Phero Phero Pheromones

[caption id="attachment_1334" align="alignleft" width="300"]By Travel Salem By Travel Salem[/caption]

I've said it once and I will say it again. Throwing ridiculous challenges at my AP Bio students is one of the joys of my teaching day. Not once have I been disappointed with what they've come up with. The other day they were working on animal responses to environmental stimuli. What's a logical way to help them review and process the material? Give them 1 hour to produce a short film. Admittedly, a very tough task. As is always the case, I was most impressed with their submissions.

While all submissions were fantastic, one brave group certainly stood out for their creativity. Unfortunately they were not quite ready for their rendition of Thrift Shop to go viral so I can't share their video. If I do get a copy of it and their permission I will put up an update and let you know.

In the meantime, take a moment and check out the most current week in review (3/25-3/29) from Justin Quimbo and Alana Lee.

Justin Begins:

This week in AP Bio was a lot quieter than most weeks we’ve had as a class. We started going a bit more in-depth in our unit of ecology. We started with animal behavior. In order to understand specific animal behaviors, the class was split into groups and each group had to make videos that corresponded with the behaviors each group received. Groups had to then present the videos. All were great but one group created a cover to a popular song and it was absolutely hilarious! We also focused on animals learning abilities. Some key terms toremember are imprinting, learning (of multiple sorts such as spatial), conditioning (of multiple sorts such as operant), cognition, and learned behaviors. To see examples of these things, we watched a segment of planet earth that focused on behaviors of our closest relative, primates. Different primates in different regions had different ways of learning and coping with their specific habitat’s. For instance, some primates learned from one another how to use rocks and other hard objects to crack nuts to eat. Natural selection relationship was our final topic. Within natural selection was a controversial term called altruism, which is a animal being selfless and assisting other organisms. Though the week wasn’t as “loaded” as other weeks we’ve had, it was still plenty of work, but at the same time, a bit more fun, partly because of the skits we had to do! :D

Alana Concludes:

Just another review of the life of an AP student at Lab207. The week opened with another test, not surprising given this is a normal occurrence in the world of AP. We were all well prepared (for the most part), having used our time wisely over our weekend to pace our selves and lightly review.

Nevertheless, we’re all humans, but specifically students of the infamous Lab207, just trekking along after an exhausting experiment of a fruit fly lab that’s finally coming to an end! The test being on The Body indicates our journey this year in Mr. Kite’s class coming to an end as well, sadly. Only one unit left to go basically and we’re now moving on to Animal Behavior and Ecology. Tuesday we came to class, having previously watched our assigned videos, to review and discuss the basics of different types of animal behaviors: learned, cognitive, associative, etc. All of this, of course, was preparing us for a surprise mini-project we would have to present the next day. We were all grouped by six and assigned a particular topic involving animal behavior and had to make a minute long or so video about it. I wouldn’t say it was the easiest task in the world because you had to be somewhat concise with the most important points in under roughly two minutes.

Regardless, Wednesday came whether we were prepared or not, but exceeded Mr. Kite’s expectations like the awesome-sauce people that we are. We certainly had encores to say the least due to the extreme creative measures some of our classmates came up with to describe things like chemical signaling. That same day we also took the time to brush up on our counterparts, the primates, in a Life Video Episode in hope to identify any animal behaviors they might exhibit to prepare us for topics to come next week. As the Easter holiday quickly approached, and knowing we had Friday off, Thursday was all about crunch time and wrapping up fly labs. That is, doing all the book work that correlated with our previous lessons of the week. Doing so breaks up the monotony that using heavy text books can create, if you ask me. And last, but not least… the fly lab comes to an end as we all count and identify the last batch of our last generation. Though we are done with the fly lab… we somehow still have to deal with more flies…?