Friday, September 25, 2009

Bodies: Lesson 1!

We had a great time yesterday getting started on learning about the body. I decided to take a systems approach and teach the kids that our bodies are a bunch of machines that work in concert together. First, we talked about the heart, and how it is a pump to move blood through the body, and that blood carries oxygen and nourishment to all the parts of our body, and it carries away what the body has used up.

The idea for how I should have set up the hand pump only occurred to me about 30 minutes before everyone arrived, so instead of a little hand pump that could circulate water, we had this leaky thing that I swear is not filled with pink zinfandel:

Leaky or no, the kids liked trying to get each other wet with it:

Next, we talked about the skeletal system and how it both supports and protects, and everyone built a Lego skeleton:

Finally, we talked about the brain, and how it talks to the rest of the body using nerves. Then the kids got to make the ballerina spin by touching the wire "nerve" to the battery "brain."

Then we put together what we'd learned by pairing up and tracing bodies, then drawing what's inside:

The final products:

Jack and Spencer's:

They really got into the bones and eyeballs, and each of them drew his own mouth. Which makes sense, they both have a lot to say!

Lily and Fiona's:

I LOVE the stomach with the whole apple in it, including a path for the apple to exit the body. The stomach also had a spider in it, which, Lily explained to me, is why this patient is dead and a skeleton.

Sarah and Caiden's:

Theirs had a strawberry in the stomach, and Caiden drew a great-looking brain.

It was definitely as much a learning experience for me as for the kids. There was only one breakdown, and it was because Jack was disappointed that he wasn't going to have time to finish his lego skeleton before we had to move on. (Note to teachers: if you're going to play with legos, leave them for the end of the class!) Other than that burp, the kids were great - curious, ready to learn, good with instructions, focused on what we were learning. I had a great time, and I hope Lynn and Heather (THANK YOU for helping out!) and the kids did, too.

Once I have a better idea of the kids' chemistry, I think things will be even smoother. Next week we'll be *doing* a little chemistry as we learn about the nutrients that keep our bodies healthy. We also have a stethoscope on loan, and we'll be listening to our heartbeats and seeing how they change when we exercise.

Thanks again for sharing your kids and your expertise with us - I think it's going to be a fun year!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Preparations for BELL Anatomy Lesson #1 Are Underway

"Kitty," you want to ask me, "what on earth does that pile of junk have to do with an anatomy lesson?"

I assure you, it does. You'll have to wait until Thursday to find out what!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This is my first blog ever!!! I'm excited to be involved, too. I'm starting to plan our Treasure Hunt route and compiling the maps we'll need. To that end, I'd like the B.H. participants to email me their addresses. Also, does anyone have a color printer?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Our Tentative 2009-2010 Schedule

We'll meet on Thursdays at 4:15 pm for an hour at the house of the person teaching that module.

Below is our tentative schedule. In case the H1N1 gets us all or other circumstances conspire to force us to cancel a class or two, we can push the entire schedule back, or we can reschedule that class for later in the year. Thursdays that do not have a class scheduled are marked in red.

Please feel free to reorder the classes in your module as you see fit.


September 24: Bodies I - What are the parts of my body? Kitty October 1: Bodies II - How do I keep my body healthy? Kitty/Becky
October 8: Bodies III - What are germs? Kitty
October 15: Bodies IV - What is heredity? Kitty
October 22: Bodies art project: Family tiles Kitty/Heather
October 29: Community I - Maps and Navigation - what's in my neighborhood? Lynn
November 5: Community II - US Maps and the globe - where have I been, where do my friends and family live? Lynn
November 12: Community III - Treasure hunt through the neighborhood! Lynn
November 19: Community IV - What is the earth like in my community? - Earthquakes and volcanoes Lynn
November 26: Thanksgiving - no class
December 3: Community V - What animals and plants are in my community? - hike at Eaton Canyon (collect stuff for Dec. 17 art project) Lynn
December 10: Clark and Haselton girls have Nutcracker rehearsal - no class
December 17: Community art project: sculpture of found items from nature hike Lynn/Heather
December 24: No class (Becky's birthday!)
December 31: No class


January 7: Music I - Rhythms of the world Jon/Laura
January 14: Music II - Pickin' 'n' Grinnin' Jon/Laura
January 21: Music III - Happy Feet Dance Jon/Laura
January 28: Music IV - No Fun Title ;) Jon/Laura
February 4: Art I Heather
February 11: Art II Heather
February 18: Art III Heather
February 25
: Central America I Becky/Chris (Lily's birthday!)
March 4: Central America II Becky/Chris
March 11: Central America III Becky/Chris
March 18: Central America IV Becky/Chris
March 25: Central America Art Project Becky/Chris/Heather
April 1: Spring Break - no class
April 8: Spring Break - no class
April 15: Spring Break - no class
April 22: Tower of Physics I Becky
April 29:
Tower of Physics II Becky

And so we begin!

I can't tell you how excited I am after tonight's meeting. Seven months ago this was just an idle thought, a "Wouldn't it be cool if we could..." idea. As of tonight, we have an entire year planned out to teach our kids music, science, and art. I'm so grateful that all of you were willing and excited to get involved with this project, and I can't wait to see where it takes us!