Using REAL Science Odyssey Chemistry 1 for a Co-op

REAL Science Odyssey Chemistry 1 is a great choice for a science co-op, however because it was designed to be done 2 days a week it presents some scheduling challenges when conducting the labs in 1 day. You might want to teach this class 2 days per week, if you do, follow the format in the book as laid out on pages 14 – 16 of RSO Chemistry 1. If you don’t, some weeks will require parents to do work at home. This schedule is for doing the class 1 day per week.

REAL Science Odyssey Chemistry 1, Blair Lee M.S.
Chemistry Co-Op: RSO Chemistry 1, Blair Lee M.S. http://www.pandiapress.com/?page_id=86

Note: The page numbers below are for the written text. If you have an e-book these page numbers will be a little off. Refer to the schedule in the book if there is any confusion about page numbers.

For more general information about teaching a science co-op read my blog article, Using REAL Science Odyssey for a Homeschool Co-op: General Notes.

Unless noted I recommend the following format for your class each week:

In class

  1. Read the theory
  2. Conduct the lab

At Home

  1. Crossword Puzzle, when there is one
  2. Some assignments and projects, as indicated below

For more general information about teaching a science co-op read my blog article, Using REAL Science Odyssey for a Homeschool Co-op: General Notes.

Unless noted I recommend the following format for your class each week:

In class

  1. Read the theory
  2. Conduct the lab

At Home

  1. Crossword Puzzle, when there is one
  2. Some assignments and projects, as indicated below

 

Week 1

The first week of class can be a bit hectic. I suggest you divide the week up this way

In class: Lab #2 pages 27 – 30

*** It is very important you go over the process you are using when conducting this lab. Discuss the scientific method, what it means, and how it is being applied.

At home: Lab #1 and the crossword puzzle pages 23 – 25, 31

 

Week 2

Each week discuss the parts to the scientific method. These are on the lab sheets for most labs. By the end of the year you want students to be fluent in the vocabulary used when applying the scientific method.

Lab #1 pages 37 – 39

Lab #2 pages 43 – 44

 

Week 3

At home: Read over pages 46 – 47 and Make Parts poster page 47

In class:

  1. Do the Parts! Lab: 49 – 51 next week
  2. Types! Lab: pages 54 – 61, There will be plenty of time for students to do this individually, but you could have students work on this together, so that the entire class makes this on a large table building one element at a time. If you do, make sure everyone participates (maybe put the labels in a hat and have students choose one, and make that element when it is his or her turn; if you have more than 10 students have students work in pairs for the larger elements like neon).

 

Week 4

There is a lot of sitting around today so I would suggest breaking it up by

  1. Read pages 66 – 67
  2. Do Parts! Lab: 49 – 51: Have an extra balloon for each student to take home, so they can share this demonstration with their family. Ask students to teach their family what is happening in this experiment.
  3. Do The Alphabet Lab #1 pages 69 – 73: Work through this methodically with your students. Students will be using this periodic table for several more chapters DO NOT let them take it home!!!

Have student do pages 75 – 79 at home, unless you have time at the end of class in which case have them do page 75 in class

Week 5

There are three parts to the Atomic Numbers section

  1. Atomic Numbers Lab #1 can be done as a demonstration or individually it is up to you
  2. While you wait the 20 minutes for the final observation for Lab #1: Read over page 81 and have students fill in the atomic numbers section on their periodic table.
  3. Atomic Numbers Lab #2 start in class, if students don’t finish it have them finish it at home

 

Week 6

In class:

  1. Read over pages 95 – 96 and have students fill in the assigned section on their periodic table
  2. Do Massive Matters Lab #2

At home: Massive Matters Lab #1

 

Week 7

  1. Read over page 105 and have students fill in the assigned section on their periodic table
  2. Do the Lab, page 111
  3. Save the worksheet page 109 for last in case you need to have students do it at home

 

Week 8

In class:

  1. Read over page 113 – 115 and have students fill in the atomic numbers section on their periodic table
  2. Do Lab 119 – 122; take your time with this lab. It is a really good one

At home: page 117

 

Week 9

The lab on page 129 – 131 requires an oven. If this is a problem for you:

  1. Fill in worksheet pages 125 – 127
  2. Have students (with parental supervision) do the lab at home and bring the muffins in for a tasting party. If you do this have student mix in berries or chocolate chips (assign this individually) so you have some variation in the muffins.
  3. You should have completed periodic tables to put on walls or desks for students to show off to their parents. This is the end of Unit 3, so it is a good place to take the time to do this.

 

Week 10

Over the next 9 weeks students will be creating a book for the first three rows of the periodic table going across by group. There is some drawing to be done each week. Class time for this can be problematic because some students will take 5 minutes to do the same task another student take 55 minutes on.

Each week for the next 8 weeks: Read over the For My Notebook page and make notes about the elements in the spaces on the pages for the Element Book.

I will give you my advice each week, but you might need to tweak it.

  • Recruit 1 or a group of parents to do the work on pages 139 – 140 for each student

This week In class:

  1. Read page 136: have students follow along on their periodic table
  2. Fill out page 137 and glue it to their book. Do not let students take this home.
  3. Read page 141: have students fill in the Facts section on page 149. This and every other week, have students work on the rest of the page at home.
  4. Do Lab page 143 – 145
  5. Read page 142: have students fill in the Facts section on page 151. This and every other week, have students work on the rest of the page at home.

 

Week 11

The Lab for this week< Crystal Creation, is short and will not be completed until next week. Students should be able to do all the work for their Element Book including decorating it in class.

 

Week 12

  1. Make observations for the Crystal Creation Lab page 157.
  2. Expect a fun mess with the lab today! Save some of this for week 26. It will stay good if you refrigerate it.
  3. Students should be able to do all the work for their Element Book in class. If they cannot have students complete the pages at home.

 

Week 13

  1. Students should be able to do all the work for their Element Book in class. If they cannot have students complete the pages at home.
  2. The lab requires an oven. Try to round up a toaster oven if you need to. This lab is fun and yummy.

 

Week 14

  1. Students should be able to do all the work for their Element Book in class. If they cannot have students complete the pages at home.
  2. The lab requires an oven and a mixer. A toaster oven will work.

 

Week 15

  1. Students should be able to do all the work for their Element Book in class. If they cannot have students complete the pages at home.
  2. There are 2 labs for this week.
  • The lab on page 193 requires a heat source. Have students do it at home if that is a problem. A toaster oven will not work.
  • Do the lab on pages 195 – 197

 

Week 16

  1. Students should be able to do all the work for their Element Book in class. If they cannot have students complete the pages at home.
  2. There are 2 labs for this week.
  • Lab #1 needs to be done as a demonstration. Bleach is too toxic and caustic to risk having a group of students use it.
  • You will start Lab #2 today and finish it next week. There are a few changes to the procedure so that this lab can be done by all the students. Change the procedure instructions for Procedure 8 in the book to Let the egg sit for 7  full days. Do not refrigerate the egg. Have students make the vinegar solution in a double baggie. If the egg breaks and leaks out of the baggies it will be badly stinky!!! Have students take the baggied egg home and complete the experiment at home the next day. Have them share their observations at the start of next week’s class.

 

Week 17

Students should be able to do all the work for their Element Book in class. If they cannot have students complete the pages at home. You might even be able to put the books together. If you do not have a refrigerator in class, use an ice chest with ice in it. Perform the experiment while working on the Element Books. Have a balloon for each student to celebrate the end of the unit or just use 1. If you have a balloon for each student, have everyone put their balloon in the cold source at the same time so all the cold air does not get out from being opened repeatedly.

 

Week 18

There are 3 labs/activities this week. The Lab on page 243 – 245 will be done at the start of next week.

  1. The puzzle pages 233 – 235: You might want to have 1 set of pieces per student pre-cut. If you do consider asking parents or students to bring these pre-cut pieces with them to class.
  2. Lab #1 pages 239 – 241

 

Week 19

  1. Begin class with the lab page 251, set a timer for 1 hour and make the second observation. I am not sure if this experiment will last over a week. You are going to need to check on it after 24 hours, and take a photo. Then you can wait a week and see. That way your students can use your photo as the final observation if they have to.
  2. Lab page 243 – 245
  3. Worksheet page 249

 

Week 20

  1. Lab 261 – 264
  2. Have students finish today with the worksheet page 255 – 259. They can complete this at home if you run out of time.

