First Day of Biology

Class went ok. I was not completely organized and I got off track. I have no idea if the students even noticed, since 6 out of the 7 attending had glazed eyeballs. :)

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Usually the first day of a high school Biology class can be a little scary, but it will all work out very soon.  I think they enjoyed playing with the microscopes.

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Well, maybe some enjoyed it more than others. LOL

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This coming Tuesday we will check out our cheek cells.

A Sciencey Rant

I am not a person who cleans their house.  I actually hate housework and it shows. Which is why I never want Kristy to visit my house.  It isn’t going to happen, unless our house is up for sale because then it just might be clean.

That said, I do care about other people’s property.  I make sure that the area I am visiting or the items I am borrowing stay nice and tidy. After a year off from Biology, I needed to check what slides needed to be replaces.  A class was taught late year and used the equipment, so I figured a few slides, blades, and such needed to be replaced.  So, when I opened the Biology supply bucket from our co-op, I was shocked to see the mess it was in.  This is the science cabinet that I took apart and reorganized. I had expected the supply box to be fairly clean when I opened it.

This is partly what I saw. Prepared slides that should be neatly stashed in a slide box, were just thrown in the storage bin.   Some were scratched and very dirty. Lots of things just thrown on top of them.  These slides are expensive and should be well taken care of.

20140725_202842 Dissection tools were not cleaned.  In fact, I don’t even think they made it to a sink to be cleaned.    Most of the scalpels still had blades on them and they were usually stored with the sharp side up.  Now that is what I call a safety issue.  The light colored things you see in the upper left corner are fish scales and other pieces parts.  Yes they are.

20140725_202908 So people, even if you are messy at home, please take the time to clean up after yourself when you use other people’s belongings.  Especially if you are using science equipment!

That is the end of my RANT.

Now on a slightly different topic…. I placed my order with Home Science Tools this week.  Even though I received a 10% off discount, the total came to around $2.00 over my budgeted amount.  It turns out the amount of shipping I budgeted for was a few dollars less.

I decided to look at shipping options.  I wasn’t in a complete hurry so thought the ground shipping would work better.  Turns out ground shipping was already selected. Hmmm… Looking at UPS I see the shipping is CHEAPER!  Who knew!  It brought down my order under budget by a $1.00!  AND I get it in about three days.

The lesson here is to always check for the cheapest shipping! The cheapest may not be ground shipping.

In one week, I’ll be ordering the specimens!  Woo-Hoo!

Printest Nailed It/Failed It – Ants

 

My fellow friends (that live in my computer) and I have long forgotten the Nailed It/Failed It Pinterest Challange.  Life happens.  Today I decided to post this on my own.

Ants.  We have them.  We have lots of them.  They get into our house when it rains.  They get into our house when it doesn’t rain.  They crawl up the outside of our house, down our sidewalk, and under our cars.  It’s endless.

I found on Pinterest information on how to stop ants from at least entering the house.  Use chalk.  That’s right just plain ole chalkboard chalk.  Just make a line with the chalk where you do not want the ants to cross and they will not cross the line. HA!  Yeah, right.

Weeellllll, lookie here!  I have a long line of ants crawling up the outside of our home.

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I used green chalk so it is visible and look what happens!  Boom! Instant road block.  Immediately the ants start piling up at the line and will not cross it.  What I found really amazing, but you can’t see it here, the ants above the road block turned around and came back to help the blocked ants.     Unfortunately, they couldn’t cross the line either.

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Just to make sure this was working, I placed another line.  Now this confused the ants more.  They could not go forward or backwards.  I was surprised to see the ants could not figure out to go left or right to get out.

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And because I am mean…..

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This is so totally awesome and fun!

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Still don’t believe me?  Look at this “professional done” lol, video.

 

 

Green Butt Spider

I don’t remember where I saw this or when I actually took the photo.  I do remember thinking it was interesting, since it has a green abdomen.

A spider!

A spider!

This male spider is called a tropical orb weaver.  It comes in many shapes and sizes.  :D  Sometimes they have the green spot on the back and sometimes not.  Same goes for the two little black dots you see at the rear.

They like open woodlands.  During the day they like to hang around under leaves folded together with silk, like the one in this picture.  Their bite is not harmful to humans.

Kingdom Animalia 

Phylum Arthropoda 

Subphylum Chelicerata

Class Arachnida

Order Araneae

Returning to Biology

That’s right!  This past school year, I have learned that I need to stick with the life sciences. I do like Chemistry, but I do not facilitate that class very well.

I have two daughters that need Biology, so what better time to return to something I really enjoy facilitating.  :)

The 2014/2015 co-op Schedule has been added to the Get Started post, but you can also click on the photo below to get the schedule.  As always, I used Donna Young’s forms.  My schedules are for my co-op.  You will probably have a different schedule.  If you need to make changes or tweak the schedules I have, you will need to download Donna’s forms.  My schedules are in pdf format and cannot be changed.

Biology Schedule

 

Several people have asked me, over the past few weeks, how and where do I order my supplies.  If you have been here before, you know I do not like the specimen kits that can be purchased through most homeschool supply stores.  They are very dry, especially the fish.  After trying to dissect a fresh then frozen fish, I decided to shop around.  I now buy all my specimens from Carolina Biological.   To make it simple and so I don’t have to answer the same questions several times, I have made a Supply List.  It is also linked in the Getting Started page, but you can also click on the picture below.  This list is for MY class.  It may have more than what you need or it may have less than what you need.

If you have any questions on the supply list, please ask.  I do like to answer questions. :)

Biology Supply List

Biology Supply List

I am so looking forward to this class.  Not only do I have my two daughters in it (they are so thrilled, I’m sure), my good knitting friend’s son will be in there too.  He will make the class VERY interesting. ;)

That’s all I got for now, folks.  Come back and check out what we do in Biology.

Bragging on my Sister

My sister, Dava, has been taking art lessons for a while and she has gotten pretty good at it.  She has even sketched a couple of my kids.

Here we have my youngest.  She loves the slouchy hats, but doesn’t wear them often.  This was knitted by me in a burnt orange.

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And this is what Dava sketched from the photo above.  :)

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Joanna also loves the hats.  All kinds of hats.  This lovely blue/striped hat was calling her name and Joanna had to try it on.

Joanna and the hatAnd this is what Dava sketched from this picture.

Joanna sketch

After this I decided we needed to purchase the hat for Joanna and then we had another photo shoot.  It is fun to get a little goofy once in a while.

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Below is a watercolor of my two sisters and me.

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I love this painting.  Three sisters.  Each sister has her initial somewhere on her.  The conversation about this picture, between the three of us, went like this:

Leasa:  Michelle, did you get the painting of us yet?

Me:  Yes, I really like it!

Leasa:  Did you notice how wide Dava painted my butt?

Me:  Yes!  It was hard to miss.

Dava:  I paints ‘em as I sees ‘em.

Dava has painted many fun things, like door cabinets, tables, and a sink counter.  You can check out a few of her paintings on her Facebook Page DesignsbyDava.  I am hoping she will add more of her work.

Recently she enter one of her pieces in an Art Show and won third prize!

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I am proud of her.  Way to go Dava!

I am pretty sure she gets her talent from me.  Just sayin’….

Camping with Friends

To make this camping trip more fun for the girls, Sir Husband said we could invite some friends.   We invited three sisters to float down the Ichetucknee.  Yes, Sir Husband was trapped with seven females in the camper. Six of them are drama queens.  We all know I am not a drama queen. :)

We arrive at the campground and start setting up.  These girls have never been camping, so everything was new and exciting.  It was so fun to watch them as we set up.  I still cannot figure out why cranking down the stabilizers was so fascinating.  lol

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The first night the girls watched the first Hobbit movie, ate hotdogs, giggled, giggled, and giggled.  It’s a lovely sound.

Early the next morning, we head out to the springs.  The girls opted to have double rafts, while the husband and I got singles.  It was very comical to see us driving down the street looking like this.

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The way tubing works on the  Ichetucknee Spring, is your party is dropped off at the beginning of the spring and the driver takes the car to the end point.  Once at the end point, a van returns the driver back to the beginning.  While Sir Husband was busy parking the van at the exit, the girls  and I waited.  I was able to talk them into swimming in the Head Spring while I waited with the rafts.  The water is a constant 72 degrees, but at 8:30 in the morning, it felt a lot colder.
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Finally we head out.  The girls had a blast!  Things they saw, jumping fish, Heron, turtles, alligator, and an otter.20140620_094309

 

It was a good thing Sir Husband and I had separate floats.  At the beginning, I ended up in areas I wasn’t suppose to be in, found myself having to lay flat to float under a very low branch, and actually got stuck on top of seaweed.  Close to the half way point, I started acting like I knew what I was doing and I so enjoyed the lazy movement of the spring.

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After 3 hours of tubing, we head back to the camper to do a little hiking.  A little hiking, because it was hot and buggy.  The tree below is one that we always sit on when we visit O’Leno State Park.

 

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Next morning the girls decide to have a mean game of UNO while their breakfast is being made. Fun game!

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I tried to get a picture of all of them in the back room that has the four bunks.  It wasn’t easy, especially since they were reading Susanna’s story and I am not allowed to read it, therefore; band from the room.   We had four girls in this bedroom and the two oldest on the fold out sofa in the living room.  Since the bed touches the kitchen cabinet, I had to step over the girls to get to the coffee or other area of the kitchen. My morning routine sounded like this, “Excuse me girls.  Oh sorry, didn’t mean to step on your feet.  Excuse me, excuse me.  Coming back through, excuse me, excuse me……”    They love me for that morning wake up call.

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We enjoyed it so much, we have invited them to go camping with us again.   Camping is more fun with friends.