Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Green" Christmas

My school had a homeroom competition where students were supposed to decorate in front of their classrooms with a "green" (recycling) theme.  My students did such a great job, and I was proud of all the effort they put forth.  Here are some pictures of what they did.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Genetically Modified Food (GMO's): What Do You Think?

Sometimes we think genetically modified food is stuff from science fiction films.  However, my students were able to see some real life applications of GMO's, and this helped us have a discussion on whether it's OK to genetically modify cows using human DNA.  Here are some pictures of the genetically modified soybeans the students and I tasted.  Just so you know, I never would eat soy products if it wasn't for the great invention of recombinant DNA techonology.

Modeling Mitosis While We Learn About Cancer

Students learned all about how mutations in your DNA can ulitmatly lead to tumors (both benign and malignant: cancerous). As we went through a case study to learn about a girl who was infected with ovarian cancer we reviewed the process of mitosis. We learned that changes in the cell cycle can cause uncontrolled growth, and if left unchecked can result in death of the patient. Here are some pictures as we reviewed the cell cycle.

Students were lucky to hear a presentation from Mr. Ray about his survival of cancer.  Now students have a basic understanding of what cancer is, and things they can do to reduce their risk of getting it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Random Class Pictures

So now you know, I have a weakness for cute pets!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Soil

Students have been learning about what soil is, how it's created, why it's important, and how to conserve it. Here students are examining soil that was collected from different regions of Thailand.


I think most people really underestimate how important it is to have healthy DNA, that is to keep your DNA seqence from being broken or changed. But right now I am just trying to get the concept of DNA structure across to my students. So far we have learned that DNA is made from nucleotide monomers (a sugar, phosphate, and a base). These nucleotide monomers come together to make the DNA double helix. Here are some pictures of students as we discussed DNA. We also make a 3-D foldable of DNA and I will try to get that picture up soon.

Reebop Baby Pictures

Some pictures of our reebop babies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Learning About Genetics

My students are in the process of learning more about DNA and Heredity. We started our unit off with a lab activity that simulates gametogenesis in pea plants. In one class period we modeled what it took Gregor Mendel 40 years to complete. Unfortunatly we were so involved with collecting our data that I forgot to take pictures. However, today we are going to simulate how sexual reproduction can lead to genetic variation within one family. Students are modeling meiosis (using 14 chromosomes), and fertilization of a zygote. We will have plenty of pictures to share from this activity.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Modeling Erosion Videos

Here is video 1 like I promised you.

Here is the video 2 link:

Here is the video 3 link:

Here is the video 4 link:

Here is the video 5 link:

Here is the video 6 link:

Here is the video 7 link:

Sorry it took so long. I had a terrible time converting the files over.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Modeling Erosion

Here are some pictures from our Modeling Erosion Lab. Students are trying to figure our how water can erode soil. We look used sand, humus, and a combination of the two. There was a lot of variation in the data depending how students set their experiment up, but that was important for the students to see, since there is a great deal of variety with erosion in real life too. Things such as soil type, temperature, soil depth, location, etc., can all effect how the soil erodes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bullying Is Out of Control!

This is a reminder to students, parents, teachers, and administration that bullying is an issue in schools all over the world. However, I would like to remind everyone that it is not something that can and will be tolerated in my classroom. Please speak with me, or another adult if bullying seems to be an issue at our school.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Support My Grade 6 Students!

Hi Everyone!

Our students have entered a "Reader's Theatre" competition here in Bangkok and part of the competition involves online voting. Visit the website and take a look at our videos. Our students are quite talented and I hope they can count on our communities support to vote for them!

To vote for our primary kids:

Go to:
Click on 'DIVISION 3"
Go to the team "Five Yellow Rocks" and VOTE! (5 stars would be nice!)

To vote for our secondary kids:

Go to:
Click on 'DIVISION 4
Go to the team "Rolling Tones" and VOTE!

Go to the team "Roller Coaster Readers" and VOTE!

You can vote once a day ... so if you have time, you can come back to vote again (and again, and again ...). Thank you for your support!


Mr. Ray

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bangkok Underwater?

To see the full article from yahoo, and learn what other cities may be underwater, click on the title above.

Thailand’s capital is sinking — and sinking fast. However, unlike other cities on our list, a shoddy foundation isn’t necessarily to blame. Resting on the Chao Phraya River — which flows into the Bay of Bangkok about 30 miles south of the city center — this colossal settlement is more likely to drown than sink. Experts now say that this mouthwatering foodie destination — along with the dozens of beautiful temples found here — may be under water in as little as seven years.

According to Thai scientist Dr. Ajong Chumsai na Ayudhya, the fate of Bangkok can best be explained by global warming. Asia News Network reports that “Ajong said humans were mainly to blame for such disasters because they were using up natural resources, chopping down forests and kept emitting greenhouse gases with no regard for the future.” Ajong also says that changes in the earth’s overall climate will lead to more severe tsunamis in the Gulf of Thailand that will have extremely negative effects on the southern portion of the country. With less than a decade to spare, time might be running out for a trip to Thailand’s most popular tourist getaway.

7 Cities About to Sink
By Miriam B. Weiner
Yahoo Travel

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weathering: Oxidation Experiment 3

Students have all experienced oxidation, but they don't have a clear concept of what factors can affect the rate of oxidation. Here are some pictures from our lab.

It's Chic to be Geek!

Weathering: Acid Rain Simulation Experiment 1

I can't make it rain in my classroom, but students can see how acid rain can break down calcite, and limestone, etc. Students measured out a particular amount of limestone chips, and put those into separate jars. In one jar they added water, and in the other they added an equal amount of vinegar. After the rocks sit in the liquids for a few days we are going to weigh them again to see if the mass decreased.

Weathering: Abrasion Experiment

Students are learning about the different types of weathering right now. I think they have a good understanding of the difference between chemical and mechanical weathering, but now we are trying to determine what variables will affect the rate of weathering. Here are a few pictures from Experiment 2.