This is our first main lesson block of the year and all of the children, older and younger, are participating it in it together. I think it will be great community building. And, besides, no one can keep their hands off of a cool Science demonstration! I think that Physics is particularly compelling.
Before I get into the Physics, here are some other notes from the week:
- educational games: Qwirkle, Colorku, Pengoloo
- Skillstreaming the Elementary School Child skill cards Listening, Asking for Help, Saying Thank You
- Virtue of the Week: Assertiveness
- books and discussions for Assertiveness: The Invisible Boy, Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa, The Big Orange Splot
- activities from The Compassionate Classroom: Relationship Based Teaching and Learning (chapter 4: Jackal vs. Giraffe Language) and Reaching All by Creating Tribes Learning Communities
- lessons on Montessori materials including the Stamp Game, Word Study, and the Tree of Life
- my older students beginning a novel study of Bridge to Terabithia, as well as reviewing Measuring Angles with a Protractor and Coordinate Plane Graphing
- daily creative writing time, mental math, memorizing our morning verse
- learning how to organize our materials, write in our plan books, color code our work, choose a balanced day
- getting our brand-new green MLBs for our Science block, starting to create our books
- climbing the tree, taking a 10 minute break every hour for water and stretching
- a great day at the Farm (showing a new family around the farm, harvesting produce, playing outside, cooking, archery)
- our read aloud story: Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists
- releasing our Monarch Butterflies which both hatched out Thursday morning, starting a butterfly garden and planting milkweed for them (Maria Merian would have been proud)
- writing in our gratitude journals at the end of each day
In Physics Week One we watched this fabulous video of a giant warehouse-sized Rube Goldberg Machine (twice) (full-screen).
For inertia, we did this Egg Drop Intertia Trick from Steve Spangler. We also did the activity where you make a large oval on the living room floor with masking tape and then fill a casserole dish up to the very brim with water. This is easiest if the dish is sitting on the coffee table and you use a pitcher to fill it all the way up. A child has to lift the dish from the coffee table, walk around the oval rapidly, and put the dish back down. The water will splash the most when 1) it is stopped and has to start moving, 2) it is going in one direction and has to change directions, and 3) it is moving and has to stop.
For friction, we rubbed our hands together and felt them get hot, discovered that you can't strike a match on glass but it will strike when rubbed against the rough side of the box, played with moving household objects around on a cookie sheet covered with a layer of ice, built a hovercraft using an old CD and a balloon, and lifted an entire vase of rice using only a chopstick.
For spring force, we took apart a clothespin to see how it works.
For tension force, we discussed twanging a guitar string.
For magnetic force, we played with magnets and felt their attractive pull (this is an action-at-a-distance force as opposed to a contact force) and I read page 34 "Explosion on the Sun" from the solar system book below.
For gravitational force, we started out with the gravity water drop experiment. I discovered in the conversation after this experiment that one of my older students believed that gravity is caused by the Earth's atmosphere pushing us down. He carefully explained to me that on other planets, which did not have an atmosphere, there was no gravity. We then spent some more time on gravity, reading page 92 "Why are small bodies like potatoes?" of Solar System: A Visual Exploration of All the Planets, Moons and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun and watching several Stephen Hawking videos which explain how gravity has played a vital part in the entire life of the universe (An Imperfect Universe, The Birth of Stars, Supernovas, Formation of the Solar System).
Our cumulative project for this Physics block will be to try to build a Rube Goldberg Machine, after we learn about potential vs. kinetic energy, the meaning of work, and the simple machines.
To this end, we watched the TED talk by OK Go about how they come up with the ideas for their music videos: OK Go: How to Find a Wonderful Idea. We discussed the importance of play, and talked about how to add play as a subject in our plan books. (With colorful gel pens, of course.)
This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!