Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Respiratory System Co-Op plans

Here's what I plan to do in our co-op class for the next 2 weeks. We are on Lesson 6 in Exploring Creation Human Anatomy, the Respiratory System.

November 29 –

Bill Nye Respiration Video
EXPERIMENT: Diaphragm Model  p. 116 in textbook
     Supplies to bring to class:
·         Empty large mouth bottle (like small Gatorade bottle) with bottom cut off
·         2 balloons

Human Body Study Guide: Respiratory System (from www.ellenjmchenry.com)
     Please have the kiddos be familiar with the info on p. 19-20 of the study guide
·         Bring p.19-20 to class for us to go through together (Quiz will be next week). I won’t be handing them out this time ( I’m nearly out of ink and paper and not sure I’ll have time to get more before class time)

December 6-

QUIZ: Respiratory System (from p. 19 of study guide)

EXPERIMENT: Vital Lung Capacity p. 117 in textbook
     Supplies to bring to class:
·         Empty 2 liter bottle
·         Large bowl
·         Flexible tubing or fat drinking straw (like the big ones at QT)
·         Large measuring cup
(If students would like to pair up and do this experiment together, that’s OK, but each should have their own straw :o)

SHARE presentations on the dangers of smoking (see syllabus). Students will have 2-3 minutes each for these, hopefully more (depending on how much they cooperate and stay on task during the quiz and experiment).

 Up next..... Fun with the Blood!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Easter... belated

I finally uploaded all the pics from our camera's very FULL SD card and was sorting through them when I came across these pics I forgot I'd taken last Easter... They are fun and I thought I'd share.

Homeschool PE, anyone??

Math - Life of Fred Elementary Series

I'm so excited! We've been using Life of Fred books with B, who is now 13, and have really enjoyed them. My 11 yo, M, wasn't quite ready for the Fractions book and has some holes in his math education, thanks to his Mama taking some bad homeschooling advice AND deciding to go to nursing school during his elementary years... that's a whole other story... anyhoo, we've had trouble with traditional math curricula because he doesn't understand everything needed to move ahead in math, but doesn't need to spend the time necessary to plug away through entire YEARS of math to make sure the holes are filled (and I don't know how to pick and choose what he needs). Enter Life of Fred...

The elementary series starts with Apples, then Butterflies, then Cats (see the pattern??)... and goes through 10 books (I think), which aren't all available yet, but will be before the end of the school year. These are meant to be read by or to the student directly and the books do all the teaching. The stories are funny and introduce topics quickly and in an engaging and non-traditional (um... non-boring) way. Each book should last about a month and is a reusable hardback, so when S (who is now 4) is ready in a year or two, she'll be able to use them, too.

I just placed my order for Apples and Butterflies, which should get us through the first of the year... Hopefully this will build M's confidence with math and relieve some of my went-to-nursing-school-in-the-middle-of-homeschooling guilt. I'll keep ya posted.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Human Body - Digestive System Simulation AKA Making Poop

This week at our co-op, our middle school anatomy class did a great project simulating the digestive system. It was so gross! Here's what we used:

- a hot dog w/ a bun
- a banana
- creamed corn
- instant oatmeal
- lemon juice
- green bean baby food
- food chopper
- paper plates
- plastic spoon
- 1" clear tubing (looked like clear PVC) about 15" long
- quart size freezer bag
- gallon size freezer bag (to place the quart sized bag inside in case of mess)
- cup
- pantyhose
- disposable roasting pan
- disposable cake decorating bag
- 2 syringes (like you give medicine to babies with OR bulb syringes)
- a sharp knife or scissors (to cut pantyhose)
- water

We made a meal of a hotdog w/ a bun, banana, and creamed corn (a couple bites worth of each) on our paper plate (doubled up). We chopped it with the food chopper and smashed it with the bottom of our cup (to simulate both incisor and molar action on the food). We added instant oatmeal for a thicker consistency and squirted some water (saliva) on it with a syringe. Then we scooped it with the spoon into our clear tubing that was inserted into a quart sized ziploc bag with lemon juice in it (esophagus and stomach). As our "bites" traveled down our "esophagus" we discussed peristalsis and that in a real esophagus the food doesn't just fall to our stomach, but is squeezed there by the muscular action of the esophagus.When the food reached the "stomach," the quart bag was zipped up and squeezed to simulate the churning action of the stomach along with the chemical action of the stomach acid (lemon juice). If it was too liquid at this point, we added some more instant oatmeal to thicken it up. Then, we emptied the "stomach" into our "duodenum" (cup) and squirted in some "bile" (green baby food w/ syringe) and "pancreatic juices" (more water with other syringe). We mixed it up and discussed that our body is now absorbing the nutrients from our food, the bile is helping break down fats into usable particles and the pancreatic juices are helping to break down the carbs. At this point, we poured our meal into the "large intestine" (one leg of the pantyhose with the roasting pan underneath) where we applied more "peristalsis" (squeezed the glob to allow the liquid to be "absorbed" and to move the blob down the leg of the pantyhose), eventually resulting in a rather firm blob at the end of the pantyhose. Then, we cut off the end of the pantyhose and dumped our blob into our "rectum" (cake decorating bag) where it was squeezed down and expelled into our "toilet" (roasting pan).

We did this entire simulation, discussing it the whole way. Then we reviewed what we did and decided it was so much fun, we did it all over again. There was a lot of smelling, jokes and offers to eat the poo (which I strongly discouraged), but it was a memorable lesson and the kids can thoroughly explain the digestive system now, which was the whole point. One student, a girl, actually told her mother afterwards, "I got to be the rectum!" Don't get that every day.

If you decide to do this with your students, I recommend adding brownies to the meal. The kids were disturbed that the color wasn't quite right, but were otherwise very impressed.

South America: Brazil

Next week we will be continuing our study of South America with a visit to Brazil. On the agenda:

Discovery Atlas: Brazil Revealed (from Netflix) done
Families of Brazil (from the library) done
Countries Around the World: Brazil (from the library)


Trail Guide Assignments:

-Trails for Week 9
-Mapping for Week 9


Brazilian Collard Greens
Brazilian Beef Stew


Rainforest Diorama from here
Brazil flag sheet from Homeschool Creations
Brazil mapping sheet from Homeschool Creations (I love her site!)
Crossword puzzle from Teacher Filebox Intro to South America Unit
Quiz game from Teacher Filebox Intro to South America Unit
Plan trip to Brazil. What will you see? Eat? Do? Language? Currency? Transportation? Landmarks?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Geography - Visiting South America

We are studying World Geography this year, using Trail Guide to World Geography and supplementing loosely with Expedition Earth (purchased from Confessions of a Homeschooler). We've made our way through North America and we are now in South America, visiting Peru. This week, if things go as planned, we'll do:

- Trails for Week 8 (TGWG)
- Mapping for Week 8 (TGWG)
- Watch some videos from the library:
South America: Continents of the World and Countries Around the World: Chile
- Play some games from South America (one with marbles and one with coins)
- Read about Machu Picchu and the Inca Empire in some books from the library

Next week... Brazil and the Rain Forest!