Saturday, September 3, 2016

Ancient Egypt, Ancient Babylon & Thales of Miletus

Our second week of the homeschool co-op is all wrapped up! Here is what has been going on:

Thank you to one of our families for the donation of our newest educational and cooperative game, Wildcraft! This game is AWESOME and ties in so well with our weekly herbal medicine lesson at the Farm. (As a mom, I also appreciated that the makers, learning, put the instructions online as a PDF so you can print them out if you lose yours.) The game is very well designed and we've already learned a lot about medicinal plants. I also introduced the vocabulary and rhyming game Rhyme Out!

Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game - green

Rhyme Out! - yellow

Yoga continues, meditative coloring of mandalas, working with modeling beeswax

Of course, we have enjoyed theatre games, outdoor play, and Wednesday at the Farm

"The Duck" by Ogden Nash as our poem of the week in circle time, plus a lesson on patterns and using the alphabet to identify rhyme scheme

Continuing to work with math facts with chanting, beanbag tossing, and stomping out skip counting patterns on the floor (here are some examples)

    I am proper, neat and prim
    My walk is straight, my clothes are trim.
    So I count my steps and you will see
    That every one's the same for me.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

    My step is STRONG
    I'll not go WRONG
    With all my MIGHT
    I'll guard what's RIGHT.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

    Like a mouse I GO
    Fearfully on tip-TOE.
    Looking to the LEFT.
    Looking to the RIGHT.
    Watching to and FRO
    Danger's not in SIGHT.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, etc.

Eric Fairman's A Path of Discovery Volume One

Our "time travel back to the Miocene" read-aloud story continues, along with daily creative writing time. Many students have chosen new chapter books to read. In ASL we are learning the colors and the numbers 1 through 10.

Form Drawing / Modeling

    form drawing of the circle, form modeling of the sphere, introduction of Wax-O-Glass window crayons

    our story was Barbara Berger's lovely tale Grandfather Twilight

The Quality of Numbers

    we did one, two, three, and heard the story for four last week

    this week we recalled and added the story for four to our main lesson books, and did five, six, seven, and eight

    one - the sun - Red Berry Wool (also an introduction to finger knitting)

    two - Snow-White and Rose-Red from the Brothers Grimm

    three - The Three Billy Goats Gruff

    four - The Four Skilful Brothers from the Brothers Grimm
    Monday, add four to MLB (this involves learning and writing the Roman numeral and illustrating and summarizing the story), illustration of compass rose with the four directions, practice using a compass, reading maps, use gemstones to make four and discover that it is a square number, hear story for five

    five - we did The Nightingale from Hans Christian Anderson but if I were doing this again I would do a butterfly, since the antenna of a butterfly makes the V of roman numeral five, maybe butterfly poetry or

    The Magic Butterfly and Other Fairy Tales of Central Europe

    Tuesday, add five to MLB, draw five butterflies with V antenna, hear story for six

    six - The Six Swans from the Brothers Grimm
    Thursday, add six to MLB, draw swans using block beeswax crayons, notice that the shape of the swan is the letter S, hear story for seven

    seven - The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids from the Brothers Grimm
    I did a lovely chalkboard drawing for this story based on this one from the Waldorf-Ideen-Pool
    Friday, add seven to MLB, see pattern in Roman numerals for four, five, six, seven

    eight - I have a fabulous book of poetry about spiders from around the world and so we read that for eight on Friday.

    Spiders Spin Webs
    by Yvonne Winer

    We will sleep on it and recall this on Monday. This rhythm of sleeping, letting things go deeper, forgetting, and remembering helps content to sink in more effectively. It seems excessively simple when you're looking at Roman numerals but it lays the foundation for using this method with more complicated and advanced content later on.

The Story of Geometry

    We began in Ancient Egypt with "The Rope Stretchers," recalling the story from last week on Friday, and tried our hands at making a rope with knots spaced an equal length apart. This is more difficult than it sounds! I hit upon the idea of using pompom yarn and so we cut lengths of yarn and were able to practice making the 3 - 4 - 5 triangle that the Egyptian surveyors used to create a perfect right angle every time.

    Next we built an Ancient Egyptian level!

    We were SOOOO PROUD!

    (I'm going to make a separate post about this in order to do it justice.)

    Moving on to Ancient Babylonia in our text, String, Straight-Edge, and Shadow: The Story of Geometry by Julia Diggins, we learned about "The Stargazers." We used compasses and protractors to make geometrical drawings, calculated how many times the numbers 1 through 20 divide into 360 and realized why this number was decided as the number of degrees in a circle, saw the relationship between each of those divisions and the geometric shapes triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, and dodecagon

    I have Compass Drawings: Construction designs using a compass and a ruler which was designed by a Montessori teacher in conjunction with a traditional classroom educator, and will make it available to students as a choice for follow up and independent work time.

    If you're looking to provide more practice at home, and tie-ins between Art and Math (by the way, the mandalas we did at the beginning of the week in Yoga and the patterns discussion in Poetry were also wonderful connections), I suggest The Native American Geometry Workbook Series, which is available on Teachers Pay Teachers

    Moving on to Thales of Miletus, we covered several famous stories: the olive presses, the donkey and the salt mine, and "How High is That Pyramid?" We did some work with tracing our shadows throughout the day and will continue this next week. Next week we will also add Thales to our MLBs, and cover Pythagoras, the Pythagorean Theorem, the discovery of irrational numbers, the Golden Mean, and famous mathematicians such as Archimedes and Eratosthenes. Then this math main lesson will be done and it's on to a Cultural block!

Wonderful mathematical biographies to read to your child:

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