Thursday, February 28, 2013

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 256

Jemma started chemotherapy again today. Now the countdown begins. There are only ten days left of her intensive treatment then she enters into the maintenance phase.... but we have a busy week before we get there.

Wednesday (yesterday) - blood check
Thursday (today) - lumbar puncture and Alexan
Friday - Alexan
Saturday - Alexan
Sunday - Alexan
Monday - L'Aspariginase
Tuesday - Hopefully we will be able to stay home!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Leprechaun Juice

Last year for St. Patrick's Day we made Leprechaun Juice. We modified the recipe a little to match with the ingredients we had in the house. The easy to make and tasty drink was part of the Green Week Meal Plan on the Teaching Good Eaters blog.

Spinach, pineapple juice, banana, grapes, and kiwi - We put all the ingredients into the food processor and mixed. We've also included avocado, zucchini and apple. So simple - So tasty!

One Artsy Mama KitchenFun Classroom Freebies Manic Monday We Three Crabs Pin Addict PIN MEme See Vanessa Craft

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thirteen - Adding Game

Children practice adding playing the game Thirteen and don't even realize they are learning. Thirteen is played using Speed! cards and can be played with two to six players. The games last less than five minutes and are easy to sneak in at the end of a lesson.

Thirteen is similar to Speed! because it is also a race game. Players try to end with as few cards as possible in their hands. In addition, those who correctly add two cards which total thirteen and are the first to shout thirteen have a great advantage. In that case the other players must divide the played cards between them and add them to their hands.  


Required Cards
First create two stacks of cards from Speed!
  1. Addend Cards - Gather the four lowest cards from each deck of Speed! cards. In other words, get the 2's from Two Speed, 3's from Three Speed and so on. Thirty-two cards in all.

  2. Answer Cards - Gather the following cards; 
  • From the Two Speed Deck - two 4's, two 18's, all the 4's, 6's, 8's, 10's, 12's, 14's and 16's
  • From the Three Speed Deck - all the 9's, 12's and 15's
  • From the Four Speed Deck - all the 8's
  • From the Five Speed Deck - all the 10's
  • From the Seven Speed Deck - All the 14's
  • Divide the Addend Cards into two piles and place them face down in the middle of the play area.
  • Deal 10 Answer Cards to each player. If six people are playing deal only 8 cards. Set the remaining cards aside.
  • The players hold all ten cards in their hands.

Object - To be the player with the least number of cards in hand at the end of play.
Decide how many times to go through the Addend Cards. One time is a good number when learning the game.
  • Two players simultaneously flip the center decks completely over to start the game.
  • Players look at the cards in their hands and see if one of them is the sum of the two middle cards.
  • If it is they play it as fast as they can. Only one card can be played per flip.
  • If not they shout the sum of the cards.
  • Two players simultaneously remove one card from the top of each center deck and repeat the previous three steps.

  • If the sum is thirteen, the player who said thirteen first does not have to take any played cards. The other players must divide the played cards and add them to their hands.
  • When all the Addend Cards are removed the game is over unless players agreed to go through the Addend Cards more than one time.
  • The player with the least number of cards in his/her hand is the winner.

Note: There are no 5's, 7's, 11's, 13's or 17's in the 52 Answer Cards.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 253

Now that the effects of the steroids have worn off we are spending more time outside. Each day after lunch I take the kids on a short walk. Here are some photos from our walk this afternoon.

Jemma has started dancing again and last night she let me video tape her.

We are still waiting for her blood to recover enough to proceed with therapy. I know I sound like a broken record......... We have been waiting since February 4th, so it has been three weeks. Although it is going slowly, at least her blood is moving in the right direction. Now I'm hoping to start again on Thursday, but her Blut Bild (blood check) will be the judge.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cell Unit Study - Week 13 - Body Systems

Week 13: We played body system memory and I pasted links below so you can print it and play it too.

This is our last week of cell activities. Next we will be moving onto the respiratory and circulatory systems while continuing to follow David Macaulay's The Way We Work as a guide for our activities.

Before playing memory we did a quick review. Throughout our cell activities we have discovered that;

atoms combine to make molecules
molecules combine to make proteins
proteins combine to make organelles such as cell walls, mitochondria, and DNA
organelles combine to make cells
cells combine to make tissues
tissues combine to make organs
organs combine to make body systems

Laying out the chain was a great way to help the kids remember what we have done.

The kids have been watching the Once Upon a Time Life videos as part of our science curriculum. Through the videos they have become familiar with several of the human body systems as well as the organs contained within the systems.

I had them name as many systems and organs as they could and then we drew lines to connect which organs went with which systems. I was surprised by how much they learned from the videos. They were able to name all but one of the body systems.

Then we played memory. I created this simple memory game and you are welcome to print it for your personal use.

