Sunday, October 30, 2011

Human Body: Learning About Blood

Since my class is following the scope and sequence of Apologia’s Human Anatomy book, we did one whole class about blood. Who knew there were so many cool things to learn about this vital body liquid?


Thanks to Pinterest, I found this easy-to-make-visual of the components of blood. I forgot to take pictures of the supplies needed, but you can see the whole set-up at My Montessori Journey’s blog.  Yes, this looks so gross but the kids remembered the parts of the blood!

Jar of water dyed yellow: plasma
Cheerios:  red blood cells. I squirted red food coloring on them while dry and put in a small ziplock bag. Then when they were added to the plasma, they turned the water red (which is why blood looks red—because of the red blood cells)
Marshmallows: white blood cells
Purple pom poms: platelets

I used the coloring sheets from above (click the photo to see the other pages) to go over the role of each of the blood components.


We learned that most adults have about 5 liters of blood. We filled a pitcher full of water…


and poured 5 liters into a bowl. I thought it would have been cool to add some red food coloring for effect, but decided that as soon as I did that the bowl would probably get spilled. :) This was a great way for the kids to visualize what 5 liters of blood looks like.


The My First Body Book has some great pages dealing with blood. We went over the page describing the jobs of each of the components: red blood cells, white blood cells,  and platelets. We also learned about veins and arteries and the “highway system” blood takes through our bodies.

Now the older class had the option of seeing what type of blood they had. One of the teachers in our group is a retired nurse and another is a paramedic. They taught the middle-schoolers how to do the blood-type test and were on-location over-seeing the testing. This is my oldest daughter looking very confident in her role as blood-tester.


My son also did a good job preparing the blood-type test. I had my class watch how this was done and then we talked about different blood-types.

*We are done for the semester, so I will probably only have a couple odd-and-end things to post until after the new year. Then we’ll finish the rest of the units: heart, nervous system, our senses, skin,and the immune system.

You can see what we’ve done so far by visiting the Human Body Page. Linking up to Science Sunday too.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Easy Grammar: Plus

This year when I was planning my oldest daughter’s curriculum, I began searching for a grammar program that would work for us. I came across Easy Grammar and was very intrigued and optimistic that it really would be easy to implement!

Since we were new to this system and my daughter would be doing 8th grade work, I opted to put her in the Easy Grammar: Plus books.  Easy Grammar Plus gives students grade 6th on up a solid, basic understanding of grammar.  Here are some highlights:

non-grade level (junior high through adult) 
contains additional higher level concepts such as gerunds plus
the perfect and progressive tenses 
includes more difficult capitalization and punctuation rules 
unit reviews, unit tests, cumulative reviews, and
cumulative tests 
starreproducible worksheets (answer key on left side and reproducible page on right)
starTests are also in the teacher edition.


Easy Grammar uses a prepositional approach. What that means is that the student memorizes a list of prepositions first. By knowing the prepositions, the student can cross-out prepositional phrases to easily identify the subject and the verb of a sentence. Yes, it does take a little work to get those prepositions down pat, but once the student does—it really is easy grammar.

The teacher’s manual has all that you need. It is huge! I love it. It contains the answers on one side and the student page to copy on the other side.  I did however, get the student text and the student test booklet because they probably cost about the same as an ink cartridge and are neatly bound.

What We Thought:

I am so please with this program. It is practical, easy to implement and no frills. It teaches grammar in a way that is easy to grasp. Grammar has never been my daughter’s favorite subject and now it is! Just kidding on that last part. It still isn’t her favorite subject but now it’s doable. She isn’t overwhelmed and now feels like she is learning and understanding grammar. I appreciate the way the program is organized. It is easy for me to pick up the teacher’s manual and know what is going on.  Everything is there for me.


You might be wondering what the difference is between Easy Grammar, Easy Grammar Plus and Easy Grammar Ultimate. I did too at first.

Easy Grammar is the grade level grammar series for grades 2-6th.  You can combine this program with Daily Grams:  a 5-10 minute, daily review to be used at the beginning of every lesson.

Easy Grammar: Plus is a non-grade level program for junior high through adult. So if you need to brush up on your grammar, Easy Grammar Plus would work for you too.

Easy Grammar Ultimate Series:  are 10 min. teaching texts aimed for grades 8th - 12th.

There are many resources available on the website. I enjoyed listening to several of the videos by Dr. Phillips too. She explains her methodology for the program and why it works.

Easy Grammar is a welcome addition to our homeschool curriculum. I know I will continue using the program with my older daughter, and will be starting it with my 6th grader and 3/4th grader in January. Yeah! A grammar program that is working for us. I encourage you to check it out too.


Disclosure: I was given this product for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Christmas Printables Page

I have finally gathered all my Christmas printable files and organized them all on one page. I hope this makes it easier to find things. Hopefully I will be uploading more in the near future too!

christmas printables Christmas Printables from Spell Outloud

Linking up to:


(click to check out more sites w/ free printables)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Human Body: The Respiratory System

This week we talked about the respiratory system. We did some respiratory system demonstrations and played a couple of games. Here’s some highlights from the class:

One of the first things we did was learn about the different parts of the respiratory system. The picture above is actually a paper vest that was slipped over a child while talking about the various parts. We talked about our mouth and nasal cavity, vocal chords, trachea…

lungs, bronchi, and alveoli (tiny air sacs). This printable came from Human Body: Easy Make and Learn Projects.


One of the moms in the group is a music teacher. She shared facts about the vocal chords. Here she demonstrated how the vocal chord vibrate when air passes through them. Just take a toilet paper tube and wrap wax paper over  one end. Secure with a rubber band. Make a vertical slit.  Blow through the open end to demonstrate air vibrating the vocal chords.

She shared that the vocal chords can be different thicknesses and that is what causes a voice to be high or low. By placing different sized rubber bands across the opening of a small container, we could hear the different pitches when plucking the bands.

We talked about the importance of the diaphragm muscle. This interactive printable also came from the Human Body: Easy Make and Learn Projects book.

We also made our own lung model based on the directions found here. Doesn’t it look just like a lung? ;)  All that is needed is the top portion of a 2-liter bottle, 2 rubber bands, 1 balloon, and a piece of plastic (or plastic grocery bag).

You can’t tell from the photo, but there is a little handle at the bottom of the bag. That bag represents the diaphragm muscle.  When it was pulled down, the lung (balloon) inflated.

When it was pushed up, the lung (balloon) deflated. The kids loved this model of the respiratory system.

We used the Usborne First Encyclopedia of the Human Body book as our text for the day. 

We also read and colored in some pages in our My First Human Body Books.

I passed out our Weekly Homework Sheet. This also explains what we talked about in class. I keep this simple because this is paired with the coloring book from above. I try to provide more hands-on learning than writing for this age-group (K-2nd).


You can see what we’ve done so far by visiting the Human Body Page. Linking up to Science Sunday too.


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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thank You Muncie MOPS!

Thanks for letting me come and hang out with you today. I will get the answers to some of the questions asked posted by this weekend. Here are a few links to get you started:

Click here for directions on how to dye pasta and rice.

You can find some of my past toddler activities by visiting my toddler activity archives.

Here is an article I wrote listing some early childhood activities to do by type (i.e. Fine Motor, Gross Motor etc.)

You will find many more ideas by clicking on the links above. Remember, start small and have fun with you child.

Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions! (That goes for all my regular blog readers too! :) ) Thank you for letting me share with you.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Enjoying Nature

We had a chance to squeeze in a nature walk before the weather turned yucky. It was a beautiful day—probably one of the last warms days of the season. I wasn’t in the mood to hike that day, but my girls begged. Once I was there, I was glad we took the time to go.  Here are some of the things we saw:

flowersnaturehike I love the purple against the yellow. Such beautiful color-schemes found in nature!

froggyWe were very surprised to see frogs and tadpoles at this time of the year.

naturehikegrass Prairie grass blowing in the wind. It made us think of the first pioneers having to cross this type of terrain. We could see how someone could get lost! It was taller than my 3yr. old.

naturehikea&K mygirls2011 A nice hike with my girls!

You Might Also Be Interested in:

Fall I Spy Cards
Drawing Nature

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

10 Things My Relevant Roomies Should Know

I am very excited to be heading to the Relevant conference! I’ve got some awesome IRL and online friends who have supported me and encouraged me to go to this conference this year.

relevantphoto Simply Sarah, Granola Mom 4 God, and Me!

I will be rooming with Sarah from Simply Sarah, and Jodi from Granola Mom 4 God. We  had the chance to meet-up once before the event, which was so much fun! Here are 10 things (in no particular order) that they should know about me:

1. I am a shy extrovert. I don’t usually go up to new people and introduce myself. For some reason I always feel like I’m imposing or bothering them. It will take me a moment to warm up to new people, but once I get talking, I talk! :)

2. It only takes me about 20 minutes to get ready in the morning so I will probably be one of the last ones to roll out of bed and get going.

3. I don’t think I snore, but it is allergy season so I’m not promising all will be quiet.

4. Once I start laughing, it’s hard to get me to stop.

5. I cannot guarantee that I won’t need a Coke (or two) in order to keep going. I know—not very granola—but I’m trying.

6. I don’t cry easily and am not very outwardly emotional.

7. I probably won’t process half of what is going on in the conference until a week (or two) later. It takes me awhile to think things through.

8. I will probably forget to check my phone if you try to text me. Ok, I never text so we’ll need to set a meeting point.

9. I can get slap happy.

10. I stay up late and have a hard time waking up in the morning.

During the conference I am hoping to be posting tidbits of info. about the conference. You can follow me @Spelloutloud or my Facebook page. You can also follow the hashtag #Relevant11 .

Linking up to Brooke’s Relevant Roomies Linky.

The Relevant Conference: Bringing the World Hope through Social Media