Saturday, September 29, 2018

Finishing Up September

We are into late September and the weather is just gorgeous!

My kids and I had a wonderful day today. First Becca and Zac and I went to my book group meeting (our book is Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom) while my older teens, Leah and Natalie, went to the Southern Illinois Metalsmiths Society demo at SIU.

Then Leah went on a hike with a friend while Natalie, Becca, Zac and I went to Alpaca Farm Day at Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch. We got to look at spinning wools and drum carders and looms, feel fiber, pet alpacas, and walk the beautiful farm property. I went to the shop and got wonderful alpaca roving, yarn, wet felted soaps, and socks. I also gave my business card to all of the spinners because I'd love for someone to bring a spinning wheel and do a demo for our Fibers & Clothing main lesson block in February!

Lastly, Natalie and Leah headed off to their high school Homecoming Dance in the evening.

In school related stuff, we have just wrapped up Local History & Geography with the older children. The younger group did a week of Pumpkin Fun. And both groups enjoyed a fabulous field trip to Bandy's Pumpkin Patch on Thursday! We did the Show, the Play Barn, the Hay Ride, and the Corn Maze. It was so much fun!

Did you know that more pumpkins are grown in Illinois than in any other state in the U.S.? Or that Pumpkin Pie is the official state pie of Illinois?

Early Childhood

  • play with my new Pikler Triangle made for our classroom by my friend Shelby's husband!
  • make Chai-Infused Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
    Note: I prefer to double the amount of pumpkin puree in this recipe
  • do puppetry for "In my garden grows a pumpkin / turning orangey gold" poem in Suzanne Down's original book of Autumn Tales; use woven pumpkin basket with lid, pumpkin colored wool roving, little grey felt mouse made by my mom, a dogwood twig (for the spider), brown & green silk (for the ground), and two white silks (for snow)
  • look at, feel, and compare a variety of heirloom pumpkins; wash pumpkins; paint pumpkin portraits; cut into pumpkins to see the insides and feel and scoop and play with the seeds and pulp
  • continue with "Old English Apple Picking" movement verse; replace "Sweet Rosy Round Apples" fingerplay with "Eat An Apple"; add "The Squirrel" fingerplay from A Child's Seasonal Treasury on page 49; add "Five Little Pumpkins" fingerplay
  • Eat an Apple

    Eat an apple.
    (Bring right hand to mouth)

    Save the core.
    (Close right hand in fist)

    Plant the seeds,
    (Bend down touch hand to ground)

    And grow some more.
    (Extend both arms out)

    Five Little Pumpkins

    Five little pumpkins were sitting on the ground.
    (Hold up five fingers)

    The first little pumpkin was short and round,
    (Point to thumb)

    The second little pumpkin was happy to be found.
    (Point to index finger)

    The third little pumpkin had a curly vine,
    (Point to middle finger)

    The fourth little pumpkin liked sunshine.
    (Point to ring finger)

    The fifth little pumpkin grew so quick,
    (Point to little finger)

    Now all five pumpkins are ready to be picked.
    (Wiggle all five fingers)


  • review elements of a map
  • look at the difficulties mapmakers have in converting the globe to a flat piece of paper; discuss how scale is distorted more and more as you get closer to the poles; compare the true shape of Antarctica with how it is usually distorted on a map
  • discuss the magnetic field of the Sun and the Earth; look at Solar System book pages 36 and 34-35; make a floating compass following the instructions in Physics is Fun: A Sourcebook for Teachers, page 98

  • add Elements of a Map to MLB
  • present The Coordinate Graph Box and Water Ways: North America from Clocca Concepts for follow up during independent work time
  • look at animals of the North America Grasslands three part cards from Waseca Biomes
  • read A Walk in the Prairie by Rebecca Johnson

  • read L is for Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin

  • open and explore IDNR Illinois State Symbols bin
  • add State Symbols to MLB
  • present United States Location Color Set from Nienhuis Montessori for follow up during independent work time
  • add Field Trips to MLB (Tower Rock on Sep 7, Bandy's Pumpkin Patch on Sep 27) and leave room for additional Local History & Geography field trips throughout the school year
  • hear book report from Becca on The Great Fire by Jim Murphy; she created Wanted Posters (#3 from Not Your Grandma's Book Report)

  • State Symbols

    Capital City of Illinois - Springfield

    State Nickname - Prairie State

    State Soil - Drummer Silty Clay Loam

    State Mineral - Fluorite

    State Grass - Big Bluestem

    State Flower - Violet

    State Tree - White Oak

    State Fossil - Tully Monster

    State Insect - Monarch Butterfly

    State Fish - Bluegill

    State Amphibian - Eastern Tiger Salamander

    State Reptile - Painted Turtle

    State Bird - Cardinal

    State Animal - Whitetail Deer

    State Fruit - Gold Rush Apple

    State Vegetable - Sweet Corn

    State Snack - Popcorn

    State Pie - Pumpkin Pie

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