Thursday, September 17, 2015

Inside the Fish Bowl - Aquarium Set Up

Today we begin our journey as aquarists.  You are receiving the aquarium you will be working on for the remainder of the school year this morning and learning how to complete the setup of your aquatic ecosystem.  Use this slideshow to find the answers to questions 1-15.  Once your group has completed these answers, you may begin working on your tank.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Inside the FishBowl

I've decided to title my updates to this blog "Inside the FishBowl." The idea came to me when somebody pointed out to me that my classroom is just like one giant aquarium. The more I thought about this, the more it made perfect sense.  People walk by our windows and look inside, sometimes they wave, and sometimes they will tap the glass, just like many of us have done when we have visited an aquarium.  I don't encourage this because it does stress the wildlife inside the glass.  This analogy may be one of the most perfect descriptions of a classroom that has ever been uttered.  Thank you to the person that gifted me this, I will be claiming it as my own from this point forward.

So far we have covered our first topic of the year with Oceans, Continents, and Maps.  I feel we've been successful in concepts we have learned about the world from previous classes and adding new knowledge.  I have enjoyed reading your adventures around the world and I hope you enjoyed locating places you may visit one day on Google Earth.

The main thing everyone really wants to know more about is the aquariums.  It is the most frequently stated reason why you signed up for the class.  We have had a couple of group discussions about the project and I believe we are ready to start getting our hands dirty.  I want to make aquarium assignments tomorrow so you can get to work on seeing your plans to fruition.  

We are still seeing some changes in our classes that will change up our groups.  Just remember one of my classroom guidelines: Be Flexible!  We will make the best of it and do great things together this year if you can be flexible and understanding that circumstances change.  I am looking forward to seeing what you do with the tanks.  Hopefully someone finally follows through with their grandiose ideas and we get some small sharks in here!

Speaking of aquariums, I would like to remind you of the guidelines for the assignment:
  • 4-5 tanks per class (until we get more)
  • EVERYONE participates!
  • You will get a little dirty
  • 1 daily grade per week
  • 1 major grade per 9 weeks
  • Keep a fish tank blog
  • Lots of fun building and caring for your fish!
  • Everyone will have at least 1 fish in their tank all year.
  • Food - varies for fish type (ask what they eat)
  • Decorations -provided by Coach Fisher, but you are welcome to buy your own

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ready, Set, Go!

A new and exciting school year is beginning! Welcome to Aquatic Science and also into my family of students.  I look forward to the year as each of us get to know each other, work collaboratively, and have numerous memorable moments together all year long.  This is your senior year, your last year of high school, and what a year it will be!  Take time to sit back and appreciate all that has happened in your life and education to get you to this point, because your time is about to go straight to ludicrous speed!

Your senior year can get crazy and I'm so glad that you chose to make my class an important part of it.  We have a lot of ground water to cover this year and I want to make sure that when you leave my class you have some tools in your toolbox to help you be successful after high school. We will have fun, we will learn, we will laugh, and by the end of the year you may even cry.  That's alright, because I will be right there guiding you through as much as I can. 

I am excited because this is the first year since my first year at Ridge Point that I really don't know a lot of you entering my classroom.  This is exciting to me because I have the opportunity to add a lot of new faces to my family of students.  I love my students and I am here to help you in class and in life.  I can't wait to meet you and see where you are going.  

We do have a little bit of business to take care of with classroom procedures, safety, and Ridge Point investment days filling up our week.  We will talk about the aquariums as well and hopefully get you excited about this unique opportunity to build and care for an aquatic ecosystem.  You can preview the course syllabus to read what we will cover this year.  

I look forward to tomorrow as you enter my class and we begin the 2015-2016 school year together.  If you've ever ridden a rollercoaster, this week is like the rise to the top of the first drop, so make sure you're ready for it and have fun the rest of the way.  Here we go!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Spring 2015 Final Exam Review

For those of you are taking the final, here is the review for you to study

Final Exam Review

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Marine Mammal Project

Groups of 5 Due May 15

1. Choose your Marine Mammal
2. Discover basic facts about the mammal:
  1. What makes it a mammal?
  2. Family it belongs to and its scientific name
  3. Adaptations
  4. Habitat
  5. What do they eat?
3. How have these mammals been exploited for human use?
  1. population change over time
  2. your opinion on how they have been treated
  3. lessons learned
4. Current Threats
  1. Humans
  2. Conservation attempts
  3. Health of their habitat
5. Special Investigations
  1. Important research performed in the past or currently
  2. Whale FM - help tag whale songs and journal it
  3. Beluga whale webcam - watch and journal behavior...3 days, at least 10 minutes each day
6. Create a representation
  1. poster size picture
  2. model (scaled down)
  3. website
  4. arts and crafts type stuff

Monday, April 20, 2015

What's On My MInd (Nothing to Do With Sharks)

As I begin this, I believe I have at least four other essays that I have attempted to start waiting in my folder on Drive.  Maybe they are good ideas, maybe they’re not.  Maybe I did not give them the proper attention when the topic initially crossed my mind.  I have not been able to write as much as I had hoped lately, and I hope that my ability to develop a thought into words on a page is not going away.  I hope this is just rustiness that needs to be removed by increasing the use of my brain and my fingers to pour my thoughts into my keyboard and onto this page.

I also wonder what my plans are with my writing?  I didn’t begin this with any plan, course of action, or intended outcome.  I just felt that I needed to start writing.  I felt that with what I have done, what I do, and what I will do that writing would be an amazing experience for me. I may not be writing poetry, although I have tried, but I do feel that writing puts me in touch with humanity.  It gives me insight into my own perception of the world while I verbalize the experiences I have with people throughout each day.  I have had quite a bit on my mind lately and I desperately need to write.

A prominent thing on my mind has been the Twitter chat I created and curate, #txhsfbchat.  It has grown more and reached farther than I could have imagined when I first had this idea.  It has opened up relationships with people across the nation and provided an opportunity for me to grow professionally that I honestly haven’t put much effort into previously.  I have always enjoyed learning, but I have never invested as much time into learning more about what I do than I have now.  It is exciting and I wish I would have done this years ago.  I can easily say it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my career and I can’t wait to see the impact of it on the field and in my classroom each day.  

I have also been flooded with thoughts of my future and how my son’s college choice may impact it.  Depending on where he ends up (in three years) could impact where I’m living, what I’m doing, and a whole host of other things that I haven’t considered.  I would love for him to attend a university somewhere West, preferably in or very near the mountains.  This would force our hand into moving to where my wife and I have set as our goal of moving to for our eventual retirement.  I would love for this to happen, as it would fulfill my heart’s desire of being in a place that is absolutely beautiful to me.  The mountains have been calling me for years, and I have not given them the full answer I feel they deserve.

Did I mention that I teach seniors?  Working with them as they approach their impending graduation requires a special level of commitment and understanding.  With over a month remaining in their high school lives, there is so much I still have left to teach them with so little time.  Less than half of what I want them to learn from me involves the inhabitants of our oceans.  I want them to learn to finish what they started, and to finish strong.  That even if you don’t like what you are asked to do, that it is still worth giving your best effort when the task is a requirement.  And even if you think you’re done, and you feel you’ve taken everything you can take from this school and the teachers you’ve had, that there is a reason I choose to teach seniors and I have more to offer you even after you leave.  
With all of this on my mind, I still manage to find the time to be with my family and give them the love and support they deserve.  I also manage to find time to fulfill my Netflix and Game of Thrones addiction.  It is important to have your daily escapes. Whether you enjoy this or not, read this or not, I have fulfilled part of my need to write some words and express some thoughts.  Now I must figure out what to write next…..