged that oceans grew from their centres, with molten material (basalt) oozing up from the Earth’s mantle along the mid ocean ridges. This created new seafloor which then spread away from the ridge in both directions. The ocean ridge was thermally expanded and consequently higher than the ocean floor further away. As spreading continued, the older ocean floor cooled and subsided to the level of the abyssal plain which is approximately 4 km deep.



Harry Hess’s evidence:

  • Mid ocean ridges of volcanic mountains that continuously erupt and push apart the sea floor.
  • Rock on either side of the ridge has matching magnetic alignment.

May 30 2019

Continental Drift

Here is one way to correctly connect the shapes for our Continental Drift assignment from last week.

Page from notebook with continent shapes glued on in one supercontinent

Here is a map of what we believe Pangaea actually looked like.

Notice how not only are things moved closer together, but many of the continents seem like they are twisted. This is because of combinations of boundary types all around each plate. Some of the boundaries are converging / colliding, some of the boundaries are diverging / dividing, and some of the boundaries are transforming / sliding past each other. This results in some of the pieces of this puzzle “twisting” as well as getting further apart over time. (Eurasia appears sideways, North America and South America are both “crooked” … India and Australia are also turned quite a bit from how they appear on the map now.)

An animation of Continental Drift over 3.3 billion years (that’s 3,300,000,000 years).


More resources to use to think about Alfred Wegener’s evidence:

  • Continental Fit: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Plate-Tectonics/Chap1-Pioneers-of-Plate-Tectonics/Alfred-Wegener/Jigsaw-Fit
  • Fossil Evidence: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Plate-Tectonics/Chap1-Pioneers-of-Plate-Tectonics/Alfred-Wegener/Fossil-Evidence-from-the-Southern-Hemisphere
  • Glacier Evidence: https://www.thisoldearth.net/Geology_Online-1_Subchapters.cfm?Chapter=3&Row=2
  • Landform Evidence: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Plate-Tectonics/Chap1-Pioneers-of-Plate-Tectonics/Alfred-Wegener/Geological-Fit-of-Coastlines


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