Monthly Archives: May 2014

2014 Art Show


Normally, when our co-op has its end-of-the-year program, I put the art up around on the walls, and the mini art show is part of it.  This year, however, because I had three classes and a LOT more students, I decided early-on that I would have an show specifically for art.


In September, I figured out that I was going to need portable panels to be able to set up in the gym.  I decided to go with insulation panels that were 8′ tall (you want the ones that are 2″ thick for support).  When I priced them at Home Depot, they were running about $25.00 each, and I needed nine of them.  Add the duct tape, spray adhesive, and black paper to cover everything, and the out-of-pocket expense was too much.  So, I turned to my friends on Facebook, and within two days of putting the shout-out, all nine panels were sponsored!  I know some pretty awesome people.  They sent checks and, in the spring, off to the hardware store I went.


About a week before the show, I had the kids frame their artwork by gluing them to larger sheets of colored paper.  I also had them take their art out of their portfolios and stack them according to the piece.  This would make it easier to mount later.  I also glued the paper to the panel.  I used spray adhesive to keep everything smooth.  I used two different types (one for craft, and one heavy-duty).  I wanted to use the can of craft adhesive first, and I should have ONLY used the heavy-duty adhesive, because everyone one of the panels that had the craft adhesive had to be re-sprayed on the day of the show.  It just wasn’t sticky enough.  The industrial stuff worked great!



On the day of the show, we started early.  I had a team of people come in throughout the day to help, and they were magnificent!  The first thing we had to deal with was re-spraying the paper on the panels (see above).  Once we had that back under control, we began the process of duct-taping the panels together, accordion-style.  You’ll want to work in teams for this.  One person needs to hold the panels together while the other person runs a line of duct tape down the seam of the two panels.  Next, the duct tape person runs another line to right (or left) of the first duct tape strip.  The tape will extend over the side, but that’s ok, because you can fold that down over the paper on the panel, securing it.  Finally, a third strip will be run on the other side, with the same fold-over step being repeated.  When the first two panels are complete, flip them over, and line up the third panel with ONE side, and repeat the process.  Your aim is to create connections to make a letter “Z”.



Don’t forget to duct tape the two edges of the outer pieces.  You don’t want the pink to show.  You don’t have to worry about taping the tops and bottoms, because the bottoms are, well, bottoms, and as for the tops, no one is 8′ tall.


Here's a set of panels complete and ready for the show.  They are very light and easy to move, albeit a little bulky.

Here’s a set of panels complete and ready for the show. They are very light and easy to move, albeit a little bulky.


We also made free-standing pillars.  I asked my parents to bring in medium to large-sized cardboard moving boxes throughout the year.  My original idea was to individually wrap the boxes in brown kraft paper, but I realized I had leftover black paper from the panels, and this would make the art stand out even more.  We didn’t have enough of the paper to wrap each one, and this was a GOOD thing to discover, because we ended up duct-taping six boxes together, and then wrapping the entire column as one piece.  Brilliant!  We ended making three columns for the show.




Now it was time to mount all the art work.  That, in itself, is a feat, and takes a team!  I arranged the panels, columns, and tables where I wanted them, and then dropped a stack of art before each side.  I also made sponsor signs for each panel as well as title cards for each project.  The team went to work, and everything turned out fabulously!


Another really successful part of the show was the drawing table.  I put two tables together, and covered with brown kraft paper.  I drew some frames and left some markers and pencils on the tables for anyone that wanted to sit down and create.  Both kids and parents had fun!

Blood and Guts – Complete Lapbook on Video!


I asked my husband to record me demonstrating the lapbook we’ve been working on all year.  I’ll post the last of it soon.  We’re just trying to get everything packed up from the school, because we lost the building.  No worries, though.  God will lead us someplace even more wonderful than the last, AND a co-op isn’t the building.  It’s the PEOPLE.  We’ll be our awesome selves no matter where we go.  🙂


Blood and Guts – Eyeball Dissection


What kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t let the younglings dissect an eyeball, since we’re on the senses?  A bad one, that’s what.  I can tell you that I wasn’t in there, because under no circumstance is my mental well-being worth anyone dissecting an eyeball.  Just these pictures make me want to crawl out of my skin!  So, I had another teacher take over for me (I took her engineering class), and she rocked it (ahem – as did I, with her class)!

Grody to the MAX (no offence to my student, Max…)!  Although, Max was pretty dang grossed out (along with a couple of others).


This is HANDS-DOWN the BEST eye dissection walk-through I found.  I wish they had it for the rest of the body parts we dissected!


Here are our pictures, and there are a couple of videos below as well:


Of course, all these pictures (and more!) will go in their lapbooks, so they can have wonderful memories of this…

Now for the videos:



And the UBER-SICK-NASTY one:



Blood and Guts – Sensory Extravaganza!


