Recent Posts by triplea_sc

Preparing students in Grade 11 for Internal Assessment

By Friday, September 29, 2017 , , , , 0

The Internal Assessment represents an examination of the students understanding of the experimental programme. To this end, Grade 11 is of great importance in preparing students for the independent investigation (or II) that is most commonly carried out in Grade 12.   The experimental programme is pivotal in the teaching of Biology, illustrating, teaching and reinforcing the theoretical concepts of IB Biology. It comprises three parts: Practical activities including Applications / Skills / Mandatory labs (These can be found within 'My IB' (the platform which ...

My IB

By Wednesday, September 20, 2017 , , , , 0

The Online Curriculum Centre is no more.  At times bewildering and at others confusing and for many IB teachers a source of frustration, the OCC has a successor.  Why should IB educators register with My IB?  Announcements, resources Updated 28 August 2017We promised to make it easier for you to access your IB systems and resources with one username and password, and we are delighted to invite you to register with My IB to enable you to do just that. My IB is a gateway, it is where you ...

Nature of Science

This month has seen the first examinations of the new syllabus and the Online Curriculum Centre (OCC) is awash with comments and discussions. Some of the comments I have read relates to disappointment that the Nature of Science had a marginal role within the papers. Though NoS was perhaps not as prominent in this exam as some may have thought, it does not mean it is peripheral to the course. Good science teaching requires a sound understanding of the Nature of Science. It should, ...

Hydrogen bonding and the forming of a snowflake

Water molecules are polar molecules, the electronegative  oxygen with two pairs of lone electrons providing a 'slightly' negative charge that acts with the 'slightly' positive hydrogen atoms to form the incredibly important hydrogen bonds, as illustrated here. It is the dipolarity of water molecules that give rise to the cohesive, adhesive, thermal and solvent properties that you need to learn [Topic 2.2 Water] The video provides a little seasonal focus to the nature of a water molecule and illustrates how its chemical properties give rise to the ...

Computational Modelling

With the inclusion of computational modelling within the acceptable list of internal assessments (I find it a big struggle to call them IA's) for the Group 4 sciences I have become intrigued by the possibilities they provide. I have also read read in some quarters of a certain resistance to their inclusion within student internal assessments as they feel there is a lack of complexity and sophistication in their use.  I have continued to explore the possibilities that include sufficient rigor ...

A study of fish stocks

Depleted global fish stocks represents a focus for C5: Population ecology. The Gulf of Maine is warming 99% faster than the worlds oceans and is a major contributing factor in the declining cod stocks within that region. Cod is a species adapted to cold water and the increased temperatures  brought about by climate oscillations in the Atlantic and the Pacific have led to an significant decline in the number of fry produced by spawning female cod and fewer are surviving to ...

Adaptations of plants in deserts

When we think about plants and how they adapt to deserts what do we think? The video systematically reviews the desert environment and the ways in which plants have found a way to survive such inhospitable climates, together with animals which call it their home. These amazing pictures from the Atacama desert on the west coast of Chile remind us that life occurs all over the surface of the planet and even the most inhospitable places represent ecosystems in which life can flourish given ...

The falling leaves of Autumn

One of the most common questions I am asked when teaching plants is why do the leaves of deciduous trees change colour before they fall off in autumn. To answer that question I have come across this excellent video: Within subtopic 2.9 you will also have opportunity to separate and identify the photosynthetic pigments from the leaves of a plant (spinach leaves are good): carotene, xanthopyll and chlorophyll through paper chromatography (Practical 4). The following is a virtual run through of the experiment ...

D.1 Human nutrition – essential nutrients

Not all nutrients required by the body, are synthesized by the body. An example of these are the essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that are not synthezied and are therefore "essential" in our diet. FYI - You do NOT need to learn the names of the essential or non-essential amino acids. Vitamins are organic compounds that are required in small amounts in order for effective metabolism. They cannot be synthesized by the body and all have ...

Using a simulation for your IA

There are several options available to you when conducting your Internal Assessment as part of the Biology diploma. These include: 1.Hands-on experiment 2.Use of database for analysis and modelling 3.Extraction and graphical analysis from a database 4.Simulation (interactive/open-ended) 5.Hybrid hands-on + spreadsheet/database 6.(Qualitative and quantitative data are valid). This posting is focussing on computer simulations. To explain what a computer simulation is and how they can be used take a look at the following video from the lawrence Livermore national Laboratory. You may not wish to watch all ...

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