Sunday, February 12, 2017

Galaxy Dough

This week has been unusual. We were staying with a neighbor for three days because of an unexpected gas leak at our house, so the homeschool co-op lost a bit of ground. I lost a bit of ground myself as well, since I got pretty sick! Zac had a great time though and now he can say "Lyle" (they had a dog) and "outside" and "all done" and "door" and so apparently he found it very invigorating to be in a new setting.

Happily, since we spend Wednesdays off-campus (so to speak), we still had Farm Day and then we were back at home Thursday and Friday.

Today I had a fun Creativity Workshop. We read my favorite Valentine's Day book of course (Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli). It was a birthday today for one of my students so we made a gluten-free dairy-free treat (Almond Gelatin with Mandarin Oranges made with soy milk) and we rolled a rainbow of nine birthday candles for her. Her sister and Becca squirreled themselves away in Becca's bedroom where they carefully crafted an entire shoexbox diorama world complete with painted toilet paper tube trees, a paper towel tube river, a real leaf-covered forest floor, and the two green beeswax snakes and two wool felted snails from Noah's Ark. They were busy for almost three hours. Meanwhile, we made Galaxy Dough (recipe follows) for her to take home as a birthday present and she and Leah played for a long time with the dough (a black sparkly snowman who became a witch and then a troll, then a hotdog complete with ribbons of mustard and ketchup, then a dessert pizza with plenty of caramel swirl) as well as playing outside and enjoying the beautiful day. They also took home their dipped candles and volcano paintings from last Sunday.

In the homeschool co-op this week, Astronomy and Geology continue.
We had

    Farm Day

    our new poem: a pretty morning verse

    Article of the Day

    Structured Word Inquiry
    (origin of the following words: terrific, great, wonderful, perfect, awesome, fantastic, fabulous)

    the discovery that "terrific" isn't really a compliment... in fact, it means frightening!

    a newly-declared-educational Science board game, Evolution

    adding earthquakes to the MLB, hearing about chalk and limestone and stalactites and stalagmites

    warping the loom for the new tapestry (a limestone cave)

    reading Jacqueline Mitton books

    adding constellations to the MLB, hearing about the phases of the moon and solar and lunar eclipses

    watching the penumbral lunar eclipse on Friday night

    constellation embroidery of Leo with yellow thread on black burlap

    we used a six inch embroidery hoop, printed the template, then punched holes in it using an embroidery needle and several sizes of knitting needle for the smaller and larger stars, then laid the paper over the embroidery hoop and marked the holes with white chalk

    making Galaxy Dough

    reviewing the writing process (revising vs. editing)

    reading the absolutely awful How the Rabbit Became the Easter Bunny, which I was sent a free copy of in exchange for an honest reivew and there are so many problems with it I'm at a loss as to how to compose my letter to the publisher - but it was a PERFECT example of the very real need to REVISE (which I described to my students as a complete re-think) and not just throw a bunch of words down on the page and spell-check them and consider yourself done!

    doing GAPS (Genre, Audience, Purpose, Style) before you begin a writing assignment
    #2 from Free Tools for Improving Writing Worksheets by Stacey Lloyd

    writing prompt from Language Arts: Writing Practice Test (PDF)
    (this is a traditional assessment to judge high school readiness - includes answer key and rubric -
    tests writing skills as well as skills involved in revising written materials)

As you can see, Galaxy Dough has been featured heavily in our house this past week! It's an awesome black playdough filled with glitter to be the "stars." It takes about 1/2 bottle of black food coloring and several tablespoons of glitter in different colors and sizes, so be fore-warned. But it is almost impossible to resist playing with!

I found this recipe on Pinterest. It was created by Growing a Jeweled Rose.

Galaxy Dough

Combine thoroughly in a large mixing bowl:
2 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
2 T cream of tartar

Add several drops of black food coloring to 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Add this water to the bowl along with:
2 T baby oil
3-5 drops glyerin

Mix all the ingredients with a spoon. Continue mixing until the play dough is formed, then turn out onto an art tray or some wax paper and knead the dough for several minutes. Add more food coloring as you knead, if desired.

Finish the dough by adding gliter in the colors of your choice to mimic the stars in the galaxy.

We have the other two board game expansion packs which go with Evolution: Flight and Climate. These are definitely not games for young people. The recommended age is 12+ because of the complex strategy involved. The artwork is absolutely breath-taking!

There's one other educational game I'm considering adding to our repertoire, but this one I would need to purchase. We had it in my old classroom and I remember Leah in 4th grade playing it over and over and over again. It's the Lewis and Clark Adventure Game by Educational Insights (there are other Lewis & Clark board games... but take the time to find this one). Doing Lewis and Clark last week for Latitude and Longitude reminded me of it!

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

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