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

Katy and the Big Snow

Katy and the Big Snow
By Virginia Lee Burton
FIAR pages 104-108 Vol. I
Family Math Written by Jean Stenmark, Virginia Thompson and Ruth Cossey.

DAY 1: Social Studies
Read Katy and the Big Snow Aloud
Family Math: Cover Patterns pg. 206

Make own Future City Begin this early in the school year adding on with week.
Traffic signs to add to city

DAY 2: Language Arts
Read Katy and the Big Snow aloud with A2 reading occasional paragraphs
Family Math: Multiplication Designs pg. 217

Discuss goods and services. Walk our downtown district and make a list of goods and services provided.
Make a Our Town book (prior to lesson, collect magazines, articles, newspapers, brochres ect of places in our town to add to the book. Include photos from field trips, and walks we have done)
Play If you were Katy-Let’s Play a Game

DAT 3: Art
Read Katy and the Big Snow aloud, alternating pages
Family Math: Calculator Experiences pg. 233 and Calculators Paths pg 235

Interactive snowflakes
Cut snowflake animal patterns and of course free for all snowflakes.

Create a snow scene. Once the pictures are completed, allow children to give their own picture a wash of 3 tablespoons of Borax to one cup of water. As their pictures dry, crystals will form over their artwork. Look at these crystals with a microscope. (from SCORE)

Watch Beauty and the Beast. Pay attention to the inanimate objects that have human characteristics.

DAY 4: Science
A2 read Katy and the Big Snow aloud to me
Family Math: Aunt BeBe’s Costly Calculations Contest pg 240

Magic School Bus-Weather
Begin weather calendar with new season. Take a photo (or make drawing) of each type of weather to add to Science table)
Collect falling snowflakes on a piece of black felt that has been in the freezer. Look at them under a magnifying glass

Discuss directions
Make a compass
Use compass when going on a walk.

DAY 5: Catch-up
A2 read Katy and the Big Snow silently to self
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
By Virginia Lee Burton
FIAR pages 42-47, Vol. I

Family Math Written by Jean Stenmark, Virginia Thompson and Ruth Cossey.
Flash! Bang! Pop! Fizz! (FBPF) By Janet Parks Chahrour

DAY 1: Social Studies
Read Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel Aloud
Family Math: Simple Symmetries pg. 184

Visit the Museum of Transportation. Make a time line of the vehicles that we see there. Look specifically for those powered by steam. Take photos.

Steam powered robots of today versus from the past

DAY 2: Language Arts
Read Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel aloud with A2 reading occasional paragraphs
Family Math: Create a Puzzle pg. 187

Review of books that we like, create a timeline of when they were written. Compare dates to family tree.

DAT 3: Art
Read Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel aloud, alternating pages
Family Math: Guess and Group pg 36

Trees, go on the tree walk and identify different trees. Look at their height, bark, leaves ect. Take photos of the same tree from different angles (up the trunk, of a leaf up close, the entire tree from a distance ect)

Take photos of things moving to show movement and flow. (the wind blowing, a tree falling, a car passing, a brother running)
Compare photos to art that represent speed and motion.
Make a Blow art painting OR
Winter Moves video tape movement of an outdoor activity, paint a frame of the movement.
Using 3-D chalk, make drawing that represent movement.

DAY 4: Science
A2 read Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel aloud to me
Family Math: Pentasquare Activities pg. 188
(FBPF) Explosion pg. 12

Show steam power with pinwheel
Make a Steam powered pop-pop boat

DAY 5: Catch-up
A2 read Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel quietly to self
Play game Blotkus

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin
FIAR pages 63-70 Vol. I

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 Cranberry Thanksgiving Aloud
Family Math: How Long is a Name? pg. 148

Make a Grandparents survey. Plan to at Thanksgiving to learn one fun fact about each one. Take a photo of each grandparent to add to your family tree.

View a bog and learn how cranberries are harvested

DAY 2: Language Arts
Read Cranberry Thanksgiving aloud with A2 reading occasional paragraphs
Family Math: Rolling Records Step I pg. 156

Onomatopoeia in the comics.
Make your own cartoon using onomatopoeias, similes and understanding what layouts and elements of a good story online and in notebook

DAT 3: Art
Read Cranberry Thanksgiving aloud, alternating pages
Family Math: Rolling Records Step I I pg. 157

Have Grandma S. clam chowder and try a variety of cranberry products, dried, fresh, juice for a tasting party.

Make Great Grandma K cranberry bread (discus leavening and chemical reactions)

Make Lavender Soap

DAY 4: Science
A2 read Cranberry Thanksgiving aloud to me
Family Math Rolling Records Step III pg. 158

(ZBTT) Testing Foods for Fats and Starches pg. 64

Seasons table. Each season has a different color fabric draped over it (our table has light blue-summer, honey brown -fall, dark blue- winter, light green- spring)
Go on our fall trip to see the colored leaves. Take photos of each season to add to the table. Add a variety of objects that represent that season and items found during hikes, outdoor time ect, (leaves, rocks, twigs, acorns, pressed flowers, snake skin ect) continue for each season, throughout the year)

Breads around the world: Taste, label counties, describe the taste (try using similes, as they do in Iron Chef), use 5 senses to describe breads
Hawaiian bread from southern most bakery in US
French bread
Italian bread/or sourdough
Cranberry bread

Watch Magic School Bus, Gets Baked in a Cake.

DAY 5: Catch-up
A2 read Cranberry Thanksgiving quietly to self

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley

Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley
FIAR Pages, 76-81 Vol. I
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.
Zap! Blink! Taste! Think! (ZBTT) By Janet Parks Chahrour

DAY 1: Social Studies
Read Papa Piccolo Aloud
Family Math: Balloon Ride, pg. 30

Add Europe to the Continent Mobile
Read Fun facts about Europe
Located Italy on Globe
Make a gondola boat from paper, look at gondolas and the Canals of Venice
Make the Italian flag

DAY 2: Language Arts
Read Papa Piccolo aloud with A2 reading occasional paragraphs
Family Math: Coordinates I, pg 192

Book of Hello, add Italian

Have A2 read My Many Color Days by Dr. Seuss to Z2. Using this story as a background,
Discuss moods & feelings that we have. Make a list of them. Have A2 assign a color that he feels with each one.
Working together make a rhyme for each color/feeling.

Play charades, using cards from Papa Piccolo and My Many Colored Days

DAT 3: Art
Read Papa Piccolo aloud, alternating pages
Family Math: Coordinate Tic-Tac-Toe pg. 196

Take photos of things moving to show movement and flow. Compare photos to art that represent speed and motion.
Review What is color
Design a Color Wheel, using large white cardboard, draw a circle (trace around a plate). Divide the wheel into 6 equal sections with a ruler. With a black marker, outline the color wheel form.
Introduce primary colors, secondary colors. tertiary colors. Experiment with mixing amounts to understand warm and cool colors. (why would red by warm and blue be cool)
Question how we feel regarding colors.

Go for a walk after making the color wheel. Find colors in nature that matches those on the wheel. Take photos of those objects.
Make a photo color wheel.

Continue My Many Color Days: Write each rhyme on the paper, (in black) then paint his feeling onto that page. When Dried, Add drawings to go along with each rhyme.

DAY 4: Science
A2 read Papa Piccolo aloud to me
Family Math: Hurkle pg. 198

Field Trip to the Humane Society for class

(ZBTT) What you See is What You Get…or is it? Pg 22
(ZBTT) Depth Perception pg 28
Float, Sink, Flink

DAY 5: Catch-up
A2 read Papa Piccolo quietly to self

Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say FIAR

Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say
FIAR, pages 58-62 Vol. I
Family Math Written by Jean Stenmark, Virginia Thompson and Ruth Cossey.

DAY 1: Social Studies
Read Grandfather’s Journey Aloud
Family Math: 10 Card Arrangement, pg. 30

Find Japan on the Map.
Book of Hello in Japanese
Co-op Class: Candy Sushi with E.

Locate the pacific ocean,
Add North America to the continent mobile
Read fun facts about North America
Make the Japanese flag

Based on your Family Tree, name 4 generations of our family. Look at photos from those generations. What are they doing in those photos? Is that something you have in common?
Make cookies with MaMa

Where is our family from? (great grandpa K-Germany, cousin J. father-Philippines)
Look at the places we have lived as a family (visit house A2 was born at), as well as individually (mom and dad-Iowa) Where does extended family live now (NC, Wash. DC, CA, IL)
Look on the US map of all the places we have visited. What makes our home special compared to those places.

DAY 2: Language Arts
Read Grandfather’s Journey aloud with A2 reading occasional paragraphs
Family Math : Calendar Patterns pg. 175


DAT 3: Art
Read Grandfather’s Journey aloud, alternating pages
Family Math : Number Line Rectangles pg 115

Construct out of play dough or shaving cream the following landforms: hill, a mountain, a plateau, and a plain
Make boats and have a boat race
Visit Elephant Rock Park (read about elephant rock formations)

Make Origami

DAY 4: Science
A2 read Grandfather’s Journey aloud to me
Family Math : How Close can you Get? Pg 114

Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count
Set up a bird feeder
Visit the pet store to see various pet birds. Compare those to birds that live in the wild

Begin to learn about how animals are classified, do Classifying Critters

Make Dust Collectors to understand what is in our air. What makes our air polluted?
Understanding air quality

DAY 5: Catch-up
A2 read Grandfather’s Journey quietly to self

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pokemon Worlds 2008

Well all the boys are off to World's except for Z2 and I. So I thought I would post a little reminder for myself from last year when we all in Hawaii.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Story about Ping

The Story About Ping

DAY 1: Social Studies
Read Ping aloud
Family Math: Animal Crossing, pg. 26 (tie into story by using ducks & landscapes of China)

Begin map studies. Read Me on the Map by Joan Sweeny.
What makes a continent?
Find the seven continents on the map, what do they have in common? Which are together, which surrounded by water.
Read Facts About Asia, Read about China on the Our World book.
Begin ongoing mobile of continents. Asia
Find China on World Map.
Watch opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Make a Flag of China

DAY 2: Language Arts
Read Ping aloud with A2 reading occasional paragraphs
Family Math: Venn Diagram, pg 59. Final diagram must be between a duck and other winged animal.

Begin Book of Hello. Each county we visit we will learn to say hello.
Write your name in Chinese.
Make a basic family tree
Begin Animal alphabet book. Read facts about ducks in Scholastic Animal Encyclopedia for facts. (will use facts in book and in Venn diagrams)
Based on book Me on the Map, make a map of your room or the house.
Write you complete address (galaxy, solar system, planet, continent, country, state, city, street

DAY 3: Art
Read Ping Aloud, alternating pages
Family Math: Perfect People, pg. 8, Feet First pg 7 in Measurement Mania (trace Z1 [size 15] and Dad’s feet day before)

Make a Chinese paper lantern
Make Lettuce Wraps for lunch, add store bought fried rice and orange chicken, use chopsticks (or go to Chinese restaurant for dinner)
Take a trip to the Art Museum to look at Chinese art. Visit pond to feed ducks & koi. Look at reflections and begin discussion.

DAY 4: Science
A2 read Ping aloud to me
Family Math: Tanagrams, pg. 40

How long is a mile? Drive a path in the neighborhood, make a map of our path. Walk the path based on the map. This is one mile. The Yangtze River is how long? Continue with measurement math word problems and equations.

Using book Flash, Bang, Pop, Fizz by Janet Parks Chahrour

For light reflection, “Bubble Extravaganza” pg. 97
For bouncy, “My Friend Eggbert” pg. 27

DAY 5: A2 read Ping quietly to self
Weekly Code Breaker
Make Story about Ping game