Living Environment


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Mt Vernon Living Environment curriculum

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mount vernon city school district a world class organization living environment ® curriculum guide this handbook is for the implementation of the living environment ® curriculum in mount vernon this provides an outline of the district s expectations developed august 2009


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mount vernon city school district board of education derrick claye president maria aneiro vice president board trustees adrian armstrong carol ben reuben delia m farquharson elias steven gootzeit lynn c frazier-mcbride charles stern michelle walker superintendent of schools w.l sawyer ed.d assistant superintendents timothy costello business shelley jallow curriculum and instruction administrator of mathematics and science k-12 satish jagnandan living environment ® -2 curriculum guide 2009-10


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acknowledgements during the 2007-08 school year the department of curriculum and instruction and secondary science articulation committee embarked upon a long range plan of curriculum development for the high schools teachers of every subject area from mount vernon and nellie thornton high school s were joined by district administrator in the curriculum revision process the educators gave many personal hours and demonstrated exceptional commitment to this critical task the new york state learning standards and in some cases the core curriculum formed the basis for decisions regarding the identification of grade level objectives learning activities and assessments each set of performance objectives describes what a student should be able to do or understand by the end of the year with a particular focus or the development of critical thinking ability and problem solving skills this document is by no means completed the modifications will depend upon its use we hope that during the next year the schools staff will explore develop and record the strategies deemed most successful in helping students meet the grade level objectives also the order of units and their time frames should be revisited after a year of implementation much credit goes to school leaders who organized the efforts of the teachers who collaborated on this project the educators most responsible for this work are as follows mushtaq ahmad ­ mount vernon high school patricia duggan ­ ab davis middle school frank fidelman ­ mount vernon high school theresa fox ­ nellie thornton high school judith isecke ­ nellie thornton high school kevin moore ­ graham elementary school jae yang ­ nellie thornton high school thank you satish jagnandan living environment ® -3 curriculum guide 2009-10


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table of contents i ii iii iv v vi vii cover mvcsd board of education acknowledgements table of contents important dates vision statement 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 attributes of an exemplary science program viii preface ix x xi xii regents curriculum 8 9 10 living environment ® core curriculum map living environment ® pacing guide 27 33 34 living environment ® core laboratory component xiii living environment ® core laboratory materials xiv systematic design of a science lesson 39 this document was prepared by the mount vernon city school district curriculum and instruction department in conjunction with the secondary science articulation committee living environment ® -4 curriculum guide 2009-10


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important dates 2008-09 report card ­ 10 week period marking period marking period begins interim progress reports 10/5/09 12/14/09 3/8/10 5/24/10 marking period ends 11/13/09 1/29/10 4/23/10 6/18/10 duration report card distribution 1 2 3 4 9/9/09 11/16/09 2/1/10 4/26/10 10 weeks 10 weeks 10 weeks 8 weeks 11/23/09 2/8/10 5/3/10 6/25/10 as per mvcsd board resolution 06-71 the parent notification policy states parents guardians or adult students are to be notified in writing at any time during a grading period when it is apparent that the student may fail or is performing unsatisfactorily in any course or grade level parents guardians are also to be notified in writing at any time during the grading period when it becomes evident that the student s conduct or effort grades are unsatisfactory district assessments 1 2 3 quarterly examination midterm examination quarterly examination november 2-6 2009 january 19-22 2010 april 12-16 2010 note these dates are tentative state level assessment ­ regents 1 new york state living environment ® june 15-23 2009 living environment ® -5 curriculum guide 2009-10


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vision statement true success comes from co-accountability and co-responsibility in a coherent instructional system everyone is responsible for student learning and student achievement the question we need to constantly ask ourselves is how are our students doing the starting point for an accountability system is a set of standards and benchmarks for student achievement standards work best when they are well defined and clearly communicated to students teachers administrators and parents the focus of a standards-based education system is to provide common goals and a shared vision of what it means to be educated the purposes of a periodic assessment system are to diagnose student learning needs guide instruction and align professional development at all levels of the system the primary purpose of this instructional guide is to provide teachers and administrators with a tool for determining what to teach and assess more specifically the instructional guide provides a road map and timeline for teaching and assessing the nys science content standards i ask for your support in ensuring that this tool is utilized so students are able to benefit from a standards-based system where curriculum instruction and assessment are aligned in this system curriculum instruction and assessment are tightly interwoven to support student learning and ensure all students have equal access to a rigorous curriculum we must all accept responsibility for closing the achievement gap and improving student achievement for all of our students satish jagnandan administrator for mathematics and science k-12 living environment ® -6 curriculum guide 2009-10


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attributes of an exemplary science program 1 the standards-based science program must ensure equity and excellence for all students it is essential that the science program focus on understanding important relationships processes mechanisms and applications of concepts that connect mathematics science and technology the science program must emphasize a hands-on and minds-on approach to learning experiences must provide students with opportunities to interact with the natural world in order to construct explanations about their world the science program must emphasize the skills necessary to allow students to construct and test their proposed explanations of natural phenomena by using the conventional techniques and procedures of scientists the science program must provide students with the opportunity to dialog and debate current scientific issues related to the course of study the science program must provide opportunities for students to make connections between their prior knowledge and past experiences to the new information being taught student learning needs to be built upon prior knowledge the science program must incorporate laboratory investigations that allow students to use scientific inquiry to develop explanations of natural phenomena these skills must include but are not limited to interpreting analyzing evaluating synthesizing applying and creating as learners actively construct their understanding the science program must assess students ability to explain analyze and interpret scientific processes and their phenomena and the student performance data generated by theses assessments must be used to focus instructional strategies to meet the needs of all students the science program must be responsive to the demands of the 21st century by providing learning opportunities for students to apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics science and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 living environment ® -7 curriculum guide 2009-10


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preface this curriculum for living environment is organized into instructional units based on the key ideas and major understandings of the new york state curriculum these are further organized into specific objectives for lessons and laboratory activities to be completed throughout the year this living environment core curriculum was written to assist teachers and supervisors as they prepare curriculum instruction and assessment for the living environment content and process skills of the new york state learning standards for mathematics science and technology the core curriculum is part of a continuum that elaborates the science content of standard 4 which identifies key ideas and performance indicators key ideas are broad unifying general statements of what students need to know the performance indicators for each key idea are statements of what students should be able to do to provide evidence that they understand the key idea as part of this continuum this core curriculum presents major understandings that give more specific detail to the concepts underlying each performance indicator the topic content skills and major understandings address the content and process skills as applied to the rigor and relevancy to be assessed by the regents examination in living environment focus will also be on application skills related to real-world situations assessments will test students ability to explain analyze and interpret earth science processes and phenomena and generate science inquiry from new york state core curriculum living environment living environment ® -8 curriculum guide 2009-10


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regents curriculum the mount vernon city school district recognizes that the understanding of science is necessary for students to compete in today s technological society the study of science encourages students to examine the world around them as individuals they will use scientific processes and principles to make informed personal and public decisions students will become scientifically literate and apply scientific thinking reasoning and knowledge throughout their lives all regents science courses culminate in a ny state regent s examination all students enrolled in science regents courses must take the june examination according to the state education department regulations all students must successfully complete the laboratory component of the course in order to be admitted to the regent s examination in order to satisfy this requirement each student must 1 complete at least 30 full laboratory periods 1200 minutes 2 complete a satisfactory written report for each laboratory experience 3 demonstrate proficiency in laboratory skills the current format of the regents examination in living environment/biology will remain unchanged part d using multiple choice and open-ended questions will continue to assess the concepts content and process skills associated with laboratory experiences in living environment that are aligned to the new york state learning standards for mathematics science and technology and the living environment core curriculum items assessing the concepts content and process skills associated with laboratory experiences will be referenced to the living environment core curriculum not to specific laboratory activities the current four required laboratory activities relationships and biodiversity making connections the beaks of finches and diffusion through a membrane will continue to be included in the part d component of the regents examination in living environment additional laboratory activities will be developed and implemented for use during the regular course of instruction these laboratory activities as well as the original four required laboratory activities will align to the concepts content and process skills included in the living environment core curriculum living environment ® -9 curriculum guide 2009-10


