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Friday, December 7, 2012

Pneumonia =(

Last year it was shingles, this year it's pneumonia.  =\
I started coughing the day after Thanksgiving, and it quickly turned bad.  Just walking from one room to another has been exhausting.
This year I have been updating the Physical Science posts as we go (we are finishing up M7), but the first posts were actually the ones that needed more updating, so the M8 post looks pretty good already.  But I usually streamline the way the post is laid out and check Debbie's sites for anything to add, so feel free to check for anything you'd like to add in to your own studies.  She has a student site and an educator site.
We will not be having a class for M8, but I will get the M8 post updated in the near future.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chemistry Dogs!

These dogs are SO well-behaved!

Remember, atoms are called ions if they lose an electron.
Atoms usually have the same number of protons and electrons and have a net neutral charge.  So if an atom loses an electron to another atom, those atoms are no longer "neutral."

Chemical bonds hold atoms together because they share electrons; and those held-together atoms make up a molecule.
(Hydrogen bonds hold water molecules together, and are more easily broken than chemical bonds.)

Polar molecules are molecules in which one side is more negative therefore making the other side more positive.
Water molecules are polar because the oxygen pulls more and gains more electrons (Oxygen and hydrogen still share electrons -- this is what causes the chemical bond -- but the oxygen keeps more of them.)

Water molecules can dissolve substances that have polar molecules or ionic molecules, but not non-polar molecules.

►See diagram of a water molecule.

Aren't they sweet!  =)

Monday, October 22, 2012

How many molecules in a drop of water???

I emailed Apologia and asked them approximately how many molecules of water would be in a drop on the end of one's finger.

Their reply:
"An average size drop of water has about 0.05 ml, and a drop of that size would have 1.7x10^21 molecules."

That's 1,700,000,000,000,000,000,000!

God's creation is AMAZING!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Amazing 9-Layer Density Tower!

Amazing!  We did something similar in General Science Module 1, but this is fantastic.  And way prettier.  =)

Source of pic, with instructions and explanation
Used with permission from Steve Spangler

Video demo of how to do this experiment.

Steve Spangler is on facebook

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Water Molecules!

While searching for videos for Physical Science Module 5 today, I came across these that go great with Module 4!
Embedding into a website is disabled, so you will have to click these links to watch them.
They have also been added to the Physical Science Module 4 post.

• Water Molecules - part 1 is a great video animation that shows that water molecules are polar, and will hydrogen bond.  Hydrogen bonding is what enables water (H2O) to stay in a liquid form at room temperature (instead of a gas like other H2__ substances).

• Water Molecules - part 2 shows the state of water molecules in liquid form, as a solid, and as a gas.

Basically atoms and elements are the same thing. 
An atom is just the smallest amount of an element.
Read this ice cream analogy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Factor/Label Method

I wish I had seen this video when I was editing the Physical Science Module 1 post!
It is added to that post now, but I'm posting it here for those that may have missed it.  Or still need a bit more clarity on the Factor/Label method, or need a bit of review, or are just curious about this awesomely simple, but so logical video!  =)

A bit loud, so you may want to turn it down.  =)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Factoring Trinomials using the Berry Method

Before using this method, I recommend that you fully understand how to FOIL and how to factor trinomials. (See math tab for more posts about polynomials and trinomals).

►Accompanying worksheet for this video.

►Accompanying worksheet for this video has more videos, worksheets, and online quizzes.
YayMath is also on facebook.

Friday, August 17, 2012

24 Game - Help!

Ok, friends, I need your help!

I need:
-4 numbers, single-digit only (0-9)  ETA: oops, no zeros!
-must equal 24 by using any of the 4 operations + - x ÷
-use parentheses where needed

1 x 2 x 3 x 4

(0 x 1) + (6 x 4) 

I want a game called "24 Game" but do NOT want to pay $22 for it! So I will make my own game on cardstock. =)
The four numbers are written in a circle that has an X across it, one number in each ¼ of the circle. Each player draws a card then figures out the order of operations to get 24.