We held a “Sensory Extravaganza” at our co-op, and while it was a HUGE undertaking, it was an even BIGGER hit!  I had help from moms and older siblings to run fourteen stations (located in two rooms, the hallway, and a bathroom), as well as corral the kids when it was time to move.  I allowed for 3 minutes per station, and then I rang a bell, signifying it was time to move.  In hind-sight, if I were to do this again, I would change a few things.  Maybe listing them will help you, if you plan on being this crazy:

1.  Have all the stations lined up in numerical order.  I was only thinking about which space would be best for certain experiments and activities (for instance, you need a dark room for the Which Color Is it? test, so I chose the girl’s bathroom), and while that is very important, it is also very important to try to lay the stations in some semblance of order – or at least provide the kids/parents with a map!  It took way too long for kids to find the next station.

2.  Make sure the parents know that when the bell rings, no matter whether or not the student is finished, the student MUST switch to the next station – especially if you are having to stay within a time limit for the entire exercise.  Some parents held the kids back to finish the activity, and while that was a noble idea, it simply meant that the next child had even LESS time to complete it.

3.  Don’t give the cards to the kids.  Have the cards at the stations.  With pencils.  The kids spent WAY too much time sorting through their cards for different stations, trying to find the right one.  By simply having them at the station with the person running it, they would have more time to do the activity.

4.  Allow for more time for tasting stations, or offer less choices.  The tasting stations said they just didn’t have enough time to go through the process.  Live and learn!

I don’t want to sound like the entire process was rushed, because overall, things ran smoothly.  One we figured out what the hitches were, we tackled them, and kept going.  Each student was given a number 1-14 (I have 14 kids in the class, so that’s why I went with 14 stations).  They each went to their respective number, and started with that.  When the bell rang, they would switch to the next number on the number line.  So, if they started with number 7, they would move to station 8.  Once they were done with 8, they would move to 9.  When they finished with number 14, they would cycle through, starting with 1, until they got back to 7.  This way they would make sure they hit every one.  One parent or one older sibling ran each station.

Here are the activities we did:

L11 Experiment – Blind Spot (found in the Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology book)

L11 Experiment – Church Bells (an example of this experiment is found here)

L11 Experiment – Colorblindness Test (write the number you think it is on the left, and then write the number it actually is in the corresponding box on the right)

L11 Color Blindness Plates (the cards for the color blindness test)

L11 Experiment – Eye Chart (use a chart, or the chart in the book, and use folders to cover one eye and then the next)

L11 Experiment – Getting Dizzy (found in the book)

L11 Experiment – Hot vs. Cold Taste Test (found in the book)

L11 Experiment – Identifying Sounds (found in the book)

L11 Experiment – Mixed-Up Smells (found in the book)

L11 Experiment – Olfactory Taste Test (found in the book)

L11 Experiment – One Eye Open (found in the book – deals with depth perception)

L11 Experiment – Smell is Important for Tasting (found in the book)

L11 Experiment – Smelling Vanilla (found in the book)

L11 Experiment – Tuning Fork Fun (hit the tuning fork on a table and put it close to the ear, and then hit it once more and stick in water to see the sound waves)

L11 Experiment – What Color is This (found in the book – do this in a dark room)


Blood and Guts – Lapbook, Lesson 11


Yay for the senses!  This is always a fun chapter, no matter what your age.  Our senses are what allow us to experience life, and kids are really curious to know how to use them and explore them.

We’ve been using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology to make this gigantic lapbook, and it looks like we’ll only be able to get through Lesson 12 before school’s out.  Oh well.  Most of the content has been covered, and it gives them a good foundation for the future, when they’re ready for high school biology.

Onward and upward!

Lapbook:  Lesson 1 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 2 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 3 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 4 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 4B can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 6 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lessons 7 and 8 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 9 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 10 can be found here.

For this section, we used the eye and ear model from Scholastic’s The Body Book, by Donald M. Silver and Patricia J. Wynne.  We also used the smelling model and the tongue-and-lips model from  Scholastic:  Easy Make & Learn Projects:  The Human Body.  I copied the eyeball diagram from Knowledge Box Central (I think it’s page 39).    I also made up a lot of cards and foldables, and you’re welcome to download them below.

You’ll also notice cards in the lapbook from our “Sensory Extravaganza.”  That was a super-fun day, full of experiments and activities devoted to our senses!


L11 Lapbook – Six Senses (draw the 6 symbols on the outside, and tell what they are on the inside)


L11 Lapbook – astigmatism-myopia-hyperopia

L11 Lapbook – Conjunctivitis (don’t forget to color the eye as if it were infected!)

L11 Lapbook – Cornea

L11 Lapbook – Fovea

L11 Lapbook – Iris

L11 Lapbook – Otoliths

L11 Lapbook – Pupil

L11 Lapbook – Retina

L11 Lapbook – Sclera

L11 Lapbook – Tears


L11 Lapbook – Did the smell go away? (after you’ve been around an aroma for a while, did it go away?)

L11 Lapbook – Olfactory System

L11 Lapbook – Why doesnt everything have a smell?


L11 Lapbook – Tongue Jobs (what are the jobs of the tongue?)

L11 Lapbook – Tasting Food (how do we taste?)


L11 Lapbook – Ear Wax

L11 Lapbook – Inner Ear

L11 Lapbook – Middle Ear

L11 Lapbook – Pinna


L11 Lapbook – Static and Dynamic Sense of Balance


Now for the pictures: