Saturday, January 30, 2010

Journey North Myster Class Preparation

The program begins on Monday so I go the kids ready during co-op yesterday.

I put together packets for each of them. Last year I had problems with the graph because it is on two pages and it splits at 12 hours--right where all the action is taking place. This year I folded the top of the first page right to the top of the graph, lined up page one with the graph lines on page two, and then attached them together with double-sided tape. I put this in the front pocket of the packet.

I downloaded the journal cover from the web site for the first page.

Next, since I have 5 students and we are finding 10 mystery classes, I put in 2 data sheets for each student. I went over the table, what data we would put in it, and what a photoperiod was. I then put several of the unchanging journal pages so they would be ready to go next week.

Discussing photoperiod was a good introduction to the 24 hour clock. Using Smart Draw, though you could probably use Word or any drawing program, I created a circle within a circle with clock lines on them. You can download it here from Scribd.

The last several pages are the vocabulary list and diagrams from the web site. Like they suggested, I just had the kids look at them and write down any questions they had. At the end of the project we will pull the cards out again and see if they then know the answers to them.

In my notebook I put a copy of the calendar, my own master graph for all the classes, a data sheet for our home location, and parts I needed from the two teachers' practice packets.

I will be searching my LibraryThing, the public library, Discovery Streaming, and the internet for related resources. More on that as they become available...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Journey North Time!

February 1st is when the next Journey North Mystery Class will start! Journey North is a series of seasonal projects by Annenberg Media. Most are related to migrations, and one is for gardening. Mystery Class is science, math, and geography all rolled into one!

Every Monday you look up the sunrise and sunset times for where you live and record the photoperiod (amount of daylight.) On Fridays you go to the website to look up the sunrise and sunset data for the mystery locations of 10 different cities around the world. Your objective is to find the longitude, latitude, city, and country of the 10 locations based on this data. What's really neat is graphing the data before and after the spring equinox.

This year I'll be doing this project as a class with the 5 kids ages 8 to 11 in our small homeschool co-op, and I'm really excited about it. The organizers asked for permission to use my blog graph image from last year, so I'll have to see if they actually were able to used it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Immune Attack

Immune Attack is a downloadable game with outstanding graphics, detailed information, and engaging game play about the immune system.

The scenario that you will help a child with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) by sending a nanobot, complete with probes, into her blood stream to teach her immune cells how to function again. This is immunology at the molecular level--pathogens, macrophage receptors, transmigration, and more. The immune system information is presented both in written and spoken form. It can be skipped over but not easily since it is integrated in with each mission.

This is a very large file that will take some time and storage to download and install, but that is because of it's amazing graphics. I am amazed at how much my 8 year old can tell me about immune function.

The game was created by the Federation of American Scientists. Below is the trailer on YouTube. One difficulty is that there are no instructions other than what the characters in the game tell you--and they don't tell you how to save the game. It's very frustrating having to start this complex game over again from the beginning each time!