Friday, September 14, 2012

Biology and Twister?

Q. What do you get when you cross Biology class and Mrs. Seaholm as a substitute?

A. Biology Twister! Yes, you read that right! Mrs. Young had to go out of town this week for business. This necessitated the need for a sub. She didn't have much problem getting her lower level classes covered but, for some reason NO ONE wants to teach Biology for High Schoolers! I wonder why that is?

At any rate, Mrs. Young left me with 2 pages of terms and definitions with the simple instructions of "have them study for their test on next Tuesday"...

So I sat and I thought.... and quickly came to the understanding that I needed to act fast! HOW will we all endure a whole week of just flash card reviews? I mean, I understand the upmost importance of making sure these kids get this terminology down, understand the concepts and review the material... What can be done? HOW do I encourage each of these students to learn and study hard to make a good grade.

The first part of the week we play a fun little boys against girls game... great competition and a lesson about waiting until the question is fully given before answering...

The girls brought home a solid win by 1 whole question! Well, that was fun.. now what?


Just beginning the fun! Everyone on the mat. We had a secret word we could use at any time of we felt uncomfortable or needed to remove ourselves from the game... Just cry "uncle"

I'll have to say... Justin has got to be one of the most competitive boys I've ever met!

In the end, while they all did a fantastic job... they were wiped out and needed a little rest! The good news? There were only 2 definitions they still struggled with...
bionomial nomenclature and one even I can't remember!

Good luck Biology students on your upcoming test... and THANK YOU Mrs. Young for the privilege of teaching your class!

20th Century History

Those who follow me and regularly read my blog understand my love for history. While for some it makes absolutely no sense... to me it's fascinating!

What does history really mean? 


Really, it all comes down to one thought. God has known since the beginning of time...

On our first day of class I asked the kids to always keep in the back of their mind, and ask themselves this question: "Can I see His footprint?"

You see...
History ALWAYS repeats itself!
The question is... will we learn from it?

With all that said, let me take some time to introduce my amazing history class and some of our doings...

 Day one... Yes, we do have chairs... however... sometimes the floor just needs used!

This year I am teaching 20th Century History, Assisting in Chemistry, Subbing for Biology, harassing the kids during study hall and teaching a wonderful class called Fascinating Woman.
Obviously, if you read this headline you already know I want to share my amazing history class today!

Q: What are we doing in history this year?

A: Visual timeline of the 20th century.

Q:How will this work?
A: We will visit every decade from 1900-1999. I have sectioned out approximately 3 weeks of class for each decade. Because I want learning to be FUN and because I would like them to actually remember something from history class later in life, I try to mix things up. My main focus is on 10 interesting facts in each decade. Each event has a visual object that they can touch, move, arrange and mentally order.

One of the activities I am doing is printing off pictures from each decade. I made 2 sets of each picture with a caption of what it was. I then give each group a stack and ask them to put them in order according to decade. By looking at the pictures and the clues that each give they have come remarkably close. They will know all of these events by heart at the end of the school  year.

I have alternated the pictures from week to week so they learn something new each time.

Sometimes there are great debates about what came when... and then there are funny little remarks like "Elvis really died on the toilet?"

Here is a glimpse at our cell phone center... Still not complete but this gives you a good idea what I'm getting at here in my class. ALL cell phones go on the shelf! This shelf sits just inside my door so.... 

 This pic was taken on Back to School night... See that young man over there? Yep, that's my boy Nick!
We are still thanking God every day for his healing! Those shoes? That would be Miss. Hali... aka... Two socks! The other day at Target I saw another young girl with the same pair, only opposite feet. Secretly I don't mind this fad. I no longer feel guilty about pairing up socks!

Lastly, this is an example of one of the visuals I brought to class. In 1900 Kodak manufactured the Brownie Camera. It changed the world of photography. On Kodak's 50th anniversary they released an updated version of the Brownie and give it to kids 12 and under during the celebration. Having this Brownie camera, touching it, looking through the lenses.... and placing it in order of it's time in history has been priceless!

Our new Classrooms

Some of you have heard the concept of Co-Op, others of you have not. For many years we decided to do this "Home School" thing all on our own. While it was a beautiful experience, we are getting our feet "wet" with something new.

Surely you can't blame me?

The concept of co-op is fantastic. Yoke with other home schooling parents and share the duties of educating the children collectively. What I like the most about it is that each parent teaches what they KNOW and are good at. Win win for everyone!

We are very blessed to be a part of our co-op which is called IOL. We are even more blessed, as this year IOL was able to take over a Catholic school which had to shut their doors due to lack of enrollment. Here was this great big space not being used! It's wonderful to have elementary, junior high and high school wings, gymnasium/cafeteria and amazing kitchen....and then there are my two personal favorites~ The library and inner court garden!

My next few posts may be a bit random as I take you through all that has been happening, give you a tour and introduce to my awesome new students!

Welcome to classroom 12! This is me on the night of open house. I found this excellent saying on Pintrest, printed, matted and laminated... and got it finished just in the nick of time!

This is one of my most favorite "touches" to my classroom. It's my frivolous hall pass.

 These are my awesome hall passes. Laminated and on a lanyard.
 My facebook bulletin board. Designed for the purpose of keeping each other updated on major things in each other lives.
And here is our twitter board. The kids can, at any time, pop up and do a new tweet!

One view of my classroom. Since this picture was taken we have reduced the number of chairs, brought in round tables and stools, got a real teachers desk and decorated. Here is my beloved teaching space!

Same view, only I have up my "smart phone" buttons... Eventually each will become a part of the interactive classroom. Patience is a virtue... thinking this all out and finding extra time to create has been difficult lately.

Last picture for now... this is my rather plain Jane chalkboard and cork board. Needing to do SOMETHING with this area, I slapped up some artwork by Van Gogh. Pretty appropriate since my classroom was the former art room for years.

Thanks for taking a look...

I am truly blessed!

Monday, April 16, 2012

My last post was the end of September! Wow~ Talk about being behind a little bit! School is almost over.

In just one short month we FINALLY get to graduate Aaron. I say finally because he was supposed to actually graduate LAST year but I was talked into giving him one more year of school and sports. I am very glad I did!

More on Home School graduation and the process a person has to go through in order to accomplish this feat with perfection!

On to some of the awesome things I didn't share over the last few months!

Here we are... Studying for SOTW again... Chapter 9 if your following along.

In 1883, the Krakota volcano erupted in Indonesia. The explosion was the loudest sound ever recorded. People all the way in Australia heard the eruption. The eruption caused tsunamis as for as South Africa. The tsunamis were catastrophic as they wiped out Telok Batong, Sumatra, Sirik and Semarang in Java. We decided to create our own volcano.

Next up: Some brilliant illustrations that my kids are doing with their Art teacher Danna York. This woman is absolutely amazing. Each of my kids have walked away from a drawing amazed that they actually created it!

Next up...
Every year a group of us insane females get together for about 12 hours of Black Friday Shopping Madness!  We took a couple of hours and created these darling little planners for a couple of friends. They are intended to use for 2012. Inside are all kinds of lists and envelopes for receipts. There is a great website  that you can print off your own copies. I have been using for several years now and it has helped me stay on track and well organized for the holiday.