Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chemistry and the Periodic Table Co-op

Chemistry and The Periodic Table was our topic for this month’s Co-op and our Co-op mom excels in making things hands on and fun!!

The students started out by learning more about the Periodic Table and filling out the one on their own and colour coding it. Our Mom used this amazing resource

Throughout the whole morning as the students transitioned from one activity to another they went and sang a song about the Periodic Table! After 4 or 5 practices they were all singing it and smiling while they were. It was interesting to see them get more and more comfortable as the morning went on. It was a very, VERY catchy tune!!

The students broke into two groups and played “Quick Six” for practicing the Periodic Table. It was great to hear them playing and slapping their cards. This was a great way to reinforce what they had learned! 

In “the wink of an eye” the morning was over and we broke for lunch.

After lunch our Art/Drama mom led our students through art appreciation and painting… here are her words…

“In Monday's art class/Art History, we talked about the Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch. Born in 1863 and died 1944. He was a troubled man who experienced the death of his mother when he was 5, and his sister, father and brother when he was a teen/young man. He aligned himself with some other troubled souls and talked much about the benefits of suicide, and how he embraced his anxieties and depression because he felt it made him a better artist. During WWII Munch is said to have supported Nazi ideology.

Munch's grandfather was a priest and we talked about how he chose to turn away from God and embrace dark theologies. We compared him to another artist we have studied: van Gogh, and discussed how they took different routes to deal with their troubles.

Munch's most famous painting, The Scream, is one of four, and the only one not in a Norwegian museum was sold for a record $120,000,000 in May 2012. We looked at several of his paintings and discussed Realism, Impressionism, and post-Impressionism.

The kids were given the choice to paint either The Scream or van Gogh's Sunflowers. We reviewed how to begin a painting, mixing colours, and placement. We will finish the paintings next month.”

Our Art/Drama mom is such a gifted teacher. We only teach a few sessions a year, but she teaches every month. I know that I join all the mom’s in our co-op with a hardy THANKS to her!!!

After the students Art time they went and played basketball. Our gym dad does such a great job in coaching our students but also just letting them play and learn the game through playing it! Our “Sports Sampler” part of Co-op has added another dimension to our days and I am so thankful!!
Blessings! Natalie

Movies as Literature - Sherlock Holmes - The Red Headed League

Another great session in Google Hangouts with “the gang”! 
It was a little frustrating because I misunderstood that in order to have 15 people in Google Hangouts you needed to purchase a domain and a Google Business account. Good to know!! 
We were one too many, so I know that it was frustrating for our students that kept getting bumped out!! They were very patient! I have now purchased the necessary account and so all should be well!! 

The Red Headed League, though a great mystery to explore, didn’t have as much action or tension compared to The Hound of the Baskervilles, so I don’t think that it was a favourite of most of our students, however in the Google Doc and then in class they explored foils, different Sherlock personas, Arthur Conan Doyle’s life and much more. 

I especially appreciated their answers and discussion on the question about blessings vs things being too good to be true and the question about our attraction to crime both as spectators and participators all the way back to biblical times. The questions for the Red Headed League are here.
Our next mystery is Father Brown AKA The Detective in May.. there are many great life messages in this movie and I am very much looking forward to the discussion. 

Blessings! Natalie

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sherlock Holmes - The Hound of the Baskervilles - Google Hangouts

We had our next Movies as Literature class in Google Hangouts. The Hound of the Baskervilles is beginning a series over the next few months of mysteries from different authors. What better mysteries to start with than Sherlock Holmes!

I decided to use this version of The Hound of the Baskervilles that was available on You-tube:

I had the students once again watch the film at home and share a document answering these questions. Then we got together and discussed their answers! I love how each time these students do a session they dive a little deeper and express their opinions just that much clearer! I have been challenged by bible verses that I wasn't aware of, by opinions that differ from my own and by the great sense of confidence that these students possess! 
Another wonderful session! 
A bonus to these sessions is afterward I give our students 15 minutes or so to just chat together about anything - they have fun together, are very animated and genuinely enjoy each other's company. It is definitely an opportunity for social interaction!!
Next session - Another Sherlock Holmes- The Red Headed League. I can't wait!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Grade 9 Science Co-op - Reproduction and Genetics

We had our first Science Co-op for Grade 9 and it was excellent! To start with our art and drama mom took over the beginning of the lesson teaching about genetics. First she had the students fill out an inventory of traits. 
This gave our students something to relate to as they continued through the lesson. She had prepared a graph before hand and the students then filled out the graph together based on the inventory. 
She explained how genetics work with dominant and recessive genes and how they effect our traits. It was a wonderful lesson. This has always been a little confusing to me, but I understand it much better now! I am glad that I was listening!! Many moms say that they learned more from homeschooling than in there entire time in school - I must say that I have to agree with that!
Next another one of our moms discussed abortion and development of babies. It too, was an excellent lesson. She first had the kids watch this video
She then had models to show them and she talked to them about what happens in an abortion and what stage the fetus is in. She also had our students look up several verses on the sanctity of life.The hands on nature of this lesson really put things into perspective for our students. It was excellent! 
Our mom’s knowledge and passion for the subject really shone through!!
Next it was another run through of Les Miserables. It is such a blessing to have these dramas. It gets our students so comfortable with reading in a group, being patient, staying focussed and being comfortable in all kinds of characters. 
Each one of our students knows the piece of literature so well as they go through it! Through our students years in co-op our students have become so culturally competent. They know plays, literature and have a grasp on time frames and culture during those time frames. What a blessing as they go into their adult lives!!
After this it was off to gym time. Our gym dad led the kids in a session of European Handball. They played it once last year, so it was great that they had another opportunity.

Another wonderful day at Co-op with our amazing students and incredible moms!! I can’t imagine our homeschool without this opportunity!