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living environement ® core curriculum map unit characteristics of life topic content characteristics of life 1 cells the basic structure of life 2 scientific method and lab skills 3 microscope 4 biological classification critical terms concentration gradient control data diffusion excretion homeostasis hypothesis independent/dependent variable inference metabolism nutrition observation organ organelles organism osmosis passive/active transport regulation reproduction respiration synthesis theory tissue transport core curriculum major understandings 1.2a important levels of organization for structure and function include organelles cells tissues organs organ systems and whole organisms 1.2b humans are complex organisms they require multiple systems for digestion respiration reproduction circulation and immunity the systems interact to perform the life function 1.2e the organs and systems of the body help to provide all the cells with their basic needs the cells of the body are of different kinds and are grouped in ways that enhance how they function together 1.2f cells have particular structures that perform specific jobs these structures perform the actual work of the cell just as systems are coordinated and work together cell parts must also be coordinated and work together 1.2i inside the cell a variety of specialized structure formed from many different molecules carry out the transport of materials cytoplasm extraction of energy from nutrients mitochondria protein building ribosomes waste disposal cell membrane storage vacuole and information storage nucleus 1.3a the structures present in some single-celled organisms act in a manner similar to the tissues and systems found in multi-cellular organisms thus enabling them to perform all of the life processes needed to maintain homeostasis 1.2g each cell is covered by a membrane that performs a number of important functions for the cell these include separation from its outside environment controlling which molecules enter and leave the cell and recognition of chemical signals the processes of living environment ® 10 curriculum guide 2009-10


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1.1a 1.1b 1.1c 1.2a 1.2b 1.3a 1.3b 1.4a 2.2a 2.3a 2.3b 2.3c 3.1a 3.4a 3.4b 3.4c 3.5a 3.5b diffusion and active transport are important in the movement of materials in and out of the cells scientific explanations are built by combining evidence that can be observed with what people already know about the world learning about the historical development of scientific concepts or about individuals who have contributed to scientific knowledge provides a better understanding of scientific inquiry and the relationship between science and society science provides knowledge but values are also essential to making effective and ethical decisions about the application of scientific knowledge inquiry involves asking questions and locating interpreting and processing information from a variety of sources inquiry involves making judgments about the reliability of the sources and relevance of information scientific explanations are accepted when they are consistent with experimental and observational evidence and when they lead to accurate predictions all scientific explanations are tentative and subject to change or improvement each new bit of evidence can create more questions than it answers this leads to increasingly better understanding of how things work in the living world well-accepted theories are ones that are supported by different kinds of scientific investigations often involving the contributions of individuals from different disciplines development of a research plan involves researching background information and understanding the major concepts in the area being investigated recommendations for methodologies use of technologies proper equipment and safety precautions should also be included hypotheses are predictions based upon both research and observation hypotheses are widely used in science for determining what data to collect and as a guide for interpreting the data development of a research plan for testing a hypothesis requires planning to avoid bias e.g repeated trials large sample size and objective data-collection techniques interpretation of data leads to development of additional hypotheses the formulation of generalizations or explanations of natural phenomena hypotheses are valuable even if they turn out not to be true because they may lead to further investigation claims should be questioned if the data are based on samples that are very small biased or inadequately controlled or if the conclusions are based on the faulty incomplete or misleading use of numbers claims should be questioned if fact and opinion are intermingled if adequate evidence is not cited or if the conclusions do not follow logically from the evidence given one assumption of science is that other individuals could arrive at the same explanation if they had access to similar evidence scientists make the results of their investigations public they should describe the investigations in ways that enable others to repeat the investigations scientists use peer review to evaluate the results of scientific investigations and the explanations proposed by other scientists they analyze the experimental procedures examine the evidence identify faulty reasoning point out statements that go beyond the evidence and suggest alternative explanations for the same observations living environment ® 11 curriculum guide 2009-10


