These are photos from our classroom last week plus today (when we finally finished the Rube Goldberg machine):
Also, I wanted to put a few notes at the end of this post about the things we did which are not pictured above.
This includes Skill Cards (Ignoring Distractions, Making Corrections, Setting a Goal), a recent newspaper article about how clay full-size models are still used in car design, Bridge to Terabithia lit circle (spelling quiz, plot triangle graphic organizer, a group table read of chapter 9 with each student reading a different character's dialogue while I read the narration), introducing Word Study record sheets (there are 240 total boxes of Word Study work), fun creative writing prompts (including "Design a menu for a restaurant you would never eat at... be sure to include all your least-favorite foods!"), reading a biography of Anna Botsford Comstock and my unveiling of a brand-new copy of her Handbook of Nature Study, my handing out of new bird logs especially designed for kids and reading Feathers for Lunch to help inspire bird watching at our window bird feeder, and reading The Giant Ball of String both for fun and to help inspire our Rube Goldberg design!
Here's the upshot of our final design. First, we learned that it works best to start with how you want your design to end, and then work backwards. Brainstorming the whole thing and gathering supplies for the whole thing was super-overwhelming and didn't end up being that useful in the long run. It is best to go one step at a time. To work the machine, you roll a rainbow colored wooden ball down the marble maze ramp (this is set up on top of my loveseat, which is standing up on its end to give us enough height). At the end of the ramp the rainbow ball collides with a red wooden ball which was sitting there and they both roll down the PVC pipe, gaining speed. (The pipe is at an angle and runs from the top of my loveseat to the dining room table.) When the balls roll out of the pipe they collide with a small wooden car which zooms across the dining room table and goes off the edge, landing on a sofa cushion. In the process of falling off the end of the table, it knocks a wooden box out of the way. This wooden box has been barricading the cable car from heading down its cable but with the box now down on the floor, the cable car can head down its path, from the dining room chair to the base of the stepstool in the kitchen. It glides down the cable and gently comes to a rest on the kitchen floor, delivering a carrot to the rabbit. Yum!
The two recipes from last week (finishing up our Virtue of the Week: Cleanliness) were delicious! They were apple and almond butter "Power Towers" from The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids and the "Cinnamon Waffles" from Honest Pretzels (and this entailed a lesson on separating eggs, beating the egg whites, and folding them back into the batter gently).
Our Philosophy books last week for Compassion included The Three Questions and The Brave Little Parrot. Other Montessori lessons which were given also included my new Flags of the World work, Word Study (alphabetical order), and the nomenclature for Landforms & Water Features. Becca started a new chapter book which she loves, which is called Finish This Book and which requires the child to write in it and to solve puzzles. Last, but not least, the kids got to enjoy Track & Field and Swimming at the Farm!
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