For our final week of remote learning, we will review genetics (HEREDITY!). Please visit Canvas, or check out my calendar for the weekly assignments.

This week we are reviewing what we previously learned about DNA.  Please visit Canvas, or check out my calendar for the weekly assignments.

This week we are continuing and expanding our work on Taxonomy and Classification, by exploring the various animal phyla and plant divisions!
Please visit Canvas, or check out my calendar for the weekly assignments.

This week we are working on Taxonomy and Classification!
Please visit Canvas, or check out my calendar for the weekly assignments.


Dear Students and Parent/Guardians,

Parkside Middle School will begin a transition to Canvas, a student learning management system, beginning on Monday, May 4th.  Canvas will allow students to access each of their unique set of classes and find their course content in one location. Canvas Student Apps can be downloaded by clicking the following links: download for Apple,download for AndroidParent and student resources, as well as direct links to the Canvas web page, can be found on the PWCS Instructional Technology page by clicking hereWhile we at Parkside are excited about using Canvas, we understand that it will be a learning process for teachers, students, and families.  We are here to help and excited to learn and grow together!

Parkside Middle School Staff 

Estimados estudiantes y padres / tutores, 

La Escuela Parkside Middle comenzará una transición a Canvas, un sistema de gestión de aprendizaje estudiantil, a partir del lunes 4 de mayo. Canvas permitirá a los estudiantes acceder a cada una de sus clases  y encontrar el contenido de su curso en una ubicación. Las aplicaciones para estudiantes de Canvas se pueden descargar haciendo clic en los siguientes enlaces: descargar para Apple, descargar para Android. Los recursos para padres y estudiantes, así como los enlaces directos a la página web de Canvas, se pueden encontrar en la página de Tecnología Educativa de PWCS haciendo clic aquí. Si bien en Parkside estamos entusiasmados con el uso de Canvas, entendemos que será un proceso de aprendizaje para maestros, estudiantes y familias. ¡Estamos aquí para ayudar y emocionados de aprender y crecer juntos! 

Personal de Parkside Middle School

Please watch this video that will show you how to set up your CANVAS account! ALL Prince William County schools will be using Canvas next year, so the time to learn it is now!!
Here is a link showing you how to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsQ5w5A1C6c

                                                       Week 3 April 30 – May 6, 2020

Cell Processes (LS.3)

This week’s focus is on LS.3, Cell Processes, which includes osmosis and diffusion.

Complete the review material found here at  Pearson - The Biology Place  We strongly recommend that you use pencil and paper to write down definitions and draw yourself pictures. 

You will need to complete the following (links on the left-hand side of the page):

Concept 1: Diffusion

Concept 2: Osmosis

Concept 3: Movement of Molecules

Concept 4: Movement of Molecules in Cells

Concept 5: Types of Solutions

Follow that up with this Webquest  -  Biology4Kids.com: Cell Function
Once you have a solid understanding, complete the Cell Process Scenarios. 
For those that want more, check out the Diffusion and Osmosis Gizmos and the Gizmo STEM cases at www.explorelearning.com

04-20-20 update
Good morning!
I am going through all your submitted work, so if you are waiting to hear about a grade or an assignment, I should be getting back to you within 24 hours. Remember that if you have a question, you can either email me, or post in on the Ferrufino Science channel on Teams.
Below you will find this week's lesson. We are reviewing the Characteristics of Living Things and Levels of Organization. As stated in other communications, you can work at whatever time or pace is convenient for you.  The dates you see posted for each lesson are based upon our Parkside remote learning schedule which has science running on Thursdays.

Week 2 April 23 – April 30, 2020

Characteristics of Life/Levels of Organization in Living Things (LS.1, LS.3)


This week we will review our unit of the levels of organization in living things.  Before we begin going over the levels, it is helpful to discuss what “living” actually means.  Recall that last fall we discussed the differences between “living”, “nonliving” and “dead”.  Since Biology, (Life Science) is the study of living things, you must first have a clear understanding of what a living thing actually is.

This week’s assignments: (Items in red are actual links that you should click!)

  1. Edpuzzles for you to review: ***PLEASE use first AND last name!  I have a few from last week that I can not tell whose they are, some due to the fact that I have several students with the same first name***
    a. this one on the characteristics of living things:https://edpuzzle.com/media/5e99ef899289593f11b78103

b. and this one on the Levels of Organization:https://edpuzzle.com/media/5e99ef89904a603f1b0081bf

2.  Click the link Levels of Organization Lecture Notes  to complete the "Levels of Organization" note-taking form.

3. Complete the attached Cell Organization worksheets. You may download the document or write your answers on notebook paper. 

4.  Using notebook paper, construct the
Levels of Organization Foldable

5. Here is a Levels of Organization PowerPoint that offers another review of the content we’ve covered.

Extended Challenge Option:

Are viruses alive?  Read this article and submit a paragraph on what you believe:

Are viruses alive? Yes, or no? Be sure to use evidence from the article to support your ideas. 

04-14-20 update
Good afternoon!
If students have questions regarding each week's lesson, please go to the class chat on Microsoft Teams.  That way, you can post a question and everyone else in the class can see it and can benefit from reading the answer. During office hours, (science office hours are Mondays from 1:00PM - 2:45PM) I will be available on Teams for any special assistance you may need.

04-13-20 update

Good afternoon Parents and Students,

I hope you all had a healthy and enjoyable Spring Break, despite the current challenges that we are all facing. Today I would like to explain how we will be moving forward in Life Science. You should be receiving an email from your child’s advisory teacher in the next day or so, and it is very important that you reply to let him/her know about your current technology needs and capabilities. We are making every effort to be sure that we reach every student and need you to help make us aware of it if you are unable to access any technology.  We can make everything available in print for pickup or delivery via snail mail if necessary, but we need your help to inform us as to your needs.

That being said, we are now ready to continue learning by reinforcing, reviewing and enriching our previously covered materials.  Each week we will offer a variety of optional assignments, of varying skill levels and challenges, and they will be posted on the class webpage, both on the front page, and on the calendar.  You will be able to choose the assignments that interest you, and you may submit them to me for feedback. While the assignments are not graded, they are an excellent way to improve your knowledge of these topics. The admin has scheduled 10:30AM – 12:15PM on Thursdays as Science time. So, I am posting this week’s assignments below, but the links and files will not be active until Thursday.  Once they are available, you can work on them during “science time”, or, at your own pace and time that works for you.  Each “science time” will have a 15-minute instruction piece, followed by a 45-minute activity/work assignment.  (Times are somewhat approximate as not all learners work at the same pace). We will start with our unit on cells.

  1. Check out our EdPuzzle. https://edpuzzle.com/assignments/5e9867758de66e3f1d4b06a6/  Watch the video for a brief overview/review (**there is an option for captions in different languages!  Click CC options if interested)
  2. Open the document showing you pages 129-135 in our textbook.  Read the text and associated photos, captions, etc.
  3. Open up the Cell Tic Tac Toe.  Choose any three assignments and complete a tic-tac-toe!

*Extended Challenge option:

      1. Complete a Cell Structure or Cell Type *Gizmo.  (If you don’t remember or don’t have your login, I will include information about that at the end of this message)http://explorelearning.com/

*Advanced Option:

  1. Complete the Homeostasis Stem Case in Gizmos.

While you may read about the many cell organelles present in cells, remember that these are the organelles that you have been responsible for learning:

  1. Cell Wall
  2. Cell Membrane
  3. Nucleus
  4. Chromatin
  5. Cytoplasm
  6. Mitochondrion
  7. Endoplasmic Reticulum
  8. Vacuole
  9. Chloroplast

*If you don’t remember your login information for Gizmos, try using the lost password/username option.  If that doesn’t work, then create a new one.  If you never had an account for any reason, then create a new one.  Please remember that you need to be sure that you use your real name so that I can identify all students in the class.  I will have to remove any suspicious accounts!  Please be sure your username is school-appropriate. Here are the codes you need to enter.  (Choose the code that is for your class)






Feel free to email me with any questions! While I am working a full day every day, Dr. Boynton has designated Mondays from 1:00 – 2:45 PM as Science Office Hours. Those hours will be solely dedicated to answering your questions directly. I am also continuing to go through the emails you sent over Spring Break and correct all the pips that have come in. As a reminder, the 3rd quarter has been extended to April 24, so you may work on your pips until that time!

Thank you and stay safe!

Mrs. Ferrufino

Happy Monday, everyone!
I have received several requests for review.
Please continue to go to FILES and find whatever resources you need to review.  I will be sending class emails in the near future regarding any possible virtual classes/review sessions, as soon as I have more information on that.  I will also continue to add content to the folders, so if you can't find anything on a specific topic, I will be adding more things soon.
Thanks and stay healthy and stay home! :)

Update #3
Hello again, students and families.
I think that even with everything that has been going on, I can speak for many of you when I say we were all stunned by the Governor's decision to close school for the remainder of the year.  While I guess I should not be surprised, I will say that it is a sad day.  We all enjoy a day off, but having any time off under these circumstances is not anything I would ever wish for.  I truly look forward to returning to school next fall.  
In the meantime, we are going to have to wait a little bit to give the administration some time to get the information we need on how we will move forward and how we will close out the year remotely.  I am sure you have many questions.  So do I!  As soon as we know what to do next, I assure you, I will be here to let you know and to assist in any way possible.
For now, we continue with what I posted earlier today.  There is optional review available.  See the links below, or go to the "files" section and choose a unit you'd like to review.
In case you were not able to open the files below showing the standards covered so far this year, I will cut and paste them below:

Units covered in order from September, 2019 through March 13, 2020


            Life Processes & Cellular Organization
LS.3, LS.1
Ø Characteristics of life

Ø Cells, tissues, organs, and systems
Ø Patterns of cellular organization and their relationship to life processes in living things
Ø Science process skills (infused)

Cell Structure & Function
LS.2a-c, LS.1
Ø Cell structure and function
Ø Compare/contrast plant/animal cells

Ø Development of cell theory
Ø Science process skills (infused)


LS.5a-b, LS.1
Ø Energy transfer between sunlight and chlorophyll
Ø Transformation of water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen

Ø Science process skills (infused)


            Classification of Living Things
LS.4, LS.1
Ø Characteristics of domains of organisms

Ø Characteristics of kingdoms of organisms
Ø Characteristics of major animal phyla and plant divisions
Ø Characteristics that define a species

Ø Science process skills (infused)

DNA & Heredity

LS.12, LS.1
Ø Structure and role of DNA

Ø Function of genes and chromosomes

Ø Sex cell production (meiosis)
Ø Genotypes and phenotypes
Ø Characteristics that can and cannot be inherited

Ø Genetic engineering and its applications
Ø Historical contributions and significance of discoveries related to genetics
Ø Science process skills (infused)

            Cell Growth & Reproduction
Ø Cell division (somatic cell)

Ø Science process skills (infused)


Evolution & Genetic Variation (2 weeks)
LS.13, LS.1

Ø  Evidence of evolution 

Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we figure all of this out together.  The most important thing right now is to stay inside and stay healthy! 
-Mrs. Ferrufino

update #2 03-23-20
Here are a few suggestions of things to work on. (again, this is optional and will not impact your grade, but every little bit of review or practice has a positive effect on your brain! :)
Harry Potter genetics: (similar to the Sponge Bob ones we worked on in class!)
H P Genetics Part 1.docx  H P Genetics Part 2.docx  H P Genetics Part 1.pdf

Review of cells:adventure in to cells.pdf

Good morning, Everyone!
I am sure that not long ago none of us could have imagined we would be in this situation, but here we are.  At this time, the most important thing is your health and safety, so please be sure to take care of that first.  That being said, I am here to provide some opportunities to review material we have already covered this year.  As of the last time we were in school, Friday, March 13, we were in the middle of our Natural Selection unit.  The only unit remaining is our ecology unit, which is, in fact, a very large unit that covers many standards.  As of right now we are not to assign anything on topics not yet covered in class, so we will focus on everything else besides ecology for now.
Here is a list of all standards covered so far: Standards covered YTD.docx   Standards covered YTD.pdf
As you know, the Corona Virus is a health crisis.  I am so thankful that there are so many people who have studied life science and have made it a career.  This includes doctors, nurses, all health professionals, researchers who are working to find treatments and develop vaccines, etc.  A good understanding of life science is key to fighting this illness! Since COVID19 is a virus that attacks our cells, here is a video that you may choose to watch to help you see how this happens and how your body responds to virus attacks. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x150im3

At this point we are instructed to not assign any graded work, and not to assign anything that is on topics not yet covered.  So while anything on this site is optional, I encourage all of you to spend a little time reviewing.  After all, its not about a grade, its about being an educated and informed person. In the files section of this page, you can find copies of most activities/study guides, etc. that we have worked on.  There are also things we did not work on that you could use to review.  Here is a link to a webpage with lots of science review! https://www.ducksters.com/science/biology/
Take some time to look around there and explore some of the topics that we have studied this year.
Above all, however, stay safe and stay home as much as possible!
Hope to see you all soon!

