Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Here is the Power Point on 'The Chemistry of Life.' Students received a Study Guide for their Test on Thursday (June 25). They should use that Guide to compare the notes in their composition books with the Power Point notes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


For the afternoon session, here are the Power Point Notes for 'Mendel's Experiments.' Students should plan on reviewing their notes just prior to class every day, as we are likely to have quizzes based on the previous day's instruction...every day!


For the morning session, here are the notes on 'Atoms and Molecules.' The Lecture Guide based on these notes is due at the beginning of class on Wednesday. Students should review their notes just prior to class every day, as there are likely to be quizzes beginning almost every session.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


The following episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos, 'The Lives of the Stars', forms the basis of a student homework assignment. Click on the icon below to play the video within the blog:

You can also go to Hulu directly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009



Many students are still not bringing materials to class. They should have a three-ring binder, both a pencil and a pen, a calculator and the composition book I have given them to take notes with.

TOMORROW (Wednesday) we are going to start doing activities in which a calculator will be really helpful. Students who don't have a calculator of their own will be at a significant disadvantage!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Summer School students will be viewing a 36-minute IMAX video in class today and completing a worksheet based on part of the video. The film, 'Cosmic Voyage', was made in 1996 for the Smithsonian Institute and was clearly inspired by a classic science education film called 'Powers of Ten', originally produced in 1977 by the husband-and-wife team of Rae and Charles Eames.

'Cosmic Voyage' approaches the idea of using the metric system, which is based on powers of ten, to explore the question: "What is really large, and really small?" The film first zooms out from an acrobat's ring in St. Mark's Square in Venice, the place where Galileo first trained his telescope on the heavens.

Through 23 powers of ten, we leave first the Earth, then our solar system, then the Milky Way Galaxy behind, until we reach the limit of modern astronomy, where we can see images from about 13 billion years past.

Reversing course, the video then zooms in on drop of water in the Dutch town of Delft, where Antonie Van Leuuwenhoek first trained his early microscope to discover the hidden world of microbes.

As we zoom in on a paramecium, we penetrate its cell nucleus, then zoom in on a molecule of DNA.

Within that molecule is a carbon atom, and the world within that atom is mostly empty space! Within the atom, the atomic nucleus contains virtually all of an atom's mass, made of particles called protons and neutrons. These, in turn, are formed from even smaller particles called quarks.

The film continues with a discussion of the search for a fundamental theory in physics through the use of particle accelerators like Fermilab, along with an overview of the likely "recent" events that led to our sun, our solar system, the Earth and life itself.

Here, presented on Hulu, is the film in its entirety for students who wish to review the material or share it with others. As the narrator (Morgan Freeman) intones, 'we are all travelers on a voyage of discovery!'




If you are taking either or both sections of Biology as Review, be aware that there is no such thing as an 'excused absence' in summer school. Students who are tardy are marked as missing one hour of instruction. Students who miss more than 6.5 hours are automatically dropped.

But what if you are legitimately sick? Well, the cold, unfeeling answer is that it doesn't matter. A day of missed instruction is 2.5 hours per section. So, if you are in both sections, an absence is 5 hours and puts you at the point where you could easily be dropped. Bottom line: don't miss class, don't come to class late, the system is unforgiving.

I do, however, want to give students tools to help them succeed outside of class. One such tool is the notes, which I make available on Power Points. You will use them to complete Lecture Guides given in class as homework, as well as your notebooks, which must be kept Cornell Notes style.

What? You don't know what Cornell Notes are? Well, it so happens that is precisely one of the things I explain in this very first lecture. I encourage you to download all of the Power Points to make sure you can review your notes and have them all completed. Here is the very first one, "Introduction to Biology."

Just follow the link and download the presentation. If you don't actually have Microsoft Power Point, don't worry. You can download a free program from the Net called 'Power Point Viewer', and it's available here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009



Parents and Students: There will be a Study Session for the Semester Final in Mr. Hatfield's Biology Classes on Saturday morning, June 6th, between 9:30 AM and 12:00 noon, in Room N-63 on the Bullard campus.

Students received a Study Guide in class today (Thursday) to help them prepare. All classwork other than the student's Final Essay is due at the end of school on Friday, June 5th.

Students should bring the Final Draft of their Essay and their textbook to class on the day of their final. Periods 1 and 2 will have their Final on Monday, June 8th. Period 4's final is on Tuesday, June 9th. Periods 5 and 6 will have their Final on Wednesday, June 10th. The last day to make up the Final is Thursday, June 11th.

Students who wish to have earlier drafts of their Essay reviewed by Mr. Hatfield will have to discuss them with him on Friday during lunch or after-school, or following the Study Session on Saturday. It is vital that students attempt this 300-point project.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Here's a novel thought: instead of being taught as mindless, slavish dogma, evolutionary biologists have been busy in the last 150 years. They've been testing, retesting, modifying and in some cases rejecting aspects of Darwin's theory. This Power Point explains some of the major innovations, which (by the way) are all in the textbook:

Students who need to download the Power Point to complete their notes, and the Lecture Guide based on it, can do so here.