I need as many different combinations of numbers as possible, so leave me a comment with as many as you can think of.  You can post anonymously if you like.  =)

Thanks! =)

ETA:  Combinations were given by a friend in the comments, but I didn't see any zeros, so I was wrong about that part.  Ignore it, please.  =)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Message to my Readers

I am slowly going through all past science posts, and checking videos, adding links for images, etc.
However, I may not check every link, and a video that plays today may be removed next week by the person who uploaded it, and you will get some kind of error message when you click play.
There have been times I've posted a video, and two days later one of the kids in my class tells me it won't play.  Already.  =(

So as you view my posts throughout the year, (any posts, not just science!) if there are any unplayable videos, or broken links, or links that do not link to what they are supposed to, just leave a comment on that post and let me know.
If you see any other errors, please feel free to advise me of those as well.

Thank you so much!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


***I have found ALL the "Eureka!" videos back on youtube!!!***

If anyone had viewed my Physical Science posts in the past year, you may have been sad to discover that none of the Eureka! videos would play, since the user deleted his account. So I am happy I found these! I will be adding these back to the posts soon, but in the meantime, all 30 can be found here.

Please comment on the channel if you appreciate the youtuber loading these videos.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Apologia General Science, Module 16, The Human Nervous System

Interactive Study Links
►The Nervous System: 
(In these games, the motor nervous system and the sensory nervous system are collectively called the Somatic Nervous System.)
• Nervous System Game #1 - click and match
• Nervous System Game #2 - click and match
• Neuron Game - click and match
• Label the Neuron - drag and drop
• Label the Eye - drag and drop
• Label the Brain - drag and drop
• Label the Ear - drag and drop (The eardrum is also the tympanic membrane.  The ossicles - the hammer, anvil, and stirrup - are referred to by their scientific names.  See if you can find these names online or in a book.)

Other Study Links
diagram of a neuron and a synapse (source - Great simplified article!)
diagram of a human brain
diagram of a human eye (source)
diagram of the human ear (source)

(1) p. 387-392, Introduction; Neurons: The Basic Unit of the Nervous System

►Another video with Khan Academy, if you want it.

Neurotransmitters take the signal across the synapse (a gap between the axon of one neuron, and the dendrite of the next neuron).

Neurons are composed of cell bodies, dendrites, and axons.
Nerves are made of the dendrites and axons, but not the cell bodies of neurons.

The cell bodies of neurons tend to cluster together in groups, called ganglia.  Several ganglia clustered together is called a plexus (nerve center).


(2)  p. 393-396, The Basic Layout of the Human Nervous System

White matter vs. gray matter
See image (source)


(3) p. 397-399, Our "Split" Brains

Right-brain vs. Left-brain.
This lady is hilarious! =D

This video seems to indicate that people who are left-brain dominant tend to take things literally.  I bet you probably  know someone like that!  And it's not always men.  But we are all different; no one is totally left- or right-brained only.  There are combinations.
And of course, the corpus callosum connects the right and left hemispheres of our brain.

►But here is another funny for your enjoyment.
A wife asks her husband, "Could you please go shopping for me and buy one gallon of milk, and if they have eggs, get 6."
A short time later the husband returns home with 6 cartons of milk.
The wife asked him, "Why did you buy 6 gallons of milk?"
He replied, "They had eggs." =D

What would happen if the corpus callosum didn't connect the two sides of your brain?


(4) p. 400-401, The Brain and Blood

The Blood-Brain Barrier
Brain capillaries are different than other capillaries in the body.
Other capillaries are more permeable (penetrable) than brain capillaries, and have gaps between the blood cells in them.  They allow more substances to get in and out.
The capillaries in the brain have a barrier.  There are no gaps between the blood cells in these capillaries.  They are sealed with "gaskets."
Certain things, such as water, oxygen, and glucose are transported through the cells in the brain's capillaries, but there is no "leaking" (on purpose) as there is with other capillaries in the body.
Some things that are bad are able to break through the blood-brain barrier, such as drugs or alcohol.  When these get into the Central Nervous System, it can cause major problems!
"More than 100 years ago, it was discovered that if blue dye was injected into the bloodstream of an animal, that tissues of the whole body EXCEPT the brain and spinal cord would turn blue..."
►Read the rest of this simple explanation of the blood-brain barrier.


(5) p. 402-405a, The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

The PNS is divided into three main divisions:
  1. sensory nervous system - your 5 senses
  2. motor nervous system - your skeletal muscles
  3. autonomic nervous system - smooth muscles, cardiac muscle, and glands

The first two are controlled by voluntary muscles.
Watch this short video about the PNS, and that all the spinal nerves have both a sensory route and a motor route.

The autonomic nervous system is as the name sounds - automatic - and is controlled by involuntary muscles.
The autonomic nervous system is divided into two more divisions:
-sympathetic division - fight or flight
-parasympathetic division - rest and digest


(6) p. 405-407, The Human Sense of Taste

One more video, if you'd like to watch it.


(7) p. 408-409, The Human Sense of Smell


(8) p. 410-415a, The Human Sense of Vision
At 1:15, he mentions muscles that change the shape of the lens.
These are the ciliary muscles.  They change the shape of the lens so that you can change focus instantly between objects that are close or far away.

I have one eye that focuses slightly slower than the other.  In my "good" eye, I don't notice any change when I am looking down at a book, then glance up at the news playing on the television in the next room.  However, in my slow eye, it takes maybe half a second.  About as long as a medium-slow blink.
Years ago, I went to the eye doctor because of this, and because my pupils are different sizes.  I was told a long name for it, and that it wouldn't affect my vision.  I don't recall when I noticed my pupil being this way.  I do remember that I knew about it when I was a young teen, but I don't ever remember "discovering" this anomaly.  ;)


(9) p. 415-417a, The Human Sense of Touch

I could find no suitable videos for this section.


(10) p. 417-419, The Human Sense of Hearing
The small bones in your ear, the malleus, incus, and stapes, are sometimes called the hammer, anvil, and stirrup because of their shape.
Together these tiny bones are referred to as ossicles.
The cochlea is filled with fluid, which helps in transmitting signals to the brain.

Why we get dizzy when we spin:

This video is just so that you can get a better idea of the 3 dimensions of the semicircular canals.  (You do not need to learn this terminology that indicates positioning in the body.)
You can see that one is horizontal, and two are vertical, but in different directions.

When you are riding in a car then stop suddenly, your body keeps moving forward.
After you stop spinning, the fluid in your ear is still moving and makes you feel off balance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Considering College?

Unsure of what to do?  How to proceed?  I think you'll find some great tips in this short article, "The Homeschooler's Guide to Getting into College."
From the article:
"There's a common misconception that homeschoolers have difficulty when it comes to getting into college. This may have been true 20 years ago, but these days, colleges are making the process of admissions for homeschoolers simple and fair. In fact, many colleges are now seeking out homeschoolers themselves, as homeschooled students tend to be excellent college students. Here, we've gathered several facts, tips, and helpful resources that you can put to work to ensure that your college admissions process as a homeschooler is smooth and successful."
Even if your child is a bit younger, it's never too early to start thinking about your options!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Apologia General Science, Module 15, The Human Lymphatic, Endocrine, and Urinary Systems

What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Interactive Study Links 
-Lymphatic System
Lymphatic System Game - click and match
-Endocrine System
Endocrine System Game - click and match
Endocrine Glands Game - click and match
-Urinary System
Urinary System Game - click and match

(1)  p. 369-371, The Lymphatic System
How the lymphatic system works
The lymph system cleans out organisms and chemicals that it recognizes as disease-causing.

Body fluid is called lymph while it is in the lymphatic system.
Lymph flows in one direction - toward the heart.

Where your lymph nodes and lymph vessels are located.
The yellow spots are the nodes, and the white lines are the vessels.


(2)  p. 372-375, Lymph Nodes
Swollen lymph nodes and sore throat?
Here's why.

The lymphatic system is composed of vessels lying next to the capillaries.
The lymph nodes clean the lymph before returning it to the body.

What to do if you're stopped up or have swollen lymph nodes.


(3) 375b-377, Tears
The lacrimal glands produce tears that run through tiny tear ducts, then flow across the eyes.


(4) 378-381, The Urinary System
Although the lymphatic system cleans out things it recognizes as disease-causing, the kidneys only clean out chemicals that become dangerous to the body when they reach certain levels.
See how the kidneys filter out some things (through nephrons) to keep them from reaching toxic levels, and let proper amounts be reabsorbed into the bloodstream.


(5) 382-384, The Endocrine System
Hormones are released by endocrine glands, sometimes just called glands.

►The hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland (both are types of endocrine glands).
Both are located below the brain.
The pituitary gland is often referred to as the "master endocrine gland" since the hormones it makes control many other endocrine glands in the body.

Location and Function of the Endocrine glands

Animation of insulin and glucose.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas.
The pancreas, in addition to being a digestive organ, is also an endocrine gland.

Slower, more detailed explanation of insulin and glucose.

Other glands produce different hormones.
These ↓ are also controlled by the pituitary gland, the "master endocrine gland."
Adrenal glands -- "adjacent" means next to, and "renal" refers to the kidneys.  Adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys.  This is also where we get the word adrenaline.
Thyroid gland -- affects the basal metabolic rate.

Read your textbook for more information about these complex processes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Apologia General Science, Module 14, The Human Respiratory and Circulatory Systems

What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Interactive Study Links:
Quizlet Flashcards
-Respiratory System
Label the respiratory system - drag and drop
• Respiratory Quiz Game #1 - click and match
• Respiratory Quiz Game #2 - click and match
• Respiratory Quiz Game #3 - click and match
Is it part of the Respiratory System? - click Yes or No
-Circulatory System
• Circulatory Quiz Game #1 - click and match
Circulatory Quiz Game #2 - click and match
Heart Quiz Game - click and match
Label the circulatory system - drag and drop (Looks a little difficult?  Just do the ones you know first.)

• The Circulation Game, Print instructions and printable pages
Labeled Heart Diagram with concise info
See these and more at Debbie's Educator's Resources.  (Thanks, Debbie!)

(1) p. 344-348, The Human Circulatory System
Arteries flow away from the heart, branching out into tiny, thin-walled capillaries.
Capillaries eventually merge to form larger vessels called veins, which flow back to the heart.

We learned the blood flow in this order:
right atrium, right ventricle, lungs, left atrium, left ventricle, body
This video starts with the blood flowing from the right ventricle into the lungs.
Don't get confused -- the order is the same; this video just starts at a different point in the circuit.


(2) p. 348b-354a, The Heart and Blood Flow

A reader was kind enough to let me know that the two videos I had found for this section have been deleted from youtube.  =(  It can be difficult to keep check on all posts, so I really appreciate this.  
I will try to make time in the future to go back through and check videos in each post, but in the meantime, if any readers find suitable replacements for any 'broken' videos or links on any post, please do email me!
Thank you!


(3) p. 354-356, The Components of Blood
Three kinds of blood cells:
Red blood cells, white blood cells, and blood platelets.

Coagulation (or clotting) of blood


(4) p. 356b-359, Lungs and Blood Oxygenation


(5) p. 360-363, The Respiratory System



(6) p. 363-365, Circulation and Respiration Throughout Creation

►Watch Bill Nye on Respiration (full episode)
If that doesn't play, you can watch it in parts here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Apologia General Science, Module 13, The Human Digestive System

From the printable digestive system link,
with a few tweaks and additions by me.  =)
What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Interactive Study Links:
Quizlet Flashcards
Label the Digestive System - drag and drop
(Soft palate, pharynx, larynx, and trachea are not mentioned, so don't forget to study those.)
Quiz Game part 1 - click and match
Quiz Game part 2 - click and match

Printable digestive system to use as a Poster Option in lieu of the Study Guide.  See suggestions at Debbie's site (top left).
See these and more at Debbie's Educator's Resources.  (Thanks, Debbie!)

(1) p. 321-322, The Process of Digestion

-Ingestion:  the taking in of food
-Physical Digestion:  chewing
-Chemical Digestion:  the salivary glands secrete saliva that breaks down starch (contains polysaccharides) into monosaccharides.
►For fats and proteins, the initial breaking down happens further on into the digestive tract.

-Digestive tract:  the pathway that food and liquids follow while passing through your body.
-Digestive system:  all organs that contribute to digestion, even if no food passes through them (such as the liver, the gallbladder, and the pancreas).


(2)  p. 323-325, The Human Digestive System

She doesn't mention the liver or gallbladder.
In this video, the gallbladder is green, and the pancreas is a long structure with "veins" -- like a long leaf.
The liver makes bile, and bile is stored in the gallbladder until needed.  The pancreas produces digestive enzymes and other things.


(3)  p. 326-328, The Mouth, Pharynx, and Esophagus

►Watch this video:  Organs of Digestion - excellent animation and narrative

Play close attention to the differences between:
soft palate and epiglottis
pharynx and larynx (Larynx isn't mentioned in the video, but is pictured in your book)
esophagus and trachea (the opening to the respiratory system)

You can feel your larynx rise up during swallowing.  This causes the epiglottis to cover the larynx, which is the beginning of the path to the trachea (your windpipe).  The larynx is also called your voice box because it houses the vocal cords.
One of the cartilages that support the larynx is often referred to as the Adam's apple.
I have had laryngitis for a week, so my family is having to make phone calls for me, but when no one else is here, and I have to answer the phone, it is funny what others think I am saying!
In fact, whispering to my family here at home has even been quite comical!  =)
Class is tomorrow, so we'll see what happens!


(4) p. 329-335, The Stomach and Intestines

The small intestine has folds all along its inner surface as well as thousands of tiny villi.  This provides extra surface area for more absorption.
Much like a wall with lots of projections built onto it will take more paint than a flat wall.

Hydrochloric Acid is produced in the stomach.

Colonoscopy (colon, scope)
In this video, see the indention of the opening of the appendix - it really is part of the digestive tract!
In a colonoscopy, the doctor is looking for irregularities - small bumps that might grow and form cancer.
My mom passed away in August from colon cancer.  When they did her colonoscopy in 2008, there was a large growth that nearly completely blocked the colon.  They were able to get it all, but the damage had been done, and cancer cells had already spread elsewhere in her body.
A colonoscopy doesn't sound like much fun, but it is really important.


(5) p. 335-338, The Liver, Pancreas, and Gall Bladder

About 50% of enzymes are secreted by the pancreas.
The rest of the enzymes your body needs come from raw foods.  (That means fruits and veggies, not raw cookie dough, haha!)
Enzymes are only activated in water, so drink lots of water!


(6) p. 338-340, The Micronutrients

What are micronutrients?

What is the difference between fat-soluble (or lipid-soluble) and water-soluble?
Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) can build to toxic levels if you take too many.

Cute way to remember the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

The water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and the vitamin B group.
In your book, some are listed separately, but they ARE in the vitamin B group.  Pantothenic acid is B5, biotin is B7, and folic acid is B9.  
These last two (biotin and folic acid), as well as vitamin K, are by-products of good bacteria in the large intestine.

Vitamin D can be taken in through food, but it also can be absorbed from the body's exposure to sunlight.  Vitamin K is also absorbed without being eaten in food.
Both of these are fat-soluble.

►See a list of vitamins, and some foods that contain them.  No food contains just one vitamin, so you will see the same types of foods listed for more than one vitamin.
You will also see the names of the B group vitamins, and the ones that are named in your textbook.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Apologia General Science, Module 12, Energy and Life

What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Interactive Study Links: 
• Quizlet Flashcards

• Respiration/Combustion - how food is converted to energy (great short article)
Energy Chart - for use with Experiments 12.1 and 12.2
See this and more at Debbie's Educator's Resources (Thanks, Debbie!) 

(1) p. 295-297, Life's Energy Cycle
Producers and Consumers - and what about decomposers???
Producers (plants and algae) make their own food.
Consumers (humans and animals) get their food from another source.
Decomposers break down the remains of other dead organisms.
These are fungi (mushrooms, yeast, mold, etc).  Although they are consumers (since they do not make their own food), they are classified separately because they play a distinct role in Creation by "recycling" dead organisms.

Omnivores  =)
Of the three classifications of organisms aboveconsumers 
are further classified by what they eat.
• Herbivores are consumers that eat only producers (plants and/or algae).
• Carnivores are consumers that eat only other consumers.
They are meat-eaters only, like lions or tigers, (but not bears), oh my!  
• Omnivores are consumers that eat both producers and consumers.
Bears eat fish as well as berries; so do I!  =)

Apologies for the clicking at the beginning.  It does go away, I promise. =)


(2) p. 298-303, How Do Organisms Get Energy From Food?
Photosynthesis enables plants and algae to make their own food, but also provides animals and humans with food and oxygen.

Cellular Respiration is the process by which humans and animals convert food and oxygen into energy for ourselves.
This process also produces carbon dioxide for plants as well producing water.

This process of Cellular Respiration seems very much like the slow Combustion that is in your textbook, doesn't it?  According to an email from Apologia, "They are the same thing in the end, but there are some additional components to cellular respiration that enable our cells to harness the energy being released."
The process of Cellular Respiration has an additional step that allows it to harness the energy.

What Is Cellular Respiration? -- powered by ehow


(3) p. 303b-308, What Actually Gets Burned For Energy?
There are only three things your body can burn:  carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins.
These are called macronutrients (not micronutrients) because you must eat a lot of them every day.

Part 1

Part 2

  1. Carbohydrates convert to energy quicker than fats or proteins.  These are the first macronutrients that the body will burn.  If there more than enough carbs, the body will store them as fat for later use.
  2. If the body is low on carbohydrates, the body will begin to burn fats (or lipids).
  3. The last macronutrient the body will burn is proteins.

Macronutrient #1. Carbohydrates
• Simple carbohydrates:
-monosaccharides (mono- means one, so a monosaccharide is one sugar, or simple sugar).
Complex carbohydrates:
-disaccharides are made of two monosaccharides that are linked up (di- means two, so there are 2 sugars in a disaccharide).
-polysaccharides are made of many monosaccharides.  (poly- means many)

Video of examples of simple and complex carbohydratess.

Macronutrient #2.  Fats 
Fats are called lipids.  There are two kinds of fats: saturated and unsaturated.
Your body can make most of the fats that you need from carbohydrates and proteins.
A few essential fats that your body cannot make can usually be found in vegetable oils.

Macronutrient #3.  Proteins
Proteins are made of long strings of amino acids.  There are 20 amino acids that are needed in your body, but there are only 12 that can be manufactured by your cells.  The other 8 amino acids cannot be made by the body, and must be supplied in foods you eat.  These 8 are called essential amino acids.
Various combinations of these 20 amino acids form into long strings called proteins.
►See a list of the 20 amino acids.  The 8 essential amino acids are marked with an *asterisk.
These amino acids have three letter abbreviations, and you will see this in the following video.
The beginning of this video will give you an idea of what proteins are.
[When he walks over to the screen, you may skip up to 2:35]

Video he showed, if you want to see it.


(4) 308b-310, Energy Use in the Body
Ectothermic Frog - warming up from the outside

Endothermic organisms need more food because they must maintain constant body temperature.


(5) 311-312, Calories and Food
What is a calorie?
It is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water 1ยบ Celcius.

Just keeping warm even burns a few calories.

Basal Metabolic Rate - BMR


(6) 313, Metabolic Rates Throughout Creation

I could find no videos for this section.


(7) 314-316, How Combustion Works in Living Organsims
I could find no videos about the combustion that occurs in cells, but I found plenty about Cellular Respiration.  [Review what was written up in Section 2 of this post.]
Nearly all the videos on Cellular Respiration are far too advanced for General Science, but I did find some that I could edit down to what I think you might be able to understand.
There are a few terms that aren't mentioned in your textbook, but I think you'll get it.
--One that is mentioned is ATP.  ATP is not energy itself, but basically molecules that are a storage place for energy.  Like an outlet is not electricity, but it can release electricity when needed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

FREE classes- "Constitution 101: The Meaning and History of the Constitution"

Register for a free, 10-lecture course by members of the Hillsdale College faculty.
If you like, you may access a study guide, take a weekly quiz, and upon completion of the course, receive a certificate from Hillsdale College.
One new lecture and study materials are released by noon each Monday, beginning February 20, 2012.  The lectures are pre-recorded and are approximately 40 minutes in length.
All material, once released, is available to view at your convenience.

In order to know what kind of response they receive, they ask that you register, even if you've registered for any previous webcasts or seminars.
(There is an option to make a contribution, or you may click the $0 option.)

►Read more information and Register here.

You will receive an email with the log-in link and other information, including a link to the "Introduction to the Constitution" series, Hillsdale's five-part presentation that originally aired in 2011.
Included is a PDF Study Guide for each lecture.  Scroll down since they are in reverse order.
You will also receive an email each week informing you that new material is available.  (Archives are all available now.)

►Hillsdale College also publishes the free, monthly digest Imprimis.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Generate your own handwriting, math, English, and geography pages, as well as graph paper!

At there are free worksheets that you can tweak and generate yourself!
I first came across this site when my younger two were learning fractions, and the option to tweak according to their different abilities was awesome!
From using shapes for fractions all the way to multiplying and dividing.

For example, when using the worksheets for multiplying fractions, I could choose if I wanted mixed numbers like 7½ or fractions like ¼, or even use a whole number as one of the terms to be multiplied, such as 5 x 8½.
I could choose if I wanted mixed fractions on both sides or only on one side, and whether I wanted fractions that needed reducing or not.

My twins are needing review on some things from the pre-Algeba link, particularly solving 2-step equations.
But they are on different levels.  So I choose my options for each child and print out several pages for the upcoming week.  (Regenerating each new page.)  I chose avoid negatives for one child, and allowed them for the other.  They both are able to solve with the variable on either side of the equation.  I am now ready to add in combining like terms, and soon I'll add even more multi-steps!

I particularly like using the math pages for my son with dyscalculia.  He has trouble remembering any math with multiple steps, such as the ones mentioned here and long division.
Once he (kind of) masters a type of problem, I keep printing these and have him continue to do 5-6 problems a day for review.  Later I might do 3 a day each for 2 different types of problems.
We usually have to keep reviewing this way for months, but it is better than totally forgetting it all after working for months to learn it in the first place.

The handwriting pages are also great for copywork!  =)
I think this is one of the best free handwriting page generators I've seen.
You can type in exactly what you want to say.  You can add in commas, quotation marks, etc.
You can hit Enter several times to allow space for copying (between sentences, etc.)
You can choose the point size (6-16) of the letters to meet your child's abilities.  You'll need to experiment a few times to figure out how many lines you'll get per page, and that is so cool that you can do that!

And don't forget the English and Geography!  I really like the parts of speech.  =)
You'll also love the customizable graph paper and planners, etc.

You can print both the student page and the answer key if you wish.
To save paper and ink, I usually number the student math pages after I print them out (page 1, page 2, etc), then before I close the window with the currently generated worksheet, I copy the answers from the Answer Key into a notebook with the corresponding student page number.
(I keep a notebook to use for various things I need to write down, so that I don't misplace loose pieces of paper.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Apologia General Science, Module 11, The Human Body

What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Online Study Links:
Quizlet Flashcards
Label the Skeletal System
Put this skeleton back together

• Experiment about Gravitropism.  A variation of Exp. 11.2
• Experiment similar to Exp. 11.1, except this one also mentions using bleach and vinegar.
• Printable skeleton for classifying bones
• Printable Root Word Parts
See these and more at Debbie's Educator's Resources.  (Thanks, Debbie!)
• More printable free worksheets (with answer keys) Skeletal System, Types of Joints, Muscular System, Bone Anatomy
• Printable Skeleton from
• Donna Young's dd's drawing of A Typical Bone (She did an awesome job!)

(1) p. 267-269a, The Superstructure of the Human Body

No videos for this section.
This section seems to be kind of an overview of the module anyway.


(2) p. 269-273, Bones and the Human Skeleton
Most people think bones are fixed structures.  But bones are constantly changing, even after you are grown.
If you injure a bone, it will repair itself.  But there is also micro-damage to bones that naturally occurs during everyday activities, and old bone is constantly being broken down and replaced.
In adults, about 10% of bone is replaced each year.
►►Watch this animation to see how a fractured bone is repaired.  Keep clicking Continue.  Scroll down to the next box and click Start.
Bone remodeling will happen all your life, but some bones will be remodeled more than others, depending on what activities you do most.
Here is a painful example.  (ouch!)

More about Bone Remodeling

The Skeletal System


(3) p. 273b-275, Skeletons in Other Organisms
An insect is an arthropod. Arthropods are invertebrates.

►Would you think that a lobster could find its way home like a homing pigeon?
Read of this awesome discovery about the Caribbean spiny lobster!
Global Positioning Lobsters.


(4) p. 275-281a, Skeletal Muscles
This video is about all three types of muscles:  Smooth, Cardiac, and Skeletal



(5) p. 281-282, Smooth Muscle and the Cardiac Muscle


(6)  p. 282-284a, Muscles and Movement in Other Organisms
This section mentions a bit about each kingdom and how they move, and whether or not they have muscles.
One interesting thing is that even though plants do not have muscles, they certainly can move.  Oh, of course they can't move from place to place, but they do move right where they are planted.

A tropism is a growth response or movement response of a plant because of a stimulus.
A stimulus is something that causes a response.  (like the sun, or water)
►Tropisms depend on the direction of the stimulus, and therefore can change.
For example, hydrotropism is a growth toward water, like roots growing toward water.  If the source of water changes, the growth of the roots will change.
Here are some other tropisms.

Phototropism, and a little about gravitropism
These growth responses are a result of the direction of the stimulus - the sun, or gravity.

Phototropism and Heliotropism
Watch these bush beans as they grow toward the sun. (phototropism)
Then watch as shadows move over them - they ALL lean toward the sun. (heliotropism)
(Video was shot over a 24 hour period.)
Growth and Movement response is a result of the direction of the stimulus - the sun.

Thigmotropsim - response to touch (what the plant touches, not what touches the plant, like a human or animal)
Growth response is a result of the direction of the stimulus - the pole.  The vine would not grow this direction without the pole.
LOL at the spider that comes down at 0:12.  =D

►More tropism videos at Plants-in-Motion.  Click on the side titles.

►Heliotropism vs. Phototropism - "Heliotropism is the diurnal (opposite of nocturnal) motion of plant parts (flowers or leaves) in response to the direction of the sun. It is not a phototropism since it does not involve growth." (source)

♦Tropisms are not things that are caused only by a pre-programmed response, such as the opening or closing of flower petals.  Flowers usually open every morning even if they are inside and not near a window.  There are even some flowers that open at dusk!
These are not directional responses to a stimulus.
Flowers following the sun is a directional response to a stimulus.
♦Since tropisms depend on the direction of a stimulus, a Venus fly trap that closes when touched is not an example of a tropism.  It doesn't matter from which direction the touch comes, the Venus fly trap is pre-programmed to close the same way each time.
♦These kinds of pre-programmed responses are called Nastic Movement.  My older daughter learned about it last year.  If you like, you can read more about it in my Biology post, kingdom Plantae.  It is the first section.

Here is a picture of a bean plant we grew last year in Biology, then turned on its side.
It was "planted" with paper towels pressing it against the side of a clear cup so that we could also observe the roots (which you cannot see in this pic).
Read more at Sahm-I-Am.
Heliotropism - movement toward the sun


(7)  p. 284-288, Skin
A lot going on in a thin layer of skin!

A pigment called melanin gives our skin its color


(8) p. 289-290, Skin in Other Organisms

No videos for this section.


An extra, just for fun.  =)

Isn't he cute!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Translating English phrases into Algebraic Expressions

As always, it's a good idea to have pencil and paper handy.  After you understand the concept being taught, pause the video to see if you're able to work the problems before the answers are shown.

A variable is a letter that is used to express an unknown number.

"Less Than" and "Subtracted From"
The phrases "less than" or "subtracted from" indicate that the first variable or number mentioned is being taken from the second number or variable mentioned.
So when you see these phrases, you will know that the expression will be written in the opposite order as they are mentioned in the sentence.

►If you have $85.00 and I have $10.00 less than you, I have $75.00.
If I were to express this in an English phrase (or word phrase), I might say,
10 less than y
But I would not write 10 - y; instead I would write y - 10.

►Suppose I say, "$267 was subtracted from my bank account!"
I will use b for the bank account, and write b - 267 

(1)  Intro to algebraic expressions

When you see the phrases product of, sum of, quotient of, or difference of, there will be at least 2 terms to be calculated.
The product of 6 and a number
The sum of 3 and 9
The quotient of 28 and a number
The difference of 23 and 16

(2) Professor Perez and Charlie introduce this ↑ concept, then show how you can apply this knowledge to longer algebraic expressions.
At 4:35, he shows how to go from algebraic expressions back to English phrases.  This really helps in understanding the key phrases.  Very good!

(3) More Practice.
►At 0:50 there is a chart with phrases that can be used to indicate the 4 operations of multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.  (such as more than, in addition to, greater, etc.)
It might be useful to pause the video and write these down to keep on hand.

►At 1:10, instruction begins.
He refers to "less than" and "subtracted from" as switch phrases.
He goes rather quickly,  but you should be able to understand these problems if you watched the first two videos.
Pause the video if you need to think it through.  Write down any examples you find helpful.

"John has twice as many quarters as dimes."  Should this be 2q = d or q = 2d?

(4) Even More Practice
Again, at the beginning of this video, there is a chart with phrases used to indicate the 4 operations.  Check to see if there are any additional phrases to the ones in the previous video.
►Pause at 1:20 to see some words and phrases used in place of the = sign.
►At 4:00, there are a few word problems.

"Algebraic Expressions" vs. "Algebraic Equations."
• An expression is like a phrase - incomplete.  There is no = sign, no answer.
• An equation has the = sign.

►The equals sign is like a verb: "is"     5x = 10.  5x is 10.
Words without a verb can be phrases, or in algebra, expressions.
An algebraic expression has no verb.  No "is."

These videos in this blog post are teaching how to write algebraic expressions.
That probably means you'll be learning equations next.  Yay!  

I L♥ve algebra!  =)