Parent Help and Hints
For students to access the google doc, use the following:

username:  s-"insert student username"
password:  student password

use this url to access the google docs:

Parent Help and Hints

This is based on an older book

I will be redoing this for the new textbook during the coming year.
Still it is a great example of how to outline and then change the outline
into a mind map. 



Outlining/Mind Mapping


Life Science 7 is where students review and use outlining. This is an important skill that students will use again and again. I am reviewing with seventh graders the way to outline using the textbook. When students look at their textbook they will be able to know which information is important by how and where the makers of the book place that information. 

If something is 
larger, in color, bold, italicunderlined or some how different from the rest of the print---it is important! (That is how authors let you know what information is important)

I am going to give you a crash course in how we will be using the text-book as our guide. This makes outlining a lot easier. Chapter 1 sec 1 is what I will be using as my example. A download-able sample is included under the On-line/Printable Worksheets section. Just click on the link (over on the left) and it will take you right to the example. Click on the worksheet and a PDF will be downloaded to your computer---very easy. Print it out and look at it while you go through the following directions.


Chapter1 Section 1 Outline


1)Title gets centered on the middle of the page. “What is Life?” 
Under the title I put the chapter and the section.

2) Roman numeral 1 is the red heading from the textbook. 

“I. The Characteristics of living things”. 
The red headings will always be in the outline as the roman numerals . (1 = I,2 = II, 3 = III, 4 = IV, V = 5, 6 = VI, 7 = VII, 8 = VIII, 9 = IX, 10 = X) We won't use more then ten. Capital I’s, V's and X's make great Roman numerals.

3) Anything in bold print must be in the outline. Vo Cab words are all in bold print, so of course they must be in any good outline. (If a student learns these words they have about half of the new information needed to be successful in a course) 
“I. The Characteristics of living things” has one bold word and a bold sentence. They become your 1 and 2.

4) The blue headings become the A’s, B’s etc. 

“A. Cellular Organization”. Notice that there are three bold words these will be your 1, 2, and 3. (the vo-cab words are highlighted yellow in the outline)
When you get to “B. The Chemicals of Life” there are no bold words in that paragraph so then your student needs to ask themselves what is important in that paragraph? It is about the chemicals of life so they should at least list them and even better write a little about each of these chemicals. 

5) Just continue to complete the rest of the section this same way and viola a beautiful outline!

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is taking new information, thinking about it, maybe asking questions about it and then turning it into pictures. It is the processes of doing the mind map, not the end product that is important. A student has to understand he new information enough to put it into pictures.   We will betaking our outlines and turning them into mind maps. (take the same example outline that you downloaded for the exercise above---our example mind map was made from that outline--down load the example map from the "Online/Printable Worksheets" link on your left.)       


Roman Numeral1 in the outline is:

  I. Characteristics of Living Things it is shown in the circle. Then the horse is an example of a living thing (1) I picked a horse cause it is my favorite living thing. (2) Is in bold print in the textbook and the outline. I have pictures to show each of those main ideas.        

 I have used the computer program Inspiration to make my mind map. They could be drawn into the science notebook; students do not have to use a computer to do their mind maps. It is helpful to add color to hand drawn or black and white mind maps...this makes them easier to read.



If you do want to try the Inspiration program you can go to the Inspiration web siteMind mapping works for any subject and is a real plus for visual learners. When saving student work please save as a 7.6 or some version of 7 so it can be opened at school...we do not have version 8 on the school computers.




Skills for Today's Work Place



In order to determine the most essential computer skills for today’s job market, we polled a group of professionals from leading Silicon Valley corporations like Genen-tech, Hewlett Packard, Cisco, and Oracle. By choosing people from a wide variety of careers,we expected to get a wide variety of answers. Instead, the group was almost unanimous in recommending the following group of skills.

1. Typing
The keyboard is the tool that drives all other technology. There is no more important skill than being to type well. College classrooms are now filled with students using laptops to take lecture notes; hunt-and-peck typing isn’t fast enough to keep up with today’s world.

2. Word processing
Every student should be able to produce work using a program like Microsoft Word. Everyone I polled stressed the importance of being able to properly format a document. Computer scientist Cathy Pearl cited specific skills: “Table of Contents, page numbering, and footnotes.” Also, learn not to depend on spell-check or grammar-check, since “e-mail” and “e-male” both look fine to a computer.


3. Spreadsheets
“If you can’t do at least basic Excel, then don’t bother applying,” said Jon Kondo, CEO of Host Analytics. Your student should understand how to keep track of data in a spreadsheet, and be able to use basic formula and graphing functions. One way to get your student started would be to have him keep track of his earnings and expenditures in a spreadsheet.


4. PowerPoint

PowerPoint presentations have become a standard tool for group meetings.Your child should know how to make a compelling presentation. As Mr. Kondo said, “Slides should be visual aids, not just documents that you’ve copied and pasted.” He also stressed the importance of knowing proper grammar, because note chnology can replace good writing skills.

5. E-Mail “netiquette"
E-mail has become essential to communication. Your student should know the etiquette for writing a proper business note. This includes brevity, proper use of “reply all,” and knowing that all e-mail has the potential to be forwarded.Also, said Mr. Kondo, “Know when it’s time to pick up the phone and actually speak to someone.”

6. Electronic calendar
Most businesses now revolve around online calendars. “Learn how to manage time on an electronic calendar, and be accommodating of other’s schedules,” says Manager Katie Petrie. In addition, your child should use the calendar to help manage his time; it’s easy to lose track of the hours when we’re on the web.Consider getting started by using a computer calendar for your family - it’s fun and easy!

7. Social Networking sites
Marketing Programs Manager Michelle Myers stressed that online communities have become an important method of communication. Your student should be familiar with how to navigate these sites; in the future, she may use one to find a job or create an ad campaign. Most importantly, your student should also be aware that companies use these sites to check on prospective employees. Your child’s best defense is to put her own information out there the way she wants to be presented.

8. Basic computer upkeep
According to Senior Project Manager Clyde Kennedy, not enough people are familiar with basic computer function. “Know the terms for the major parts, like the monitor and USB ports. Understand how the computer communicates with the world around it whether, it’s plugged into a network or using a wireless network.” Your student should be able to take care of her computer by knowing how to update software, check for viruses, and replace the printer cartridge.

9. Using Internet searches properly for research
Teach your child to be a careful consumer of web information. It’s important to be able to use a search engine like Yahoo or Google to find information, but it’s even more important to learn which sites to trust. Your student should be discerning about what information he cites to support a claim. For instance, if he uses Wikipedia, he should go one step farther and check the reference articles.

10. Database use
Most companies now use a variety of databases for things like H.R. information,sales, and finances. Your child should understand the importance of data base security. Teach her how to create and keep track of passwords, and how to change them occasionally for optimal safety. She should also understand the impact of her own actions on a database, like the difference between looking at data and making a change to data that will affect everyone involved.


The professionals polled mentioned other applications that might be helpful for a student who wants to become more advanced. These skills included:photo and file management, making a web page, and keeping a blog. But so long as your student is able to master the ten skills above, she’ll not only be ready for the next step in her education, but for the career opportunities that are sure to follow.