 

Week 21

  1. Have student complete the poem at home.
  2. Start class with Activity #1 on pages 269 and 271
  3. Have student share poems if they are so inclined.
  4. Have students do Activity #2 on pages 269 – 270 and 273

 

Week 22

Do pages 275 – 279

 

Week 23

  1. Do pages 281 – 289:  Use a microwave if you have to in order to boil water. An electric tea kettle will also work.
  2. Have the ingredients for Jell-o present, but make a batch of Jell-o ahead of time so students can make observations about the Jell-O in class.

 

Week 24

Do pages 291 – 300: You have a group of students so why not use them for a density demonstrations. Mark off a space on the ground that will just fit all the students standing as a group. Have the students fill the space 1 by 1. Have the students move around in the marked off area. This will show them how much less space there is to move when more particles (people) occupy the same amount of space.

 

Week 25

Take a look at the lab on pages 303 to 305. The amount of set up time is perfect. But the lab takes 1 week to complete and you make a hot sugary solution. It is a good lab though.

You have a group: do the group activity on page 304

 

Week 26

Do pages 307 – 315: Use the slime you saved

 

Week 27

Do page 317 – 325: To do the lab on page 319 in 1 lab period. Use 3 bottles. Take one bottle and freeze it with the cap off the day before class. Bring the bottle to class, but take a photo in case it starts to melt before class starts. Suggest students put a bottle with the cap off with a dish under it in the freezer overnight to observe the expansion of water for themselves.

 

Week 28

Pages 327 to 337: There are three activities/labs this week. You should be able to get through them all. You will need a microwave and 1 or more kites. If it isn’t windy, the kite is optional.

 

Week 29

Pages 339 – 347

 

Week 30

Pages 353 – 361: You will need pre-frozen Kool-Aid

 

Week 31

Pages 363 – 371

 

Week 32

Pages 373 – 379: The indicator should be made at home.  Do Step 1 at home and bring the indicator to class. Have kids make the coffee filter pH paper from Step 1 in class. They will use it next week.

 

Week 33

Pages 381 – 387

 

Week 34

Pages 389 – 397

 

Week 35

Pages 399 – 403: Have students make the solution for Day 1. You are going to need to make the same solution the day before so you can do the entire experiment in 1 day. Have students take the solution home in a baggie so they can see the results for their own solution. Alternatively, you could leave it a week and have students make their observations next week.

Week 36

Pages 405 – 411

Read about using RSO Biology 2 here.





Materials List for a REAL Science Odyssey Biology Co-op

Biology co-op

Bio-L2-Cover

Pandia Press

I received an email asking about how the material list is affected when teaching a co-op with RSO Chemistry 1. I thought it was a question that deserved an answer for RSO Biology 2 as well. My goal with this series is to make it easier for anyone who wants to teach a science co-op. Teaching is a LOT of work. I respect the time and energy you as an educator are taking to teach science and this is my way of making it a little easier for you.

Note 1: You are going to have to match the lab with the week. I changed the weeks where some of the labs are performed for a co-op class from the order they occur in the book.

Note 2: No change means there is no change to the quantities as listed in the Material List in the Student Guide and Teacher’s Guide for that week.

Note 3: I am assuming every student has their own text.

Note 4: Microscope supplies – you will need a quantity of microscope supplies for a class. I bought a box of slides and slide covers at the start of the year, cleaned those that could be cleaned over the course of the year, and disposed of those that couldn’t. At the end of the year I threw them all away. I will assume you have a large enough quantity of general microscope materials each week for your entire class. I will only list changes for materials specific to that experiment.

Week Changes to Material List
1 The plot study lab: You will want multiples of – tape measures, graph paper, clip boards, markers for plots
2 Microscope techniques: 1 – 3 corks, 1 X-Acto knife per 4 students, 1 syringe per 4 – 6 students, 1 tweezers per 4 – 6 students, 1 plastic spoon per person
3 Cell model: 1 glue per 5 – 6 students, 1 ruler per 5 – 6 students, extra toothpicks
4 Chapter 4: multiple colored pencils, 1 syringe per 4 – 6 students
5 Diffusion: Are you going to teach this as one large experiment for the entire class toobserve or an experiment each student takes home? That affects the material list.

Microscope: 1 corn kernel per person, the same as for above – when you gather multiples of things like syringes make sure they stay in class for the duration of the co-op.

6 Photosynthesis/Cellular respiration: * 1 plant for the group (do not change this), 1 piece of fruit/vegetable per person
7 DNA lab: (LOL people hate or love marshmallow labs! They are cheap. I am sorry if you hate them. Any other ingredient makes this lab much more expensive. I am vegan, so trust me I get the entire anti-marshmallow thing. Just warning you, some parents are sure to complain. I get emails about this ingredient on my material list.) Multiply the number of marshmallows, beads, toothpicks, skewers, and pipe cleaners by the number of students.
8 Mitosis Poster: The supplies list depends on whether students do this at home or in class. If they do it in class, you will need multiples of poster board, marshmallows, pipe cleaners, yarn, and beads.

Microscope 7: 1 sports drink per student, 1 cup or glass per student

9 No change
10 Activity 10: 1 coin per student

Microscope 10: No change

11 Frog dissection: 1 frog per student, 1 set of dissecting tools for every 1 – 2 students*** Not all students will do this dissection. Make sure they will BEFORE purchasing frogs.
12 Plant dissection: 1 plant per student (if students are not working in groups, use 1 plant per student.)
13 Flower dissection: 1 flower per group (if students are not working in groups, use 1 flower per student.)
14 Labs 14 – 1 & 2: Multiply the number of lemons, wire, nails, pennies, calculators by the number of students.
15 15 – 1: As many cardboard nail messages as you can for students (this is a very simple but fun lab), multiple blind folds

Microscope 15: No change

15 – 2: Multiply the number of bottles, coffee filters, gravel, sand, cotton balls by the number of students

16 16 – 1: 1 flashlight per pair of students
17 Microscope 17: 1 needle per person

17 – 2: 2 balloons per student, multiple tape measures or measuring sticks

18 Lab 18: Multiply the number of chicken wings, gloves, and dissection tools by the number of students
19 19 – 1: No change

17 – 1: Multiply the number of bottles, tubing, X-Acto knives by the number of students

20 Microscope 20: Both of these labsrequire some thought about you want to run them for a class. By the time you get to these labs you will have a good idea how best to run them. For the microscope lab, will each student make their own slide and look at the slides of other people? In that case you need 1 insect per student. Or will you make the slides and have students look at them without preparing the slides? In this case the number of insects needed varies from two to as many as you want for comparison.

Lab 20: Where you do this lab determines whether there are changes to the material list. If done outside there are NO changes. If done inside you need 1 set of materials per student. Alternatively you could make the timeline as a mural, with all students working on it together.

21 Microscope 21: No change

Lab 21: Multiply the number of pompoms by the number of people who will be performing the experiment at the same time.

22 Lab 22: Multiply the amounts of supplies by the number of students

Microscope Lab 22: No change

23 Lab 23: Multiply the number of sheets of construction paper by the number of students

Microscope Lab 23: No change

24 Lab 24: Have parents help by bringing in supplies for their student’s project

Microscope Lab 24: No change

25 Lab 25: No change
26 Microscope Lab 25: 1 piece of grass per student

Lab 26: Multiply the amount of materials by the number of students

Microscope Lab 26: No change

27 Microscope Lab 27: No change

Lab 27: a minimum of 1 plant per student, 1 container with a lid for each student to take home the watering solution (I make my own jelly, so I used canning jars which I have a lot of.)

28 Lab 28: Multiple students mean more students making dichotomous key mysteries – there is no change to your materials list
29 Lab 29: No change
30 Lab 30: No change
31 Microscope Lab 30: Enough leaves for students to each make their own slide

Lab 31 and Microscope Lab 31: It would be nice to have 1 set of specimens per student. It is not necessary though.

Start Lab 32: 1 banana for every two students, 1 tsp yeast per student, 2 baggies per student

32 Microscope Lab 32: Multiply the number of mushrooms by the number of students, you also need multiple cutting boards and flashlights

Pandia Press Biology 2

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Read about teaching a science co-op here.





