Thursday, March 20, 2008

Egg-citing Science

Tommorrow we'll be doing some Egg-citing Science. It will have a lot to do with colors, and color blending and light. But, I'll also be throwing in some animal science, and a "rubber egg" experiment.

We'll be dying Easter eggs the old fashioned way, with food coloring. This will allow for coloring mixing, as opposed to just dropping in the prepared tablets. Now, my big kids know what colors mixed together make what, but we've invited our preschool student over, and this should be a lot of fun for him. We'll be doing an "inquiry approach"..."What do you think will happen if we mix the red and the blue?"

I made a painted color wheel, and we'll be spinning it to see what happens when the colors spin around (it looks REALLY cool).

We'll be playing with our prism, and talking about how all colors are present in light.

We'll look at red liquid in a bottle with a light shining through it from the front, and a bottle of green liquid with a light shining through it from the back (it makes a difference!).

We'll have free exploration with our color paddles, and color window clings (examing tints and shades).

We'll also probably paint a spring themed picture, using only primary colors in our color palatte.

Lastly, we'll be talking about animals that are hatched from eggs (we'll start with T-Rex, as our preschool student is VERY into dinosaurs).

Rubber egg experiment: put an egg in a jar w/a lid. Cover with vinegar. Leave for 3 days, examine the differences in the eggs shell.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Flat Zeke goes Around the World!

Over the weekend, we attended a Girl Scout International Festival with our Girl Scout troop. We took this opportunity to take Flat Zeke to something fun! So far his time with us has been pretty boring, as we are having a very sick winter for some reason, and haven't done much at all.

With A, ready to tour the globe!

At our troops booth, learning about Puerto Rico!

Close up with a coqui

Learning about Russia

With a Brasilian fox

Learning about Mexico (IN the sombrero)

Learning about China
Learning about Canada

Cuisenaire Rod Sites

Here are a few sites I've found with some good ideas using Cuisenaire Rods. We just started using Miquon Math (since my oldest is really struggling, and I'm hopeful this approach will help). Enjoy playing!

Cuisenaire Rods: Space, Color, and Mathe

Cooking with Cuisenaire Rods

Introduction to Fractions (5th grade lesson plan)

Play with the Rods online

Cuisenaire Fractions Lesson

Math Perimeter Problem Solving

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Math Game

As I type my kids are playing this game, and I wish you could hear them squealing and shouting.

I found this idea in an old Mailbox magazine I picked up at a thrift store, its from Feb/March of 1990! :-) I am a Mailbox subscriber, and so when I saw this one, for .25 I couldn't pass it up. And it has proven worth it's quarter, already!

It's similar to War, but it is titled "Porky" (Pigging Out on Place Value is the section it's in.)

It makes a great center if you have more than one child (they can play together like mine are) or as a family game if you have an only, or kids in to wide of an age range to play this together. I also can think of some different variations.

You take a deck of cards, and remove all the tens (and jokers or wild cards). Aces=1, and face cards=0. Deal out all of the cards, then you flip over the top two. The first card is your ones place, and the second card is your tens place. The child then 'reads' the number ("I have a 7 in my tens place, and a 4 in my ones place, I have 74." kind of thing). Then they compare with the other player(s) to see who has the highest number. Whomever has the highest number gets all 4 cards. If there is a tie, the first person to yell "PORKY!" wins the cards. First person to get ALL the cards, wins.

Simple. Fun!

A couple Variations:

  • You could easily make it three cards or more to include higher place values as they move up (we are playing a higher place value version).
  • You could also do a variation where you added or multiplied the numbers, instead of doing place value.
  • You could have the child BUILD the number they draw with cuisenaire rods (or other math manipulatives).


Sunday, March 9, 2008

The girls have been sick. My middle has had a fever since Wednesday! Seriously, 5 days so far. She's still feverish, but the two days in the middle (Thurs and Fri) she was HOT HOT HOT. Today it's pretty mild. Friday the oldest got the fever as well. Yesterday was her HOT HOT HOT day, today is better. We went to the ped on Wed morning because I was afraid it was strep (again), and it wasn't strep or the flu (the other thing I was concerned about). So, it's just a really nasty cold. Hopefully, the rest of the house will be spared.

Having them lay around on the couch for hours and hours staring at various screens that required no mental or physical effort on their part did allow for me to clean the house up needed it. Have you ever noticed that once it gets a teensy weensy bit out of hand, it's a fast, out of control, down hill spiral? Or is that just the vortex that is my house? Hmm. Either way, we had a stomach bug (I mentioned that) on Valentines Day (fortuneatly, only affecting the three oldest members of our house). And, I swear, it's been 3 weeks and my house STILL hasn't recovered from the 3 days I didn't clean. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Currently, the kitchen looks really great, as does the living room. The babe's room is also fantastic (He recently got some new storage solutions in there), and our bedroom isn't the pit it was a month ago, so I'll take it.

Another day of laying around will give me time to plan out a bit further ahead in our curriculum as well. So, we'll be having another 'sick' day tomorrow. Hopefully, that will be the last of it though as running a fever for this long simply can't be good.

It's Girl Scout cookie time, that'll throw a kink in your plans to lose 20 lbs by May! LOL Especially, when you have 2 scouts IN your house. It's ok though, the weather is starting to warm and I'll be able to run again soon. Afterall, I have to train for that 5k in June! Yikes. What have I gotten myself in to?

Recently, I've been thinking about priorities. I wish this blog was higher on my list. I do wish I documented more of what we do on here, for the world to see. I enjoy our homeschooling so much, and I spend so much time reading more and learning more and growing more, I wish I made it more of a priority to share with the homeschooling (and non homeschoolers who may find their way here somehow) community. I'll try. That's the best I can do.

Currently, I am reading Essential Montessori, and Montessori in the Home: The School Years. I'm working on making the materials. Recently I completed the grammar symbols. I've fallen behind on my flags of the US though, as a result of working on other projects (including preschool/toddler things). I also made a big batch of colored pasta for sorting, patterning, counting, etc. The girls helped with that, and thought it was fun. I'm attempting to make a moveable alphabet this week....I already attempted it once but made my letters too thick and when I baked them to harden them, they plumped WAY up. I could just let them harden on the counter I suppose, I'm just in a rush to get them done (for no particular reason except that I think the kids will have a great time playing with them). I'd also like to make a set of sandpaper letters. That may be the next project, oh and finishing my flags!

I recently ordered Miquon math. My oldest really struggles with math, and after many approaches, and knowing that she is a visual learner, I hope Miquon will be a good fit and will help it "click". It's the only area she's 'behind' in. We'll start with it this week, provided she recovers soon. I really like how visual and hands on it is. I'd also like to create some of the Montessori bead material for her to use.

I also recently ordered some Weekly Reader books on the election process. They wont' be here until August, but I'm already excited. I have one book on the process of elections and voting called Woodrow for President (also from Weekly Reader) that the kids liked and learned quite a bit from. With it being EVERYWHERE these days, it's such a great chance to really show the kids the democratic process in action, and share with them the things I'd like to see changed!

My kids are in bed (well 2/3 of them are...the bigger two even!), my wee one is playing outside with my husband--man do I love him....that could fill another whole blog, how much I love the man I get to share my life with. And, now, I am off to read, plan, and make materials.

Much love, and happy homeschooling to you all!