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skills students will be able to · describe and explain the structures and functions of the human body at different organizational levels e.g systems tissues cells organelles · explain how a one-celled organism is able to function despite lacking the levels of organization present in more complex organisms · design and carry out a controlled scientific experiment based on biological processes · state an appropriate hypothesis · differentiate between independent and dependent variables · identify the control group and/or controlled variables · collect organizes and analyze data using a computer and/or other laboratory equipment · organize data through the use of data tables and graphs · analyze results from observations/expressed data · formulate an appropriate conclusion or generalization from the results of an experiment · recognize assumption and limitations of the experiment · describe the nine characteristics that distinguish living from non-living things · explain metabolism and homeostasis · follow safety rules in the laboratory · select and use correct instruments o uses graduated cylinders to measure volume o uses metric ruler to measure length o uses thermometer to measure temperature o uses triple-beam or electronic balance to measure mass · describe the structure and functions of cell organelles · explain the role of the selectively permeable cell membrane in passive and active transport · uses a compound microscope/stereoscope effectively to see specimens clearly using different magnifications o identifies and compares parts of a variety of cells o compares relative sizes of cells and organelles o prepares wet-mount slides and uses appropriate staining techniques · describe and compare the levels of organization and specialization in unicellular colonial and multi-cellular organisms · designs and uses dichotomous keys to identify specimens living environment ® 12 curriculum guide 2009-10


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unit biochemistry topic content biochemistry 1 basic biochemical 2 process of living organisms 3 feedback and homeostasis 4 enzymes critical terms amino acid catalyst diffusion dynamic equilibrium enzyme glucose homeostasis inorganic lipids metabolism nucleotides organic ph proteins sugar starch core curriculum major understandings 1.2c the components of the human body from organ systems to cell organelles interact to maintain a balanced internal environment to successfully accomplish this organisms possess a diversity of control mechanisms that detect deviations and make corrective actions 1.2d if there is a disruption in any human system there may be a corresponding imbalance in homeostasis 1.2h many organic and inorganic substances dissolved in cells allow necessary chemical reactions to take place in order to maintain life large organic food molecules such as proteins and starches must initially be broken down digested to amino acids and simple sugars respectively in order to enter cells once nutrients enter a cell the cell will use them as building blocks in the synthesis of compounds necessary for life 5.1c in all organisms organic compounds can be used to assemble other molecules such as proteins dna starch and fats the chemical energy stored in bonds can be used as a source of energy for life processes 5.1d in all organisms the energy stored in organic molecules may be released during cellular respiration this energy is temporarily stored in atp molecules in many organisms the process of cellular respiration is concluded in mitochondria in which atp is produced more efficiently oxygen is used and carbon dioxide and water are released as wastes 5.1e the energy from atp is used by the organism to obtain transform and transport materials and to eliminate wastes 5.1f biochemical processes both breakdown and synthesis are made possible by a large set of protein catalysts called enzymes enzymes can affect the rates of chemical changes the rate at which enzymes work can be influenced by internal environmental factors such as ph and temperature 5.1g enzymes and other molecules such as hormones receptor molecules and antibodies have specific shapes that influence both how they function and how they interact with other molecules skills students will be able to · explain the basic biochemical processes in living organisms and their importance in maintaining dynamic equilibrium · describe and explain the structures and functions of the human body at different organizational levels e.g systems tissues cells organelles · follow safety rules in the laboratory · select and use correct instruments o use graduated cylinders to measure volume o use metric ruler to measure length o use thermometer to measure temperature o use triple-beam or electronic balance to measure mass · design and carry out a controlled scientific experiment based on biological processes living environment ® 13 curriculum guide 2009-10


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unit ecology topic content ecology 1 organisms and their environment 2 population interactions 3 energy flow through 4 an ecosystem 5 diversity benefits 6 species and habitats 7 environmental changes critical terms abiotic autotroph biodiversity biotic carrying capacity community ecology ecosystem energy pyramid food chain/web heterotroph limiting factors niche population predator prey succession symbiosis core curriculum major understandings 1.1a populations can be categorized by the function they serve food webs identify relationships among producers consumers and decomposers carrying out either autotrophic or heterotrophic nutrition 1.1b an ecosystem is shaped by the non-living environment as well as its interacting species the world contains a wide diversity of physical conditions which creates a variety of environments 1.1c in all these environments organisms compete for vital resources the linked and changing interactions of populations and the environment compose the total ecosystem 1.1d the interdependence of organisms in an established ecosystem often results in inappropriate stability over hundreds and thousands of years for example as one population increases it is held in check by one or more environmental factors or another species 1.1e ecosystems like many complex systems tend to show cyclic changes around a state of approximate equilibrium 1.1f every population is linked directly or indirectly with many others in an ecosystem disruptions in the numbers and types of species and environmental changes can upset ecosystem stability 5.1a the energy of life comes primarily from the sun photosynthesis provides a vital connection between the sun and the energy needs of living systems 5.1b plant cells and some one-celled organisms contain chloroplasts the site of photosynthesis the process of photosynthesis uses solar energy to combine the inorganic molecules carbon dioxide and water into energy-rich organic compounds e.g glucose and release oxygen to the environment 6.1a energy flows through ecosystems in one direction typically from the sun through photosynthetic organisms including green plants and algae to herbivores to carnivores and decomposers 6.1b the atoms and molecules on the earth cycle among the living and nonliving components of the biosphere for example carbon dioxide and water molecules used in photosynthesis to living environment ® 14 curriculum guide 2009-10


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6.1c 6.1d 6.1e 6.1f 6.1g 6.3a 6.3b 6.3c form energy-rich organic compounds are returned to the environment when the energy in these compounds is eventually released by cells continual input of energy from sunlight keeps the process going this concept may be illustrated with an energy pyramid the chemical elements that make up the molecules of living things pass through food webs and are combined and recombined in different ways at each link in a food web some energy is stored in newly made structures but much is dissipated into the environment as heat the number of organisms any habitat can support carrying capacity is limited by the available energy water oxygen and minerals and by the ability of ecosystems to recycle wastes and the residue of dead organisms through the activities of bacteria and fungi in any particular environment the growth and survival of organisms depend on the physical conditions including light intensity temperature range mineral availability soil/rock type and relative acidity ph living organisms have the capacity to produce populations of infinite size but environments and resources are finite this has profound effects on the interactions between organisms relationships between organisms may be negative neutral or positive some organisms may interact with one another in several ways they may be in producer/consumer predator/prey or parasite/host relationships or one organisms may cause disease in scavenge or decompose another the interrelationships and interdependencies of organisms affect the development of stable ecosystems through ecological succession all ecosystems progress through a sequence of changes during which one ecological community modifies the environment making it more suitable for another community these long-term gradual changes result in the community reaching a point of stability that can last for hundreds or thousands of years a stable ecosystem can be altered either rapidly or slowly through the activities of organisms including humans or through climatic changes or natural disasters the altered ecosystem can usually recover through gradual changes back to a point of long-term stability skills students will be able to · discuss how intraspecific and interspecific competition for habitats and niches shapes ecosystems · describe the different types of symbiotic relationships · explain the relationship between community ecosystem and biosphere · explain the roles producers autotrophs the different types of consumers heterotrophs and the decomposers in an ecosystem · design and interpret food chains food webs and pyramids of energy and biomass · describe materials such as water oxygen carbon dioxide and nitrogen cycle through an ecosystem · explain how succession occurs resulting in a stable ecosystem · explain the significance of limiting factors and carrying capacity · explain factors that limit growth of individuals and populations · explain how diversity of populations within ecosystems relates to the stability of ecosystems · explain how the living and nonliving environments change over time and respond to disturbances living environment ® 15 curriculum guide 2009-10



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