Friday, November 25, 2011

Class updates from Leah

Algebra 2

The end is in sight as students wrapped up Chapter 5 on quadratic functions with a take home quiz and a chapter test last week. Chapter six on polynomials started with classifying polynomials, adding, subtracting and multiplying. With just a few sections left, we will round out with long and synthetic division of polynomials and expanding binomials with the help of Pascal’s Triangle. Students will have a take home chapter test to wrap up their semester of Algebra 2. As a final assignment, students will also analyze the benefits and challenges of having kept a personal budget for the semester.

Natural Science

Our final unit on Conservation Biology and Land Management has been perfectly bolstered with a visit to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Etosha National Park and our Okavango Delta trip. For their final project, students will compare and contrast the variety of land management techniques and strategies used in conservation practices in Namibia and Botswana. We have learned about the main issue of conservation in southern Africa as maintaining large mammal population numbers. While at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, students met Laurie Marker, who started the organization. We had the rare opportunity to see the ambassador cheetahs on their daily workouts and observe a study of clocking the cheetah running speed. The students completed an in depth journal entry on various aspects of the cheetah and what CCF has done to assist the declining population numbers. Students learned about what the cheetah needs in terms of habitat and ecosystem services and how subsistence farming and livestock grazing relates to the cheetah habitat. Students have taken their knowledge of environmental issues and land management practices to look at an environmental issue in their hometown or home region. As we begin to transition home, students will bridge their knowledge gained here with awareness of their environment back home.

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