Friday, June 22, 2018

Human Body Camp Day 3

Some quick notes and resources for our third day's topic, which was The Digestive System and The Teeth.

Remember that all of my notes for this main lesson block can be found in much more detail on my website.



We began today by reviewing The Respiratory System and doing a few additional activities:

  • look at and feel dehydrated beef trachea (available at the pet store in the dog treats section)
  • read During an Asthma Attack article
  • do Drops on a Penny experiment for surface tension (this relates to one of the Amazing Facts on page 64)
  • use a candle and a funnel and a plastic bag to try the Lung Exhaust activity on page 65
  • review all vocabulary using the Respiratory System three-part cards from the ETC Montessori material for Human Physiology
  • look at The Cardiovascular system and The Respiratory system pages in the Wall Chart of Human Anatomy
  • add new information to our giant web

The Drops on a Penny experiment for surface tension was really interesting! The girls tried it, and several variations of it, over and over. They were able to fit 21 drops of water on a penny each time for their first three times, but by the fourth time they had fine-tuned their pipette technique and fit 37 drops on (pictured above)! Then I showed them my fruit fly trap and explained that detergent breaks surface tension (which is why our lungs secrete a detergent substance, reducing the surface tension of the fluid lining and allowing air in). They heaped water on their penny and then put a drop of dish detergent on it. Bam! Surface tension broke and water cascaded everywhere. They also tried putting detergent directly on the penny before adding the water, to see if this would affect how many drops would fit on it.


The Digestive System

    read "Digestion: Down the Food Tube" chapter from Blood and Guts: A Working Guide to Your Own Insides, stopping as follows:

  • in the middle of page 76, do the "How Does Food Move through the Body?" activity on page 74 of Easy Genius Science Projects with the Human Body: Great Experiments and Ideas
  • farther down on page 76, before you get to the small intestine, stop and ask the children, if we know that the food tube is 30 feet long, and I'm 5 foot 6 inches tall, what does that tell us about the food tube? (it's not straight!)
  • at the bottom of page 76, draw a quick sketch of the Charting the Food Tube illustration (from page 77) up on the chalkboard
  • at the top of page 77, do the Keeping Track activity and use a stethoscope to listen to your body busily digesting your lunch
  • look at the small intestine cross-section under a microscope, #22 from our set of 25 prepared microscope slides
  • at the bottom of page 79, do the Test for Fat from the Kitchen Chemistry activity (we tested cheddar cheese, fresh parsley leaves, wheat germ, gingersnap cookie, bell pepper, and fresh lemon)
  • at the bottom of page 81, discuss antibiotics and probiotics
  • read food labels and compare live active cultures in two different brands of plain yogurt
  • add the yogurt cultures to warm milk in the crockpot and wrap in two bath towels to culture overnight


The Teeth

    read "Teeth: Nippers, Chompers, Grinders" chapter from Blood and Guts: A Working Guide to Your Own Insides, stopping as follows:

  • in the middle of page 31, talk a walk around the house and look closely at the teeth of our resident carnivore (Leah's dog Archie) and herbivore (Becca's rabbit Mystery)
  • look at cast of human teeth (Leah's from when she got her retainer)
  • do the "Teeth Are for Chewing" activity on page 77 of Easy Genius Science Projects with the Human Body: Great Experiments and Ideas
  • at the bottom of page 33, look at my collection of baby teeth from my own children -- imagine this incisor in an adult mouth! -- and especially look at Natalie's baby tooth which was knocked out with the complete root still intact




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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Capital Letters V and C

We began our tutoring session today by making gingersnap cookies. While the cookies were in the oven, we reviewed the story for K is for King and Q is for Queen, which was The Queen Who Couldn't Bake Gingerbread by Dorothy van Woerkom.

We acted out the shape of the King, standing tall with the left hand and finger pointing to the sky -- dramatically saying "I HATE this hole in my stocking!" -- and the right arm thrust outward and the right leg taking a step, ready for action and announcing "Let us find me a wife!"

(And please trust me that the plot of this story is all about gender equality... you just have to read it to know how it ends.)

Next we drew the K in his book and added the word King, then drew the Q, which is the round cloak of the Queen and her long sweeping train, and added the word Queen.

After the gingersnap cookies came out of the oven and were cooling on the rack, it was time to jump into our next letter pairing.


V is for Valley
C is for Cave

Our story for this set is a wonderful book, which I am really glad to see back in print! I still have my well-worn copy from childhood and the pages are beginning to fall out. It's The Rainbow Goblins by Ul de Rico.


