Saturday, January 28, 2017

Finishing Up Old Testament Stories II

We are heading into two green MLB's... Yep, it's time for our second set of Science topics for the year. These will be Geology and Astronomy. And yes, Charles Kovacs did write a book which covers both of these two blocks:

I will only be using portions of this book, however, because I have some diagreements with it. The links above are to my webpages for both topics and, as always, I will start working on posting my notes as I organize myself and teach. But first I want to share last week and the start of this, and the beautiful wrap-up to our highly satisfying Old Testament Stories II.

a limerick by Michael Palin from Another Second Poetry Book

"Migration" from Creatures of Earth, Sea, and Sky by Georgia Heard

Math Practice
Montessori materials: Checker Board for static and dynamic long multiplication with one-digit, two-digit, and three-digit multipliers; Small Bead Frame for dynamic addition; Yellow Triangles for Area for the formula for calculating the area of a rectangle, parallelogram, and all three triangles

Mental Math (skip counting by 7s to 175)

Mrs. C's Arts Garden

Finding the Area of Trapezoids Task Cards

Operations with Fractions

Goldfish Haven

Division of the Day for Upper Grades

Using Multiples to Introduce Percents

Pythagorean Theorem Converse

Morning Pages (free choice creative writing time)
We do a variety of prompts, some serious and some silly. One favorite was, "Pretend you are any inanimate object or animal and you have just been inaugurated President of the United States. Write your inaugural speech."

Article of the Day
This is something new we are doing each day, based on the idea of teaching students to actively engage with nonfiction text (in preparation for writing all over their college textbooks). Here are some free graphic organizers for Article of the Week and a few high interest non-fiction text sets (PDF) if you want to introduce this idea. Since we get the daily newspaper, each child is reading, marking up, and sharing notes about an article every day.

And THANK YOU to two different people who have given us piles of National Geographic magazines! Those are also a great source of articles which interest students.

Farm Day at Dayempur Farm

Educational Games
I've been letting people choose between indoor and outdoor recess, depending on the weather. Here are some current favorites:

Raisin Loaves
Fresh Vegetable Soup

Structured Word Inquiry

Science Activities
doing a "walking water" experiment (which failed twice)

growing a sweet potato vine:
1 glass of water + 1 sweet potato + 3 toothpicks

Current / Community Events
watching the presidential inauguration live (thank you, Twitter)
marching in the Women's March in Carbondale IL
attending the Science Lecture: "Global Stakes of Fresh Water"
looking up the 2017 Newbery and Caldecott winners and honors

Charcoal Drawing (second exercise)

Old Testament II
completing our Ark

making pairs of animal figures (needle felting, modeling beeswax)

doing a table reading of the play "Noah and the Flood"

drawing thrones upon thrones for King Nimrod

making the Tower of Babel out of clay

researching "cat" in 32 languages and "brick" in 40 languages for the Confusion of Tongues

splatter painting white paint on navy blue construction paper to make a million stars in the sky above Abraham

making What the Ancient Israelites Ate - Jacob's Lentil Stew recipe
(I used quick barley and this cooked up easily and was delicious!)

watching the first half (about 50 minutes) of The Story of Jacob and Joseph

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 Newbery and Caldecott Medal Winners

Hot off the presses, just announced this morning!!!

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:

    “The Girl Who Drank the Moon,” written by Kelly Barnhill, is the 2017 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing.

    Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: “Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan,” written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division; “The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog,” written by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly and published by Dutton Children's Books, Penguin Young Readers Group, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; and “Wolf Hollow,” written by Lauren Wolk and published by Dutton Children's Books, Penguin Young Readers Group, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

    “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat,” illustrated by Javaka Steptoe is the 2017 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Javaka Steptoe and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

    Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Leave Me Alone!” illustrated and written by Vera Brosgol and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership; “Freedom in Congo Square,” illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Little Bee Books, an imprint of Bonnier Publishing Group; "Du Iz Tak?" illustrated and written by Carson Ellis, and published by Candlewick Press; and "They All Saw a Cat," illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel and published by Chronicle Books LLC.

and one more favorite of mine, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. At my last school we would make a HUGE deal over the Newbery and Caldecott winner and I would buy all the winners and all the honors so that big boxes of books would come to the classroom. And then one day I realized that the children who were beginning readers felt like they were being completely left out of the fun. They could look at the new books but they really couldn't read them. And the only books on their bookshelves were the same old books, day in and day out. So we began to purchase these as well:

    “We Are Growing: A Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book,” written by Laurie Keller. The book is published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

    Four Geisel Honor Books were named: “Good Night Owl,” written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli and published by Disney Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group; “Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caper,” written and illustrated by Mike Twohy and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; “Go Otto Go!” written and illustrated by David Milgrim and published by Simon Spotlight, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division; and “The Infamous Ratsos,” written by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Matt Myers and published by Candlewick Press.

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Noah's Ark Out of Cardboard Step-by-Step

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

New recipes on the horizon:

Obviously, the lentil stew is for our final story of our Old Testament II Block! I am choosing this as our stopping point because I always get Jacob and Joseph messed up and I think it's easier to have some time pass before the next chunk of stories. Obviously, not everyone will stop here. :-)

We worked HARD to make a Noah's Ark out of corrugated cardboard and I wanted to share all of the pictures of this awesome project here! We used Noah's Ark in Paper and Card by Charlotte Gerlings for the Ark template. It's printed in graph paper on a 1/4 inch = 1 inch scale. Happily, we have a huge (36 inch long) pad of one inch graph paper, so we copied the patterns square by square, cut them out, lay them on large pieces of corrugated cardboard (thank you, Weber grill people), cut them out with a box cutter, and proceeded to assemble. We used a stapler to staple the sides together. The decks were wedged in and stayed in place on their own. The roof was made of a white box and so we could paint it to look like tiles. The house was covered in 12 x 12 sheets of cork from the craft store. The Ark was covered in 12 x 12 sheets of scrapbook paper in a "weathered barn siding" print and looked like it was filled with hay from "hay stack" print paper covering the lower deck. We painted the waves blue and painted the door on the house brown. I covered a coffee table and an end table with a long beautiful mottled silk that could look like grass or waves depending on what you wanted (thank you, BeneathTheRowanTree) and we made a parade of animals two-by-two. Modeling beeswax snakes, wool sheep, etc. Then we hung up a long rainbow silk over the Ark. We placed the tables in front of the "stained glass window" from our Middle Ages block and at first I thought I would have to take the stained glass window display down, but actually now it looks like the Saint in the design is God looking down on the wickedness below and ordering the flood. A Happy Homeschooling Co-Incidence!!!

Becca's latest addition: the snails

and you can see Zac was thoughtfully feeding some dried pinto beans
to the beeswax snakes -- he loves the Ark and the animals!

So there you have it!

This weekend we have about a million things going on... a trip to the accountant (not much fun)... a baby shower (a lot more fun)... the Women's March here in town... a Science lecture on the global importance of fresh water (this will serve as the bridge into our Geology Main Lesson)... teaching a Creativity Workshop... my horseback riding lesson... a women's support group I'm going to for the first time...

Whew! Somewhere in all of this I'm going to find time for my new hobby, reading Momma Skyla's entire blog in reverse chronological order. I have never in my life read someone's entire blog but I just love this woman! She's an eclectic homeschooler so some things are Waldorf and some are not, but she has some cool ideas I've never heard of before (like showing a distractible child how to use a little bell as an auditory cue, helping him/her learn to self-regulate) and I'm having fun pinning things to Pinterest.

And I have to say. Something about watching someone's kids get younger and younger, instead of older and older, makes you realize just how fast they change. It's a pretty profound journey, and it is making me very sentimental. And the way she writes about her family and her kids, and how much she just flat out adores them, has helped me to take more time to step back and look at my four little and not-so-little ones in a really appreciative way. I am loving reading this blog. And so that's my fun this weekend!