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    #1732
    admin

    Class Summary for 9/10/2018

    Hello Upper/Lower Grammar Botany Families,

    Today we started Lesson 1 and introduced some basic information for the year. I wanted to explain the structure of the class, especially for those parents who do not get to be in the classroom with us. It was funny that some students didn’t know what class they were coming to. They didn’t know what Botany was. When I told them it was the study of plants, some seemed surprised that there was that much to learn about plants. Haha! I’ll show them! And today’s class did show them a little of that!

    Ultimately, I want the students to love God’s creation, and there are plenty more ways to help them do that than I could imagine covering in this weekly class. I encourage you all to be observant of botanical development throughout the year. I thought I was going to teach a Nature Study class last year, and I was pretty concerned because, well, this is Arizona. I didn’t really know when things were growing or changing. I prepared as best I could, but ultimately, I just needed time to study it. I hope that you all can simply be tuned in to the nature around you. Watch the tree pods develop and change. Pay attention to budding and seed dispersal. Notice when flowers are blooming and dying. When I started being excited about what I was noticing, so did my boys!

    Due to the nature of the subject, some projects need time to develop. For my family as well as for the class, we will be growing mostly simple plants like herbs and some vegetables. Maybe you can choose some of your own plants to grow. I will do my best to keep you ahead of the game so that your student can share the growth progress with the class.

    For Lesson 1, we started with verse Genesis 1:12 for our copywork. Then we read John 13 for a little devotional. We discussed some basic differences between a biologist and a botanist as well as started to understand binomial nomenclature. You can ask them this question to see if they understood it: A botanist is a biologist, but a biologist isn’t necessarily a botanist. Why?

    We did a fun activity of Who Am I? They had to ask questions of their partners to find out what picture was on their backs. They were learning (although they may not know it yet) what scientists do to figure out how to classify living things.

    The exciting part of class was dissecting an aloe vera plant. We talked about it’s medicinal purposes, and how God has purpose for those things he has created. This was a fun introduction to how unique plants can be. I sent the samples home in case they would like to share what they did or to dissect it further. I hope that is ok with you all.

    For this week’s homework, they will be reading pages 1-7 in their textbook. Each week’s class will be applying what we’ve read, so that is the most important assignment.

    We didn’t get to our journals in class, but I would like them to complete My Botany Project (p.28) regarding their experience with the aloe vera plant dissection.

    You get to choose what homework you would like to do. However, I do ask for these things: 1) please read the assigned reading before the following class and 2) try not to do the tasks that we will do in class. I will alert you as to what we will be doing in class so that you can feel free to do anything else in the journal or textbook that you choose.

    The assigned reading for this week is pages 1-7 and 8-15 for the following week. We will be doing a taxonomy activity in class next week, so after we do that, you can do the shoe one at home. In the journal, we will complete some parts of Fascinating Facts (p.14). In the Junior Notebook Journal (JNJ) p.17-18 and in the Notebooking Journal (NJ) p. 19-20, we will probably use that as well. Anything else is open for you to use as you wish.

    Since we didn’t ask you all in advance for you to purchase a nature journal, I have a basic one for your student if you wish. If you would like to buy one (or if you already have one you wish to use), that would be fine as well. My boys started one (and I’m excited to encourage them to use it again), and we found that we like the spiral type with slightly thicker pages. They can draw and keep their findings in there.
    I will be sending home some small pouches in which your student can collect seeds or other specimens. They can store them in their journals if they would like.

    We didn’t have time to share some of our nature experiences, but hopefully next week. Most of you had stories to share, which is great.

    I hope your students enjoyed themselves today. We are off to a fun year.

    Love, Melana

    #1746
    admin

    Class Summary for 9/17/2018

    Melana Salsbury
    2:23 PM (1 hour ago)
    to me

    Hello Upper Grammar Botany Parents!

    You would have been very proud of their presentations of their nature experiences. We need to make them a little shorter or maybe we will only do a few a week. We got to know each other a little better, which is always special!

    They were able to be taxonomists by organizing a baggie of googlie eyes. Lots of good thinking happening. I told them that they can choose another object at home such as shoes, beans, buttons, or LEGOS (!!!). Haha! My boys did it first thing this morning! There is a page (p18 NJ or p16 JNJ) in their journal that they can write in their chosen taxonomy topic.