V is for Valley and C is for Cave are both shown in L M N O P and All the Letters A to Z and there's a nice illustration of C is for Cave on the front cover of Putting the Heart Back into Teaching as well.


I wanted to do a dyeing project to go with The Rainbow Goblins so we sprinkle-dyed white wool felt with various colors of Kool-Aid powder. At 20 cents per packet this is an inexpensive project, assuming you have a piece of white wool felt on hand. I cut part of my very large piece off, to fit a small rectangular Pyrex casserole dish, and got it thoroughly wet. Then I drained the extra water off and set it in the dish. He used a spoon to sprinkle a little bit from each packet onto the felt and watched the colors move and flow.

When dry, this kind of sprinkle-dyed felt is especially nice for tropical fish ornaments or finger puppets. Find patterns for fish in Feltcraft. It's stiffer after dyeing, so if you are thinking a finger puppet I would use dyed wool for one side of your fish and plain wool for the back side.

Note: If you think you'd like to sew a fish puppet, you might want to move this story to before you do the pairing for River and Net, so that you have the puppet to go with your River and Net story.



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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Human Body Camp Day 2

Some quick notes and resources for our second day's topic, which was Photosynthesis and The Respiratory System.

Remember that all of my notes for this main lesson block can be found in much more detail on my website.


a brief overview of the Five Kingdoms and the 
Linnaean system of classification
"Kings Play Chess On Fine Grains of Sand"

Genus + Species = the scientific name of each organism


the key to placement of each piece in the Tree of Life puzzle

laying out the trunk and branches

all of the leaves, ready to go on the tree

Fact File cards

ready for the leaves for the Animal Kingdom!

working together and rearranging the CO2 and H2O cards in the leaf
in order to make a molecule of glucose

"Here are all the H's; I'm sorting them out"


we discover that there is O2 left over, 
which the plant gives off as a by-product of photosynthesis

our working model of the lung
when you tap on the diaphragm the balloon "lung" will inflate and deflate


Photosynthesis
  • begin by having the girls add what they learned about the Circulatory System to our web, using a new color to distinguish it from their prior knowledge
  • explain the Tree of Life, the Linnean system of classification (Kings Play Chess On Fine Grains of Sand), and scientific names
  • work together to complete the gorgeous all-wood Tree of Life puzzle from Waseca Biomes (pictured above)
  • explain that in every single food chain in the world, an organism conducting photosynthesis is at the bottom
  • photosynthesis lesson with H, O, and C cards and a large green silk (pictured above); see more details in my previous blog post
  • review chapter 12 "Fresh Water to Drink" from Little House on the Prairie, which both girls had read and vividly remembered

The Respiratory System
    read "Lungs: Airways to the Inside" chapter from Blood and Guts: A Working Guide to Your Own Insides, stopping as follows:

  • at the end of page 59, look at page 15 (Pulmonary Circulation) and page 22 (Alveoli) of the Human Anatomy Coloring Book *
  • at the top of page 60, do the Percussing activity
  • at the bottom of page 61, look at the model lung (pictured above)
  • at the top of page 67, do the Nose and Throat Connection activity and talk about how the duck has to cover its bill with its wing when sleeping because it will drown in the rain!
  • at the bottom of page 67, talk about the Heimlich maneuver
  • at the top of page 68, get out the dulcimer and pluck the strings
  • in the middle of page 68, notice that you can't hum if you pinch your nose closed
  • at the bottom of page 68, pluck the shortest and the longest string on the dulcimer -- which one sounds more like a man's voice? -- and observe that the longest string makes the deepest sound
  • at the bottom of page 69, do the Hold Your Tongue activity



* I highly recommend -- and I am -- ordering a copy of the Human Anatomy Coloring Book for each student. At just $3.99, it's well worth it!


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Waseca Biomes Tree of Life Material - 69 Leaves

I just finished happily updating my Waseca Biomes Africa Cards post because when we were laying out the leaves in the Tree of Life Material I found Fact File Cards on the okapi, African pitta, giant African land snail, Nile crocodile, and more!

It would have been great back in February to realize that some of those cards matched the African animals my students were wanting to research.

