Saturday, June 5, 2021

April Photos Part II

Talib, the local beekeeper, comes by to put a bee swarm trap up in the cypress tree

we caught two swarms last year!

on my birthday, Zac and I do the wildflower hike at Chautauqua Bottoms

Zac and I have such a good time, we decide to come back the next day and bring the school kids

cleaning off our shoes before and after, of course!

snack in The Secret Garden

our frozen poi from Hawai'i has arrived

time for a Hawaiian feast!

two different brands of poi plus homemade roasted taro root chips and fresh mango, papaya, and pineapple

the papaya seeds are so beautiful!

checking out the Audubon exhibit at SIU

setting up pineapple and avocado experiments in Early Childhood

we positively ID the worm we found as a jumping worm, an invasive species

note the grey color, smooth white clitellum, metallic sheen & unusual length 

mustard extraction... a good way to find out what worms live in your yard

what is the relationship between an analogy and a ratio?

everyone does oil pastel Art projects in the Library

making an oil pastel / watercolor resist map of Egypt

if you do oil pastel for the sandy desert, use the watercolor paint for the water areas

if you do oil pastel for the water areas, use the watercolor paint for the sandy desert

the other group is doing a scratch art project for their Jataka tale

first step, cover the paper thickly with a layer of oil pastel

second step, cover the oil pastel thickly with a layer of black paint

third step, use a sharp stylus to scratch colorful eyes glowing in a dark cave

a surprise late April snowshower!

this book says that coconuts float in water...

checking to see if they really do

looking at the process of mummification...
what happens if you cover cucumber slices with a layer of salt?

the cucumber slices become wet as the salt pulls the liquid out of them

covering them with even more salt to see what will happen

two days later, the cucumber slices are dried and leathery

can we mummify apple heads?

multiplication problems with the Colored Bead Bars

we rehydrate a bunch of peat pellets all at once to see how much water they'll take up

we find the seeds in a sugar snap pea pod...

and in a bell pepper

one of the children has "opening a coconut" on his wishlist, so we do

freezing a coconut overnight helps it crack open more easily

especially if you get the kind that comes pre-scored

student divide up into pairs and throw their coconuts against the sidewalk to break them open

the little face on a coconut is what gives this nut its name

< coco >

a perfect break!

time for a taste

of course, I had to get little paper umbrellas for this
and I got some cans of coconut milk as well

drinking coconut milk out of a coconut half, and tasting the fresh meat  

this was one of our favorite afternoons of the entire school year!

the recipe for Oobleck is two parts cornstarch to one part water

what is the relationship between a proportion and an equivalent fraction?

Ms. Anna donated this huge whiteboard for our outdoor classroom, and I very handily had an old microwave out there... perfect to sit on as a stool while I write!

fish printing... also an Art project that everyone could use in their MLB

it went well with the Jataka tale of the "The Deceitful Heron"
and with our Ancient Egypt project of mummifying a dressed rainbow trout

and the youngest children did it just for fun!

use a foam brush to cover the fish completely with a thin layer of ink

lay down the newsprint very carefully

press the rubber fish carefully with your fingers so that every detail prints

students in one group got to arrange and photograph a dried fig still life for one of their Jataka tales

while the other group used clay to make lids for their canopic jars

this jar of honey is the perfect shape

the falcon head

playing an ancient Egyptian board game: Senet

a bee swarm arrives!

I purchase a set of canopic jars so that we can look at their details up close

thank you to Ms. Aimee for our four beautiful strawberry plants!

we begin to have a long line of plants in front of the house as our garden planning & planting picks up steam

making a long long spreadsheet with the full list of everything the children want to plant, so that we can organize all of our notes:

who is adopting this plant?
what day was it purchased?
what day were the seeds started?
what day were the baby plants planted?
what garden bed were the plants planted in?
what day did we begin the harvest?

setting up celery and sweet potato experiments in Early Childhood

building a path of pavers through our pollinator / native prairie plant garden

moving the cardboard and mulch layer which covered the gardens all winter, we find earthworms!

planting a tiny black cherry tree

after using the light table to transfer our dried & fresh fig still lifes to paper, we begin the process of filling in the shapes with water-soluble oil pastel 

this allows us to transform the photograph into a painting
it helps to trace the pencil lines with fine point Sharpie first

building the Decanomial 

as we plant some of our plants, new things arrive and join the line in front of the house

Summer Scarves!  
thank you to Ms. Francine for sewing two of these for each child

they are filled with water beads and, when soaked in cold water, are very refreshing!

setting up a plant research station in the driveway

weaving a fence around the PawPaw Patch

more plant research! 

an introduction to Fractions

our celery is showing signs of new growth

lunch under the magnolia tree on a rainy day

the children bring me flowers from the yard

even more plant research!

on the front of each index card, they write
the name of the plant
who adopted it
how wide and tall does it get
what are its sun / soil / water requirements
is it prone to any pests?

on the back of each index card, they write
what it likes to be planted by
what it does not like to be planted by

we happy to see that last year's milkweed is coming back up

box forts will never go out of style

neither will playing in water and mud

the line of plants along the walkway is refreshed with some new additions!

thank you for the donation of the fabulous new books!!!!

Poem in Your Pocket Day

setting up seeds for the Darwin experiment
if we soak them in salt water, will they still germinate?

unscheduled Wednesday!

setting up the Ant Farm

gathering in the driveway for SSR, snack, lunch

measuring the garden bed and making a scale drawing

starting lots of seeds!

Queen Nefertrouti lies in repose beneath a bed of salt

we change the salt every few days until it is no longer wet

sorting out all the companion planting index cards 

looking carefully at all the smiley and frowny face lists to help decide on the best arrangement for our garden beds

we place each pot on the straw bale where the plant will go

planting time!

straw bales make excellent weed-free raised beds... they also absorb water well and stay wet for a long time, reducing the need for summer watering  

testing out the water sprinkler to see if it reaches the entirety of our garden

wait, the sprinkler is on?

everyone comes running!

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