Natalie and I began String, Straightedge, and Shadow: The Story of Geometrytoday. Yes, she's in eighth grade but I'm treating this as a basic introduction and then we can continue to follow up and hit our 8th grade content in the afternoons throughout the year. When I asked her to do a K-W-L chart listing what she already knew about Geometry, her response was "it's something to do with math and shapes." I know for a fact that she has had a lot of exposure to Geometry but it hasn't stuck. My guess is it's because it wasn't framed within a narrative. Julia Diggins does just that.
We did the Prologue and chapters 1-4. She was zoned out completely mid-way. I asked her after chapter 2 to put what she Learned in the third column of her K-W-L chart and she looked at me blankly. Duh, Renee. She's not getting up and moving around, nor is she doing any hands-on application. You would think after all these years of teaching I would know better.... But, oh well. Problem easily solved. We went back. It's a great book. It wasn't the fault of the book, just operator error. We headed out to the garden with a bowl and a pair of clippers. What did we find? Okra flowers - 5 petals. Okra pods - also a pentagon. Roses - 5 OR 6 sepals in the calyx. Interesting find! Day Lily - six petals in the corolla. Peony seed pods - 4 sections.
(photo by Lisa Gordon)
We also found that the new pair of coleus leaves grows at right angles to the pair before it. And we found wonderful examples of symmetry in compound leaves. She created a beautiful display on our Nature table. And her sketches of these things will be her first Main Lesson Book illustration.
"I wonder if there's a pattern in how kiwi seeds are?" "We can cut one open."
Our first tomato of the year. Do they all have the same number of sepals?
Right now, Leah is adding tree branches to our family tapestry of the magnolia tree in the back yard, under which Adam and I got married, and Natalie is embroidering a shrub, and Zac is in the baby swing watching them and cooing.
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I'm making my quick notes of what we did today. Leah, doing Measurement, had a blast with elapsed time.
First she measured how many times she could do the following in one minute: say the whole alphabet out loud (10 times), touch her toes (58 times), stack and unstack four juice cups (6 times), say Mary Had a Little Lamb (54 times), and pick up a marble with a teaspoon and move it from one bowl to the next (18 times).
Then she measured how long she could do the following things before she had to take a break: hold her breath (27 seconds), whistle (1 minutes 8 seconds), and walk around with a pencil balanced horizontally on her finger (2 minutes 52 seconds).
Then she used the stopwatch to see how long it took an ice cube to melt. She put it in a bowl and walked all around the yard. 26 minutes 7 seconds.
And she emptied a 2.5 mL eyedropper into a bowl one drop at a time. 14 seconds.
Finally, she estimated how long it would take her to do the following activities, and then checked her estimate: brush teeth, fasten shoes, walk from her bedroom to the living room, walk all the way around the outside of our house, brush her hair, and sharpen a pencil.
Leah was sick today so she spent most of her time reading. She finished our last (unfinished) read aloud story The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventuresand started the book which is inspiring one of our major measuring projects: weighing all of our trash for 2 weeks.
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She is using a digital kitchen scale to weigh all of our trash. She took the trash can out of the kitchen and moved it to the garage, then put three signs up that say "Stop! Did you have your trash weighed?" One is where the kitchen trash can used to be, one is on the door of the garage, and one is on the lid of the trash can in the garage.
Today's trash tally: 18 grams + 6 grams + 49 grams + 112 grams
She notes that the 112 grams was the bones from the pork steaks. The rest was packaging of all sorts.
Now it is a quiet evening.
The girls are so content, chatting away, and every once in a while practicing reciting their poem of the week. I choose a new poem each week and we light the candle and practice reciting it first thing. This week is Ogden Nash's "The Hippopotamus."