Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Pedigree Charts Intro with Y12

Today Year 12 learned about pedigree charts. To start with they each picked a cat and colored in the nose either pink or brown, and gave their cats a name. As they finished I put them up in a pedigree chart, to show the relationships between each of their cats. 

I thought this might be a good way to introduce pedigree charts. We did a 'mini whiteboard quiz' where I asked who the parents of Ziggy were, who the two grandparents of Nala and Mufasa were, etc.

On the side of the board I also drew the squares and circles used in pedigree charts to represent male and females. Then I colored in the symbols depending on whether the cats had a pink or red nose. 

The questions in the whiteboard quiz became harder; which trait is most likely recessive? (Brown, because Churry and King have pink noses but their offspring Jerry has a brown nose. Meanwhile, Lilo and Junior both have brown noses, and only produced brown-nosed Ziggy and Simba). What are the genotypes of Brown and Cat? Etc. 

Once we started to try and work out genotypes based off relationships and offspring/parents, students became a little more confused. We moved on to some activities on my genetics website and I moved around, trying to help. 

I thought I would try to show my thought process while working out genotypes based on phenotypes in pedigree charts:

IF pink noses were recessive, Churry and King would both be homozygous recessive; nn. How, then, could they have produced brown-nosed Jerry, when neither of them has a dominant allele to pass on? They couldn't! 

Therefore, brown noses must be recessive. 

That means Jerry must be nn, because Jerry has a brown nose. 

Where did Jerry get his two recessive nn alleles from? Both of his parents must carry at least one recessive allele. They must be ?n,

What is their other allele?

Jerry's parents Churry and King both have pink noses, the dominant colour. They must have at least one dominant allele, to have pink noses. That means their other allele must be N. 

Therefore both Churry and King are heterozygous; Nn. Both parents are showing the dominant phenotype, but must also carry a recessive allele each to produce children with both pink and brown noses:

To produce both phenotypes, both parents must be heterozygous. If they were both NN, then 100% of their children would also have the dominant trait of pink noses. 

As you can see, Churry and King produced offspring with both pink and brown noses. The offspring with pink noses (Bestfriend Stealer and Tom) could be NN or Nn - we will have to see what their  genotypes are based on their own offspring! 

Hopefully this blog post helped people learn how pedigree charts can reveal genotypes, as well as relationships between individuals. Maybe you can even work out Bestfriend Stealer's genotype, based off her offspring Nala and Mufasa's phenotypes! 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Bingo with Year 11 for Acids and Bases

Last week I played bingo with Year 11, for the first 20 elements of the periodic table. I sort of found bingo sheets online - the only one that included the first 20 elements was in the format of lines rather than the familiar table format, and the kids did query me; "don't you know what bingo is Miss?!"

By changing up some of the clues we were able to revise electron configuration, ion formation, and the periodic table:

The electron configuration for this element's’ ion is 2,8 and it has LOST 2 electrons

Water molecules have two of these in them.

The electron configuration for this element's’ ion is 2 and it has LOST 1 electrons

The electron configuration for this element's’ ion is 2,8,8 and it has LOST 2 electrons
The electron configuration for this element's’ ion is 2,8,8 and it has GAINED 3 electrons
This atom has 7 protons

Has three full electron shells
This atom has 3 electrons shells, and gains 1 electron to become a negative ion.

Water molecules have one of these in them.

The first noble gas in group 18.

Has four electrons

This atom has 9 protons.

This atom makes up diamonds.

This atom has 2 electron shells, but loses 3 electrons to become a 3 plus ion.
Has two full electron shells
Has eleven electrons

The element now used to make tin cans.

The element often used in breast implants.

This element is found lots in Rotorua, it is often yellow, it stinks like rotten eggs and it’s found around volcanoes and volcanic vents.
This element has 4 electron shells but is not Calcium

They ended up enjoying it anyway, and it was so popular that I've decided to try this tactic again to help students become familiar with names of different ions, as they will be given an un-named Table of Ions in their NCEA Acids and Bases exam at the end of the year.  Unfortunately I couldn't find a good game of Bingo online (again), so this time I painstakingly made 20 bingo cards and to save someone else the trouble in the future I thought I would share them here:

Feel free to make a copy and use it! 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Colourfloo, Octarabbit, Flonty, Flurtle

Today Year 13 learned about taxes, and practiced answering NCEA questions about imaginary, made up species by using just the cues in the question that they recognized. 

To finish the lesson they each made an imaginary critter and made a question about it, to test their classmates understanding of chemo-, gravi-, hydro-, thigmo-, thermo-, photo- taxis. 

Here is my critter:

Here is my question: 

The colourfloo is an insect with six legs and two wings that flies around and lands on people to paint their nails while they are sleeping. After it paints their nails a fabulous pink colour, it also takes a bite out of the human's finger using it's sharp teeth, then quickly flies away.

What is the environmental stimulus it is responding to?
What is the orientation response it displays?
What is the adaptive advantage for the colourfloo?

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Runnin' (From Lava)

Year 11 is starting their second assessment on Surface Features of New Zealand. 

To gain the credits in this assessment students need to produce a report, create a Prezi or presentation, or make a tourism video or brochure about Auckland's volcanoes. 

 They need to explain processes happening UNDER the ground that cause Auckland volcanoes, as well as what occurs ON TOP of the ground during an eruption, and some process that happen over many years AFTER to form the familiar peaks or lakes around Auckland. 

Why is there a Beyonce song at the start of this post?

I love learning through music! 

One of my students was listening to Beyonce instead of me the other day (she IS fabulous, but can she teach about volcanoes? hmmm...) 

Turns out that she can, if we use her song but change some lyrics. That same student and her friend will hopefully record this song for their class in coming days, to help them learn about the hotspot under Auckland:

These four layers deep have changed the Earth’s surface
The Earth’s surface,
It’s changing still.
The heat it starts deep first from the outer core,
Heats mantle up,
Mantle just above,
Starts heating up.

Where else can it go?
Where else can it go?
Convecting up,
To the crust.
Crust then starts to melt,
Magma building up,
Hot magma
Hot magma

Hotspot, hotspot, hotspot, hotspot,
Hotspot, hotspot, hotspot
No hotspots at the plate boundaries,
Just in the middle at Auckland,
It’s a hotspot, hotspot, hotspot, hotspot,
Hotspot, hotspot, hotspot,
A hundred kilometers below,
The melted rock is building up.
If the pressure builds we lose it all

If I feel the earth shake I won’t be standing still,
Be gapping it,
To Hamilton,
As the magma pushes up through cracks,
And fissures,
To the surface,
Eruption time!

Where else can I go?
When Auckland loses control,
Lava on you,
Chasing you.

Hotspot, hotspot, hotspot, hotspot,
Hotspot, hotspot, hotspot
Eruption size and lava type,
Make different volcano shapes.

It’s a hotspot, hotspot, hotspot, hotspot,
Hotspot, hotspot, hotspot,
Caldera, strato-volcano,
Cinder cone and shield shape too.

When the lava cools,
It leaves behind,

It’s a ro-cky volcano,
slopes and sides,

Then it changes shape more
over time

When humans use it or,

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Blogs for 2016

Kia ora, 

Today is my first proper lesson with my Year 13 Bio class, and this year we've decided to set up blogs for the learning that happens during class time. 

I've given students some time to personalize their blogs, and then as a way to see what they remember from Year 11 write their first post. 

I am aware that blogging in the senior school will be a tricky path to navigate, balancing learning, creating and sharing towards internals and externals with the need for students to work individually while completing assessments and demonstrating their individual understanding. 

However, we are a collaborative and digital school, and giving Year 13's an opportunity to return to their Primary and Intermediate Manaiakalani roots where they share their understanding as it emerges and as they complete tasks to build knowledge will hopefully prove beneficial for them :) 

Here are the links for the Year 13's blogs! 

        Aki      Asinate     Bobbigrace     Cherub     Fiu     Lana    Rachael     Rita     Sela

I also took the opportunity to remind them about reliability of sources of information on the web, and perhaps to warn any potential readers that their post is purely what they can remember from 2 years ago, and may not be completely correct!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Year 12's Respiration Song

Hey Tyrone, what are you listening to? 

Oh it's a new song, it's called the Respiration Rap Trap!

How does it go, maybe I know it!

"oxygen and glucose, this changes to CO2 and water yaaaa, don't forget the ATP-"

"-ok ok, let's just listen to the full rap!

Here you go:


Tamaki Production
Biooo Babes

Oxygen and Glucose

I’m like hey what’s up? Respire.
Need some energy for my cell life pro-ces-ses.
I just wanna turn, (pause) some glucose into it.
Use mitocondria, oxygen and the glucose.
Show you how to change it, making ATP for sure.
Make some more stuff, like water and a gas.
Carbon dioxide, what a waste product.
Energy requires, four main reactions.
With in and outer membrane, and a cristae, matrix though.
Man I swear I love it how it works in me for,
Making energy, in my different tissues,
Muscles they have many, cause of work that they do,
Other tissues they have less, less energy on show.

Oxygen and glucose
this changes to, CO2 aaandwater, yeaah,
Don’t forget the ATP,
It’s the energy for the cell from respiration yeaah
Mitochondria baby,
The folded cristae in-crease surface are-aaahh
Mitochondria baby,
Found more in the tissues that need more energy

I’m like “hey whats up?” Respire.

Glucose enters the cell, in the cytoplasm it sits,
splits in two, this is called glycolysis.
I just might tell you now that the two molecules
Are called pyruvate, and now more reactions accelerate.
They go in mitochondria, and the link reaction happens,
on the cristae they roll through to the Krebs Cycle happy that they’re still on the cristae, there’s like a thousand reactions,
all you need to know is,
that the Krebs cycle happens.

Oxygen + glucose
this changes to,CO2 aaandwater, yeaah,
Don’t forget the ATP,
It’s the energy for the cellfrom respiration yeaah
Mitochondria baby,
The folded cristae in-crease surface are-aaahh
Mitochondria baby,
Found more in the tissues that need more energy

I’m like “hey whats up?” Respire.

Electron-tran-sport chain pumps out hy-dro-gen ions,
Falling down concentration gradient it’s own,
Makes the ATP, now you definitely know,
Cause respirate or nothing,
Re-re-respirate or nothing!!

You heard my class.
We sound like a million mitochondria on this track.
And there’s more mitochondria in cells and tissue that need more energy to do more work.
Put your mitochondria where your mouth is so it can keep running.
Mitochondria make cell money.
We rollin in it.
Tamaki Productions.