Happy Friday, everyone!
I realize many students have been asking about PIPs for the recent Cell Division quiz.  Once we know more about what will happen in terms of school closures in the coming weeks, I will be able to determine when we can have that PIP. I had originally planned to offer the PIP next week, and will do so if we are open.  If not, it will take place sometime when normal operations resume.
In the meantime, we continue working on Natural Selection.
Hope to see you all next week!  Stay well!

This week we are learning how traits are passed from generation to generation.  We are working on Punnett Squares to predict outcomes of various crosses.  Next week we have a quiz!  Be sure to work on all practice sheets so that you will be successful.  In the event that you need to PiP this, remember that all classwork needs to be completed.  If not, you will not be successful in your PiP. (And if you are completing everything, then you just might not need to PiP at all!)

Today we finished our subunit on the structure of DNA.  Tomorrow we begin learning about the inheritance of traits.  Be sure to check student vue to see how each assessment has impacted your grade.
Also, everyone needs to check to be sure you can still log into the GIZMO website.  Very soon we will be doing another simulation and everyone will need to be able to log back in. If necessary, use the lost username/password function!

Today we are finishing up our kingdom project.  This is a culmination of our unit on Taxonomy, where we have learned about how scientists have grouped and named all living things.  (Plants, Animals, Protists, Fungi, Archaebacteria and Eubacteria).
Students who are still not finished, have the option of taking it home and finishing it so long as it is turned in no later than Monday, February 3, 2020.  Also on Monday, we will have our Kingdom quiz (summative assessment).  It covers the same material that we have been putting into our projects, which is the material we have been learning the past few weeks. 
If you have lost your instructions, you may download a new copy here! Go to "FILES" and look in the Taxonomy folder for the kingdom project document.  
Have a great weekend!

We are halfway through the school year!  Today is the last day of the second quarter,  On Monday, the teachers will be here getting grades finalized and attending staff development and planning meetings.  We hope the students enjoy their day off and return on Tuesday ready to conquer the second half of the year.
Currently we are working on our Taxonomy unit.  We are learning about how scientists have identified, named and classified all living things.  Today we started our 6-Kingdom booklet where each student will create a book that shows the characteristics of all six kingdoms of life. (Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protists, Fungi, Plants and Animals).
The project will be completed in class next week and will be followed with a day of review and then a quiz (summative assessment) to assess their knowledge.
Once our Taxonomy unit is complete, we will move into our unit on DNA.
Be sure to check Student Vue and Parent Vue weekly so that you are always aware of your progress!

Happy New Year!
As we approach the end of the second quarter, we are learning about the three domains and six kingdoms of living things.  Next Monday, we will have a quiz on the domains and students will also have the opportunity to PIP the photosynthesis quiz they tool before break.  (We went over that quiz on Monday, so everyone should be well aware of how to correct any mistakes they made!)
Be sure to keep up with your grades on StudentVue so that there are no surprises when the quarter is over.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
We are less than three weeks away from our winter break, but we have much to do and learn in that time.  This week we are learning about Passive Transport.  Each student received some notes with diagrams and explanations of the concepts that we have discussed and demonstrated in class. Osmosis and diffusion are both being experienced in class as we observe and measure changes in eggs, gummy bears, and other things as water and other molecules pass into and out of our simulated cells.  We are predicting how the mass of a gummy bear will change if it is soaked in water overnight.  Students are encouraged to try these experiments at home, with parent permission.  I hope these experiments help all our students better understand the lessons we are learning!
Our transport quiz will be Tuesday, December 10.  Then we will be ready to learn about how plants make food via photosynthesis.

We are now working on learning how cells are organized in multicellular organisms.  Having cells organized into tissues, cells and organ systems, allows multicellular organisms to do complex activities since all these different systems can work together!
Here is the clip we saw in class today.  Have another look at it so that you can better understand the levels of organization.

Levels of Organization

Welcome to the Second Quarter!
Tomorrow we officially begin the second quarter of the year.  We will be wrapping up our unit on cells by comparing different cell types and viewing them under the microscope to see how the differences relate to the cell's structure and its function.
Then we will briefly look at cellular organization in living things before moving on to Cell Processes (Osmosis and Diffusion, followed by photosynthesis and respiration).
Please continue to use StudentVue and ParentVue to monitor progress.  Be sure to review any and all notes/study guides you receive in class as they contain the information you are expected to know.  
Happy Autumn!! 


Happy Friday, Life Science students!

As of today we have two weeks left in the first quarter.

We are currently working on the structure and function of the cell organelles.  All students worked on labeling and coloring their notes with a diagram of a plant and an animal cell, along with writing a brief description of the function of each of those cell parts.  The notes should be reviewed as there is a quiz next Thursday, October 24 where students will demonstrate the ability to identify those cell parts on a blank diagram.

After the quiz, each student will begin creating an analogy of a cell so that students can learn the function of each cell organelle. Examples will be provided and we will first look at some similar analogies to help students understand what they will be asked to do.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Welcome to Life Science!

Welcome to 7th grade Life Science! My name is Mrs. Rachel Ferrufino. I am excited about the opportunity to get to know you, your parents/guardians and I am looking forward to a fun and productive school year. Curriculum areas we will focus on this year include the study of cell function and structure, cell theory, cell processes, cell division, evolution and genetic variation, classification, photosynthesis, DNA and heredity, and ecology.  In this letter you will find several important pieces of information.  If you find you still have questions, please feel free to email me at ferrufra@pwcs.edu.

Materials needed for Science Class: 

**Other than the 3-ring binder, the science supplies are the same supplies that most students will need for many of their classes.  We suggest that the pencils, pens, colored pencils and sharpener be kept in a pencil pouch that is carried to all classes throughout the day.  Keep a small supply of paper in your binder and simply add more later in the year as necessary. The only “science specific” supply needed is the binder!**1.

1.One 3-ring notebook (1-2”) used only for science (rings hold papers inside)

2.lined notebook paper

3. Several pencils, one set of colored pencils and pens.

4. Plastic page protectors (*optional but strongly encouraged)

5. Small pencil sharpener


Science Info:  In this class, students will learn about living things and how they work.  I encourage all students to discuss and review science topics at home with the family.  Both parents and students have the opportunity to monitor students’ progress by using the County’s parent portal.  Students will also be tracking grades on a regular basis through the use of data folders.


Student FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

1. What should I bring to class each day?    Science notebook with paper, pencil, pens and colored pencils.

2. Will students be assigned projects?  Yes, sometimes students will work together in class to do an in-class project.  There will also be an independent research project that all students must complete.

3. Must students create a science fair project?  No, however all students must complete an independent project, which they can choose to present at the Science Fair if they wish.

4. Is there a lot of homework?  Students are expected to spend a few minutes in the evenings reviewing any new material learned in class that day.  It is particularly important that students learn ALL vocabulary words so that they understand the language of life science.


Homework Policy:
Each night, Monday through Thursday, students are expected to review for 10-15 minutes any new content and/or any vocabulary words for the current unit. It is strongly encouraged that students create flash cards at home from their vocabulary sheets that they are provided.  On occasion, students will be asked to do an assignment at home in lieu of this nightly review, which can be graded as a formative assessment.  Formative assessments (classwork and homework) are 20% of the student grade.

Absence Policy:

Look inside the work bins for work from the date(s) you were absent.  The student is responsible for obtaining any missed information or work due to absences.  Keep in mind that there are many days where no papers are handed out!  Just because there is no written handout in class does not mean that you didn’t miss anything!  There is no substitute for being in class and being present for all the learning that goes on!

Grading Policy:


As per PWCS regulations, Parkside Middle School will follow standards-based grading, ensuring that all students are assessed solely on their academic ability for all classes during the 2019/2020 school year.  Grades will be entered into the grade book using SOL-specific targets as summative (tests, quizzes and projects which are 80% of the grade), and formative (classwork, warm-ups, homework which are 20% of the grade). Effort, and Conduct, are informational grades.  Summative and formative assessments are the only assignments that are factored into the quarterly grade.  Other grades are for informational purposes, only.  Any summative assessment that receives below 70% for middle classes will immediately require a retake.  Failure is not an option.  Please see the Parkside website for further information.



All personal cellular devices must be powered off and placed in the lockers every morning.