Monday, May 11, 2009

BBA Challenge-Anadama Bread

Our first bread has been baked. It was so much fun and turned out so much better than I thought it would. I was a bit worried because it was so sticky when kneading. I wasn't sure if I added to much liquid, as this is the first time I did everything by weight instead of volume.
It turned out great in the long run. The texture was something so different, a little crunch, but not to "grassy" tasting. I didn't quite taste the molassess as much as I thought I would. Many of the first bakers described it as being a more prominant flavor, I didn't get that.
It was great with honey, banana and peanut butter. Today I had a chicken sandwich on it, and last night Vince made an open faced pulled pork sandwich. It seems like it could be a great overall bread, not just for sweet toppings.
Also it freezes very well, I sliced it first, so that I can pull out a piece here or there.
Overall taste/make it again
Z1/ 9 yes
A1/ 7 yes
A2/ 2 didn't like texture
Z2- liked
Me/ 9 yes

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Jouney Begins-The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge

Pinch My Salt has came up with a wonderful idea, which has grown to include over 100 bakers from across the globe. We will, together, bake each of the recipies in Peter Reinhart's book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice.
Though my baking experience if very limited, Here I go anyway. What a great and tasty challenge. I am looking forward to "working" with and learning from these wonderful new friends, and making a tasty new loaf each week.
Check back for pictures, comments and the overall experience of the journey.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Todays the day. What kind of day? The kind of day that makes you want to say, "Good Morning! Look at the sun!"

Frontiers, Soil investigations

Here are the activities we did for our soil investigations:

From Dig In! Hands on Soil Investigations.

How much land is there for capable for producing food?
1. Imagine the Earth is an apple
2. Cut it into fourths. Only one part is land-the rest is water. Set aside the three sections that represent water.
3. Cut the land section in half. One part represents land that is mountains, deserts, or covered with ice. Set this part aside.
4. Cut the livable area into fourths. Three of these are too rocky, wet, hot infertile or covered with roads and cities to grow food. Set these three aside.
5. There is now only 1/32 of a slice of apple remaining. Peel the skin from this tiny piece.
6. The skin represent the soil on which the food is grown that must feed the entire people of the world.

Soil Investigations

There are nearly 21,000 different soil types found in the United States.

Soil is made of minerals, air, water, and organic matter (humus).
The Typical breakdown is 45% mineral, 25% air, 25% water, 5% organic matter.
There are Three main components of soil.
They are clay, silt, and sand.

Each child brought in a sample of soil as well as I brought in samples that represented differing colors and the three components.

Soil Sample Investigation (Dig In!)-Put a spoonful of a soil sample onto paper plate. Use a magnifying glass.

· What colors do you see in each sample?

· What size are the grains in each sample?

· What does each soil smell like?

· What are these soils made of?

· What does each soil feel like (texture)?

Add a few drops of water to your soil sample on your plate. Use your fingers to mix the soil and water. What does it feel like. Look at the above chart to determine if you have clay-ey soil, silt-y soil or sandy soil.

Follow the Flow Diagram Chart for Estimating Soil Texture by Feel
if you would like to.

Afterward the children made Soil Paintings. Provided was white paint (equal parts glue and water) that when added to the soil, would adhere to paper to make paint with.

Edible Soil Recipe was a tasty way for the kids to see the soil profile of the earth. (Recipe at link)

Here is the link for our Worm Farm Jars

We had a great time, I hope you do too!

Frontiers, Mammals

Hello all,

For our homeschool group I provide activities for our Frontiers program. This is a program through our state conservation department.
We have a variety of hands-on activities, which the kids seem to LOVE.
Here are the things we do.

This month was Wild Missouri Mammals.

Though the department of conservation we were able to borrow a Discovery Trunk that contained the pelts, skulls, and molds of footprints for 11 wild Missouri mammals. We were able to have a hands on experience with everything from a white-tailed deer, skunk, beaver, red fox, and an otter. In addition to getting an up close look at those, here are the other activities the kids did at the various stations

Whose Scat is That???

