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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!  =)