Teaching a homeschool science co-op: General Notes

In September, 2013 my family moved from the Mammoth Lakes area in California to the San Diego area. One of the reasons for moving was that my then 13-year-old homeschooled son wanted a community of kids who he felt he had more in common with, AKA kids who were also homeschooled. He had friends in the small mountain community where we lived, but all of them attended traditional school. He was beginning to feel like an outsider and different in a way that worried me. We moved to San Diego and soon met homeschooled kids who he liked and identified with. The move has been really good for our whole family. My husband was already down here a lot helping one of his older sons get a business started. We have three older sons who all live in San Diego County with their wives and girlfriends. We even have a granddaughter who is almost 3 years old who lives in San Diego. It’s great being closer to her. I also love the group of homeschooling moms I have met.

My son wanted to take some classes with other kids, something he hadn’t done since kindergarten, his one and only year of attending traditional school. Someone recommended a group in Orange County that had some classes that looked perfect for him. One of the classes that they planned on having was a middle school/high school biology co-op. I signed my son up for this class. He was about to begin his last year of middle school, eighth grade, and had already worked his way through my biology course. He didn’t really need a biology course at that point, but I figured that taking a class with other kids would be a bit distracting for him, so maybe it would be a good fit for him to retake biology while he figured out what it was like to take a class with other kids.

I won’t go into all the details, but suffice to say the teacher that was supposed to teach the class canceled. The woman who runs the group contacted me about potentially teaching the class. I said no way. I need to write Earth and Space 2. She found another biology teacher who also fell through. At the end of it I finally agreed to teach the science co-op class, all for my son. HE SO OWES ME for all I do for him!!! Not that I regret teaching the class even for second. I LOVED!! It! Still he owes me big time, just saying 🙂

I learned quite a bit about using my book for a science co-op too. Things I hadn’t thought of when I wrote it. Things I really want to share with you. I decided to write a series of posts detailing my thoughts about science co-ops in general, and using my book for a biology co-op specifically. This should be thought of as a series of teacher’s notes. It is written for my book, but honestly much of what I learned is general for any science co-op.

Science Co-op
Science co-op: RSO Chemistry 1 Click here to visit Pandia Press.

The Structure

  1. We met one time a week for two hours. I provided all supplies.
  2. We went through one chapter’s worth of material from RSO Biology 2 each week.
  3. I e-mailed students telling them the material they were responsible for that week.
  4. When we met for class, there was a 15 to 30 min. session at the start of class with me explaining the material for that week. The rest of the time was used for the lab. The review notes in RSO Biology 2 Teacher’s Guide help make this so much easier.
  5. I was available for help, I still call them office hours, before each week’s class. I just had to know ahead of time.

The Big Surprise

The big surprise was the diversity and eclectic interests of the students in the co-op. I am a big fan of homeschooling. I think the real strength of homeschooling is this diversity and the time, space, and energy to pursue these eclectic interests. But I hadn’t thought what that would mean from a teaching standpoint. I am going to go point by point with the differences and how I handled them.

  • What do you do when you have students who are being educated using different styles?

I had students who were being de-schooled, unschooled, classically educated, and parents who were flexible to however I wanted to teach. I had to decide how I was going to handle this, and so will you if you are going to teach a science co-op class. There are a couple of different ways that I see to handle this:

  1. I decided to be flexible. That is my personality though. I am a very casual person. I sent the assignments to each student every week. If they did the assignments I graded and reported back to the student. If they didn’t, I was okay with that. A couple of times during the semester I did make sure that the parents knew when the students weren’t doing the assignments. I really left it up to the parents. I assumed that even for those students who were being de-schooled or unschooled that anybody taking my biology class wanted their student to learn biology. I decided to let the parents and the students figure out what that looked like within the framework of the material that I was assigning. The students that did not turn in projects did not get written feedback from me. Of course, I did give them feedback on the work that they did in class. I think the thing to remember in these sorts of flexible situations is that there is a desire to learn that subject. I didn’t have any problem with students being there without participating while they were in class; everyone did the work then. I had teens and tweens so there were a couple of times when I had to bring the attention back to what we were working on, but that would’ve happened either way.
  2. Decide on a structure. Make students responsible for the assignments. If you are going to assign grades you have to have material. If I were going to have all students accountable for turning in all the work, I would sit down with parents before they sign their kids up for the class and make sure that they understand what you are going to require. If you go with this structured approach, you want answer keys to the work. Grading is a LOT of work.
  • What do you do when you have a range of ages?
  1. I grouped my students by age. I kept the co-op small, nine students. I had three groups of three a younger middle school group, an older middle school group, and a high school group that included my son even though technically he was still in middle school. These three groups worked really well together. A couple of my students who were not doing much of the work did more work any time the group was working together.
  2. I highly recommend having groups of two or three students if you are going to run a lab class.
    • The members of the groups themselves will help each other if the lab is complicated.
    • It helps with limited resources like microscopes.
    • It made it easier for me when labs were complicated having fewer numbers to work with. Instead of working with each student individually, I was able to work with each group.
    • One of the groups only wanted to work together on some of the projects. I was very flexible with this. That group usually preferred working singly and I let them.
  3. I assigned the older students more work, and I had higher expectations for them. Most of this work was in the form of reading articles and watching videos. I had the high school group focus on epidemiology as it related to the weekly topic throughout the year.
  • What do you do when you have a range of abilities?
  1. Just because you have a range of ages does not mean you have a range of abilities. One of the first tasks at hand should be determining the overall level of science in your class. For example, my biology textbook has a heavy-duty microscope component. My son was the only person who was experienced in overall technique when it came to the microscope. Even some of the students who had used a microscope before really needed work with their microscope technique. What I learned is that there is an emphasis with looking at things through the microscope, but not an emphasis on learning how to do a good job preparing slides. Those students, even though they understood what they should be seeing, were at a beginner level as far as slide preparation and overall manipulation of the slide on the stage.
  2. If you do have a range of abilities and you’re going to pair people into lab partners you should decide ahead of time whether you’re going to pair students who are at similar levels or disparate levels.

Things You Need for a Science Co-op

  • The list below is what I think you need to run a science co-op, this is my personal opinion. If you have different thoughts about any of this feel free to comment. In fact, if you have thoughts about anything you read in here I would love to hear from you.
  1. A textbook or some sort of complete reference material
    • Different students access materials differently. This is one of the most important things to remember when you are teaching any class anywhere. A lot of us are homeschooling because the traditional method in school didn’t work well for our students. As someone running a co-op class you need to be sensitive to the fact that some of your students are going to access material visually, some (in particular in a science class) kinesthetically, some orally, and others will learn using all of these. You need to make sure that students have access to this written component so that they have it to refer to and their parents have it to refer to.
    • A textbook will help you, the teacher, pace your class and figure out how and what material to present.
    • If you’re using REAL Science Odyssey Biology 2 the textbook will tell you what labs to use with the theory. I will be posting unit by unit any additions to labs, so that they work for the amount of time allotted. Some of the labs that are in the chapters did not take an hour and a half. I’ll make notes within the posts on this blog explaining what I had students do in the co-op class on those weeks.

      Science co-op
      Science co-op: RSO Biology 2 Click here to visit Pandia Press.
  2. You will need permission to take and use photos if students are in the photos. It’s a minor point, but it is one that you might as well deal with at the start of class. Some parents do not care and other parents do not want their children in photos.
  3. A plan: The plan will be aligned with the textbook for the most part, but you should really go through before you teach the class and figure out some of the logistics. Your plan should address things like:
    • Are you going to take any field trips? If you are, do you need permission slips and will there be an additional fee for those field trips?
    • How many weeks will the class run? RSO Biology 2 is a 32 week course. Are you going to teach a 32 week course? Or are you going to teach a shorter course? Maybe you are just going to teach evolution, genetics, and anatomy from it. You should figure this out ahead of time. (I am a fan of teaching the complete package, but sometimes there are time constraints.)
    • Some labs run over in time. You should prepare parents ahead of time when this will happen.
    • Teaching takes a lot of energy. Make sure you have breaks built into the schedule when you need them.
  4. What is your policy if any kids miss a class?
  5. What is your policy if you, the teacher, cannot teach a class?
  6. Could you use any help? If so, you could have parents rotate once a week helping or you could offer one of the parents some sort of benefit for being the parent helping to teach the class.

This is all I can think of at this time, but knowing me I will continue to edit this. This was dictated using Dragon software. Sometimes weird typos creep in using this. If you notice any do me a favor and let me know. Thanks, Blair

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Read about what curriculum to use in a science co-op here.