Body Systems Memory Sheet 1
Body Systems Memory Sheet 2
Body Systems Memory Sheet 3

Be sure to check out our earlier cell activities.
Week 1 - Drawings
Week 2 - Atoms
Week 3 - Molecules
Week 4 - Cell Walls
Week 5 - Cell Structure
Week 6 - DNA
Week 7 - RNA and Ribosomes
Week 8 - Golgi Apparatus
Week 9 - Mitochondria and DNA
Week 10 - Cell Division
Week 11 - Types of Cells
Week 12 - Tissues
Week 13 - Body Systems

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ancient Greece History Co-op - Week 18 - Greek Alphabet

Week 18: We learned the Greek Alphabet.

After the Trojan War was the Greek Dark Ages. Not a lot is known about Greek History during this time, although one thing that happened was the transition from the Linear B script to the Greek alphabet.

This week we all learned the Greek alphabet. This version of the Greek Alphabet comes from Math-U-See and is a great memory tool for learning and remembering the letters.


α - Alpha
β - Beta
γ - Gamma
δ - Delta
ε - Epsilon
ζ - Zeta
η - Eta
θ - Theta
ι - Iota
κ - Kappa
λ - Lambda
μ - Mu
ν - Nu
ξ - Xi
ο - Omicron
π - Pi
ρ - Rho
σ - Sigma
τ - Tau
υ - Upsilon
φ - Phi
χ - Chi
ψ - Psi
ω - Omega

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hobbies and Handicrafts - Feb 22

I'm really enjoying reading about all the activities linked up on Hobbies and Handicrafts! Thank you all for sharing. If you were featured today or in the past please feel free to grab the button below.

What have your kids been doing? "Hobbies and Handicrafts" is a weekly link-up to share and show-off your kid's projects. Woodworking, knitting, crochet, weaving, paper airplane design, painting, drawing and so many more...... During school time, or when kids are finished - what are they spending their time on? Are they practicing instruments? Constantly crafting? Writing plays? Inventing new things? There are many blog-hops to share preschool crafts, and many for adults. This one is for kids. Show-off their projects and talents!

Hand constructed furniture, needle pointed pillows, hand-made baskets, beautiful and creative photos, homemade videos...... Kid made items of any type are fair game. This is their chance to shine. What did they choose to make? What patterns/books/tools did they use? How did they get the idea? What inspired them?

The family at How the Sun Rose has been making paper stars. My daughter received one in the mail from a family in England who also has a child with Leukemia, and before she got sick she brought home some stars from her German kindergarten. Therefore, they immediately caught my eye. Visit How the Sun Rose for a tutorial on how to make them.

Feel free to link-up a post you've already written and comment on the posts of others! I’m excited to see what your kids have created.

  • Link-up to your post URL
  • Include a link back to this page in your post – You can grab the button below
  • Check out what others have seen


What have your kids been up to?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 249

We are still waiting for Jemma's blood to recover. Her hemoglobin, platelets and leukocytes all increased, but her neutraphils fell from 200 to 100. Perhaps Monday will be the day to begin treatment again?

A friend of mine in England emailed me a link to this video of a young girl with cancer singing and dancing about her experience. Unfortunately I can relate to many parts of the video and notice things that I may not have noticed before this experience, such as her chest bandage where her catheter enters her body, and her stepping over her iv line every time she spins in a circle while dancing. It made me smile and cry at the same time, but I enjoyed it and thought you would too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Torch Walk

Sports clubs in Germany tend to have many traditional celebrations. The annual torch walk, which covers about two miles, is a tradition of the tennis club.

I was a little surprised when I discovered the children would be carrying the torches, but very impressed with the way they handled this responsibility. Upon reaching the destination we enjoyed a German favorite - wurst on delicious hamburger-sized rolls as it is always served.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

3D Modeling - Google Sketchup

Google Sketchup is a free 3D Solid Modeling tool.

Before I became an educator I worked as a mechanical engineer. 3D modeling is a way engineers and others in technical fields explore new concepts, design products and provide instructions for manufactures. New parts are modeled in three dimensions by first sketching them in two dimensions and then giving them depth. For example, to create a cylinder the modeler would first sketch a circle and then extrude or pull the circle in one or two directions to create a cylinder.

I used both the design tools ProEngineer and Ideas to design parts and create drawings for the parts to be manufactured. Recently I discovered Google Sketchup and downloaded it to introduce solid modeling to my kids. I am amazed that this software is free. Although it isn't quite as powerful as professional software, it can be used to create realistic designs.

 My nine year old son created this house using Google sketch-up.

 Here's the view inside the attic.

He also created this fortified house with a glass room in the back.

The user can easily rotate and zoom in on the models to help when creating the designs.

This is free. Amazing. In addition, there are tons of video tutorials for users to learn how the software works.

When I first showed it to my son I told him this is what I used to do when I worked. He said "Really? You got to do really cool stuff. You got to sit and dink around all day." Then he worked the next 6 hours non-stop to create his first 3D house.

If you have any budding engineers or enjoy cool technology this is definitely something to check-out.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op Freebie Fridays Highhill Homeschool Montessori Monday Sciencesparks3 Fern Smith's Thursday's Tech Tips for Teachers TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me
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