My Book is Available NOW!

This comprehensive coloring review guide offers anyone interested in Anatomy and Physiology a fun, effective way to learn.  Each chapter features diagrams for coloring, as well as review and sketch note pages for a more interactive way to master difficult concepts.  Written by a veteran anatomy and physiology teacher and a registered critical care nurse, this reference is perfect for nursing students, pre-med students, or any student in the health science field.

A truly innovative approach to learning about the human body!

  • Contains over 400 pages of material organized by body systems
  • Includes 142 hand-drawn illustrations and diagrams for visual learners
  • Offers workbook pages for self-testing
  • Provides guides for histology drawings and extra vocabulary aides in a bonus section
  • Delivers fun facts and study tips via original character Dr. L. Rat

Available on Amazon NOW– To purchase, please visit this link –> https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734167106/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_0AWRDbX850NEM

It should be available in bookstores by Christmas!

Published in conjunction with Lab Rat Press

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Newsflash—Publication Date is Getting Closer!

In case you haven’t heard…

Our book has been submitted for publication and should be available within the next few weeks! My daughter (a trauma nurse) and I have collaborated to create a comprehensive, student-friendly (and teacher-friendly) 400 page review guide with TONS of easy-to-color illustrations and diagrams. I even include some of my students’ favorite Sketch Notes! More information (and more pictures of what is included) will be coming soon but for now, here is a little sneak peek of what you’ll see…..

Large, clear, easy to color diagrams and illustrations..Many are full page sized! For teachers, these copy beautifully for use with your class since the lines are bold. For students, the diagrams focus in on the most important structures that you need to learn.

Here’s an example after it has been colored…..

The guide is arranged by body system and includes several pages of text for each one (and for many of the important physiological processes). Perfect for review or, if you’re a teacher, awesome for concise notes to provide for your class that will make differentiation easy!

Includes Sketch Notes!

My students love Sketch Notes me always tell me how helpful they are in visualising difficult concepts so I included them for most every chapter (especially for the feedback mechanisms). Here are some examples..

My students always have trouble with this feedback mechanism (renin/ angiotensin) ..

Finally, the end of the book has a Bonus Section with student study aids including a large 2page Skeleton (anterior and posterior) that is perfect for practice.

The whole review is guided by Dr. L. Rat who provides study tips and easy to remember mnemonics and concise pathways for processes.

I’ll keep you posted!

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Medical Mystery PBL for Anatomy & Physiology- Integumentary System

Let’s Investigate Our Patient’s Diagnosis….

For our study of the Integumentary System in our Medical Mystery PBL, I told the students that their patient had visited his/her family doctor and had been tentatively diagnosed with an unusual skin disorder. I prepared a Dermatology Report for each of the patients (there are 7 patients in each class). See a sample below:

Sample Patient Report

Their job as a specialist medical team was to investigate the disorder and confirm (or not) the diagnosis of the family doctor. I provided them with 2 viable research links for their particular disorder. They also had to create a 1 page infographic about the disorder that they could use to educate the patient’s family about the condition. (We used easel.ly – For more information or instructions on using easel.ly, please visit this blog post They were also allowed to choose a job within the 4 person team.

They also had to construct both the anterior and posterior views of their patient, color the basic diagram of the skin, hair, and nail, as well as color their patient’s “symptoms” in that they were given in the Dermatology Report. Here are some samples:

At the conclusion of the PBL, the medical teams were expected to present their findings to a medical panel and confirm (or disagree with) the diagnosis of the family doctor.

To purchase this Medical Mystery Integumentary System PBL (including the basic blank anterior and posterior bodies that we used), please visit my TpT Store at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Anatomy-Practicals-Life-Sized-Integumentary-System-MEDICAL-MYSTERY-PBL-4959586

If you’d like to purchase the complete set of life-sized bodies we are using, please visit my TpT store at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Anatomy-Practicals-Life-Sized-Body-System-PROJECT-BUNDLE-Incl-all-11-Systems-4782545

Individual body systems (& the big bodies that go with them) can also be purchased separately.

Posted in activity, Anatomy & Physiology, Anatomy Practicals- Stackables that Teach, Project Based Learning PBL, Sketch Notes, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wound Lab for the Integumentary System

What do you get when you cross petroleum jelly, food coloring/fake blood, toilet tissue, and cocoa powder? A fun, engaging lab activity for your Integumentary System unit, of course!

My students sometimes think studying the Integumentary System can be a little boring so this year we tried something different– We created gross, realistic looking wounds to explore wound healing.

First Step: Easy Video Instructions

We watched this video before going into the lab. I think it does an excellent job of explaining the process. It also helped my students visualize what the process looked like.

In the Lab:

Students worked in partners and were given a choice of locations for the wound they were to create on their partner. There were 6 location choices (on arms and legs only) that were written using anatomical directional terms. For example, “the wound was inferior to the antecubital region of the right arm and superior to the phalanges”. They also had a choice of wound lengths. Their lab sheet also asked them what stage of wound healing their wound was in currently. When I checked the lab groups, they had to tell me exactly which wound (location and size) they created. I think it really helped them practice the anatomical terminology in a practical setting.

Here are some addition photos of our “wounds”

The students LOVED it!! (and some really got creative). I’ll definitely be doing this again next year!

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Medical Mystery PBL For Anatomy & Physiology- DAY 2

Body Cavities & Membranes- The topic for Day 2!

On day 1 of this year-long PBL, my Anatomy & Physiology classes did “Patient Intake” where they filled out all the necessary paperwork for their “patient” and assembled the anterior (ventral) body. Day 2 consisted of assembling the posterior (dorsal) body and investigating body cavities and membranes. (Just and FYI- I remembered I had a paper cutter after all my classes had finished assembling their anterior bodies. So, I trimmed their posterior sheets before class and everything went MUCH faster! ). Groups who finished before others worked on providing their patient’s “back story” (a snapshot of their patient’s life- like being a middle-aged smoker, being a long distance runner, etc… I plan to use this info to help me provide them a medical condition for their patient that they will investigate as we cover all the body systems).

It’s important to be vigilant as you put together your patient or it might end up a little “different” from the others 🙂 HAHA!

To begin, we had a class “refresher” on the basic body cavities and the membranes (parietal and visceral). They had already written down notes on this (I put my PPT on Google classroom and gave them fill-in-the blank outline notes to complete independently). I used a partially blown up balloon to illustrate how the visceral membrane clings to each organ (ie my hand as I stuck it in the balloon) and the outside of the balloon would illustrate the membrane attached to the body cavity. I let them pass the balloon around and try it for themselves (they loved it lol).

I provided students with a 1 page summary of the body cavities and membranes and a guided organizer to assist them in “color coding” their patient’s body cavities and membranes. (Body cavities were 1 color; Membranes were represented as an outline of a different color- Just a note: Colored pencils are best for coloring the body cavities and markers (the big Crayola school ones) make outlining the membranes a breeze!

Here are some pics of our patients.

How am I Storing the “Patients”?

After color-coding both the anterior (ventral) and posterior (dorsal) surfaces of our patients, we aligned them back-to-back (with the taped surfaces facing towards each other and the colored surfaces facing outwards) and taped them at with small pieces of tape on all 4 sides. This will be the foundation for the entire “patient” just as our body cavities are. Patient names (that match their Medical Records) and the names of the Medical Team members are written on the anterior surface. For storage, I stacked all the patients for 1 class (I have 7 groups of 4 in each of my 4 A & P classes) and used 3 large binder clips to hold them. Currently, I have them lying flat on my counter, but I am thinking of buying clothes hangers with clips so I could hang them up in my classroom.

What’s Next?

I am not utilizing this project every day as we go through the A & P course. I am also doing other activities. At the end of this past week, I set up lab stations and we reviewed for our Unit 1 exam next week. I pulled some of my activities from the Gallery Walk we did last year (see my blog post on this at this link–> Gallery Walk blog post ) and I think it worked well. Our next topic with our “patients” will be the Integumentary System where we will learn the layers of the epidermis, the structure of skin, as well as hair, and nails. You can see some of these diagrams at this link –>Integumentary System blog post ).

To see ALL of the 11 body systems this includes, please visit https://ateacherontheedge.wordpress.com/category/anatomy-physiology/anatomy-practicals-stackables-that-teach/ for links to all!

To purchase, please visit my TpT store https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/My-Products/Category:379576

Posted in Anatomy & Physiology, Anatomy Practicals- Stackables that Teach, Project Based Learning PBL, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Mystery PBL for Anatomy & Physiology

How do you keep 120 teenagers engaged in a memorization-heavy class?

This is a question that has kept me awake many nights! My Anatomy and Physiology classes are really large this year. I have 4 sections and close to 120 students. My students are of various ability levels, but I do have an Honors A&P class this year for the first time (I’m excited about this!). As usual, I have a bunch of EL students, as well as many with IEPs (I have as many as 1/3 of the class this time). So, I’m going to have to be extra creative to keep my kids engaged, while not overwhelming some of them, but putting the pressure to excel on others. Easy to do right? Ummmm probably not!

So, what I’ve decided to do with my classes this year is utilize the life-sized bodies that I drew (see a video of it in this post (https://ateacherontheedge.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/anatomy-practicals-sneak-peek/ ) in conjunction with a Medical Mystery PBL that we will participate in throughout the entire course (I’m writing it as we go lol). I have planned for us to create each body system as we cover it in class and build our life-sized bodies gradually. I hope to have them investigate something specific to their “patient” for each body system. Then, at the end of the year, have them diagnose their “patient” (with something broad and over-reaching such as heart disease, diabetes, etc). I think I might also have a few of their “patients” succumb to their disease and require an autopsy to investigate. I have 7 “patients” in each class so I really only have to find 7 different diseases/disorders that their patients could have. I still have more work to do on this part, but I feel good about the general idea.

Today was Day 1 of this experience….

Today was the first day I introduced our Medical Mystery PBL to my students since I showed them the 3D life-sized body I assembled as an example on the first day of school. They have been very curious about it and kept asking me what I had planned for them (& was it only going to be for my Honors class). They were excited that everyone is going to be using them. Today’s class was “Patient Intake Day” where their task was to:

  1. Pick their Medical Teams (they are in groups of 4 so I had my desks in groups today)
  2. Fill out the necessary paperwork for their patient (Patient Info, Insurance Info, In Case of Emergency Contact, etc.. Just like you do at the doctor’s office)
  3. Sign and complete Patient Privacy Agreement (because we are conducting medical research on their patient- it was a great time to talk about medical privacy and HIPPA regulations!)
  4. Begin their patient’s Medical Records file
  5. Assemble the Anterior Body Cavities life-sized body
  6. Assemble the Posterior Body Cavities life-sized body (most didn’t get to this point).

By the end of class today, every group had their patient’s paperwork completed, as well as the Anterior Body Cavity Body assembled. Next class, they will finish the Posterior Body Cavity Body. They also asked if they could provide the background on their patient’s life (they had a lot of fun making up their patient and naming him/her!) We will discuss the parietal and visceral membranes as a class, then they will complete the Guided Exploration on Cavities and Membranes where they will have to tell which organs are in each cavity and color code the cavities and membranes.

Stay Tuned….. 🙂

If you’d like to purchase the complete set of life-sized bodies we are using, please visit my TpT store at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Anatomy-Practicals-Life-Sized-Body-System-PROJECT-BUNDLE-Incl-all-11-Systems-4782545

Individual body systems (& the big bodies that go with them) can also be purchased separately.

Posted in Anatomy & Physiology, Anatomy Practicals- Stackables that Teach, Project Based Learning PBL, Strategies, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anatomy Practicals Sneak Peek!

Here’s a sneak peek of what all 11 body systems combined look like as a finished project! Students will be able to work with organs and structures in both the anterior and posterior body cavities.  I have included all of the organs and structures that I cover with my high school Anatomy & Physiology students.  I cannot wait for the upcoming school year so we can build our “bodies” (and probably dissect them as an “autopsy” at the end).

(Ps- There actually is a brain inside the skull at the very end. I just couldn’t juggle my phone and opening the lift-the-flap skull 🤓 The brain inside is also lift-the-flap)

To see ALL of the 11 body systems this includes, please visit https://ateacherontheedge.wordpress.com/category/anatomy-physiology/anatomy-practicals-stackables-that-teach/ for links to all!

Posted in Anatomy & Physiology, Anatomy Practicals- Stackables that Teach, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment