Friday, January 13, 2017

Ice Storm Musings

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

Zac's new word is "ice" and if you live in Southern Illinois you know why! We had a big ice storm today. I do LOVE homeschooling with the co-op, though, because I can just shoot an email to the other child's family and let them know what we are doing. Then on Monday, he shows up with his summary and artwork for his MLB and we are on to the next story. NO WASTED TIME, unlike being a classroom teacher. Luckily, our book of Old Testament Stories is available online for free, so it's easy to share the link via email.

Zac was happy because his teenage older sisters had the day at home, and they enjoyed playing with him (including the Incredible Edible Sludge and the bathtime that followed) and reading his two new board books:

These books came in a big box along with my new purchases for our upcoming Geology/Astronomy block: the Solar System Card Deck plus...

Here's what we've been working on this week, plus some helpful links I just learned about!

Poem: Our poem is "Goblin Gold" by Molly de Havas, from The Waldorf Book of Poetry. This poem is full of alliteration and it is proving hard to memorize, so my two middle schoolers are alternating lines and reciting it as a team.

Math Facts: We are working on the multiplication tables which are still tricky for Rebecca. This week it was x 7. We have also raised the bar a bit by doing our mental math facts using both positive and negative numbers.

    3 x (-9) = ?

    81 = (-9) x ?


Math Homework: I have a sixth grader and a seventh grader, so they don't get the same homework. Here are the things I picked for them. The last two were added today as Integer practice at home on the unexpected Ice Day.

Morning Pages: We did "found poetry" within pages of the newspaper, and began visual journaling with prompts from Journal Fodder 365: Daily Doses of Inspiration for the Art Addict

Educational Games: We have had plenty this week, between the cold, the rain, and the downright nastiness. Indoor recess is a nice cozy time.

Independent Reading Time:

Hands: making Banana Nut Muffins, Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies, and Carrot Pineapple Muffins. AND Incredible Edible Sludge for sensory play!

And Farm Day, obviously! The kids are thrilled to be designing and building their own personal cold frames. Just one of the many cool things they do.

Heart: mirrored forms in Form Drawing, initial black & white exercise in charcoal (for which we used black chalk pastel), and Philosophy! Our new Philosophy topic is "Freedom" so we had our introductory discussion and then moved on to the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. My daughters Natalie and Becca loved writing partner poems using magical realism, and I can't wait to hear on Monday about what other families came up with at home. Here are some partner poems my students wrote the last time I taught this topic.

Below is the lesson plan, an excerpt from the awesome book Little Big Minds: Sharing Philosophy with Kids by the lovely Marietta McCarty.

I know that some Waldorf families worry about Philosophy but I think it's a perfect subject for Heart. Philosophy is NOT too academic. I assure you that it is creative and playful like this example, and truly respectful of kids and how their minds work the whole way through the book! Marietta writes:

"Read, ponder, and laugh with Pablo Neruda's seemingly made-for-child-philosophers Book of Questions. In a style uniquely his own, this Chilean poet opens wide the philosophical wonderland of thrilling questions that defy answers. When I share Neruda with kids, they tell me that their mind actually feels free. Assurance that their minds are free regardless of other limitations on their young lives is big encouragement for children to continue in the uninhibited spirit of inquiry. Have a free-for-all with the kids in the release from the structure of linear thinking that pursues definite answers. Let them romp in the unfettered world of ideas with Neruda in his untitled poems that consist of questions. Wink at smiling rice, picture the shape of yellow, and guess what trees learn from the dirt. Think hard with the kids whether the convict's light is the same as yours, and ask them to write poems about the ways the light is the same or different or both for the prisoner and the free person. 'Why doesn't Thursday talk itself / into coming after Friday?' is Neruda's invitation to the kids to play Ping-Pong poetry with him and match his questions with ones of their own, back and forth. Then, with a partner, continue the game as each child writes a two-line question/poem and passes it to a friend."

Head: We are in Old Testament Stories II. This week we covered "Cain and Abel" all the way through to "Noah and the Ark" using Jakob Streit's book And There Was Light. You can find this entire book online for free as a downloadable PDF from the Online Waldorf Library here.

Speaking of free downloads, I want to share the newest thing I've found. I already knew about the Waldorf Clearing House Newsletter Archive (all past issues downloadable for free) but just recently discovered the Waldorf Science Newsletter! This not a complete list of all the issues, but it will serve to show you how rich the variety of topics is. I recommend checking it out!

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 18, #28, Autumn 2012

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    Books of Interest
    The Hidden Geometry of Flowers: Living Rhythms, Forms and Numbers
    Adolescents: Their Relationship to the Night and the Senses in Connection with Their Own Development
    Masters of Physics, Imagination and Play
    Teen Brains' Growing Pains - Striking Changes are Possible in IQ and Neuroanatomy, Study Finds
    The Mind's Eye Revealed: New Technology Uses Brain Scans to See What a Person is Watching
    The Perplexing Pattern of the Painted Turtle
    Learning Languages
    Fifth Grade Projects
    A Path into the "Black Box": Making a 4-Bit Adder Using Electromagnetic Relay Switches in Class 10
    Alternative Approach to Making a Four-bit Binary Adder
    Information Technology Curriculum at Mt. Barker Waldorf School

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 17 #27, Spring 2011

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    New Books for Teachers
    Points to Consider in Teaching Science
    A Brief Overview of the Waldorf High School Mathematics Curriculum
    Some Fun Facts of Physiology
    The Imaginary in Geometry
    NASA Program puts Aspiring Engineer, Waldorf Graduate,to work on Mars Rover
    Sea Turtles have Magnetic Sense for Longitude
    Hydromonochord - Visualizing String Vibration by Water Swirls
    Return of the Sun After the Darkest Days
    Experiment: A Mini Robot
    Experiment: Making Soap
    Building an Electric Motor

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 16, #26, Spring 2010

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    Going Through, Taking In, Considering by Manfred von Mackensen
    The Geometry of Life by Arthur Zajonc
    Phenomenology: Husserl's Philosophy and Goethe's Approach to Science by Michael Holdrege
    First Approach to Mineralogy by Frederick Hiebel
    Growing Salt Crystals by David Mitchell
    The Beauty of Slime Molds by David Mitchell
    Mutualism Between Elk and Magpies by Jeff Mitton
    Symbiotic Relationships
    An Interview with Daniel Pink
    Why Waldorf? by Tracy Stevens

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 15, #25, Spring 2009

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    *Doing Phenomenology in Science Education
    The Western Screech Owl
    Turtles use Earth’s Magnetic Field
    The Largest Bug in the World
    Tree Talk; the Phenomenon of Colored Shadows
    Photos from Hubble
    A Progression through the Mechanics Curriculum of 7th Grade Physics
    *Note: The first article on phenomenology is restricted by copyright laws— the journal from which we purchased the rights does not allow it to be transmitted electronically, however, it is available from AWSNA Publications in its entirety.

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 14, #24, Spring 2008

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    Seventh Grade Fresco Project
    A Pinhole Camera Project for the Seventh Grade
    Other Projects for Elementary Physics Classes
    The Aurora Borealis
    Phenomenological Science Equipment
    The Karma of Calculus—Involving Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz
    Award Winning Photos of Nature and Animals

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 13, #23, Spring 2007

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    Books of Interest
    Advice on Teaching 8th Grade Meteorology
    An Explanation of the Phenomenological Approach for Parents of Middle School Children
    Astronomy (Hubble Space Telescope Photographs)
    Environment, Morphology, and Physical Principles for Waldorf High School Teachers and Students (part 2)
    Sensible Science Workshop
    How Parachute Spiders Invade a New Territory
    Pluto Is No Longer a Planet
    Computer Curricula in U.S. Waldorf Schools
    Experiments:8th Grade Optics Demonstration or Puzzler; Making Nylon in the Laboratory

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 12, #22, Spring 2006

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    A compilation of articles for Waldorf teachers
    Preserving a Snowflake
    Environment, Morphology, and Physical Principles for Waldorf High School Teachers and Students (Part 1 of 2)
    Homemade Audio Speaker for Grade 8
    Mathematics and Natural Science, A Reflection from the Viewpoint of Pedagogy and the History of Ideas
    Animal Sight
    Kepler's Model of the Universe
    Teaching Sensible Science
    An Optics Demonstration for Grade Seven Chemistry Challenge for Grade Eight
    On Being an Insect
    Surveys and Mapping - An Attempt to Integrate New and Emerging Technology into Class 10 Curriculum

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 11, #20, Spring 2005

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    How does Sense-Nerve System Activity relate to Conscious Experience? by S.M. Elsas M.D.
    Acoustics in 6th Grade
    Fun Facts of Physiology
    About Formative Forces in Vertebrates and Human Beings by Dick van Romunde
    Global Perspective
    Point to Consider in Science Teaching
    Deconstructing Black Box Aspects of a Computerized Physics Lab by William P. O'Brien Jr

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 10, #20, Spring 2004

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    Books of Note
    A Number Story for the Six Table
    Novel Entries for a Trig Table
    An Introduction to the Sine and Tangent
    Toss Out the Toss-up: Bias in Heads or Tails
    Song of the Rain, a poem
    Refrigeration in Physics, Heat Studies
    The Poetry of Astronomy
    The Xtant Project - Build Your own Sextant
    Highlights from Recent Science Teaching Periodicals
    Websites of Interest

Waldorf Science Newsletter, Volume 10, #19, Fall 2003

    Click here for all articles in one pdf file

    Books of Note
    The Beaver
    Nature in the Human Being by Walter Liebendorfer
    Astronomy for the Middle School by John Trevillion
    Child Development and the Teaching of Science by David Mitchell
    Bibliography for Middle School
    What is Phenomenology? by Michael D'Aleo
    The Design of Human and Animal bodies by Peter De Boer
    The Brain and Finger Dexterity by Hella Kraus-Zimmer
    Observations of a Neurophysiologist by Matti Bergstrom

A little light reading for when you get snowed in? :-)

One more thing I wanted to share:

I had never heard of the historical fiction books by George Alfred Henty, but they were mentioned in a thread at the Waldorf Home Educators Yahoo Group run by Marsha Johnson. I was so excited to find a whole new bunch of historical fiction! The chart in her blog post lists 99 books in chronological order from Ancient Egypt to the Boxer Rebellion. Check it out!

One final tiny family note. We had Fun Friday Dinner again since the girls are finally home from their Christmas vacation at their dad's house. Since it was Friday the 13th, the costume contest theme was "Unlucky." I was Eve (yep, panties and an apple) and I was sure I would win. I thought it was so creative!!! I lost. Oh, well.... it was fun and that's what matters! And I've learned the hard way that teenage girls tend to vote for themselves. :-)

1 comment:

Renee said...

We did a Family Movie Night instead of playing a board game after dinner since we had already played Labyrinth several times today. I picked The Truman Show. Only partway through did I realize it added an interesting twist to the Philosophy topic "Freedom." I wonder if Becca will bring it up in our next Philosophy discussion?