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Ms. Amanda McAndrews-Junior High Science

Hi! I'm Amanda McAndrews, the new Junior High Science teacher at St. John Fisher. In 2015, I graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Elementary Education with an Endorsement in Science. Since then, I have taught 4 years in the classroom, had the opportunity of working with the Museum of Science and Industry, and traveled across the United States getting real world experiences to use in the classroom. I not only love teaching Science, but I also love sports, traveling, playing with my dogs, and spending time with my family. I am anxious for the year ahead with such an enthusiastic, compassionate, and proud community here at St. John Fisher. 

Week of March 11th

Posted on Mar 11, 2019

This week in 7th Grade Science we will begin our 6 week unit on dissection. By the end of the week you will get a copy of our dissection safety rules for you to keep at home. The students will be going over them in class all week, and will be tested on them on Friday. (In order to dissect in class, the students must receive a 93% or higher on this test) If you have any questions regarding the matter, please contact me at amcandrews@sjfschool.net

This week in 8th Grade Science we will beginning our first unit of Atoms and Chemical Reactions. We will be writing out the formula for chemical reactions, making models, and executing these reactions in labs. 

Week of March 4th

Posted on Mar 05, 2019

Happy 3rd Trimester! Both 7th and 8th grade students have a lot in store for them this trimester. 

Our 7th graders will be starting out with a short review of Invertebrate vs Vertebrate. They will use this information later when discussing dissection. You will receive more information about dissecting the following week. 

Our 8th graders will be starting out researching an inventor of their choosing, and modifying or improving the existing invention. We will be holding an episode of Shark Tank Thursday and Friday to present our inventions. If you are interested in being a SHARK, please email me ASAP at amcandrews@sjfschool.net

Time slots for 8th Grade classes:

Thursday Core 1- 8:05-8:45

Thursday Core 2- 9:45-10:25

Thursday Core 3-11:15-11:55

Friday Core 1 9:05-9:40

Friday Core 2 9:50-10:25

Friday Core 3 11:15-11:55

Week of February 25th

Posted on Feb 25, 2019

It is the last week of the Trimester! Please, if you have any questions or concerns in regards to anything email me at amcandrews@sjfschool.net . As I mentioned last week, both 7th and 8th Grade will have a final test this week. Resources for studying are found on my last blog post as well as your students classroom page. 

For 7th Grade, the students will be completing a writing assignment Tuesday on whether we should Genetically Modify our food or not. Wednesday, the students will be working on the study guide and other study materials; in which  we will go over Thursday. Their test will be on Friday. I will be hosting morning review sessions for 7th grade Thursday and Friday Morning. 

For 8th Grade, the students went over the study guide today in class, while tomorrow we will do one last review before the final on Wednesday. I will be hosting morning review sessions for 8th grade Tuesday and Wednesday Morning. 

Week of February 19th

Posted on Feb 21, 2019

While we are close to wrapping up Trimester 2, we have a lot of fun activities that we are completing. 

In 7th Grade we are continuing to learn about natural versus artificial selection. We will be learning about dog breeding this week, next week we will be learning about genetically modified crops/food. We will wrap up the trimester reviewing and taking our final test on Friday March 1st. 

In 8th Grade we are wrapping up our projects on our view of Climate Change. Our students dove into the Science and Opinions that support both sides of the debate. Thursday and Friday of this week the students will be working on the Study Guide and other review activities for the final next week Wednesday, February 27th. 

You can find the two study guides on your student's classroom page, as well as in the links below. If you would like a paper copy sent home, please email me at amcandrews@sjfschool.net 

7th Grade Study Guide:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F4uCJZDykCMPNK-lEIOJhOn42aUCJwiR5-9sL0Sme4o/edit?usp=sharing

8th Grade Study Guide:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1votvA10LZ0TcDDSdkG31TtRGXd5Qjd_LuPKu0NbOryk/edit?usp=sharing

Week of February 11th

Posted on Feb 11, 2019

Welcome back, I apologize for not posting in a while! Our students have been busy with back to back STEM labs. Using the Scientific Method, the 7th graders had to make a plant grow adding an unknown variable; while the 8th graders demonstrated heat transfer.

This week in 7th Grade Science the students will be taking their knowledge about Fossils and seeing how closely all living things are. This is a great time to talk about how even today, we all look, talk, and even act very different, but we are more alike than we think! We will continue to investigate the Theory of Biological Evolution for the rest of the 2nd Trimester. 

This week in 8th Grade Science the students will be assessing their knowledge of heat transfer with a quiz on Tuesday!  On Thursday they will do a valentines day lab, before moving on to our final topic of the Trimester. Just like First Trimester, the 8th graders will again take another final on all that was learned throughout Trimester 2. This will prepare our 8th graders for the challenges of high school that are right around the corner. 

Week of January 22nd

Posted on Jan 22, 2019

Dear Parents,

The 5th through 8th-grade students have a wonderful opportunity to partake in the 2019 "You Be The Chemist Challenge". All students will take the qualifying (40 questions) exam during regular class time administered by their Science teachers on January 25th.  To prepare for the content of the competition the Chemical Education Foundation has provided the study materials and additional resourcesThe winners of the qualifier round will proceed to the next level, the local competition, which will be held at St. Cajetan’s School, on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.  If you or your students have any questions regarding the study materials or the competition, feel free to email us at amcandrews@sjfschool.net or coshea@sjfschool.net. We know time is short to study and complete the qualifier, but this is just to see who will move on. The students who move on will have plenty of time to study for the local competition.

 

Even though it is a short week, the 7th graders will be continuing learning about plant and animal survival. Tuesday they will be Potting their plants and picking an independent variable that will still allow the plant to grow. They will be responsible for trying to keep their plant alive for the rest of the unit. Wednesday and Thursday they will be creating an infographic on endangered species of their choice. The 8th graders will be presenting their slideshows and experiments on the layers of the atmosphere. On Thursday, they will learn about how Humans can impact and change the current water cycle and atmosphere. They will have a quiz the following week.  

Week of January 14th

Posted on Jan 14, 2019

Back in the Swing of things! Make sure to check your students grades and contact me if you have any questions regarding anything- Progress Reports are coming Wednesday!

In 7th Grade Science we will be starting a new unit on Animal and Plant Survival. They will analyze animals behaviors, discover what a plant needs to survive, and how they will both adapt to survive. 

In 8th Grade Science we will be moving onto the topic or the water cycle. How do the glaciers from the Ice Age still impact us today. By the end of the week we will get to investigate how water can be found in our atmosphere. 

Happy New Year!

Posted on Jan 07, 2019

Happy New Year and Welcome back to Junior High Science! I had a lot of time to think about all the amazing achievements our students have accomplished this far in Science, and how much they still have to learn. I am super excited for the rest of our 2018-2019 school year!

In 7th grade Science, our students will be learning about interdependent relationships. They will be quizzed on this new information by the end of the week!

 

In 8th grade Science, our students will be learning about the ice age, and how glaciers (similar to natural disasters) have a big impact on our earth's crust. They will be analyzing multiple credible sources to create an informative essay on the misinformation found in the movie "Ice Age". 

Week of December 10th

Posted on Dec 10, 2018

Welcome back to another full week in Junior High Science!

Today in 7th Grade, the students did awesome on their test over Flow of Energy. The rest of the week will consist of learning about human impact! How we as humans for centuries have changed the way ecosystems have evolved into what we know today. We will then look into the future to discover what could happen to our ecosystems. 

 

Today in 8th Grade the students learned about Seafloor Spreading. Then they will debate "if the ice age really happened, and can it happen again" based on their research of Glaciers. We will then wrap up their first two units with a Test on Friday. Study Guide to come!

Week of December 10

Posted on Dec 10, 2018

Welcome back to another full week in Junior High Science!

Today in 7th Grade, the students did awesome on their test over Flow of Energy. The rest of the week will consist of learning about human impact! How we as humans for centuries have changed the way ecosystems have evolved into what we know today. We will then look into the future to discover what could happen to our ecosystems. 

 

Today in 8th Grade the students learned about Seafloor Spreading. Then they will debate "if the ice age really happened, and can it happen again" based on their research of Glaciers. We will then wrap up their first two units with a Test on Friday. Study Guide to come!

Week of December 3rd

Posted on Dec 03, 2018

Since our extended break, the Junior High Science students have been hard at work! This week they have a special opportunity to take part in The Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week (Dec 3-9)! Coding has been a skill that has revolutionized the technology that we have today, but most people, of all ages, do not know this skill. This week, as well as year round, I would love to see my students spending some time learning and improving their coding skills! If you would like more information, resources for your child or yourself go to https://hourofcode.com/us

In 7th Grade Science students have made their own food web from scratch! They were able to compare their creations to the ecosystems we learned about in Planet Earth. This week in Science the students will learn about the 10% rule, predator and prey, and start their study guide on Trimester 2 Unit 2.

In 8th Grade Science students have learned all about Relative Dating of Rocks, and how this has impact many theories on the age of our planet. We also began to learn about the Theory of Pangea. This week in Science the students will learn more about Continental Drift, Seafloor Spreading, and Tectonic Plates. 

 

Week of November 12th

Posted on Nov 14, 2018

We are so excited to start a new trimester in junior high science! We have a lot of fun experiments, projects looking into our past, present and future, and we will be focusing on our writing a lot too! 

In 7th grade Science, the students began the trimester learning about the similarities and differences of photosynthesis, cellular respiration and fermentation! They will be getting a work out in to show how anaerobic and aerobic exercises are very different! They will have a quiz on the three topics on Monday November 19th. *** So if your student is leaving early for break, please have them come in early to take the quiz!***

In 8th grade Science, the students began the trimester learning about the rock cycle. They even had the opportunity to create a water filter with earth's materials to simulate what it would be like to not have access to clean drinking water. This will then lead the students into learning about the water cycle. They will continue their first unit learning all about the relationship between the rock and the water cycle.

Week of November 5th

Posted on Nov 05, 2018

Wrapping up our First Trimester, the 8th graders invented a variety of prototypes to represent sound/light/electromagnetic waves. We even had a group create a working telescope, code a sonar device, and create an ant sized whispering gallery, WOW! For the rest of the week, they will be preparing for High School, by studying for and taking a "mini" final over the Physical Science we have covered thus far. 

Our 7th Graders are wrapping up their first trimester with a Genetic Mutations Presentation. This project will open up their eyes to the negatives and positives of the impacts of genetic mutations have on individual's lives. 

If you have any questions regarding your student's grade, please email me at amcandrews@sjfschool.net . If you student has been absent recently, please have them come in early to make up any missing work before the weeks end. 

Week of October 29th

Posted on Oct 30, 2018

This week is a busy one. The students have lots of guest speakers this week, which means we will be pressed for time. But these students are ready for the Spooky Week ahead. 

In 7th grade, when we meet, we will continue working on Genetics specifically Punnet Squares and Pedigrees. They are catching on quick! That is why we will have a small quiz on Friday covering their vocabulary. 

 

In 8th grade, all week the students will be creating a new and improved model of "Waves" to sell on an episode of  Shark Tank. They picked one topic to learn more about that covers light waves, sound waves, or electromagnetic waves. Their jobs are to convince myself as well as their classmates why their product is better than the old ones. 

 

With Halloween on Wednesday, I stress that our students be safe, but have fun!

Week of October 22nd

Posted on Oct 22, 2018

Both the 7th and 8th grade Science students wrapped up their second units of the trimester. That means we are on to the next topic!

In 7th Grade, the students will be moving on to learning all about Genetics. This is a great time to talk with you students about where they come from, or their family tree. If you have anything to share about your Pedigree history, please send it my way. 

In 8th Grade, the students will be moving on to learning about Waves. They will start from the components of the waves, and work their way up to creating their own waves! 

Both grades started their units with vocabulary. Make sure to be studying your vocabulary, so that we all start with a good base of background knowledge. 

Week of October 15th

Posted on Oct 15, 2018

We have another very busy week with Picture Day, High School visits, and All School mass. The students are putting in work, and it sure is paying off!

In 7th Grade Science, the students will be practicing their presenting skills on their organ system, while the rest of the class is practicing their active listening. By the end of the week, the students will be working on a choice activity Body Systems Tic-Tac-Toe to apply their knowledge they learning during the presentations. 

In 8th Grade Science, the students will be using their knowledge they learned last week on the relationship between the sun, the earth, and the moon to begin learning about the seasons. They will take the point of view of someone who lives somewhere different than themselves. 

Week of October 9th

Posted on Oct 09, 2018

A short week, but a good week! I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend!

In 7th grade Science this week, we will be wrapping up our cells units. We will continue to grow, and grow, as we learn about the intricate parts of the human body. We will build on the background knowledge that our 7th graders already learned in 4th grade. We will also begin tying in forensic science (life science) for fun!

In 8th grade Science this week, we will be continuing on to find the many relationships between the sun, the earth, and the moon. The students came up with a list of over 15 already! The students will learn about eclipses and tides to add to this list. 

 

Week of October 1st

Posted on Oct 01, 2018

After an exciting Homecoming weekend, our Science students are jumping right back into it. 

In 7th grade Science, the students will be starting their week off strong with a Mitosis and Meiosis choice project that will be worth 40 project points! On Wednesday they will be given a study guide over the same topics (mitosis and meiosis) that we will review on Thursday in class. They will then be assessed on all of the content thus far on their test on Friday. 

In 8th grade Science, the students will start to learn all about the moon phases. Including their names, what they look like, what causes them, and they will create a 3D model to be able to see them in real time. Please send your 8th graders with shoe boxes by Wednesday to complete this project!

 

Progress reports will be sent home Wednesday, if your student has any missing or late work due to absences please encourage them to come in early, so that their grade reflects the most up to date numbers. 

Week of September 24th

Posted on Sep 25, 2018

In 7th Grade Science, the students will continue to learn about the Mitosis vs Meiosis. We will be focusing on close reads to help us analyze key terms, diagrams, and more while we learn about a challenging topic. 

In 8th Grade Science, the students will be moving onto our solar system. They will be applying their math skills while learning how to Scale. The 8th graders had a test on Friday that they did wonderful on, but don't forget that was only the first test of the trimester. 

Lets have a great week!

Week of September 17th

Posted on Sep 17, 2018

Happy Monday, I hope everyone enjoyed a fun filled weekend at Fisher Fest! We will be jumping right back into the swing of things in Science.

In 7th grade, we will continuing to learn about our specialized cells that we gave speeches on last week. We will take a check in quiz Tuesday, after reviewing our notes on Monday. Starting Wednesday we will begin to learn about the process of Mitosis. While this can be a challenging topic, we will spend a lot of time diving deep into Mitosis. 

In 8th grade, we are wrapping up our first unit of Force and Motion. On Monday, we will be finishing a Gravity lab. On Tuesday, the students will be given a lengthy study guide that will support the activities we will complete to review throughout the rest of the week. We will wrap up the unit with a test on Friday. 

 

Remember, please advise your student to come in early, or stay late, if they are needing extra help in Science. We both want to see the success that we know they are capable of!

Week of September 10th

Posted on Sep 10, 2018

In 7th Grade Science, the students took a short quiz on what they learned about Cells so far this year. Then we will be moving on to the more complex cells called specialized cells, this will help form the basic understanding they need to know before moving onto Tissues, Organs, and the rest of the Human Body.

In 8th Grade Science, the students will be continuing their forces and motion unit learning about Friction. We will be practicing our Force Diagrams that will bridge our understanding of the concepts we learned so far and what it would be like living on the moon. Is their friction? What is mass vs weight? How are forces effected. 

Week of September 4th

Posted on Sep 05, 2018

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend! Even though it is a shortened week, the Junior High Science Students are working hard!

In 7th grade, the students will be finishing their Cell Choice activity. So many of them chose to create a Cell City, where they got creative about the cell organelles. Later in the week, we will review more on the cell organelles so that we are prepared for the short quiz we will take on Monday. 

In 8th grade, the students will be doing back to back labs to learn Newton's Laws. They will be graded on the check in Bellringer activities that will assess the concepts they learned from the labs. As long as weather permits, the 8th graders will be going outside on Friday to complete a study guide with activities that need more room!

If your student happens to be absent on a lab day, please encourage them to come in early to make it up, it is the best way for them to learn the concepts instead of just watching a video of it. Thanks!

Week of August 27th

Posted on Aug 27, 2018

This week in Junior High Science, we will be wrapping up our team building STEM activity where we created a device to transport materials from one end of the room to the other. Later in the year the students will continue to do STEM projects and the 7th graders will learn about the concepts taught in this lab such as air resistance, while the 8th graders will be learning about forces.

7th Graders will begin learning about how to use our Microscopes and the Cells that we will look at using these Microscopes this week.

8th Graders will begin reviewing what we know about Forces and Motion this week.

Junior High Science Syllabus

Posted on Aug 27, 2018

Welcome to Junior High Science at St. John Fisher! I look forward to a productive and fun year ahead with your students. As you may know, I am new to SJF, but I am no stranger to teaching the rigorous material that your students will take on, and thrive. Anytime you would like to know what we are doing in class you can review the syllabus (in classroom), come back to the Blogs or check your student’s google classroom. Due to a necessary switch in age appropriate material, for the next two years, the eighth graders will be getting a new an improved challenging course of Physical Science(previously taught in sixth grade), integrated with Earth Science(which is now taught in sixth grade). Thank you to all Parents for signing your student's Lab Safety Contract. This will help us have a productive, fun, and safe year in Science. 

 

 
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