Why does each state in the U.S. have a state bird, a state flower or other state selected ‘thing’? As a teacher, I was once asked this very question. I didn’t know the answer but I went looking. This is what I found…It is done to instill a sense of local state pride and patriotism and is a holdover from the early days when states were almost independent countries.
So why have a study on ‘State Birds’? My answer: For the wide range of learning that will occur during such a study! That is why I’ve created a MEGA Bundle of materials designed to provide students with a creative way, an inspiring way, to study ‘State Birds’…
As they are completing their studies, students will exercise valuable skills such as…
reading to comprehend informational text
They will also be completing a cross-curricular study combining the following…
This BUNDLE contains over 700+ pages and covers all 50 states and more…
Each state has 14 pages designed for students to write, draw and express what they are learning and/or have learned throughout their studies.
** Cross-curricular learning at it’s best. **
– Language Arts: reading, research and writing (Students will be expected to search out informational text to learn about each state bird. Multiple pages are giving for students to report what they have learned. Some pages include sections for drawing. Also included: Pages designed to be used for different age groups.)
– Science: Scientific classification (A page is included for each state to list the Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Also a full coloring page is included if you’d like students to label the parts of each bird.)
– Social Studies: Geography (2 map pages – One to identify the state and one for students to show everywhere in the U.S. the bird lives as well as any migration)
Planning a study on the human circulatory system? Let CHSH-Teach.com help!
The Circulatory System
The circulatory system is a vast network of organs and vessels that is responsible for the flow of blood, nutrients, hormones, oxygen and other gases to and from cells. Without the circulatory system, the body would not be able to fight disease or maintain a stable internal environment — such as proper temperature and pH — known as homeostasis. Circulatory system, also known as the cardiovascular system, as simply a highway for blood, it is made up of three independent systems that work together: the heart (cardiovascular); lungs (pulmonary); and arteries, veins, coronary and portal vessels (systemic) In the average human, about 2,000 gallons (7,572 liters) of blood travel daily through about 60,000 miles (96,560 kilometers) of blood vessels. An average adult has 5 to 6 quarts (4.7 to 5.6 liters) of blood, which is made up of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. In addition to blood, the circulatory system moves lymph, which is a clear fluid that helps rid the body of unwanted material. The heart, blood, and blood vessels make up the cardiovascular component of the circulatory system. It includes the pulmonary circulation, a “loop” through the lungs where blood is oxygenated. It also incorporates the systemic circulation, which runs through the rest of the body to provide oxygenated blood.
The heart, is defined as a pump that is responsible for the continuous blood flow through the blood vessels. This vital organ is the size of a human fist, and is lies in the middle of the chest and slightly towards the left of the breastbone. The heart is enclosed in the pericardium which is a double layer, and it is protected by the rib cage. Basically, our blood is pumped through a network of vessels that is approximately 75,000 miles, and the excess body fat increases the workload of the heart by adding about 200 miles of capillaries. A mature heart pumps an average of 4,000 gallons a day.
The human heart has four pumping chambers the two located at the upper region are called auricles (also called atriums) and the other two are located further down, are called ventricles. Blood flows from large veins into the auricles, which contract to force it into the ventricles. When the ventricles contract, blood is involuntary push out though large arteries to commence its journey. The two auricles are separated by a divider called a septum, as are two ventricles, so the two heart is essentially a dual pump, with the left and right sides forming completely distinct blood pathways. The right side of the heart takes blood from the body and pumps into the lungs. Blood moves from the right side of the heart to the lungs through the pulmonary arteries. The left side takes the blood from the lungs, and pumps it directly to the body. Valves in the heart and veins avoid blood from moving in the wrong direction as the organ alternately pumps and relaxes.
System of blood vessels includes arteries, veins and capillaries. The arteries transport blood away from the heart and veins bring blood toward the heart. Blood moves from the right side of the heart to the lungs through pulmonary arteries and returns to the left side of the heart through the pulmonary veins. The left side of the heart pumps blood into an artery aorta this leads other arteries like highways. Capillaries are the smallest of the blood vessels are at the end of the supply line they receive and distribute the goods. Capillary walls are so thin that molecules of oxygen and nutrients pass right through into the cells and molecules of carbon dioxide and other waste products pass from the cells into the blood. Then when is through with the delivery and taking on a new load of waste products blood flows into tiny veins in turn lead to larger veins on the return trip to the heart.
The blood consists of a liquid called plasma, solid material, red cells, white cells, and platelets.
This brings nutrients to the cells and carries away waste materials. It contains hormones this control many activities in the body and fibrinogen helps the blood to clot.
Plasma is just a liquid portion within our body blood, as we know this is something that can be donated and it reproduces itself as the days go by.
Red Blood Cells
Are the most abundant solid material in human blood with about 5 million of them in each milliliter. Red blood cells pick up oxygen from the lungs and deliver it to the cells of the body and is exchanged for carbon dioxide then return the carbon dioxide to the lungs to be exhaled. The blood gets its red color from an iron compound called hemoglobin is contained in the red blood cells and which is responsible for their ability to transport oxygen. Each red blood cell has a life span of about 120 days. During that time, they make approximately 75,000 round trips from the heart to other parts of the body. Also, Red blood cells can be located in marrow, within the hallow bones.
White Blood Cells
Are larger but much less numerous than red blood cells. Colorless and spherical in shape, irregular protrusions, and defend the body against infection and disease. White blood cells (WBCs), also called leukocytes or leucocytes, are the cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders.
Are colorless, irregularly shaped, and even smaller than the red blood cells. It give off a chemical that reacts with fibrinogen in plasma to cause clotting when exposed to the air at a wound site.
Works very close with the circulatory system of the blood. As blood moves through capillaries around the body cells white blood cells pass through the capillary walls and move among the cells collecting harmful bacteria and other disease-causing organisms. Some of the blood plasma seeps through also flows freely among the cells bathing them with nutrients and picking up waste materials some white cells go along with other matter in the plasma.
The nodes it is a concentration of white blood cells that kill harmful bacteria that might have been picked up from the cells by the lymph. The lymph is filtered and purified before being returned to the blood.
Is to supply the body with oxygen and to discard carbon dioxide which is product of cells. Blood transports oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the body and transport carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be exhaled.
Looking for easy to use teaching resources to use with your students? Get the above PLUS MORE on CHSH-Teach… See all resources now!
Let’s compare a lesson plan to a recipe. If you want to bake a cake, you follow a recipe. The recipe tells you what you need and the steps to follow for a successful bake. The same might be said about a lesson plan. It’s a recipe for success. It’s a plan of action. It tells you what you need and the steps that should be followed. Sounds simple, right? Well, it really is with a little forethought and preparation!
“I need details!” Planner: If you are this type of person, you’ll want (and need) everything planned with extreme detail. So, just do it!
“I like following plans, I just don’t like creating them.” Planner: If you are this type of person, you like having a ‘road map’ to follow but perhaps you just don’t like taking the time to create it. I’m this type of planner. I like having a plan, I just have to make myself take the time to create it. If this is you, set aside some time and do it.
“Fly-by-the-seat-of-you-pants” Planner: Isn’t that an oxymoron! (Giggle) That’s okay. If you can plan enough to hold yourself accountable for teaching what should be taught, then you’ll be okay. The main thing is to have goals set and a basic strategy of how and when you’ll be able to accomplish those goals.
Which of these are you? Remember, everyone and every family is different. What works for one homeschooling family will not work for every family. The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that you can design your plans around your family.
Why lesson plan?
Before I begin explaining the ‘how’ of lesson planning, let me first tell you why planning is important.
Plans help you keep the big picture in sight. They provide you the opportunity to set academic goals for your children.
Plans help you stay focused when ‘life happens.’ If you have a plan of action and it gets disrupted by daily life, it’s much easier to get ‘back on track’.
Plans give you a guideline by which you can hold yourself accountable. It can be a quick reference to glance at and ask, “Am I on track to teach what needs to be taught?”
Plans can make our job easier! Planning may take extra time up front, but it will pay off in the long term. As I previously stated, I’m personally not a detailed planner but when I have a plan I find my mind can relax. I can relax. I can have more fun ‘doing’.
Lesson Planning Step 1: Determining your school year
The first step in creating lesson plans is to determine what your school year will look like. Ask yourself these questions:
Do I have state requirements I must follow?
Will we homeschool all year or follow a more traditional school schedule?
What days will we not have school, (holidays, family vacations, etc.)?
Will I schedule blocks of weeks with a week off in between each block or follow a more traditional schedule taking only holidays and family vacations off?
What works best for my family?
Once you’ve answered these questions, take a calendar and begin marking. Mark starting and ending days (semesters, blocks, or however you are going to divide up the school year.) Next, mark off any predetermined days off (holidays, vacations, birthdays, etc.). Once you have your calendar set, you are ready for the next step in the process.
Lesson Planning Step 2: Determining your school week
The next step is to determine what your school week will look like. Lay out the year’s course work (curriculum that you have chosen) and ask yourself these questions.
What courses do I consider the ‘core’ courses? (Typically, these are the 3 R’s: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic)
What courses will require more work to complete?
How long can my children stay focused?
Do I want to teach every course every day? If not, are there courses I should teach daily?
If I don’t teach every course every day, how many days a week do I want to teach each course?
Do I want all 5 days a week to be course work or do you want to set aside a day to focus on hands-on learning, field trips, etc.? (I personally always planned 4 days of course work and a day for fun learning experiences away from school books. Once my son began 7th grade, these days were often research and independent project days. It really worked well for us!)
When will our day begin? When will it end?
Do I want to incorporate daily living skills (chores, housecleaning, ect.) into the school day to break up course work? (For our family, it was always easiest to start the day with light housekeeping – i.e. bed making, etc., and then place a small break in the afternoon for chores. Also, don’t forget to schedule some recess time in there as well.)
What extra-curricular activities will be happening throughout the week? (For us, it was always things like dance and music classes with seasonal sports thrown in the mix. Don’t forget that these types of outside activities can be used for P.E. and Fine Arts credits!)
Once you’ve answered these questions, take out a weekly calendar and mark out your school day. When it will begin, when will it end and everything in between. Will you teach Reading first or Math? Plan your entire day based on what you have determined will work best for your family.
Also, try to rid yourself of predetermined ideas of what ‘school’ looks like. If you were a public school student yourself, the homeschool day doesn’t need to look like a typical public school day.
Lesson Planning Step 3: Determining how you’ll divide up the course work
Once you have an idea of what each day will look like on a weekly calendar, look at each course and see how much material there is to cover. Ask yourself these questions:
How many chapters are there?
How long will it take to cover each chapter? Include introduction to new skills, teaching new skills, practicing the skills, reviewing and testing.
If I don’t think I can cover every chapter, what chapters do I feel aren’t vital to the course and can be cut? (Let’s be honest, very few classrooms (public or private schools) finish the entire textbook despite efforts to do so. I was an elementary teacher in the public school system prior to becoming a homeschooling mom…and I know this firsthand!)
Once you’ve determined what should or can be covered, begin doing a basic timeline of chapters using paper, pencil and a calendar or you can simply photocopy the table of contents and write out your timeline on it. Do this for each course that you are planning to teach.
Once this is all done, you’ve completed what I call the ‘Year at a Glance’ plan. It is best to have this complete before the school year begins. It will be your guide to the entire school year and will make creating your instructional lesson planning much easier.
Instructional lesson plans are those that detail what will be done day by day. Since you’ve already decided how your week will be divided up (i.e. what subjects you want to teach on what days and how your day is divided up in time), creating an instructional lesson plan will be more like plugging everything in.
Looking at each day on your weekly planning calendar, start ‘plugging in’ each lesson…
Reading: “Chapter 3” pgs 1-19
Introduce new vocabulary words
Write out words with definitions
Suggestion: When planning each week, take time to think about other materials you’d like to use (other than the basic curriculum) such as trade books, board games, DVDs, kits, etc. and write these in your plans. At the beginning of every week, you’ll be able to, at a glance, know what materials to have on hand for the week.
Your instructional lesson plans can be as detailed as you feel necessary and can be written on a weekly lesson planning chart, a daily planning chart or even index cards. Whatever works best for you!
You can create your plans for a week at a time or for a longer period (a month, a semester or even the entire year). If this is your first year of homeschooling, I suggest that you do a month at first and see how it works. If you feel that you are planning too much, not enough or you simply need to change your planning style, it is easy to do so the next month.
As I previously mentioned, I was a public school teach before becoming a homeschooling mom. When I was teaching in the school system, we were required to complete long and lengthy lesson plans. Since I’m not a very detailed planner, I hated writing lesson plans. In the school system, I not only had to list objectives for each lesson, I had to use key words from Bloom’s taxonomy throughout. This is NOT necessary for homeschool planning.
The Purpose of Objectives
Objectives have a purpose in the school system because teachers need to show that they understand what they are teaching, why they are teaching it and then (above all) expressing this to administrators.
Most packaged curriculum sets that you purchase will have objectives throughout the teacher’s manuals. It’s great to read these but there is no reason for you to worry about creating your own. Even if you are piecemealing your curriculum together yourself, don’t worry about writing objectives.
What is Bloom’s Taxonomy
Bloom’s taxonomy is simply a list of verbs used to describe the type of outcomes students will be expected to achieve throughout a lesson based on distinct types of learning (cognitive, emotional and sensory). Do I believe you need to worry about Bloom’s when completing your lesson plans? No.
I do think having Bloom’s taxonomy as a reference would be helpful tool just to keep around. Reading over it can help you think of the many diverse ways to engage your children. However, don’t ever, ever think you are not a good teacher if you do not write ‘teacher’ like lesson plans. This is simply not the case.
My take away for you
Over the last twenty years, I’ve had moms coming to me saying they wanted to homeschool but didn’t think they could. When I’d ask them why, often the answer would be, “I’m not organized enough.” Let me put this to rest! You don’t have to be a perfect, detail planning parent to be a good teacher!
There is a need for planning but if you are able to maintain your household (put a list together for grocery shopping, keep track of your kids and their extra-curricular activities and can follow a recipe to make your favorite meal), you have the skills necessary to do the amount of planning it takes to put together lesson plans that work for your family!
Remember, lesson planning is nothing more than creating a recipe to teach what you are going to teach and when. That’s it. The amount of detail that goes into it is up to you. It’s simply a plan. That’s it.
If you’ve never planned lessons before, it can take practice but over time you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t along the way. It’s all part of the journey…and what a wonderful journey it is!!
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