So, for future reference, here are all 69 leaves in the Waseca Biomes version of the Tree of Life:


Prokaryotes

    #1 - Euryarchaeota

    #2 - Cyanobacteria


Protists

    #3 - diatom

    #4 - Paramecium

    #5 - many-headed slime mold


Fungi

    #6 - bread mold

    #7 - reindeer lichen

    #8 - fly amanita


Plants

    #9 - common liverwort

    #10 - hornwort

    #11 - thread moss

    #12 - horsetail

    #13 - rabbits-foot fern

    #14 - club moss

    #15 - ginkgo

    #16 - queen sago

    #17 - bristlecone pine

    #18 - feather grass

    #19 - ice cream bean tree


Animals

    #20 - tube sponge

    #21 - comb jelly

    #22 - staghorn coral

    #23 - box jelly

    #24 - Susan's flatworm

    #25 - pinworm

    #26 - Class Bdelloid

    #27 - earthworm

    #28 - common octopus

    #29 - giant African land snail

    #30 - red rock crab

    #31 - bay barnacles

    #32 - Antarctica krill

    #33 - mosquito

    #34 - rhinoceros beetle

    #35 - luna moth

    #36 - carpenter bee

    #37 - centipede

    #38 - six-spotted fishing spider

    #39 - royal starfish

    #40 - sand dollar

    #41 - lamprey

    #42 - great white shark

    #43 - common roach

    #44 - Iberian parsley frog

    #45 - tiger salamander

    #46 - tapalcua caecillian

    #47 - web-footed gecko

    #48 - diamond-backed rattlesnake

    #49 - eastern box turtle

    #50 - Nile crocodile

    #51 - ostrich

    #52 - wild turkey

    #53 - greylag goose

    #54 - Jardine's parrot

    #55 - African pitta

    #56 - burrowing owl

    #57 - golden eagle

    #58 - black-necked stork

    #59 - emperor penguin

    #60 - duck-billed platypus

    #61 - nine-banded armadillo

    #62 - African bush elephant

    #63 - house mouse

    #64 - Tibetan hare

    #65 - chimpanzee

    #66 - gray whale

    #67 - okapi

    #68 - sand cat

    #69 - long-snouted bat


This is a beautiful wooden puzzle and a great hands-on learning material. My students really enjoy completing it and it ties in well with so many lessons!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Human Body Camp Day 1

Some quick notes and resources for our first day's topic, which was The Nation of the Great River and The Circulatory System.

Remember that all of my notes for this main lesson block can be found in much more detail on my website.



The Nation of the Great River

  • begin by having the girls make a web on a huge sheet of chart paper -- "What do you already know about the human body?" -- using black pens to show prior knowledge
  • finger knit with red a long piece of yarn and lay it out on the floor to be the Great River; add index cards with the names of the President, the Cabinet, and the different Departments
  • read The Story of the Great River


The Circulatory System

    read "Heart: The Double-Barreled Pumper" chapter from Blood and Guts: A Working Guide to Your Own Insides, stopping as follows:

  • at the end of page 49, watch the Meet the Heart video by the Khan Academy (this video happens to be a really good complement to the Great River analogy)
  • at the top of page 50, do the Tennis Ball Squeeze activity
  • at the top of page 51, talk about how a seashell sounds like the ocean but it's really magnifying the sound of the blood rushing through your head, do the Stethoscope activity, and use a blood pressure cuff to take your partner's blood pressure
  • at the bottom of page 52, look at the Artery vs. Vein transparency (pictured above, also see note below) and then watch the How a Healthy Heart Pumps Blood video by the American Heart Association
  • on page 54, do the Under Your Tongue activity
  • at the bottom of page 55, do the Matchstick Pulse Meter activity
  • at the bottom of page 57, do the Stress Test activity
  • look at the human blood smear under a microscope, #25 from our set of 25 prepared microscope slides
  • read the Amazing Facts on page 58
  • review all vocabulary using the Circulatory System three-part cards from the ETC Montessori material for Human Physiology

Note: we didn't do these but "Returning to the Heart" on pages 16 & 17 of Easy Genius Science Projects with the Human Body: Great Experiments and Ideas has several neat hands-on activities that would be a very good follow up to the valves in the veins.


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P&P June 17

Today was fabulous.

I was talking with a friend today who worked in an Waldorf early childhood environment for years, and I was describing how hard it is for me to step away from my "read the children a picture book" roots and have ME and what I'm saying and doing just BE the story, and she was saying that of course it wouldn't have a picture book in it and she would never think that a circle time would. What's strange for me is no big deal and completely natural for her. It's funny how hard it can be to let go of pre-conceived notions like that. It's such a simple boundary -- tell and act out the story -- but it was so hard for me to cross.

But today I did my first "real" Waldorf circle with Zac!

If you're like me and you aren't sure how it would go to do an Early Childhood circle, I highly recommend the two Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures: Movement Enrichment with a Therapeutic Approach for Early Childhood books by Nancy Blanning and Laurie Clark. They spell it out for you step by step, not including whatever opening and closing songs you want for your circle. I found my opening songs from Shea Darian's CD but am still stuck on a closing song. I can feel the need for it but I can't decide what I want. So if someone has a nice closing they'd like to share, please do!

We worked with the Springtime Garden Circle today (pages 84-85). I can totally see Zac wanting to do this over and over again for several days in a row and memorizing all the movements and words to the songs. He loves having Waldorf songs on his iPod for naptime and is starting to spontaneously sing them at mealtimes and when he's playing. It is so sweet! (I loaded the iPod with the two CDs for Let Us Form a Ring, the CD for This is the Way We Wash-a-Day, and the CD for Seven Times the Sun).

Here is what we did:

#1 - "A Ram Sam Sam" song (track 17)
from the Seven Times the Sun CD

#2 - "Song to the Sun" song (track 6)
from the Seven Times the Sun CD

#3 - "Good Morning, Dear Earth" verse and movements

#4 - I told Zac that today we were going to learn about seeds and that farmers plant seeds so that plants will grow (like at the blueberry farm and lavender farm and the other farms we've been spending time at lately) and I asked him if he knew what seeds looked like and he said no.

#5 - Then we started the Springtime Garden Circle from the first book. I skipped page 83 and went straight to the "Little Robin Redbreast" verse and finger play at the top of page 84. We skipped the Little Gnomes song and walking in the spiral and substituted "Johnny Hammers with One Hammer" except that I changed it to "Gnomes Hammer with One Hammer." We did the rest of pages 83 and 84 as Laurie Clark describes. He liked the developmental exercises for Fish and Inchworm a lot!

#6 - Then we looked at the seeds for what we were going to plant, which is Blue Miniature Ornamental Corn. The seeds are tinted blue and are tiny and adorable. He was fascinated and kept pouring them in and out of the envelope and holding them in his hands. I wanted him to see me open the package but next time I think I'll just have them in a little dish.

#7 - sing before leaving the circle "The Farmer in the Dell" song (track 28)
from This Is the Way We Wash-a-Day CD

#8 - sing while walking outside to the garden "Growing Song" (track 24)
from This Is the Way We Wash-a-Day CD

#9 - weed the space inside the cold frame's planting box, add nice loose fresh soil, break up clumps, plant corn seeds in holes 6 inches apart

#10 - sing while watering the seeds "Little Watering Can" (track 26)
from This Is the Way We Wash-a-Day CD


A few notes:

I'm limiting my gardening heavily this year, because I have a habit of making grand plans and over-committing. I write all these detailed plans on graph paper complete with a scale and a compass rose and put things in the ground and then we go away for several weeks in July and nothing gets weeded or watered and I come home to a mess and spend the rest of the growing and harvesting season being very mean to myself about how I can't garden and it disrespects my grandfather's memory. It's hard taking over the grounds maintenance when the person before you was a Botany professor!

Anyone else have this problem and, if so, what did you edit your planting list down to?

This year, this is what I'm limiting myself to:

In the tiny Butterfly Garden, milkweed only.

In the pots which support the Finger-Knitted Tipi, morning glory and moonflower only (by the way, there's also a song for morning glories called "Good Morning Glory!" on the This Is the Way We Wash-a-Day CD, track 51).

In the Coldframe which Becca built (there is no lid on it right now because a child stood on it when it was covered with snow this winter... so now it's just a small clearly-defined space which Zac will understand not to walk in) the blue miniature ornamental corn.

And in the actual Vegetable Garden I'm only planting HALF of it and I'm going with two things only. Sunflowers and pumpkins.

We are planting miniature corn but Sharon Lovejoy says in her wonderful Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children on page 62 that you can plant regular corn closely together and it will develop miniature ears. "Sow the corn 6 inches apart in this square, placing each seed in a 4-inch-deep hole. When planted close together in flat ground, instead of a mound... corn develops tiny, tender ears." So you can take regular corn seeds and miniaturize them!

Sharon Lovejoy also has a great list of the Top 20 Plants for Kids which is worth checking out.


We ended the day by going to a graduation party and cookout at a beautiful farm pond and Zac and I got in the paddle boat and paddled all around. He thought steering with the rudder was really fun. It was a potluck and we took a bread pudding and the last of our freshly-picked blueberries. So we will probably need to make another trip to Lost Creek Blueberries soon!



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