    Please read pages 8-15 this week.

    We will be playing a review game in class based on the What Do You Remember questions. (They are found in the Upper Grammar Notebooking Journal p.16-17 or they are found in the textbook on the following pages p.6, 9,13,16 in my edition.) Please have them be prepared. It will be way more fun!

    The crossword in the older Notebooking Journal has always been my favorite assessment for my boys. And the mini book is always fun to do. My boys will be doing those this week, but you can choose if you want to or not.

    I will be bringing in my digital telescope and magnifying glasses for us to study some plants/leaves. So, next week we will fill in the My Leaf and Moss Drawing page as well.

    Everything else you are free to assign as you wish. We will not be making a Light Hut, but you are welcome to if you want. And we won’t be making soap (as much as I wanted to).

    We planted some herb seeds last week and already have some sprouts! I hope you might be able to plant something and watch it grow. I would love to see pictures and hear stories about the progress their plants make.

    I was able to show the class our nature journals, and I asked them to get one if they could. Since we did not put that in the supply list, I cannot require you to purchase one. I have some very basic ones if you do not wish to purchase one. I understand. Please let me know though, one way or the other, what you plan to do so that I have enough for those who need one. Thank you.

    So, this week:
    Read pages 8-15
    Prepare for Review Game by knowing the What Do You Remember questions
    Taxonomy
    Let me know your plans about the nature journal

    Blessings! Melana

    #1751
    admin

    Class Summary 9/24/2018

    Hello Upper Grammar and Lower Grammar Botany Families!

    What a fun day, and no, it wasn’t just because they got candies! 😂

    We did a review of pages 8-15. I brought in actual specimens of anthophytas, bryophytes, coniferophytas, angiosperms, and gymnosperms. I took a picture to show you all our chart. I’ll send that separately. They also got to look at some leaves and some moss up close with magnifying glasses and my digital telescope.

    Then we played Zing Ding to help us review all of our vocabulary from the lesson. I had a lot of fun. I can almost guarantee that everyone did. Even Mrs. Lair joined in. 😉

    At this point, you are welcome to finish anything from Lesson 1 from the textbook or the journals. If you’re like me, you may not like to leave things incomplete. So, will be doing the mini book, facts, and drawings this week.

    This week they will be reading from the next lesson on seeds. Through page 26 (up to Germination).

    They can also start collecting seeds. I have mini ziplock baggies for them that they can label and put in their journals on the Seed Collection page or in their nature journals. A nature walk would be fun at this time, too. They can see if they can locate vascular plants, angiosperms or gymnosperms, anthophytas, coniferophytas, or pterophytas, etc.

    Also, I think that everyone has their nature journals now. I am going to be asking the students to adopt a tree or a bush, probably near their house. I want them to draw it/them soon and then watch it transform during the course of the year. Leaves are dying and falling now, so if it’s a deciduous tree/bush, they will want to capture it soon. We can talk more about that next week.

    Next week, I would like to have some students present their nature/science experiences. We want to keep it to 1-2 minutes, so have them think through what they are going to say and how. Please let me know if your student will have something to present. Thank you.

    That’s it for now! Thank you for sharing your little botanists with me! ❤️

    Love, Melana

    #1768
    admin

    Class Summary for 10/1/2018

    Hello Upper and Lower Grammar Botany Families!

    Copywork: Isaiah 30:23
    He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful.

    How appropriate, right?1?!

    We had three students present their scientific discoveries yesterday. Great job! Shaina shared with us the trees/plants that she has chosen to study and journal about this year.
    While the rain may make this difficult this week, have your student pick a tree and/or bush to study throughout the year. We love to see their drawings in their nature journals, so hopefully you all can find some time to spend outside in nature drawing and reflecting on God’s creation. ❤️

    We reviewed the vocabulary: hilum, dormant, testa (seed coat), and embryo. I showed them a sunflower seed and pinto bean to relate to them what testa are and how they are different. I even brought in a mango seed with a very different testa indeed.

    I passed out some supplies to them to set up their experiment to do at home. They each have three baggies with paper towels and lima beans in them. They are to place one bag in a dark place like in a closet, another bag in a window, and the other in a place of their choosing (it says “refrigerator” in their books, but they saw the flaw in that). The idea is to get them thinking of the different variables needed to grow something successfully. The experiment/project is in their textbooks on page 29-30 that you all can follow. They will need at least 3 seed growth charts like that found on page 30. Have them be prepared to share their experiences on Monday, but the following Monday is symposium which is when they will probably have more to report. They can report more to me then or when we get back from their break.

    Next week we will be dissecting seeds, so don’t feel like you need to do that yet. If they can collect some seeds that they may like to dissect, let me know. I have beans, avocados, papaya, a mango… It would help for them to understand the seed parts for our next class. We will also be doing the test on starches with iodine.

    The following week (after symposium and break), we will finish up with the lesson with Monocots and Dicots and as well as play our Zing Ding game. In the meantime, maybe you can plan something to grow, if you haven’t already. I have planted some bean seeds to show germination, hopefully next week. I am also trying an avocado seed. I would love to hear their experiences!

    So, things that they can be doing:
    Nature walks
    Adopt a tree/bush
    Nature journaling
    Grow something
    Identify their nearby landscape trees/plants
    Collect seeds

    Homework:
    Finish reading Lesson 2
    You can design your own seed coat/testa.
    You can label the seed anatomy in the journals.
    You can do fascinating facts about seeds in their journals

    Hold off on the germination animation and the mini book until after next week,

    Have a great week!
    Love, Melana

    #1784
    admin

    Class Summary for 10/8/2018

    Hello Botany Families!

    First of all, I am so sorry that I did not get this to you sooner. I have been writing you all an email about humanities and totally spaced my Botany update. Please forgive me.

    We had a very fun day of dissecting beans. And everyone was able to dissect an avocado seed! That was exciting! 😂 We labeled the seed parts and discussed their purposes. I brought into class a young bean plant that still had its cotyledon attached, so they got to see the germination process in an actual plant! I sent home a simple worksheet on which they are to draw the bean and label the parts and their purposes. On the back, I want them to reflect on what they did and what they learned.

    We had some presentations as well. I am not sure if I informed the parents that if your student has something to present (which I hope they do often), let me know by email or text at least the night before. I just need to allot enough time for them. I was only aware of one presentation, but then two more students were excited to share. We didn’t have enough time for part 2 of Monday’s activity which was testing the beans and other foods sources for starch content. I have small iodine packets that they can take home on Monday, and you all can do the experiment at home (page 44 in Junior Notebooking Journal and p.43 in Notebooking Journal).

    We will spend one more class on Lesson 2, so there isn’t any new reading (unless you didn’t have a chance to read last week’s assignment). Next class, we will go over Monocots and Dicots, do a devotional, and play our review game. So, before next class on October 29 (!!!), make sure they know there stuff. They are welcome to finish anything in their journals at this point except for the Monocots in Nature and Dicots in Nature pages (p. 37-38 in Junior Notebooking Journal and p.35-36 for Notebooking Journal).

    We also looked at pictures in a book of watching a tree change throughout the year so that they students got the idea of how to document the growth process of their trees/bushes.

    Keep loving God’s creations!!

    Love, Melana

    #1793
    admin

    Class Summary for 10/29/2018

    Hello Upper and Lower Grammar Botany Families!

    Our copywork was Mark 4:8, the parable of the seeds. No one knew the parable, which surprised me. So, I took advantage of the opportunity to do a mini bible lesson. Yay!

    Today we finished Chapter 2. We learned about Monocots and Dicots (the final part of the chapter that we hadn’t discussed yet) and did a partner activity to solidify the difference between the two.

    We then reviewed all of Chapter 2 with Zing Ding. That is one fun game! And one fun group of kids! ❤️

    So, if you haven’t yet, anything in Chapter 2 that you haven’t finished is free to do now.

    Next week, we will start Chapter 3 on Flowers. They are to read to the middle of page 41, which is just after learning how to dissect a flower. We will be dissecting flowers next week! 😁 So, if they read up through the directions on how to dissect, that will help next week’s class go smoothly.

    Have a great week dear families!

    Blessings!

    #1802
    admin

    Class Summary for 11/5/2018

    Hello Upper and Lower Grammar Botany Families!

    Our copywork was a quote from Aristotle (again 😉): In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.

    We reviewed the material from the first half of Chapter 3. They all deduced how we could not live without angiosperms. If you’re interested, ask them how is that true. ❤️

    We labeled the parts of a flower in their journals today. This served as a review from the reading to help in identifying what we would be finding while we dissected flowers. I told them that I had never dissected a flower, so I was learning right along with them. We dissected a lily, which was the recommended flower to dissect. Unfortunately, it was difficult to locate the inner parts, but the rest of it worked out. Then I think that they got more out of dissecting the roses. I encourage them to take a look at some of the flowers around their homes, like an oleader, ruellia, etc. Maybe there is even a better example out there.

    They will need to finish reading Lesson 3. We will review/discuss the material and then play Zing Ding. Most chapters are pretty simple from now on, so two weeks may be enough. Please don’t tell your students yet, but Luke has some carnivorous plants that he is going to share with us next week. Depending on how long that goes, we may continue Chapter 3 for another week and play Zing Ding the following week.

    In order to prepare for Zing Ding, the questions under What Do You Remember are good places to start, as well as going over vocabulary words.

    Feel free to do any and/or all activities from the book or journal.

    Have a great week dear families!

    Blessings!

    #1814
    admin

    Class Summary for 11/12/2018

    Hello Botany Families!

    We had the pleasure of wonderfully interactive presentations today.

    First Josiah brought in some weeds on which he noticed unique leaf shapes.

    Isaac wanted to bring in some mums to teach about composite flowers.

    And then Luke created a very well-prepared presentation on carnivorous plants. He brought in a trifold board complete with the 4 carnivorous plants and their descriptions. He taught us about them and then brought in a Venus flytrap and a pitcher plant to show. The Biddle family blessed my family with the gifts of these two plants. ❤️ We tried to trigger the Venus flytrap, but we didn’t have a fly. Then we cut off the dead pitcher plants and dissected them. The plants didn’t contain anything because they were dry, but my boys and I will try to grow them and bring them in later. I found a fun (sort of gross) video on dissecting a pitcher plant.

    I was so blessed by the authentic learning happening today. It was really good stuff. I will send some pictures/videos.

    Another video that they may enjoy:

    Here is the one we watched in class:

    Well, due to all of the wonderful learning that took place today, we did not get to Zing Ding! We can play it next class. I noticed that many did not seem as prepared as they should have been. 🤔 They are to begin reading the next chapter through page 55. That should be plenty of time to review and read (since we don’t meet up until the 26th).

    Maybe on our break you can go for some nature walks (in this gorgeous weather). You might even bring your nature journals and draw. 😉

    Homework:
    Please read through page 55 in Lesson 4
    Review Chapter 3

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    #1822
    admin

    Class Summary for 11/26/2018

    Hello Upper/Lower Grammar Botany Families!

    Copywork: Psalm 19:3

    We reviewed Chapter 3 in order to be prepared for Zing Ding. I had a feeling that too much time had passed for the information to stay fresh in their minds. We still had fun though.

    I went out to find some “pollinated” flowers, however, they were filled more with tiny bugs than pollen. I tested it out on black paper, but I didn’t realize that I had been seeing those little bugs. Fail! 🤣 But I had some slides with pollen and spores that we looked at with my digital microscope.

    We have been blessed with a fast growing plant kit by a very generous family! Thank you! The directions are quite clear. You should be able to start the growth of the seeds and see the results of flower growing new seeds. They even get to pollinate their flowers with dried bees. Yes, dried bees are even included! I took one out to put under the microscope to see if there was any pollen on it. Nope, but it was pretty cool. 😉 I hope this is a wonderful learning experience, and I would love to hear your reports of how the plants do! ❤️

    In their journals, there is a page titled My Pollination Project. That would be a great place to report their findings about the kit! So excited. 😜

    I am attaching a couple of video links about pollination. I found one to be just right for their level (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLYPm2idSTE), and the other two are just beautiful cinematography:

    Very similar but a few different shots:
    https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/24197729858

    Homework:
    Please finish reading Chapter 4 in the textbook.
    I may send some activities to you all this week that may supplement this chapter. We’ll see. Feel free to share anything fun/interesting that you find, too.

