Academic Calendar 2017-2018

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Open House Thursday September 18th, 2014 5:45pm- 7:00pm


Thomas R. Allison

  1. Highly qualified Florida teacher with 15 years of classroom experience, 
  2. I am a dedicated thinker seeking  to change the world through education. 
  3. I am not satisfied to just do a good job with my students.
  4. I believe in holding a higher standard, and igniting the flame of inquiry within them.
    1.  I fan that flame with personal experiences and lead their curious minds toward activities which will allow them to hone their wild thoughts into sharpened instruments of critical thinking. 

    2. I do this through a combination of hands on projects and a host of other methods which immerse the students in a learning rich environment where they rediscover their wonder. 

You will see that I shun superficiality in my teaching style. I wholeheartedly believe that the best way to meet the common core requirements is to take students to a depth of learning that will allow them to navigate the shallows on their own. By diving deep, they learn critical thinking skills that cannot be gained whilst skimming over the surface of a unit.

I hold certifications in 6-12 Biology, 6-12 English, 6-12 Social Science, Middle Grades General Science, and ESOL. I have experience teaching a variety of sciences including, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, Earth Space Science, Marine Biology, Aquaculture, Environmental Science and Ecology, Honors Junior/Senior English, Advanced Physical Science, and World History. 

Additionally, I have successfully coached boys’ varsity soccer to regional playoffs, coached girls’ soccer, and sponsored a variety of clubs and after school activities including: Environmental club, Chess club, Journalism, and Robotics.

Contacting me

Phone: 352-465-6720 Ext. 55256
E- Mail: 
I respond to E- mails within 48 hours. 

PLEASE do not leave important messages on my voice mail. I rarely check it. To schedule parent conferences, please contact the school guidance office.

Course Subjects:

Physical Science: Periods 1,2,5,6 (Approximately 24 students per period)
Honors Physical Science: Periods 3,4 (High School credit class) (Approximately 25 students per class) *
This class will be taught at an advanced level. My expectation is that students in these sections will produce a higher quality work. *
Florida Standards and Course Outline can be found at this link: CPALMS State Course Description with Standards.
Complete Course Syllabus: Mr. Allison's Course Syllabus

style="text-align: left;"> Class Resources and Tools

Class Website
REMIND for Physical Science
REMIND for Honors Physical Science
Brain Pop
How Parents Can Help Students Study
" ... to imagine themselves standing in the middle of a huge field and needing to dig a well so they could have a drink. I explained that in a way, I am standing right there with them and I keep laying tools out in front of them to make their job easier, yet they are not picking up the tools. I then gave them the Chinese proverb that states, "When you are thirsty, it's too late to think of digging a well." The take home message is that I have provided every learning tool I know to give them; I stay in my class during lunch so students can come in and view the videos if they do not have or could not get to a computer while at home. Additionally, I come in at 7:00am every day to open the room and allow them the opportunity to come in as well. I have provided this blog which I update twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening so they have all of the resources I mentioned in class and they have the most up to date information. I have built and maintain a closed Face Book page called Star Fleet Training and asked them to join it as well as have their parents join it because I am online most of the time and if they post a question there, I usually answer within 5 minutes. There are also other parents, teachers, and students who provide homework help and hints how to be successful in class as well as science related current events. I gave them the REMIND, texting service and asked them to sign up and give it to their parents to sign up as well so that they will get a text when they have homework or projects, tests or quizzes coming up. I have given them permission to record me lecturing. I have allowed them to use their phones to take notes instead of writing them down. I allow them to listen to their music during tests and I have provided a complete syllabus with all of the class information in it. All I can do is lay the tools out in front of them, but they have to be the ones to pick up those tools and actually choose to use them."

Today's Quote:

Today's Lateral Thinking question:

If a red house is made of red bricks, and a blue house is made of blue bricks, what is a green house made of?

Now Playing During Lunch

How to Create a graph in Excel For Beginners
The Beginners Guide To Graphing Data

Today's Class:

I returned the corrected Invitation 13 papers today. Grades will not show up until tomorrow in the portal, however it was included on the 4 week progress report. The graphing quiz scheduled for this week has been moved to Monday of next week in order to allow more time for students to study. Please watch the video as the entire quiz is IN THE VIDEO Ball Bounce Challenge Today we finished up our data table and began working on the Netbooks in Excel. Students learned how to create a graph from scratch.

Today's homework:

Watch How To Create a Graph in Excel For Beginners.
Watch for review!How to construct a graph. I spoke briefly about the video homework and told the classes that there is no vocabulary quiz this week, however, there will be a quiz on Monday of next week.

Today's discussion question:

using a program such as Excel to analyze data and create a graph is an example of ?

PM Update:

First of all, I need to apologize for being on a short fuse. I knew I was getting a migraine when I got to school but I didn't want anyone to miss out so I tried to tough it out. Better day tomorrow!
Our plans to use the laptops failed miserably due to the computer shutting down before we could use them. We'll try it again next week. For now we'll construct our graphs old school. Classes worked through analysis of their data today and began to grasp that "doing an experiment or lab"is only a tiny portion f the scientific method. As I stated earlier in this unit, scientists spend most of their time in research and analysis. This sounds daunting, but the payoff is huge. I used the example of Dr. Keeling and the famous Keeling curve featured in the BGTGD video. His data set was enormous and he managed to convert it into a graph that was understandable by even those people who may not be scientific wiz kids. Check out this real tie website to monitor the Keeling curve and Carbon dioxide particles in the atmosphere. NOAA Earth System Research Lab, Global Monitoring Division
I went over a few terms we need as we move forward. These included Data set- a collection of data points within a research project (trail 1 at 2 cinder blocks, trial 2 at 3 cinder blocks, etc. And data point- a specific piece of data within a data set. For example the bounce eight of the ball in the second trial at 2 cinder blocks. As we worked students began to unravel their data sets and started to recognize patterns within the collected information. As the pattern became clear, students were able to then make a prediction- a statement about what will happen or might happen in the future. From this prediction students were able to determine the possible bounce height of their next trials. We then went back out into the hall to see if their prediction of the bounce height at 8 cinder blocks was accurate. The next step is to calculate the percentage error in our predicted value from the observed value. That formula can be found at this link:Calculating percent error.
Although I did not get to it in all blocks today you should look over the information on Precision and accuracy and how they look in science. Use this link to examine this subject. DO NOT CREATE AN ACCOUNT, I already have. The username for everyone is redshoulderhawks. The password is Horizon2014 I maintain this account so please do not share the username or password on other websites. The link is: Brain Pop.
You can also download the FREE app for your Android device and log in with the information I provided. Brain Pop for Android.


Thanks to Jamz Petkanis for turning me on to a new app that's GREAT for what we do in class. This is the FREE version: Timeshift Burst. If you have an android phone I strongly recommend you DL this one. I don't know what the Apple version is, so you're on your own. Check out Jamz Photos of their ball bounce lab on our FaceBook page. We had a discussion over precision and accuracy in 6th period today so I wanted to share the information I covered. Accuracy and Precision
Finally, an interesting article came out in the journal, Nature today It indicates that all of Europe had only three ancestral base population that interbred. Check it out here: Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans.

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