Monday, December 16, 2013


Parents and Students:
Monday (Dec. 16th) began the final week of instruction for the Fall Semester.  

This is a post to give everybody one last 'heads-up' about Finals week in Biology! 

First of all, 'A Twist of Fate', an important 100-point project, was due on Friday (12/13), and no late work of any kind will be accepted after Wednesday (12/18)

This assignment is based on a reading describing the scientific detective story that led to the discovery of DNA's structure. The reading is adapted from an article by
Michael Lemonick that appeared in the Feb. 17, 2003 issue of Time. That article can be read in its entirety on-line here.   Students have been given an edited version of that article with terms to be defined and questions to address.   The entire assignment can be found as a PDF file here.

Students are expected to define terms underlined in the article, and to answer four discussion questions according to the usual guidelines: complete sentences that refer to the original question and provide supporting evidence for the student's opinion.  Responses should be typed or word-processed.   It is not, however, necessary to submit the assignment to "". (The district is no longer supporting this valuable resource, alas)

Secondly, students received a Study Guide for their 200-point Semester Final on Friday (12/14)

Students should be reviewing it and using it to identify any weaknesses, as well as working to submit any other outstanding work in the course by the end of instruction (Wednesday, 12/17).   Should the student lose this Study Guide, the entire three pages of it can be found as a PDF file here.

Next, there will be a Study Session for BIOLOGY after-school on TUESDAY (12/17).

This Study Session will take place in my classroom (N-63). It will begin at 3:15 and end at 5:15 that evening.   I realize it will be dark by the time this session is completed, but I assure parents and students that those who attend these session typically do better on the exams.  And, if that's not enough of an incentive, students who attend not only receive valuable feedback as to what to expect on the test, but can earn up to 20 points of extra-credit.

The Biology Final will be given Wed. (the 18th) through Friday (the 20th)

There is no significant makeup period.  Students need to attend their final exam period if they want significant time for their Final. Those who fail to attend without having their parent or guardian reach a prior understanding with Mr. Hatfield will be given an 'incomplete' in the course.

Finally, the Power Point with notes on DNA and Protein Synthesis is available on-line here:
The Power Point notes are available for download here.

A PDF of the Lecture Guide based on the Power Point notes is available here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013




You'll find links to the most current set of Notes down here.   The first Power Point contains an outline of photosynthesis, relating it to the 'Great Circle' of chemical reactions that all living things participate it (autotrophs and heterotrophs!), reactions which recycle the raw materials that life requires. Much of this material is covered in the first two sections of Chapter 8 in the Dragonfly Book.

The Power Point for Photosynthesis, Part I, is available here.

Photosynthesis, Part II provides much more detail about the light reactions, photosystems, the proton pumps that use the enzyme ATP synthase, the electron transport chains that help power those pumps. There is less detail about the 'dark reactions' of the Calvin cycle and other material which is not explicitly part of the state standards. This is covered in Section 8.3 of the Dragonfly Book.

You can download Photosynthesis, Part II here.

A third Power Point is somewhat brief, but has many helpful animations that help describe and explain the structure and function of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the main energy-carrying molecule used by living things.

The fourth and final Power Point in this unit contains information about cellular respiration, including glycolysis (which takes place in the cytoplasm) and the Krebs Cycle (which takes place in the matrix of the mitochondria). The electrons produced in the Krebs Cycle move through the inner membrane, or cristae, of the mitochondria. The motion of these negatively-charged particles attracts protons (H+), and eventually a high concentration of protons within the membrane is available to drive 'proton pumps' that power an enzyme, ATP synthase, leading to the production of more ATP:

You can download the Power Point for Cellular Respiration here.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013



As of Monday morning, only slightly more than half of Mr. Hatfield's Biology students had handed in their 100-point project, the "Travel Brochure to the Cell."   This was due on Friday, Nov. 8th.   This item will NOT be accepted after Monday, Nov. 18th....which is also (not coincidentally) the date of the Cell Unit Test.  

A study guide has been given in class today to prepare for Monday's exam, and a Study Session to prepare for that test will occur after school on Thursday, Nov. 14th.

Since quarter progress reports are being lifted from district servers this afternoon (Wednesday the 13th), students who have yet to complete their Project may see a drastic downtick in their grade, because their Project will show as a 'zero' and they do not yet have a test grade on ATLAS.

To help students prepare for the test, I am attaching the recent sets of Power Points.   Students should use these to complete their Cornell Notes, which they are allowed to use on the day of the exam---if completed (summaries, questions and comments in the extended margin, other evidence of work).

For students who still need to complete the previous Unit notes, please look at the previous post on 'Cells and Their Organelles" as well as this one. CLICK ON THE IMAGE IF YOU NEED THESE NOTES!

The Power Point summarizing the Cell Cycle, based on the first two sections of Chapter 10, is available here:

This Power Point contains an outline of photosynthesis, relating it to the 'Great Circle' of chemical reactions that all living things participate it (autotrophs and heterotrophs!), reactions which recycle the raw materials that life requires. Much of this material is covered in the first two sections of Chapter 8 in the Dragonfly Book.

The Power Point for Photosynthesis, Part I, is available here.

A PDF file of the Lecture Guide based on these last two Power Points can be downloaded here.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Students:   your "Travel Brochure" is due on Friday, November 8th.   This is a 100-point project intended to help you raise your grade.   Please take advantage of this project.   

The instructions can be found below, should you need them.  Click on the graphics to enlarge.

And....for some students....Saturday School will be held in Room N-63 on the Bullard campus for Mr. Hatfield's Biology students, on Saturday, November 9th, between 8:30 and 11:45.   

Students assigned Saturday School will receive opportunities to raise their grade.  If you have been assigned Saturday School, your parent or guardian must return a signed permission slip.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Our Biology classes were completing a lab on plant and animal cells on Thursday, Oct. 31.  Four periods were able to complete the lab without incident, and without a single example of student misconduct requiring correction.   Unfortunately, one period did not.

During 5th period, there was a significant violation of lab safety procedures and defiance by multiple students during lab.   As a result, Mr. Hatfield suspended lab for the entire class and asked for administrative support, in which it was explained in very clear terms what was unsafe and inappropriate.

Unfortunately, when there are many students not following safety procedures, there really is no alternative but to suspend lab privileges for the class as a whole.   An instructor can not run a lab properly if he has to refer multiple students for misconduct, and the unsafe behavior of one group could affect another group, or even the entire class.

To help give student an opportunity to complete the lab paperwork, Mr. Hatfield has created some graphics that show Elodea (plant) and human cheek cells (animal) at 100x and 400x magnification, respectively:


To be clear:  Mr. Hatfield wants to help students receive opportunities to raise their grades, but he is not obligated to allow classes to go to lab if he feels that significant numbers of students can not follow safety protocols.   At some point, it simply makes more sense to cover the content in ways that, while lacking the excitement of hands-on lab work, do not create significant risks for the instructor and students.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Here is the Power Point on 'The Chemistry of Life.' Students will receive a Lecture Guide based on this Power Point in Tuesday's class.    There is an After-School Study Session on Tuesday in Room N-63, between 3:15 and 5:00.

The test itself has unfortunately been postponed to Friday, so we will begin material on the next unit prior to finishing this one.   That is really less than desirable, but the fact of the matter is that the course instructor has other obligations to the district that requires that they be unavailable on key parts of Wednesday and Thursday, which would prevent students from receiving extra time to complete the tests.

Here is the current Unit 2 syllabus. All work for this syllabus is due by the end of school on Friday:

Monday, September 30, 2013



Here is the link to the Power Point on acids, bases and the pH scale.

Students should use this Power Point to make sure that their Cornell Style composition book notes are complete, and also to complete the Lecture Guide given in last Friday's class.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Today, Biology students will have their first tests returned to them. Results of that test were mixed, and often not what they could have been, due to poor student CHOICES.

Students who earn a percentage score higher than that earned on the first test can not only expect to earn a higher grade, but they are eligible for grade change on their previous test.

To achieve that, students need to consider the following, using the anagram 'COPE'.


Students need to know what's on the test. To make sure that students know what content will be covered on the exam, they need to obtain a copy of the Study Guide, which becomes available the weekend before the test. The sooner they get this, the better!


Students need to plan their time. For the next test, there will be a Study Session after school on the day before the exam (date to be announced later this week). They earn points by attending, and get valuable feedback about what is likely to be covered. In addition to attending the Study Session, students need to consider using time on lunch or after-school on the day of their exam as needed to complete their test. Plan ahead, students!


Students need to provide evidence that they have prepared for the test. One way to do this is to attend the Study Session before the next test (date to be announced later this week). Another, powerful way is to make sure that they bring their COMPLETED Cornell Notes to class on the day of the exam. Cornell Notes, if completed, have questions and comments in the margins and summaries of the major sections. Students who have these items completed will be allowed to use them throughout the exam. Bring evidence that you have prepared for the test, students, and you will be rewarded!


Students need to finish what they start. There is nothing more important than giving our best effort, all of the time. On an exam day, a good effort means that students attempt everything, even if that means they need to come back at lunch or after school. Show a work ethic, students, and you will not only do better on the will do better in every aspect of your life.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013


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:


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 Snag Films directly here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


NOTE: Wednesday's Unit Test will include some basic facts about atoms and molecules, but it will not include ions or isotopes and some of the more complex items found later in this Power Point.  Nevertheless, since part of the material will be covered, I am making available today:

 Here are the notes on 'Atoms and Molecules.'


Thursday, September 5, 2013


Many important dates and facts in this post, Biology students...and parents of Biology students!   Read on....

First and foremost, "Back-To-School Knight" happens on Monday, Sept. 9th, beginning at 6:00.   Mr. Hatfield's students and parents are encouraged to attend.   There will be a sign-in sheet for parents and guardians, and students will earn extra credit if they are represented.   Parents will receive information about Mr. Hatfield's expectations for Lecture (Cornell Notes) and for doing homework (The RA).   Obviously, if these items are what Mr. Hatfield emphasizes at "Back-To-School Knight", then these are the items that are important for students to know as well.  

STUDENTS:  Make sure you know how to complete notes Cornell Style, and how to answer questions on the Required Assignments!

On Tuesday, Sept 10th, there will be a Study Session after school in Room N-63, from 3:15 to 4:45.   Students who attend will receive extra credit in the course for participating, and have their questions answered about what to expect on their first Unit Test.   A Study Guide will be given out to all students to help them prepare prior to Tuesday's class.

STUDENTS:  Please consider planning ahead and attending the Study Session.  It will be on a "first come, first served" basis and there will be a signup sheet.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11th, Mr. Hatfield's Biology classes will have their first Unit Test.   The topics covered will included scientific method, the metric system, the hypothesis, lab safety, how to design experiments, scientific notation and atomic structure.   Students may need additional time to complete the test.   On test days, Mr. Hatfield will be in his room during lunch and after-school so that students who need additional time can complete the test.  

STUDENTS:  Make sure you plan your time ahead and keep lunch or after-school "in play", so that if you need the additional time, you are prepared! that parents and students have a "road map" for the present unit, here is the syllabus for Unit 1.  Students previously received this in class but it is good for all of us to be "on the same page" where time management is concerned....

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


This post contains the Power Point notes for "The Nature of Science" given in Mr. Hatfield's Biology classes..........

Students should make sure that their Cornell Style Notes are completed and perfected in their composition books, for two reasons:  1)  their comp books will from time to time be graded; 2) their comp books, if complete, may be used on exams.

To help make sure students complete their Notes, Mr. Hatfield makes them available for download through the class blog and also gives assignments (Lecture Guides) based on the lectures which students can compare with their comp books.

Students! Here is the Power Point for the notes on 'The Nature of Science'. You will receive a Lecture Guide based on these Notes sometime this week! If you don't have Power Point on your computer, don't worry . . . you can download a free program, Power Point Viewer, to see the notes!

KEEP IN MIND...this year, in Mr. Hatfield's Classes, we will try to reduce the amount of class time spent taking notes. There are dozens of standards to cover, hundreds of vocabulary terms and other items to master. We need to decrease the amount of time spent in lecture so students can have more time to do activities. Remember: we want to engage as many different parts of the brain as possible, and to do that, we need to have more time to do things other than notes.

At the same time, your Cornell Notes must be complete (all the notes, original questions and comments in the margins, your name/date/course on every page, and summaries of major sections of notes). Therefore, it is the student's responsibility to download and complete any notes that they were not able to finish in class!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


On Friday, August 23, Biology students will be viewing a 36-minute IMAX video in class 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 YouTube, is the first segment (Chapter 1) of the film 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!' Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 can be assessed at YouTube directly or by clicking on the hyperlinks


Welcome to College Prep Biology(Bio) in the 2013-2014 school year!  As its name suggests, this course satisfies the UC (a-g) requirements for a lab course in the biological sciences.

This year I have five sections of Bio, with about 180 students.   I will be using this blog to communicate with my students in many different ways, including:
  • providing an on-line record of course Policies and Procedures
  • making classroom notes available as Power Points downloadable from the blog
  • placing videos shown in class available through Flash sites like YouTube
  • providing images of the course syllabus
  • making important announcements about major assessments
Students typically find this valuable.   I had more than 10,000 hits last year and over 4,000 downloads, mostly from Bullard students, so make sure you check this blog regularly.

Your first set of Biology notes, covering course Policies and Cornell Notes, is available here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


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.

Students must finish these notes right away by completing the Lecture Guide, which has already been given (and partially completed) in class yesterday.   The Lecture Guide will be collected on the day of your final, Biology students, and treated as part of your notes.  Make sure it is completed!

ALSO....There is a Study Session TODAY (Thursday, June 6th) for the FINAL, in Room N-63, between 4:00 and 5:30. Students can earn extra credit in the course and receive helpful hints on how to proceed. Attendance is voluntary.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Biology students:   we are winding down the spring semester.   You will have one more lab ("Comparing Primates"), a  Lecture Guide, and then your final.

The Power Point Notes for Human Heredity are available here.

As your syllabus states, the STUDY SESSION for your Final in Biology is after-school, on Thursday, June 7th.   Students will receive a Study Guide prior to that time.   USE YOUR TIME WISELY.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


During Tuesday's Biology classes, students were asked to complete a worksheet based on the video 'Cracking the Code of Life.'  The video viewed in class, and thus the handout based on it, can be viewed on-line here:

There is an entire PBS-sponsored web site to accompany this program. It's truly excellent, and since I can't show the entire program within a regular class. I can, however, assign a segment of it along with Section 14.3 of our text to help students understand the material and complete the worksheet. So, read that section, watch video segments 4-8 and complete your work, students!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Seniors:   Your take-home final was given out in class TODAY (Tuesday, May 28th).
It is due tomorrow (Wednesday, May 29th).   If it is not handed in tomorrow, it is PAST DUE and you have a limited amount of time to return it, or else it will be scored as a "zero" out of 300 (owch).   Make sure you hand it in!

Regarding other work not yet graded in the course: at this point, while there is much not entered on ATLAS, there are only so many points left, and so it is possible to determine the likelihood of certain outcomes.   Seniors will receive an Evaluation form this week.  It will look like this:

This is NOT a Final Evaluation, because your percentage grade (and the letter grade attached to it) can not yet be estimated with complete accuracy.   But it will specify the likelihood of certain outcomes.   If you are a Senior, I certainly have no desire to issue a failing grade, but I also feel an obligation to provide you with a realistic assessment of likely outcomes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


The Power Point with the Notes on Biotechnology is available here. All students will need to download the entire Power Point in order to finish the Lecture Guide, so make sure you do it!

Students who have lost their original Lecture Guide and need to get another copy can download the Guide as a PDF file here.

Below you will our final syllabus for this year.   Students, the clock is ticking.  There really isn't much time left.   Make sure you keep your Cornell Notes current!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


This post contains the notes on water resources (from Ch. 11), as well as links to complete the video in class on water development in Southern California ("Mulholland's Dream").

 Environmental Science students are studying the impacts of water delivery systems on the environment and human civilization. They have received a worksheet that contains questions based upon a video, shown on class, called "Mulholland's Dream", which is based, in part, on a famous book by late environmentalist Marc Reisner, called "Cadillac Desert".

For students who were not in class when the video was shown, or who wish to see the entire (unedited) program again, I have provided the following links:

In addition to completing the worksheet, Environmental Science students must research and answer the following questions:

1. What is the estimated current population of Los Angeles County? Make sure you tell me the source of your estimate!

2. Water has many uses, but let’s just focus on drinking water. Find a source that estimates the amount of water in liters needed by a single human being, each day. Tell me the source, and provide the estimate.

3. Using your research from questions 1 and 2, estimate the total amount of drinking water in liters required annually by the population of Los Angeles County. SHOW YOUR WORK!

4. Based on your answer to question 3, do you think that Los Angeles County will have to find new sources of water in the future? Give a reason to support your claim.

5. Los Angeles relies on aqueducts and canals to obtain most of its water. What are the sources of water here in Fresno County?

Friday, May 10, 2013


Episodes from PBS's "Evolution" series have been previously featured in instruction.   The centerpiece of that series, a two-hour episode entitled "Darwin's Dangerous Idea", will be shown in class in its entirety over the course of several lessons (we are, in fact, close to completing it).   Students have been given a study guide to this video, which not only uses actors to reenact key events in Darwin's life, but provides vivid demonstrations of Darwin's ideas, and how scientists explore these ideas today.

Students will be expected to complete the study guide based on the video, which will involve writing short responses (1-2 paragraphs) to a series of prompts to specific parts of the video.   As such, they may find it necessary to review the video.  

The paragraphs generated by students will be critical to completing their final quarter project in this course, so it is vital that all students complete the study guide immediately.   The entire video is available through this YouTube channel, broken into 11 segments that roughly correspond wtih the 12 chapters in the assignment.

(For your convenience, I have embedded all 11 videos on this page, but these may not be visible on FUSD computers or on others that do not have recent versions of Java to run flash-based media.  If you are unable to open the individual videos on this post, go to the link above and watch them directly on YouTube)

Chapter 1. Prologue
Chapter 2. Common Ancestry

Chapter 3. Ecuador and the Tree of Life

Chapter 4. Natural Selection

Chapter 5. Mutation and HIV

Chapter 6. Complexity

Chapter 7. How The Eye Evolved

Chapter 8. God

Chapter 9. A Scientist Discusses Religion

Chapter 10. The Human Question

Chapter 11. Humans and The Tree of Life Chapter 12. Epilogue

Finally, here is the PBS web site that accompanies the entire series.
You can also watch parts of the videos there, but they are lower in resolution.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Seniors will take their final the last week of May.  

Since many seniors currently have grades less than 51 percent, it is vital to raise those grades as much as possible before the senior finals period (May 28-31).   Thus, this week's test and next week's project (both discussed in class today) are critical for all students, but especially for seniors. 

The Study Guide for the Unit 7 test on atmosphere, climate and fossil fuels was issued at the beginning of Monday's classes.  

The Unit 7 test will occur THIS WEEK on Wednesday, May 8th.

Mr. Hatfield will be available at lunch and after school on both Monday and Tuesday.  Additional time is available on exam day at lunch and during 7th period for Seniors who haven't completed their final.   There will be no additional time given after the day of the test, and students who fail to take the test on Wednesday the 8th will find themselves taking an extensive take-home test to "make up" that test score.   That is not, to put it mildly, the best possible choice a student could make.

Links to Power Point notes are found below:




Monday, April 22, 2013


The first, and most important thing is that students this week have a rare opportunity: a Critical CST Review for next week's state test in Biology.

Why is this a rare opportunity? Because students who sign up and attend this Review (on Saturday morning, April 27th), will be able to earn up to 100 points of extra credit in the course.

Students who do not attend this Review are not eligible for this assignment.

Students have been given a blue permission slip to be signed and filled out by their parent or guardian. It should be returned before Saturday to guarantee a place for students. Seating is limited, and on Saturday would be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students who wish to take advantage of this opportunity would return the permission slip and report at 8:30 to Room N-63 on the Bullard campus. Students will be released at 11:45 that morning.

Please encourage your student to take advantage of this opportunity. In addition to this, Mr. Hatfield's standard policy is that students who earn a score above "Basic" on their Biology CST will qualify for grade change in one or both semester grades. Thus, there is an incentive to help students raise their present grade NOW and an incentive to raise past or present grades in the future.

Meanwhile, back in standard instructional mode, here's the Lecture Notes.

The title, incidentally, is taken from the Daniel Dennett book which also inspired a two-hour episode of the NOVA 'Evolution' series. We will end up seeing much of this episode, broken up into chunks, over the next few weeks, so I thought I would provide a link to view the whole thing on-line, here.

Friday, April 19, 2013


The Power Point Lecture Notes on 'Deep Time' are available here:

Students who were absent on Thursday and/or Friday's class before last week almost certainly are missing part of these notes.

Mr. Hatfield reviewed the final slides with students in class on Monday of last week, and made sure that they have the Lecture Guide based upon these notes.....

FACT: The fossil record (and other lines of evidence) show us that populations of living things have "changed over time" (evolved)....

QUESTION: How can we explain this pattern of change in terms of NATURAL causes?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


EXTINCTION Monday and Tuesday's classes featured excerpts from 'Extinction!', which isNOVA's 'Evolution' series (2001). The video begins with paleontologist Peter Ward hunting for Permian fossils in South Africa's Karoo Desert, and relates ecological pyramids (which are like a 'house of cards') to mass extinctions, which are believed to be rare but important events in the history of life. It then follows the work of American Museum of Natural History researcher Michael Novacek in building the fossil record of small, shrew-like mammals from the Mesozoic, representative of the lineage that will survive the next mass extinction (the K/T event), which will claim the dinosaurs.
Episode 3 from

It concludes with an examination of the role of human activity in accelerating the rate of extinction, with important attention to conservationists like Alan Rabinowitz.

Students have been given a worksheet based upon this video as homework, which is now due. I encourage students to watch the video in its entirety for themselves if there are points that they don't get in class. We simply do not have enough class time to review this, but I know many students will want to see the whole story again, either by going to Google Video or watching it here: