November 10

The Plainview Plant predicament

Cell Biologists…the town of Plainview has a problem! It is your job to help them solve itNews Brief


Due to a change in the environmental conditions of the area, all of the local lakes and ponds in the town of Plainview are experiencing an overgrowth of the water plant, Elodea. The town’s mayor has called in a team of cell biologists in an attempt to formulate a solution for this dilemma. As a part of this team your group will conduct research on the Elodea plant and determine what substances are able to enter and leave through its semi-permeable membrane. Armed with this information, you will then develop an experiment for inserting chemicals into the Elodea plant that will decrease their population to a normal size.  Using the data from an experiment, write a proposal letter to the mayor for solving the town’s dilemma. The proposition must include the following terms to indicate your team’s understanding of the concepts:

  • Cell membrane
  • Semi permeable
  • Transport processes
  • Cellular needs

In class today, students used their notebooks to define the problem, record prior knowledge, and develop essential questions to research. Students set-up  their notebooks in the following manner: 


Prior Knowledge: 

Essential Questions: 


Once essential questions were developed, students broke off into groups to research. After previewing the textbooks, each class identified 6 key terms that would be helpful to learn to solve their problem: 

Diffusion (simple)


Facilitated diffusion

Active transport



In class, students used the textbooks available for research. However, since the biology text is difficult to access at home..use the following powerpoint to finish gathering your research: Cell transport Powerpoint:  cell-membrane-and-cell-transport-notes-new_pangburn blog

Homework: Use the PowerPoint to finish researching the 6 key terms be sure to include a description and an illustration which represents each term. Cell transport Powerpoint:  cell-membrane-and-cell-transport-notes-new_pangburn blog

November 7

Plant cells versus Animal Cells

Today students received their results back from the cell parts and function quiz. If you received below an 80% on your quiz, you have a cell city assignment which needs to be completed. You should see a “missing” label in StudentVue until you complete and turn in.  These students received these today. If you wish to retake the quiz, you may come in any day next week in the morning. 

After reviewing over misconceptions discovered from the quiz, students went back into the lab to complete their microscopic observations of plant and animal cells. If you did not finish in class, you will need to schedule time during homeroom or before school to complete.  These are due no later than next Friday. Do you know cells are in the picture? Can you find the nucleus?

Designs for PBL Tasks were due today. If you submitted it today, you will be notified by Monday if your sketches are approved for building. 


Complete Cell City (if you were assigned this task)

Finish PBL Task Design if you did not submit for approval today or complete your redesign if recommended by teacher. 

Complete Plant versus Animal Cell Microscope Lab Questions


November 6

Cell Parts and Functions Quiz Today

Today students took a quiz over the cell parts and their functions. Please look at Synergy to see your results. We will analyze your quizzes in class tomorrow. 

Microscopic view of plant and animal cells

After the quiz, students continued to work on their Plant versus Animal cell microscopic comparisons. You must finish these in class tomorrow. 

All Form and Function PBL Designs are due tomorrow. I hope your group is ready to submit one. I have had two already submitted. One design was approved, but the other was not. 


Make sure your groups PBL Design Sketch is ready to be submitted tomorrow. 

November 5

Comparing Plant and Animal Cells

Today we reviewed for the cells parts and functions quiz. Make sure you use the sites provided on the previous blog to review some more before tomorrow’s quiz. 

Students began a microscopic lab investigation in which they are to compare the structures of plant cells and animal cells. We will continue the investigation tomorrow after the quiz.


Study for cell parts and function quiz

Work on Form and Function PBL Task Design…due Friday 

November 3

Cell Parts and their Functions

Please check you grades!

  • Today students received their ” Are viruses living or not?” paragraph back for revision. These are due by Wednesday. Make sure you rewrite the paragraph using the notes I made on your paper and then staple your final copy to the draft and turn in. If you received a 100% you do not have to revise. 
  • cellStudents took a quiz over the parts of a cell. Students had to list 14 parts of a cell and spell the names correctly. Then, students played Kahoot to review over the parts of a cell and the functions of each part. FUN! There will be a quiz on Thursday over cell parts and their functions. 
  • Students turned in their notebooks so that I could check their cell illustrations. 
  • Students used some time in class today to brainstorm with their groups on the PBL Task: Form and Function. Students need to submit their sketches of their designs no later than Friday. Students will have some time on Thursday after the quiz to get with their groups to finalize sketches before they are to be submitted. 


Virus Paragraph revisions due Wednesday

Cell Parts and Functions Quiz Thursday

October 30

Cell Identification Lab

Today students used the microscope to analyze 5 different types of cells. See attached: Lab Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes_2014   They had to determine what cell structures were present, if the cell was multi-cellular or single cellular, and then determine if the cell was prokaryotic  or eukaryotic. All labs must be turned in no later than Monday for credit. If you did not get to all the microscopes today, then you can visit them on Friday before school starts (8 t0 8:50) or Monday during Homeroom. 

Velcro Under The Microscope

Students also got to visit a bonus station in which they could analyze an organism and determine what invention was created based on its structure.  Did you guess…velcro? 


This plant has hook like structures on it which allows it to attach and latch on. The structure of velcro was modeled after this unique organism.


Study the 14 parts of a cell. What are they? Can you list them?  QUIZ Monday!

Work on your  PBL Task:  Did you research at least 10 cell parts and their functions ( This goes in your notebook, page #30) Begin sketching out your design ( on a blank, non-lined sheet of paper) Make sure you incorporate at least 5 cell parts based on their function. Remember your design must be able to accomplish a task. What task will your design be able to do? NO BUILDING ALLOWED, until you get approval from your sketch. The more detailed your sketch, the more likely you will get approval to build. 

October 29

Prokaryotes versus Eukaryotes

How big is a cell? How big are the parts within a cell? 

Cell Orgenelles

Today we discussed several of the basic  parts that make up a “typical” cell. I say “typical” because not all cells are the same.  Students also used everyday items as clues to determine the functions of these parts. Then, students accessed the following website to determine the size and scale of cellular parts compared to other items we have discussed previously in class:Website link. 

Students used class time to complete the Pre-lab questions 1-5: Lab Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes_2014  As a reminder, make sure you putthe answer to  question #3 in your notebooks, pg. 31. Tomorrow, students use the microscopes to see some of these cells and cellular parts (organelles). 

Homework: Read pages 64-66 in the Life Science Textbook. In your notebook, page 32, compare and contrast the similarities and differences between a prokaryotic and eukarytoic cell.  

Upcoming: Quiz Monday! Students must identify 14 parts of a cell and spell each part correctly: nucleus, chromosome,nucleolus,  nuclear membrane, cytoplasm, ribosome, mitochondria, lysosome, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi body (apparatus), vacuole, chloroplast, cell wall, and cell membrane



October 28

How do the parts of a cell allow it to function as a working unit?

designToday students were introduced to their new problem/task: Design a functioning unit using the same principles that allow a cell to work. See attached:  LS__Cells___Problem. Students were able to form their own groups today and begin researching what parts make up a cell and how those parts function to allow the cell to work. Using the “Engineering Process”, each group need to analyze the task, establish essential questions, research,  develop possible design solutions, select a solution, sketch a prototype,  and then build their design. YOU MAY NOT BUILD YOUR DESIGN UNTIL MRS. PANGBURN APPROVES YOUR SKETCH.  Place your research on the cells and their parts in your notebook, page #30. 

Homework: Continue researching and developing possible design solutions to share with your group….design sketches are due: Nov. 7th. 

If you did not turn in your paragraph on Viruses today, be sure to turn in it on Wednesday to avoid late penalty points. 

October 27

Arguing a Claim: Is a virus alive or not?

Current grades have been posted in Synergy, be sure to check your grades. 


Today students met in groups to discuss whether or not virus were abiotic or biotic factors. Students were provided with background information about viruses and a chart that compared and contrast various living and nonliving things. Students had to analyze the data chart and use evidence to generate their claim whether or not a virus was living or nonliving. See attached data sheets: bkgrd & chart_1 & chart_2

Students used a whiteboard to share and justify their ideas with their group and other groups within the class. Students were then assigned to write a one page, one paragraph argument using the CER format of writing: Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning. Students were provided with an instruction sheet on how to do this. See attached: CERWriting

We will begin our new PBL Task on Tuesday…here is a preview:  LS__Cells___Problem. You will be creating your new groups and begin your research on this new Task  tomorrow.

Homework: Finish writing your paragraph which addresses the topic question: Should a virus be classified as a living thing? Be sure to use evidence from the data chart to explain your claim. Due: Wednesday (yes, I changed it since I was late putting the documents on the Blog)! If you have any questions, please ASK! 

Some students were provided with USA Testprep Remediation Assignments. If a student was assigned this task, an “M” should be present in the USATest Prep assignment category in Synergy/Student Vue. These are due Monday 11/3. 

Week at a Glance: 

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