Mitosis Cookies - Science 9

What a wonderful gift to be able to learn Mitosis through decorating cookies! How much fun is that! It was such a great way to see how cells divide and what happens to the chromosomes inside of the cell. 

I got this idea off of Pinterest, where lots of my ideas come from these days! If you are interested in following my High School Science Board or any others - you can find them here!

DNA - Science 9

Elizabeth learned about DNA and as always she went through the lessons in BC Science. Then it was time to get on with some great hands on work. 

First I had Elizabeth create a double helix from this lesson by the University of Utah. This lesson was very well explained including visuals. I think it gave Elizabeth much more clarity on how DNA is constructed.

Next she did this amazing experiment from the Genetics Science Learning Centre. It was about extracting DNA from split peas. The wonderful part is it worked!!

I really want to encourage you to add into your textbook experiments and hands on activities. They really help to solidify concepts and make science come alive! Do you have any DNA based activites that you have done? I would love to hear about them!

Canada, A People's History Lesson 5

For the past resources for Canada, A People's History you can go here.

Lesson 5:1 is The United Empire Loyalists (A World Turned Upside Down and Exile)

Lesson 5:2 is The American Revolution and the First Nations (His Majesty's Loyal Allies and The Upper Country)

Lesson 5:3 is Fleeing to Canada (Exile and Nova Scotia)


War and Peace - Movies as Literature

Elizabeth and I watched War and Peace as part of her studies of Napoleon. This really rounded out the unit on Napoleon and helped to put in perspective the time frame that Napoleon lived as well as his strengths and weaknesses. It is such a powerful story with so many wonderful themes that made it perfect for discussion and literary analysis. 
We watched the movie in three separate sessions as it is over 3 hours long. This gave us time to watch the movie and then discuss it. 
I think this may have been the first movie where Elizabeth really saw the atrocities of war. There was nothing that romanticized war in this film. Elizabeth couldn't get over how foolish the characters were not knowing there was a war in their own country! Technology has really changed news!!
There was so much to discuss through these characters - foolishness, forgiveness, betrayal, faith (religion vs faith) and so much more...
We hadn't discussed much on motifs before, this is why it is great to use a variety of resources - each one has something different to offer. For War and Peace we used elements from the Film as Literature Unit by James Whitaker. This resource keeps on giving as there are 75+ pages of elements. I think we will use them many times over the High School years! For this film I chose the Literary Elements Overview, Understanding Character Traits and Analysing and Evaluating Major Conflicts for Elizabeth to do. 
They were excellent! We are looking forward to many more films that we can use this way in the future...

Chemistry and Chemical Bonding Fun!

First I had Elizabeth watch several videos from Actions and Reactions on Ted Ed, including this one.

I then had Elizabeth make a variety of chemical formulas with different coloured marshmallows and toothpicks. She started out with easier molecules and then worked up to more complicated ones. This was an excellent visual for how elements bond together! 

This brought a great discussion about the infinite amount of combinations of elements there were and how God could create such variety in life!

We also discussed covelant bonding and ionic bonding and I had Elizabeth draw them both out just to solidify the concepts.
This was a great hands on lesson! Blessings, Natalie

Hunting the Elements - Chemistry for Grade 9

I am going to catch up on some Science posts that have been waiting in the wings...

We started the fall working on Chemistry. As our constant Elizabeth continues to work through BC Science and then we supplement with a variety of activities.

For this unit Elizabeth worked on the Hunting the Elements App. This free Ipad app has a variety of videos as well as exercises in building elements from the number of Protons, Neutrons and Electrons. Elizabeth went through the Periodic Table building the elements. The video clips helped us to understand more about the element itself - things like what it is used for, where it lays in the Periodic table and how it reacts to other elements or things like heat or cold.

There are several resources on the website for your use. We went over the different forms of elements.  I ran off two periodic tables and then cut one up and had Elizabeth build the table based on the completed one. I also had her use the colouring page Periodic table and colour it. 

This was a great addition to our Chemistry study! 

Canada, A People's History Lesson 4

Here is the next lesson of Canada, A People's History based on the sections 4:1 The Battle of Louisbourg, 4:2 The Battle of the Plains of Abraham and 4:3 Chief Pontiac and The British. 
More information on Canada, A People's History and the past resources.

Devotions - Ideas for 2014

Each year I use a variety of devotions. I never seem to stick with one throughout the year. It is wonderful to be able to use several as the Spirit leads. I know that devotionals are a personal thing, but I thought I would share a few of our family favourites.

His Utmost Highest - Oswald Chambers over the years this has been my constant friend. I enjoy coming back to it year after year, sometimes to be challenged, sometimes to be comforted. I find this devotional both depending on the day. It also is available in many forms - a few are here including an RSS feed of the devotional in your inbox.

Streams in the Desert - L.B. Cowman another "classic" that I have continued to enjoy over the years. It is in the public domain and available to download in many places or even as a free Itunes app here.

Daily Encouragement - Rev. David Evans - This devotional is true to it's word, it is a daily encouragement! The author, having spent the majority of his life on the mission field, has relied heavily on the encouragement of the Lord. I know the author of this one personally and his voice is ever in my mind as I read God's Word and the encouragement within it. It is now available through the YouVersion Bible as part of your "plans" here.

The One Year Devotional for People with Purpose - Charles Colson - This devotional is written in true Charles Colson style with short stories and applications of verses in the bible. We have found it challenging at times as well as informative. It is definitely one to help us think!! You can get more information on it here.

With Elizabeth we have been going through several devotions in much the same way. One day one, another day another... one week using one consistently then changing again...

Jesus Freaks - DC Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs - This book, though not a traditional devotional,  I have really seen it as that. It has been very challenging, enlightening and at times shattering as we have read through the stories of Martyrs now and in the past. You can get more information here.

One Year Devos for Teen Girls - Dannah Gresh and Susan Weibel - This devotional is about living in this world as a teen girl but not being of the world. It doesn't shy away from issues that teen girls might face and gives a biblical lens in which to view situations. It is great for discussion and digging deeper. You can find more information here.

I would love to hear about your favourite devotionals and ones that you have found to be challenging, comforting or informative... 

image from

"Spring Cleaning" of Applications!

I wanted to take some time over Christmas break to decide which applications I would continue to use in the new year and which ones I would let go of. Which ones I would focus more time on, and which ones I would not. Technology can get very overwhelming if you sign up for too many areas of sharing information. I have done this, where I don't feel that I am using any of my applications well because my time and energy is just spread too thin!
Well here are some of my decisions:
I want to spend my time this year in these main areas:
Google+ I like the way that Google+ is set up. I like choosing circles, having people overlap those circles. I like the Hangouts feature for leading small classes and the Hangouts on Air for reaching a larger audience. I would love to have several communities here that would serve our Canadian Homeschoolers. My Google+ profile is under Natalie Sing.
Twitter - I continue to use Twitter and Tweet Deck to learn, communicate and send out information to a larger audience. I would like to continue to build a community here, use hashtags more and use this as my daily check in… You can follow me on Twitter @rnsing
Newsify - this is my RSS feeder that I use for marking items as read and unread. I still use Flipboard to read on my Ipad, but for managing my RSS feed - I do that via Newsify. I have let go of several other RSS feeders but still have Feedly. 
Pinterest- I still really enjoy Pinterest. I have found it to be such a practical resource in so many ways. I use the search feature when I start building materials for any of my co-op classes and often find some interesting and creative ideas to add into the classes. I find ideas for future classes that I can store easily and visually.
Learnist - I would like to build some unique and interesting boards on Learnist and spend more time with it, but it just seems to fall at the bottom of my priority list. I am going to keep it around for 2014 and see if I use it more.
Scoop it - I would like to renew commitment to my Scoop it sites. I have neglected them and therefore not had the same information sharing on Twitter. This link is to my 21st Century Homeschooling site, I also have 21st Century Homeschooling Apps and 21st Century Techie Tools.

These are the areas I am letting go of:
Linked In - I am going to let this go and focus more on Google+ I have found that I am not really using Linked in and I would rather not be there than spend no time and energy there. 
Building Symbaloo Boards - I thought that I might use Symbaloo beyond my two main boards for all of my bookmarking, but since have decided that is not really feasible. It would be too many boards to find and sort through. I will continue to use my two main boards but may even make a switch here...
Scribd - at one time I had shared all my resources in Scribd - but have now moved them to Google for a much more seamless experience for readers of my blog to get materials. 
Three Ring -I used Three Ring for two years but now I have chosen a private blog for Elizabeth's portfolio and I am so happy with it! I know Blogger so well and there is so much more flexibility of sharing. I can share three...five...even seven pictures in a post rather than just one... I have many more features in Blogger that allow a fuller reporting for us. Our teacher can add comments and for next year I am hoping Elizabeth will contribute as well. Three Ring is a great portfolio builder, I just found Blogger usable for us.

I am undecided on these resources:
Mentor Mobs vs. Livebinders or??? - I am still determining the best way to create virtual units. I would love to hear any advice you have here. This may be where Learnist comes in but I just don't have a complete handle on this one.
I hope that this helps you in your quest of Applications and Social Media… 
Happy New Year and Blessings,