    They can complete any activity you wish, except I hope to assign the Comic strip assignment next week to be completed before we return from break. They will be able to present them when we get back. I would love to have you send them to me and maybe I can put them into a slide show to show the class. But that won’t be until next week.

    Love to you all!

    #1830
    admin

    Class Summary for 12/3/2018

    Hello Upper and Lower Grammar Botany Families

    We started with Josiah and Isaac presenting about their Lego carnivorous plants that they made. It could have turned into a Lego fest, but I cut them off. 😆

    I would love to see more presentations about science and/or botany specifically. Maybe they could choose a pollinator. Or really anything the strikers their fancy. Encourage them to be thinking about what they can present. 2-3 a day would be great. I just need to know in advance so as to time our class.

    Today’s lesson was all about pollination and pollinators. 🐝 🦋 🦇

    First, we reviewed the process of pollination. We did an activity that allowed them to choose a pollinator profile and learn what might make a flower attractive to it. Then they posed as a pollinator and describe themselves. We all had to guess what kind of pollinator they were based on their desciption.

    We ended our day with being pollinators and eating a powdered donut with which they got their mouths covered in powdered sugar. I’ve sent some pictures. ❤️ Enjoy!

    Homework:
    – Create a comic strip about a pollinator. There is a page in their journals that
    they can use. I would LOVE it if you could send their comic strips to me with
    which I could make a little slideshow and then present to class.
    – Anything in the journals or books are fair game for you to have fun with.😉
    – When we return, we will start the next chapter (Lesson 5). Please read to at least page 78.

    Blessings!

    #1843
    admin

    Hello Upper and Lower Grammar Botany Families!

    Our copywork was Galatians 5:22-23.

    Logan blessed us with a well-done presentation on the Corpse flower. Cool, but icky. 😂
    Please don’t forget about presentations. We love them, and they are wonderful experiences. We can’t do 6 every day, of course, but maybe you can figure out something and be prepared to present within a week or two. 1-2 presentations a day would be great. I know, we’re all so busy. I just want to maximize their opportunity to speak in front of their peers while they can.

    Then those that did their comic strip were able to present them. Oh, they were so fun! Luke, we shared yours as well. I wish you could have heard how much the class enjoyed yours. Great job everyone!

    After reviewing what was read in the first part of the lesson, we all dissected apples. We were good scientists, going slow and making observations. The partners cut 2 apples in half two different ways. They made seed predictions, identified the dried calyx, and discovered it must have been a dicot. 😀 We could have done a little more, but, as always, that clock is mean and fast. 😉

    Next week I plan to play a review game. I don’t think it will be Zing Ding. I hope to create a different one, but we’ll see. Be sure to review with them what they read in Lesson 5.

    Homework:
    Finish Lesson 5
    They are to write about their Fruit Project in their journals. They are to write “What I did” and “What I learned”. We went over it orally as a class, so if they were paying attention, they would have several ideas to write about. 😉
    Anything in their journals is available for you to assign.
    Review information from this lesson for review game.

    Oh, and if you haven’t seen Magic School Bus’ episode Goes To Seed, is a fun one if you would like to check it out. (Josiah’s suggestion. 😉)

    Have a great week!
    Love, Melana

    #1844
    admin

    Hello Upper and Lower Grammar Botany Families!

    Our copywork was Galatians 5:22-23.

    Logan blessed us with a well-done presentation on the Corpse flower. Cool, but icky. 😂
    Please don’t forget about presentations. We love them, and they are wonderful experiences. We can’t do 6 every day, of course, but maybe you can figure out something and be prepared to present within a week or two. 1-2 presentations a day would be great. I know, we’re all so busy. I just want to maximize their opportunity to speak in front of their peers while they can.

    Then those that did their comic strip were able to present them. Oh, they were so fun! Luke, we shared yours as well. I wish you could have heard how much the class enjoyed yours. Great job everyone!

