Oct 31 2020

Quarter 1 Grades Finalized

Hello parents! All students’ Quarter 1 grades have been updated and finalized! What you see on Student Connect now will be their report card grade. Please email me if you have any questions and have a Happy Halloween!

Bitmoji Image
Oct 27 2020

Full Year Virtual Option Deadline Approaching

Good evening everyone!

I just finished watching the Board of Education meeting today and it was a whirlwind, to say the least!

I just wanted to extend one piece of information to everyone.

President Berry said that the board does intend to push towards in-person learning when the district positivity rate retains a downward trend and although this might not be very soon, it is the board’s intention.

It was mentioned that all parents still have the option to sign up for the VLP (Virtual Learning Program) for their children if parents have fears about going back in person or wish for their child to remain in online learning. Unfortunately I do not have a lot of answers for you about this, except that signups are available until October 30th, which is only three days from now.

If you are interested in placing your child in the VLP please observe the deadline and place your application so that the district may use this information to determine what in-person will look like. We cannot construct a plan unless we know how many students intend to be in the classroom and how many intend to stay virtual.

Thank you!

Oct 1 2020

Navigating Schoology

Most of the communication I send out about 8th Grade Science is regarding what is posted on Schoology for students. I just wanted to summarize what information is available on my Schoology course for parents who look to my iBlog for information.

Image of Mrs. Harrison's Schoology banner with her Bitmoji welcoming students to "8th Grade Science." Below are 5 colorful buttons: pink Current Week, orange Rules, green Learning Labs, blue Contact Info, and purple Zoom Links.

The Bitmoji banner contains 5 linked buttons along the bottom.

  • Current Week: This folder always contains the work from the week we are currently working on. Over the weekend, I move the previous week’s files out to their own dated folder (e.g. “Week of Sept 8-11”)
  • Rules / Expectations: This folder contains my classroom expectations, the Woodworth Code of Conduct, and Dearborn Public Schools’ Online Learning Handbook.
  • Learning Labs: Clicking on this button will take you to the Learning Labs page. You will see this week’s current Bitmoji classroom. Read the whiteboard to get all of the information you will need about Learning Labs including the days, times, and students who need to report. The link to the Learning Lab Zoom is also displayed in this image.
  • Contact Info: Here you will find the information you need to contact me.
  • Zoom Links: This page will tell you everything you need to know about live Zoom class: whether we meet on A days or B days, what time, the link and/or meeting ID and passcode, and the current month’s calendar to find out which days we meet. ** Note: Zoom links will no longer be sent through email. Students should look on Schoology to get the link.
This is an image of the folders listed on my Schoology main course page.

Dark Gray folders:

  • Learning Labs – See above for information about folder contents.
  • Zoom Links – See above for information about folder contents.
  • Bellwork – Students should access this folder every single time we meet on Zoom to complete that day’s bellwork question. Bellwork is not posted on Asynchronous days.
  • Current Week – See above for information about folder contents.

White folders:

  • These dated folders contain materials that were assigned during the listed dates. For example, all Zoom classwork and Asynchronous assignments for September 8, 9, 10, and 11 are in “Week of Sept 8-11”

Purple folder:

  • This folder contains various materials such as contact info, the syllabus, rules and expectations, and a template students can use to keep track of their daily schedule.
This is a screen capture image of the menu options on a student view of my Schoology page, including links for materials, updates, grades, mastery, and members.
  • Materials is where the folders I described can be found.
  • Updates will occasionally contain important announcements.
  • Grades will show assignments the student should have completed as well as their grade if the assignment has been graded.
    • If the assignment shows “–” with no other symbols, the student has not submitted the assignment yet.
    • If the assignment shows “–” with a blue paper symbol next to it, the student has submitted the assignment and they are waiting for me to grade it.
    • If there is a green number next to the assignment, it is the student’s grade.
    • Sometimes I will write comments especially if I took more than a couple of points from the student’s score. If there is a comment it is displayed here.
    • Parents and students should pay particular attention to the grading category called “Miscellaneous.”
    • Bellwork grades are also graded on Student Connect, and they are a daily expectation during Zoom meetings. If this section has a lot of 0/1 grades, speak to your child about completing bellwork when it is assigned. If the student participated and the bellwork has been graded, they should see 1/1.

