Life Science

  • Link to the Life Science Expectations PDF:

    Major Course Objectives: Let's "Flip the Classroom"

    This year we are trying something new. Lectures at home & homework in the classroom! The students will be required to listen to my lectures on line by watching the assigned screencast (all of which can be found on my website, while the traditional “homework” will actually be done in the classroom… This will allow more “fun” time – group work, lab time, one-on-one time w/ me being able to spend more time w/ students having trouble… etc. etc. etc.!

    Life Science is a challenging but not too difficult course designed to expose the Junior High School Student to a new field of endeavor. Students will be exposed to the fundamental theories, principles and laboratory practices of basic Junior High Life Science. Critical thinking skills, concepts and laboratory techniques will be mastered that will permit successful completion of this introductory course.

  • Student Conduct in Class

    The students are expected and required to abide by the following:

    1. No eating or drinking permitted inside the STEM Lab w/out permission. Within the classroom, snack bar purchases & associated cooking must be done between classes, during break or at lunch & must be finished before class begins. “Quiet” eating & drinking in the classroom is permitted.
    2. Students will be in their seats ready to begin without being tardy.
    3. Students will come to class with a charged Chromebook & prepared to work. You will have all supplies, homework and lab materials at each class meeting.
    4. Students will remain seated, refrain from talking excessively or disrupting the class in anyway, and will respect and be polite to everyone while in this classroom.
    5. Students are expected to actively participate in both lab and lectures. Raise your hand and be acknowledged before responding.
    6. Charged Chromebooks will be brought to each class. Unauthorized websites will not be visited. Cell phones are not permitted and are required to remain in your homeroom put away.
    7. Students will obey all other school rules.
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  • Homework Policy:

    Homework is an important part of this class. They current assignment sheet will be used to determine work to be completed along with the due date. Late homework will not be accepted; incomplete work will receive a reduced grade. Students are expected to read their unit assignment sheet, or call a friend to receive homework assignments if they miss class. Current unit always found on the website:

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  • Tests and Quizzes:

    Lecture Exams and Laboratory Practical Exams will be given. Quizzes will be given, usually weekly bible verse quizzes and Lab quizzes. Surprise or pop quizzes will NOT be given. Students will be given plenty of advanced notice of all exams. Lecture exams will be a combination of multiple choice, matching, fill-in, diagrams and short answer. Lab Practical Exams will require the student to identify various specimens, structures and materials used during the course of lab time.

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  • Make-up Policy:

    See the latest Junior High Policy on Late/Missing work in the School Handbook

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  • Grading Policy:

    Grades are based on exams, practicals, quizzes, homework and classroom/lab participation.

    1. 90% - 100+% = A
    2. 80%-89%= B
    3. 70%-79%= C
    4. 60%-69%= D
    5. 59% and below = F

    Your grade will be based the total points accumulated and will be based on these approximate percentges:

    1. Exams = 60%
    2. Labs & Homework = 35%
    3. Participation = 5%
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  • Tardies and Attendance:

    Students are required to follow all school rules and policies regarding tardies and attendance.

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  • Honor Code:

    Character, Honor, and Integrity are my three words to live by. Cheating, stealing and dishonesty will not be tolerated in this classroom. Severe consequences will befall any choosing this direction.

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  • Lab Responsibilities:

    Safety is the primary concern during all Labs. Horseplay will not be tolerated. Lab assignments, required drawings and write-ups are due as described in the current assignment sheet.

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  • Science Binder:

    Each Student will be required to keep and maintain a three-ring Science Binder. It’s OK to share a binder w/ another class.

    1. Lecture Notes/PowerPoint Hardcopy
    2. Worksheets
    3. Lab assignments
    4. The clear sleeve on the front of the binder will be to view the current assignment sheet.
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  • Assignment Sheets

    Current unit assignment sheets are always found on the website: At the beginning of each unit, an assignment sheet will be given to each student. This paper will list all reading required, all work that will be due and the days that the work will be turned in or graded, it will also list lecture exams, lab practical exams. Students and parents should review this sheet often and BUDGET THEIR TIME ACCORDINGLY!

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  • Communication

               Current unit of study is always found on the website: Communication between the students, the parents and the teacher is the key to a successful school year. Parents can call and leave messages at the school office (949-465-1950) for me and I will be happy to return the call within 24 hours. Parents and students, both can contact me by Email (home or school) with any questions you may have. Another more immediate way to ask questions or simply talk to me about any concerns is texting me on my cell phone .The kids have often used my Twitter and/or Facebook account to stay in touch. The students have used this time “on line” in the past to ask homework & study questions and simply to let me know what concerns they may have. It is also the way I can update friends, family, parents and students on the treatment and status of my Cancer. It seems to be an effective way to get information out (i.e. tweets, Facebook status updates etc.) 

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Work Email address:

Home Email address:


  • Classroom Procedures

    Opening Prayer

    We are extremely fortunate to be attending a Christian School. Each class will begin with a short prayer to help us focus on the GOODNESS of GOD and the POWER of PRAYER.

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  • Class Time

    Students will be in their assigned seats ready to work without being tardy. Students will bring all books, notebooks and supplies to each class. Once class begins, students are expected to participate, be prepared by having a binder with current unit handouts & worksheets. They should have questions ready to ask when we review the assigned screencasts.

  • End of Class

    Students will remain seated and wait to be dismissed by the instructor. Do not anticipate and begin putting your “stuff” away before I am threw lecturing, etc.!! During Lab days, Students will begin clean up 10 minutes before the end of class. Once your lab station is clean, return to your lecture seat and wait to be dismissed

  • Fire and Disaster Drills

    Fire and Disaster drills are practiced often, Evacuation of the classroom may be necessary for any number of reasons. In case of emergency, students will calmly and quietly file out of the classroom in single file and meet outside in the designated area.

  • Laboratory Stations

    Laboratory partners will be assigned by and at the discretion of the instructor. Once lab assignments have been given out, students will report to their stations w/out delay or detours. All members of the group will participate in lab dissections sharing equally in all work. Everyone will get equally “grimy” during labs. A student from each group will be assigned as “Supply and Equipment” person. They will be the only ones permitted to leave the station for group supplies. Clean up will begin no more than 10 minutes before the end of class. All members of the group will assist equally in the clean up of their workstation.

  • Make-up Work

    Make-up work will be permitted for all excused absences. Try calling a friend or checking your assignment sheet the day of your absence so work can be done that night. If this is not possible, the last few minutes of each class will be set-aside for those needing make-up assignments, etc. Typically, make-up assignments are due the following day, but this can be adjusted as needed by the instructor.

Classroom Rules

  1. Be in your assigned seat and ready to begin without being tardy. Sharpen pencils before class begins.
  2. No talking during class lectures, raise hand and be acknowledged before speaking out.
  3. Bring your CHARGED Chromebook, all binders and supplies to each class and lab.
  4. Show respect to all students and teachers.
  5. No eating or drinking while in class.
  6. At the end of class, remain seated; wait to be dismissed by the teacher.
  7. Do not touch “Bony Bob” or harass, frighten, hassle, handle, annoy, infuriate, enrage or pester the critters or Mr. E.!!!
  8. Cell phones will NOT be permitted in class. They must be left in your homeroom pouch. NOT your backpack.
  9. Relax and enjoy your time in this class.
  10. Obey all other rules and regulations
  • California State Standards in
    Science Grade 8

    Cell Biology

    All living organisms are composed of cells, from just one to many trillions, whose details usually are visible only through a microscope. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know cells function similarly in all living organisms.
    2. Students know the characteristics that distinguish plant cells from animal cells, including chloroplasts and cell walls.
    3. Students know the nucleus is the repository for genetic information in plant and animal cells.
    4. Students know that mitochondria liberate energy for the work that cells do and that chloroplasts capture sunlight energy for photosynthesis.
    5. Students know cells divide to increase their numbers through a process of mitosis, which results in two daughter cells with identical sets of chromosomes.
    6. Students know that as multicellular organisms develop, their cells differentiate.
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  • Genetics

    A typical cell of any organism contains genetic instructions that specify its traits. Those traits may be modified by environmental influences. As a basis for under-standing this concept:

