Middle School Survival Guide

Friday, July 10, 2020

Middle School Survival Guide

You can survive middle school and actually enjoy it.
Here are ten tips that I have learned from 25 years of teaching middle school that will help you in these middle grades. These tips will help you improve your grades and excellent students practice most of these strategies.

The 10 strategies for not only surviving middle school but having success in school.

1. Use an agenda daily 2. Learn to plan ahead. In other words, learn to be proactive with school and life. 3. Learn memory hacks
Here is a video that is a good starting point for memory hacks
4. Pick good friends 5. Set goals 6. Always turn in your homework 7. Exercise 8. Get enough sleep 9. Read 7 Habits Highly Effective Teens 10. Be nice

If you can practice these 10 habits or tips on a weekly basis then you will do well in school. These habits are not easy, but very important.
In addition, you can do additional research on YouTube on these habits.

These videos will help.

Cell City Analogy-Learn the Cell Parts

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Cell City Analogy

The cell organelles work together to help keep the cell alive. They have been compared to the organs of a human body. In some ways, they are similar to different parts of a city and how these different parts must work together to keep the city working properly.

Let's take a look at several of the organelles and compare them to parts of a city. 
  • Cell Wall found in plant cells is a large wall that surrounds and protects the city.
  • Cell Membrane are doors in this wall that allow materials to pass in and out of the city
  • The Nucleus is the town hall because it contains the DNA which is the instruction manual for the city.
  • The Mitochondria provides energy for the city during cellular respiration, therefore, it is similar to a power plant.
  • The Endoplasmic Reticulum is passageways for the cell that repackages and moves material around the cell, therefore, the ER can be represented by roadways.
  • Ribosomes receive information from the nucleus on how to make proteins. They are protein factories and can be represented by small manufacturing centers.
  • Golgi Bodies are like distribution centers because they receive packages from the ER and repackage this material and send new packages out into the cell.
  • Chloroplasts which are found in plant cells convert sunlight into energy in the same way solar panels convert sunlight into electricity.
  • Vacuoles are storage sacs much like a trash can or a water tower in a plant cell.
  • Lysosomes are organelles that digest materials in the cell. They could be represented by waste treatment plants or portable toilets. 

In order for the city to work properly, all parts must work together and do their part. In the same way the parts of the cell which are called organelles must do their part to keep the cell alive.

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Specular and Diffusion Reflection-How Light Reflects

Monday, July 6, 2020

Do all objects reflect light the same way?

From this picture, you can tell that shiny and dull objects reflect light in different ways.

Specular and diffuse reflection

Let’s take a look at the difference between specular reflection and diffuse reflection.
  • Specular reflection reflects all light that arrives from a given direction at the same angle. 
  • Diffuse reflection reflects light in many different directions.
When light reflects off a shiny object like a mirror, the light reflects at the same angle.
This is an example of specular reflection.
 The law of reflection that states that the angle of reflection of a ray equals the angle of incidence.

When light reflects off a dull object, the reflection looks the same regardless of the angle.

This is an example of diffuse reflection. During diffuse reflection, the light is scattered in many different directions.

 The ray of incidence is light traveling from the source and the ray of reflection is the light after it strikes the surface.

A line perpendicular is surface normal and it is perpendicular from the point the line ray strikes the surface.
law reflection light

You can measure the angles from normal.

Normal is at 0 the angle is 30 degrees for the ray of the incident and the ray of reflection so they have an angle measure of 30 degrees. Always measure from normal.

Function of Lysosomes

Sunday, July 5, 2020

What is the function of a Lysosome?

Lysosomes are organelles found inside eukaryotic cells like, animals, protists, but not in prokaryotic cells. They are important because lysosomes help break down old cell parts, digest materials in the cell, and objects that enter the cell.
Lysosomes have a single membrane and are filled with digestive enzymes. A lysosome is created at the Golgi apparatus.


The proteins of the lysosome are created at the rough ER and are packed in a vesicle that is transported to the Golgi apparatus. The Golgi apparatus uses these proteins to make digestive enzymes and creates a vesicle that pinches off. This vesicle is a lysosome
Lysosomes are found floating in the cytoplasm. When materials are brought into the cell, lysosomes can attach to these objects and begin to break them down. Since lysosomes are digestion machines, they go to work when the cell absorbs or eats some food. For example when an amoeba engulfs a paramecium.
Once the material is inside the cell, the lysosomes attach and release their enzymes. The enzymes break down complex molecules that can include complex sugars and proteins.

Lysosomes will also break down other organelles like mitochondria if the cell does not have any food or the mitochondria is working improperly.
Lysosomes will even digest bacteria that enters the cell.

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Properties of an Isosceles Trapezoid

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Properties of an Isosceles Trapezoid

An Isosceles trapezoid is a quadrilateral, therefore it has four straight lines.

An isosceles trapezoid has legs of equal length and one pair of parallel sides.
The parallel sides are called bases and the non-parallel sides are called legs.
An isosceles trapezoid also has base angles congruent. The term congruent means equal.

The height, which is an altitude, is a perpendicular line that runs from base to base.
The angles at the top of the base and the bottom of the bases are congruent.
Adjacent base angles of an Isosceles trapezoid are supplementary which means they add to 180 degrees.

In order to find the perimeter add the length of all sides.

The area is equal to the average of the two bases times the height.

a+b/2 x height

The median is a line half-way between the bases.
The length is the average of the two base lengths

Median = a + b/2

The diagonals of an isosceles trapezoid have the same length and divide into the same proportions.


Monday, June 29, 2020

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum is composed of EM waves. Electromagnetic waves or EM waves are waves that are created as a result of vibrations between an electric field and a magnetic field.
In other words, EM waves are composed of oscillating magnetic and electric fields. This is why they are called "electromagnetic’ waves." The electric field and magnetic field of an electromagnetic wave are perpendicular (at right angles) to each other. These waves are also perpendicular to the direction of the EM wave. The direction of the wave is also called the propagation of the wave.

The electromagnetic spectrum is ordered by a frequency which is the number of wavelengths that pass a fixed point per second. Frequency is measured in hertz. The spectrum has a very wide range from 300KHz to an incredibly small 3 x 10 to 21st power Hz

An electromagnetic wave can travel through anything -like air, a solid material, or even a vacuum. It does not need a medium to propagate or travel from one place to another.

Let’s take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum.

electromagnetic spectrum

Radio waves have a low frequency and they have a wavelength roughly the size of a soccer field.

Moving to the right are microwaves and they have wavelengths roughly the size of a baseball.

In the middle is visible light with a wavelength of the size of bacteria.

Visible light is subdivided with the color red having the lowest frequency and blue having the highest frequency.

X-rays are slightly larger than a water molecule and radioactive sources are the size of atoms.

The electromagnetic spectrum is used in everyday life from listening to music, ………to visible light, ……….. To microwave ovens…………. even looking inside our bodies.

MooMooMath and Science YouTube

What is a Parallelogram?

Sunday, June 28, 2020

What is a Parallelogram?

Properties of a Parallelogram

  • It is a 2D Plane shape 
  • Has Straight lines
  • It is a Quadrilateral so it has 4 sides and is a closed figure.
  • It has opposite sides are parallel.
  • The Opposite sides are congruent ( equal)
  • The opposite angles are congruent
  • The consecutive angles are supplementary or add to 180 degrees
  • The diagonals bisect one another 
  • The diagonals bisect angles creating opposite congruent triangles

A trapezoid is not a parallelogram because by definition it only has one pair of parallel sides.
A circle is not a parallelogram because it has curved lines.
How about a triangle has three sides, not four.

A rectangle which is a parallelogram has two pairs of parallel sides and four congruent angles. A rhombus has four congruent sides but only the opposite angles are equal. If you combine the rectangle and the rhombus you get a square with four congruent sides and angles.
The Area is the base times the height:

Area = b × h
The height is at right angles to the base.

The Perimeter is the distance around the edges.
You can add all 4 sides or use.
2 times the (base + side length):

Perimeter = 2(b+s)

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