Sep 17 2020

Week of 9/14-9/18

This week we learned the 5 steps of asking questions in a scientific way. Check Schoology for the following important items:

  • Asking Questions Notes
  • (Date) Zoom & (Date) Asynchronous Assignment (Blue Hands Scenario) ** Dates vary by section, sorry for the confusion!
    • Parts 1 2 3 completed in class
    • Parts 4 & 6 completed asynchronously using “Parts 4 and 5 Video”
  • Soft Skills Survey Assignment (asynchronous)
  • Red Punch Assignment (completed in class)
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd hour only: Asking Questions Practice (will be completed in class 9/18)

By dinner time tonight, I should have the grade book completely updated on Student Connect. It would be a good idea to log in tonight or tomorrow to check your grade and look for missing assignments which will have blank scores. ** If you are resubmitting a missing assignment please let me know by email which one you submitted so that I can go back and look for it. Thank you!

Sep 8 2020

9/8 A DAY

Zoom sessions this morning went really well. If you are still struggling, here are some tips for success:

  • Keep a written or printed copy of your classes and the A and B day schedules. I like to keep mine on a card with A on one side and B on the other, filled in with all of my classes. I added “Blank Schedule Template” to the Resources folder in all of my Science classes which is great if you have a printer!
  • Check your email and Schoology for Zoom links early in the morning to see if they are already there for you. I actually keep a doc in my Drive called “Week at a Glance” and I use it like a schedule except I also copy and paste links into it as I get them so that I can find them easily when it’s time to use them.
  • The number for the tech department is 313-827-3003 if you are still having trouble. Teachers are only trained to troubleshoot very basic problems but the tech department can usually help if we can’t!

Asynchronous sessions begin at 12:10. Log in to your 4th hour teacher FIRST. Their work needs to be done by 1:05 in order to be marked present for the day! Then work on 5th hour, which has to be done by 2:05, and then 6th hour which has to be done by 3:10.

Sep 7 2020

Week of Sept 8-11

We are in for an exciting week this week as we finally have a chance to meet all of our students on Zoom in the mornings!

Just to summarize the week for you:

  • Tuesday: A day
    • AM / Synchronous: Get on Zoom
      • 8:15-8:40 A2
      • 8:45-9:40 1st hour
      • 9:45-10:40 2nd hour
      • 10:45-11:40 3rd hour
    • Lunch 11:40-12:10
    • PM / Asynchronous: Get on Schoology
      • 12:10-1:05 4th hour
      • 1:10-2:05 5th hour
      • 2:10-3:10 6th hour
  • Wednesday: B day
    • AM / Synchronous: Get on Zoom
      • 8:15-8:40 A2
      • 8:45-9:40 6th hour
      • 9:45-10:40 5th hour
      • 10:45-11:40 4th hour
    • Lunch 11:40-12:10
    • PM Asynchronous: Get on Schoology
      • 12:10-1:05 3rd hour
      • 1:10-2:05 2nd hour
      • 2:10-3:10 1st hour
  • Thursday: A day
    • AM / Synchronous: Get on Zoom
      • 8:15-8:40 A2
      • 8:45-9:40 1st hour
      • 9:45-10:40 2nd hour
      • 10:45-11:40 3rd hour
    • Lunch 11:40-12:10
    • PM / Asynchronous: Get on Schoology
      • 12:10-1:05 4th hour
      • 1:10-2:05 5th hour
      • 2:10-3:10 6th hour
  • Friday: B day
    • AM / Synchronous: Get on Zoom
      • 8:15-8:40 A2
      • 8:45-9:40 6th hour
      • 9:45-10:40 5th hour
      • 10:45-11:40 4th hour
    • Lunch 11:40-12:10
    • PM Asynchronous: Get on Schoology
      • 12:10-1:05 3rd hour
      • 1:10-2:05 2nd hour
      • 2:10-3:10 1st hour
Bitmoji Image

Jul 28 2020

It’s a girl!

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I can tell from their bottom wings whether they are male or female. Males have pretty obvious black dots on one portion of their wings that contain the hormones that help them attract mates, and females do not. This one has no dots.

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She was still dripping fluid and not quite ready to fly off. I placed her on a flower in my garden where she can have a sip of nectar and dry her wings for as long as she wants until she’s ready to take off in flight. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jul 28 2020

Exciting Day!

That chrysalis I’ve been watching and posting about is going to eclose tonight. Eclose is the word used to describe the butterfly bursting out of its chrysalis. I know this because the green color of the chrysalis has gone clear and you can actually see the butterfly crumpled up inside of it.

No description available.

How cool is that?!

I don’t know exactly when… just that it will be soon. Usually it happens right after my phone dies, or right when I go into the other room to grab something. They are rascals like that.

When it opens, the butterfly will cling to the chrysalis with its legs and hang. Right now its belly is full of all the liquids the caterpillar made from eating so much before its transformation. All those liquids will get pumped into the butterfly’s wings, causing them to stretch out to full size. Then, any extra liquid will drip off of the butterfly and the butterfly will need to air-dry. That whole process takes a couple of hours.

I will know the butterfly is ready when it stops hanging from the chrysalis. Sometimes they walk around on the lid of the enclosure. Sometimes, if they are really rascally, they will try to fly around the tank. That is dangerous because the butterfly could tear a wing trying to do that. I always keep a very close watch on them because as soon as they are ready, it’s time to let them go outside!

I will know this butterfly’s gender once it stretches out its wings. ๐Ÿ™‚

As for our two caterpillars… it’s cleaning day. They have stripped this plant down to its stem, which they are happily munching on now. They do prefer leaves, usually, so today I will put a new stem in and put down fresh paper towel. I will also check on the dozens of eggs I have in there.

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I actually have their condiment cup tucked inside of a large McDonald’s cup to keep them safe. Big caterpillars don’t have good eyesight, and if they go to eat the leaves the babies / eggs are on, they often will eat the babies / eggs as they go. ๐Ÿ™ It’s important to keep them separated.

Jul 26 2020

Getting Bigger!

Our babies just entered their 3rd Instar. I forgot to take a picture of them before yesterday’s shed. I swear, they almost double in size overnight after a shed. Remember, previous pictures they were about the size of the pencil eraser.

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The chrysalis looks the same. When it starts to turn dark I will take a photo of it to show you. Then of course, the butterfly!

I also have another caterpillar that I found when gathering leaves who is looking around for the spot he will choose to make his chrysalis.

Jul 21 2020

Update

Between yesterday and today I found 24 more eggs in my garden!

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Can you spot the 4 eggs visible in this picture?

I clip a little bit off of the bottom of the leaves to make the “stem” long enough to put through holes punched in the lid of this condiment cup of water. Sometimes I don’t clip the leaf off especially if the egg is really far down, like the darkest leaf you see here.

I don’t throw away the clippings if I have caterpillars, though. They aren’t picky. They just like fresh leaves! They stay fresh for a day or two after being clipped up like this and the caterpillars will eat some of it up so that it’s not wasted. ๐Ÿ™‚

So that leads me to the next part of my routine. The leafs from our other tiny caterpillars and the cup they are stuck in are in need of cleaning. Look how gross…

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The caterpillars have eaten holes all throughout the leaves, leaving not much for them to eat off of it anymore. Some of the leaves are crunchy and useless. The water is gross because their frass (or poop!) has fallen into the holes of the lid into the water and stained it murky brown. Also, the leaves are not meant to stay in water for a long time… they began to rot. Every few days, I take out all my condiment cups and clean them out.

I take off any leftover milkweed. Sometimes I have to really check it all to make sure there’s no caterpillars hiding in it. These caterpillars I knew for sure were big enough to see so I just grabbed the branch and placed it on top of my clippings.

No description available.

Since they are just clippings off of leaves there is no reason to put them in water. Sometime later this week when these clippings are eaten or dried up, I will grab a couple of full leaves from my garden and trim them and put them in water to feed the caterpillars from.

At some point as they get larger, they will eat a whole leaf within a few minutes, and then it’s not necessary to put the leaves in water. Actually, when I get caterpillars out of those 24 eggs, they will eat through the milkweed so fast that I could put an entire plant in there and it will be eaten up in no time at all!

Jeff and I are taking the kids up to northern Michigan in about a week. By the time this group of eggs’ caterpillars are big enough to eat that much I will be out of town. I will take them with me and thankfully, up north, there is TONS of milkweed! It is native to Michigan and spreads easily by root and by seeds so you will see it all along the highways and roads up north, and alongside all of the lakes.

The road to ensuring a future filled with monarchs | U.S. Fish and ...
Up north the native milkweed will look like this. It does not get mowed frequently so the plant has a chance to flower.

Actually, you see milkweed all along the highways here, too. Since those areas don’t get treated with pesticides, the milkweed survives really easily. It only gets mowed once in a while, too. Great habitat for butterflies!

It’s really easy to find up north though, like you can see above, and I’ll have plenty of food to offer them without ruining the plants in my yard. ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, I snapped a picture from standing above my aquarium. I know it’s hard to see, but 3 stages out of 4 of the stages of their life cycle are in my tank right now. Eggs, larvae (caterpillars) and pupa (chrysalis). Here is the complete life cycle:

The Science of Monarchs โ€” Chautauqua Bird Tree & Garden Club

And here is my tank:

1: Eggs 2: Larvae / Caterpillars 3: Pupa / Chrysalis
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