    After reviewing what was read in the first part of the lesson, we all dissected apples. We were good scientists, going slow and making observations. The partners cut 2 apples in half two different ways. They made seed predictions, identified the dried calyx, and discovered it must have been a dicot. 😀 We could have done a little more, but, as always, that clock is mean and fast. 😉

    Next week I plan to play a review game. I don’t think it will be Zing Ding. I hope to create a different one, but we’ll see. Be sure to review with them what they read in Lesson 5.

    Homework:
    Finish Lesson 5
    They are to write about their Fruit Project in their journals. They are to write “What I did” and “What I learned”. We went over it orally as a class, so if they were paying attention, they would have several ideas to write about. 😉
    Anything in their journals is available for you to assign.
    Review information from this lesson for review game.

    Oh, and if you haven’t seen Magic School Bus’ episode Goes To Seed, is a fun one if you would like to check it out. (Josiah’s suggestion. 😉)

    Have a great week!
    Love, Melana

    #1854
    admin

    Class Summary for 1/14/2019

    Hello Upper/Lower Grammar Botany students!

    Another fantastic day of learning!

    Copywork was John 15:5 (I am the vine, you are the branches…). God wants us to remain in Him so that we may bear “fruit”.

    We spent much of the class reviewing Chapter 5. We reviewed types of dispersals and types of seeds. Isaac gave a presentation on some samples of mechanical dispersals. I was actually going to show a short video, but Isaac wanted to. So, it was a nice way to get him to present something. 😉
    The video we watched is found here:

    Time to investigate: I brought in a type of burr, some samples of mechanical dispersals, and some samaras. We also we were able to demonstrate how well they “flew”. I had pictures of each type of fleshy and dry fruit to have them review what they knew.

    We then played Zing Ding. Since we had so much fun reviewing, we had about ten minutes to play. We play a bit of a speed round. So much fun!!!

    Homework:
    Read p. 87 – 96 in Lesson 6 on Leaves
    Page 96 has a project on transpiration. I would love to see the students try this. Maybe you can take some before and after pictures and send them to me. Then I can present it for the class. Or you can have them bring in the final results if the project still reveals the results accurately.
    They can report their results in their journals (p. 98 JNJ, p. 91 NJ)

    I am planning still for the next lesson, and I may need to add some more information. If so, I will send that out soon.

    Love to you all! Have a great week!
    Love, Melana

    #1866
    admin

    Class Summary for 1/21/2019

    Hello Upper/Lower Grammar Botany Students!

    Today was an excitingly successful day of learning.

    Copywork: Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime. Martin Luther

    Bailey gave us a wonderful presentation on grains of wheat. She was very well planned, prepared, and full of interesting information. Thank you Bailey for the effort you put into teaching us. I learned a lot, too. ❤️ 😁

    I was able to show the experiment on transpiration that was in their reading. They were able to see all of the moisture that the leaf sent out. That was pretty cool!

    I focused today’s lesson on the Scientific Method. I want them to know how to think like a scientist and how to perform a thorough science experiment. Their journals have a page with the scientific method on it about transpiration. We followed that. There are many variations to the order and requirements of the scientific method, but I walked them through a pretty thorough one.

    Then, we dissected weeds today. 😆 I actually wanted to bring in plants to dissect in order to find how water moves through a plant. I was a little sad to have to buy a plant to kill it, but then I was inspired by the massive weeds we have under our trampoline. 🤣 They followed the scientific method and the steps very well. I think it was a great success! They really looked like little scientists cutting things open and staring at the different parts. I’ll send out some pictures.

    They also tried to dissect a poinsettia leaf. They were able to see the white sap that it produces, but the leaves were too dry to see the white come out of the veins.

    So, like a said, it was a successful day of learning. I had lots of fun. I hope they did, too.

    Homework:
    Finish reading chapter 6 on leaves
    I plan to bring in a variety of leaves next week so that we can identify them using the pages in our journals. So don’t do those this week.

    They are several experiments that can be performed on leaves and on botany in general. I continue to run into the problem of the experiments taking too long to demonstrate in class. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see any of our students present an experiment and walk us through the process, even if it takes weeks. No pressure, but I am thinking about what I can do with my boys so that they can get really involved in some process. Anyhow, just my thoughts.

    Love to you all!
    Have a great week, and enjoy our beautiful weather.

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