    1. Students know the differences between the life cycles and reproduction methods of sexual and asexual organisms.
    2. Students know sexual reproduction produces offspring that inherit half their genes from each parent.
    3. Students know an inherited trait can be determined by one or more genes.
    4. Students know plant and animal cells contain many thousands of different genes and typically have two copies of every gene. The two copies (or alleles) of the gene may or may not be identical, and one may be dominant in determining the phenotype while the other is recessive.
    5. Students know DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the genetic material of living organisms and is located in the chromosomes of each cell.
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  • Evolution

    Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know both genetic variation and environmental factors are causes of evolution and diversity of organisms.
    2. Students know the reasoning used by Charles Darwin in reaching his conclusion that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution.
    3. Students know how independent lines of evidence from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy provide the bases for the theory of evolution.
    4. Students know how to construct a simple branching diagram to classify living groups of organisms by shared derived characteristics and how to expand the diagram to include fossil organisms.
    5. Students know that extinction of a species occurs when the environment changes and that the adaptive characteristics of a species are insufficient for its survival.
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  • Earth and Life History (Earth Science)

    Evidence from rocks allows us to understand the evolution of life on Earth. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know Earth processes today are similar to those that occurred in the past and slow geologic processes have large cumulative effects over long periods of time.
    2. Students know the history of life on Earth has been disrupted by major catastrophic events, such as major volcanic eruptions or the impacts of asteroids.
    3. Students know that the rock cycle includes the formation of new sediment and rocks and that rocks are often found in layers, with the oldest generally on the bottom.
    4. Students know that evidence from geologic layers and radioactive dating indicates Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old and that life on this planet has existed for more than 3 billion years.
    5. Students know fossils provide evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed.
    6. Students know how movements of Earth's continental and oceanic plates through time, with associated changes in climate and geographic connections, have affected the past and present distribution of organisms.
    7. Students know how to explain significant developments and extinctions of plant and animal life on the geologic time scale.
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  • Structure and Function in Living Systems

    The anatomy and physiology of plants and animals illustrate the complementary nature of structure and function. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know plants and animals have levels of organization for structure and function, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and the whole organism.
    2. Students know organ systems function because of the contributions of individual organs, tissues, and cells. The failure of any part can affect the entire system.
    3. Students know how bones and muscles work together to provide a structural framework for movement.
    4. Students know how the reproductive organs of the human female and male generate eggs and sperm and how sexual activity may lead to fertilization and pregnancy.
    5. Students know the function of the umbilicus and placenta during pregnancy.
    6. Students know the structures and processes by which flowering plants generate pollen, ovules, seeds, and fruit.
    7. Students know how to relate the structures of the eye and ear to their functions.
  • Physical Principles in Living Systems (Physical Science)

    Physical principles underlie biological structures and functions. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know visible light is a small band within a very broad electromagnetic spectrum.
    2. Students know that for an object to be seen, light emitted by or scattered from it must be detected by the eye.
    3. Students know light travels in straight lines if the medium it travels through does not change.
    4. Students know how simple lenses are used in a magnifying glass, the eye, a camera, a telescope, and a microscope.
    5. Students know that white light is a mixture of many wavelengths (colors) and that retinal cells react differently to different wavelengths.
    6. Students know light can be reflected, refracted, transmitted, and absorbed by matter.
    7. Students know the angle of reflection of a light beam is equal to the angle of incidence.
    8. Students know how to compare joints in the body (wrist, shoulder, thigh) with structures used in machines and simple devices (hinge, ball-and-socket, and sliding joints).
    9. Students know how levers confer mechanical advantage and how the application of this principle applies to the musculoskeletal system.
    10. Students know that contractions of the heart generate blood pressure and that heart valves prevent backflow of blood in the circulatory system.
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  • Investigation and Experimentation

    Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

    1. Select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, microscopes, and binoculars) to perform tests, collect data, and display data.
    2. Use a variety of print and electronic resources (including the World Wide Web) to collect information and evidence as part of a research project.
    3. Communicate the logical connection among hypotheses, science concepts, tests conducted, data collected, and conclusions drawn from the scientific evidence.
    4. Construct scale models, maps, and appropriately labeled diagrams to communicate scientific knowledge (e. g., motion of Earth's plates and cell structure).
    5. Communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and oral presentations.
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