How do animals communicate?
Think about how you communicate to others. You probably thought of talking!
But how else?

Grab a partner and try to communicate something to each other without talking. Try using facial expressions, posture, body language.
If I were sad, how would you know? If I were fishing how could you tell?
Can you tell what your partner is doing?

Animals communicate with each other too. Think about your pets. How do you know when they are hungry? What to go outside? Are angry or scared?

Mammals’ keen senses, large brains, and glands allow them to communicate in different ways to others of their kind, as well as different animals.

They may call, sing, growl, use body language, or leave scents or signs in various ways.

One of those signs is scat, Ok poop
The smell says to others, “Hey I’m here!

Different animals have different looking scat.
In your baggie is some tasty, edible scat. No! It’s not real. Take the snickers and break it into pieces. I cannot think of an animal that has square poop.

Try to match the scat to the following animals.

White-tail deer
Geese (yes I know it is not a mammal, but I couldn't resist)

Answers: Rabbit--coco puffs, Deer--raisinettes, raccoon-snickers, geese-good n’ plenty

What’s for Lunch

On the table are some tasty treats that our (herbivorous)
mammal friends would like to eat.
Please help yourself to them also, are these things you like to eat too?

White tail Deer: fruits ,seeds
Raccoon: grapes, plums, cherries, blackberries ,Osage orange
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit: alfalfa, herbs, garden vegetables
White footed mouse: domestic grains, leafy vegetation
Woodchuck: flowers, alpha, garden veges-peas, beans, corn
Opossum : mulberries, persimmons, apples
Eastern Fox Squirrel: nuts, fruits , berries
Deer Mouse: wild seeds, fruits, leafy vegetation
Eastern Chipmunk: nuts, seeds, berries, dandelion heads

We had strawberries, carrots, sunflower seeds, lettuce, corn, stevia(in herb form), apples, plums for the kids to munch on

Animal Autographs

When you do your foot track cast look at the size of the foot print, the number of toes. Compare the hind and front feet.

Think about animals with claws. What would they be used for? (capturing prey, climbing trees, digging, defense
What advantages would an animals feet give them?

Large feet make it easy to move over the surface of deep snow, rabbits, and squirrels
The toes of the deer are made to move over land quickly
The hind feet of the beaver are webbed to move through water

Make a cast.
Pick one animal, each set will have the front and back feet.
Take some of the clay dough and place it into the mold.
Place your filled molds onto a piece of colored foam that your name is on.
Allow to dry for about 10 minutes. It will still be damp when you place it on your foam, and will be ready to paint tomorrow.
We are taking them out early so that everyone has a chance to make a pair of footprints.

What’s your Autograph look like?

Each kind of animal leaves its own kind of track. We can tell what an animal was
doing by studying tracks. We might tell if it was walking, running, jumping, etc..

What does your track look like?
Take up to 3 sheets of black paper
Step into the pan that has baby powder in it.
Step onto your paper with different types of steps,: walking, jumping, running, tip-toes.
Look at the different tracks you made.
Does the way you stepped change the way your footprint came out?
Compare your prints to others

Keeping Warm and Thinking Big

On the table are the pelts and skulls of the following animals.
These are also the animals that we have foot tracks for.

(These animals were trapped by properly licensed people using legal methods and following accepted guidelines)
Please when looking at the pelts and skulls be VERY CAREFUL. Handle gently to avoid pulling out fur or dropping skulls.

Deer, white-tailed
Fox, Red
Otter, River
Rabbit, Cottontail
Squirrel, Eastern Gray
Striped Skunk

Look at the Mammals I and Mammals II posters. How are these animals alike and how are they different from each other?

Have you ever seen any of these animals in real life, maybe around your homes, at the park, on a hike, or in the zoo?

Each species of wild mammal in Missouri has a pelt, skull and track pattern which is distinctive to that species. Because of this, a wild mammal can be identified by its pelt, track and skull.
Continuing survival of a species depends on its ability to find food, avoid predators and successfully reproduce.

Closely examine the pelts and skulls of the Missouri Mammals to reveal information about how each species is adapted to survive in its environment

Look closely at the animal pelts.
Fur is one adaptation for survival.
What do the furs feel like?
Why do you think a warm blooded animal may need fur? (helps them conserve hear and energy during the cold)
Why do you think mammals have different colored fur? (to blend in with its environment)

Look closely at the animal skulls
Can you tell if the animal is a:
Carnivore (meat eater), such as the bobcat. Look at the shape and arrangement of its teeth.
Herbivore (plant eater), such as the white-tailed deer. Its teeth are adapted for shredding and grinding plants
Omnivore (both meat and plant), such as the opossum, how can you tell it would eat both?

After examining the pelts and skulls, how does that animal suvive in its environment;
How does it find good, avoids being eaten ect.
Which of these animals will do well with environmental changes, (living in an city) which ones would not do well.

Make a Habitat

Like us, Missouri Mammals need four basic habitat components; food, water, cover and space to survive.

Wildlife need cover for many life functions, including nesting, escaping from predators, seeking shelter from the elements on a cold winter day, and resting.
An underground burrow, a cavity in a tree, a brush pile, or even plants along a road might provide cover for a den or nest site.
Make your own cover/home.
Use the natural materials provided, such as grass clippings, twigs to make trees or dens, clay to make caves. What else can you think of?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1. FIAR Unit studies

We are alternating between Writing Strands (WSt) and Five In a Row (FIAR). We will begin each unit of study with the FIAR literature study. Since I plan on expanding the lessons quite a bit, we will use the week of WSt. to catch up.
FIAR are well rounded, but like everyone else, I would like to add my personal spin onto the lessons. I am going to experiment with the order of subjects, but I think doing a whole day of certain activities maybe fun.

Please feel free to explore all the links, and let me know if any are broken.

Side note,
A2 can read very well, but chooses not to read for fun. I have decided to start with FIAR since the books seem to be of very high interest, but a bit below his level. My goal is to build self confidence and hope to develop a love to read by himself.
So I have decided to try a variation of the read along, with success ending in A2 reading alone.
MATH will be done in a variety of way, including a daily games based on the book Family Math Written by Jean Stenmark, Virginia Thompson and Ruth Cossey.
Science Experiemnts from the books:
Zap! Blink! Taste! Think! (ZBTT and Flash! Bang! Pop! Fizz (FBPF) By Janet Parks Chahrour
and Measurment Maina by Lynette Long

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
By Marjorie Priceman
FIAR vol. I pages 53-57
Family Math Written by Jean Stenmark, Virginia Thompson and Ruth Cossey.
Zap! Blink! Taste! Think! (ZBTT) By Janet Parks Chahrour

DAY 1: Social Studies
Read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World Aloud
Family Math: Capacity and Volume pg. 91

Find Sri Lanka, Jamaica, France on World Map. Note Central American, the Caribbean, Europe.
Sting path with push pins to follow the journey.
Learn about each county and make a flag for each country

Scavenger hunt at World Market for items in the recipe

Visit apple farm.
Have a apple tasting of a variety of apples, as well as store bought versus fresh picked.
Make a chart based on taste, texture, color, smell, ect.

DAY 2: Language Arts
Read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World aloud with A2 reading occasional paragraphs
Family Math: Capacity and Volume pg. 91 continued

Book of Hello, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, France
Read Shel Silverstein
do Mad Libs.
What makes them funny? According to Pearls before Swine, Stephan Pasts, it is that comedy is based on incongruity. Hmmm, do you agree, what is funny to you?

DAT 3: Art
Read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World aloud, alternating pages
Measurement Matters: When a cup is not a cup, page 60

Contrasting, make art contrast art, Fish NamelyExplore and display textures of tree bark in a patterned arrangement of positive and negative space
Make an apple pie

DAY 4: Science
A2 read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World aloud to me
Measurement Matters: It’s a Party page 63

(ZBTT) Page 42, Food Preservation-making dried apples and Fruit Roll-ups
Salt comes from sea water, do the salt and evaporation experiment

DAY 5: Catch-up
A2 read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World silently