I am so incredibly excited! Things are going swimmingly here (no pun intended). The vast majority of our tadpoles have all four legs but are still using their gills, so we just floated a log in the aquarium -- it's a big aquarium -- and the first little frog climbed up on it today to enjoy the feeling of fresh air in his lungs. We now need to supply him with little insects to eat, so Becca is happily catching ants in the kitchen (we've had a lot of flooding here in Southern Illinois) and putting them on the log for him to eat.
FREE Tadpole Observation Journal
love the pages; we made our own front covers
We collected our first round of tadpoles on the Saturday before Easter... so that's 20 days.
Why Frogs are Wet
a great book, which I have sitting on the table by the terrarium
We have a sturdy stick nest in the nest box and I can hear the birds happily singing but I haven't caught sight of them yet, and no eggs that I can see. We closed the curtain and fastened it shut with a few clothespins so that the kids wouldn't accidentally brush it and startle the birds. I am very excited to peek and see what happens next!
Because of all of the rain and severe flooding in our county, I didn't go to the Linden Waldorf School in Nashville TN for the teacher training workshop last weekend, ""Waldorf Approaches for Teaching Social Studies: Context, Diversity, Joy." I'm really disappointed but I didn't want to take the chance of even more road closures and not being able to get back to my family. The Mississippi River is still rising. They're expecting it to crest tomorrow.
The school year is winding down, wrapping up, and coming to a close. Natalie has a piece of art in an art show which closes today. Leah went up to Springfield yesterday to compete in the State History Fair and got a "Superior" but won't be moving on to Nationals. However, her friend is! Her friend's team dramatic performance was chosen as one of only two entries to go on and represent Illinois in Nationals this year, and Leah is very proud and excited.
In the homeschool co-op, we are doing two Science blocks to wrap up the year. I'm teaching both grade 5 Botany and grade 8 Organic Chemistry: Food and Nutrition. The two began together this week and shared topics like Honey Bees, The Plant Kingdom, and Photosynthesis... but will split apart and go their separate ways next week and the one after that. Our last day is May 19th.
My main text for Botany is Keepers of Life: Discovering Plants through Native American Stories and Earth Activities for Children and it follows nicely from our U.S. Geography block. My main text for Organic Chemistry is Eric Fairman's work. You can use his grade 8 book or buy this as a solo block.
This week we had two homework assignments that I wanted to pass along.
- I especially liked that this one included a graphing component:
"The Buzz on the Bees" article, comprehension questions, and graphing activity about Colony Collapse Disorder
This one requires a special trip to the grocery store (actually, we did it in two trips). I liked that it really got my daughter thinking:
Food Label Reading Lesson: Is This Product Healthy?
we only did the "Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt" pp.18-19
I've also been spending some time setting up a "store" on our kitchen table, with packaging from a whole bunch of different foods. Some of them are ours and some are donated. This is extremely easy to do -- just save it instead of recycling it -- and will give us lots of examples of different nutrition labels to look at as we get deeper into the topic of Food and Nutrition. It's actually pretty fun! I do recommend that you, the teacher, bring in most of your own foods from home and then just let students supplement by bringing in some food packaging if they want to. Otherwise, it will feel like a "gotcha" moment where the class judges what the kids are buying and eating, and you don't want that. That is not the point of the MLB. You just want to practice reading the labels and be aware of what's in your food.
Zac has his first-ever ear infection, so I've been spending a lot of time this week trying to help him be more comfortable. Tuesday evening he had a fever of 103.1 (Kids Fevers: When to Worry, When to Relax) and I took him to urgent care. I did decide to do the antibiotic (also his first-ever) but we are also doing elderberry syrup twice a day, plenty of yogurt, and other foods that are supposed to help the immune system recover after antibiotics (chicken breast, hard cooked eggs, tuna fish, brown rice, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies). If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them!
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