May 31, 2012

May Preschool Wrap Up

Here's how my preschooler explored May...

Games, that he's almost ready to play by the "rules"
 Sprinklers in the grass
 Crafting.  Always making something.
 Working on new ways to climb higher trees
 Trying new foods
 Seeing new parts of his new location
 Finding places to hang
 watching our very own backyard squirl
 creating ocean playscapes (photo credit goes to Cyrus)
 Helping install new shelves
settling into his new environment, and my little boy couldn't be happier.

May 30, 2012

His Room


Flags, Space, and Diamondbacks.  His Room.   A place for his crafts, his babies, his special toys.  A sacred space that is all him.


May 29, 2012

A search for rainbows

The other day we set out to search for Rainbows.  (also known as 'lunch isn't going to be for an hour, let's think of something you can do)

Using an empty egg carton we colored each space with crayon
 Then water colors to fill in the places crayon didn't reach
 Each child set out into the yard with their very own carton to match colors from little bits of nature

 I loved the different results

By the time they were done, so was lunch.
All was right with the world.
Thank you fellow bloggers, and thank you pinterest.
Once again you've saved my sanity, and brought a peaceful beauty to our day.

May 28, 2012

Monday Gratitude

Here's what I'm loving today...

Getting ready for new house guests

A successful week back into homeschool completed.

A little boy who's a different character every hour

A baby who follows his brother around copying every detail he can manage

A partner to share a three day weekend with

Three day weekends

A little girl who works hard, and adds a special flair to everything she does

On May 25th, Matt and I have been together for 17 years.  That's a super duper long time to be so happy.

May 26, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up # 28

This week in first grade...

In Poetry..
Our Poem of the Month~ This was our first week with the Poem of the Month.  It's a simple poem about caterpillars and butterflies.  Since we are taking next week off, this is also our last week with this poem!
Our Poem of the Week~
I had Ava copy the poem into her "sentence book" over several days.  This is her first experience with copy work.  It was very smooth.
Sunflowers in the summer growing,
Growing up towards the light;
Light and warmth which draws them upwards,
Upwards striving in their might.

Mighty golden heads with seeds there,
Seeds to sleep in winter's ground;
Heads which turn from dawn till sunset
Following the sun's path round.

Heather Thomas

Silly Poem~
We read/sang  "This Old Man"  You know the one.  "...with a knick knack paddy whack give a dog a bone!..."    Afterward Ava made up her own versions of the rhyming verses and illustrated a song guide for us to sing.

In Social Studies....
We read The Great Kapok Tree, and talked about our impact on our local environment.  We used information gathered from the USGS open house to talk about wet lands.

In the Kitchen..
We made fruit salad!  So yummy, we'll probably make it next time too.

In Art..
We made paper feather collages. (Inspired by this page, and pinterest)
~First we made beautiful paper

~Once dry we drew simple feather shapes on the blank side
 ~ We cut our feather shapes, and added little diagonal cut edges

~Each of us had our own vision for assembling our finished collage

In Art Study..
Mount Saint-Victoire, by Paul Cezanne.  This is our last painting of the year, this book was a little shorter than the others.  Ava first commented that "It doesn't look like they were trying to be very realistic."  then she was very excited to note "ooh, look they use lots of color in their sky like me!" 

In Science We..
Reviewed Matter, and it's Particulate Nature.  We spent one day looking at various materials breaking them down, and 'putting them back together'.  The second day of science we played a now favorite science game (currently with out a name) where we acted as a group as either Solid, Liquid, or Gas particles.
Kosher Salt
 Beach Sand

Another science project we looked at this week was a gift from the USGS open house.  The biology department gave us two petri dishes.  The first was an agar plate treated with very salty lake water (to represent Lake Mono).  The second was an agar plate left neutral (only a small amount of salt).  Then she had the kids carefully swab each plate with a sample of lake bacteria.  
 The microbiologist asked Ava which plate she would expect to see bacteria thrive?  Ava thought that we would see the bacteria grow on the plate with little salt, since the bacteria were not taken from a salty lake.  The biologist agreed with Ava, and explained that in science you need to prove your answers.  We took our dishes home to wait for our results.
After three days we noticed results.   (honestly we forgot to check the first two days!)  Here's our results after 4 days. 
The Salty environment showed little to no noticeable change.

The neutral environment had impressive growth.
 Here's an enhanced look at the lake bacteria.
 I was very impressed by the Microbiology department.  This is a great experiment.  It's hands on, it requires a little (but not too much) patience, it demonstrates scientific method, and it smelled bad.

In Math We... 
~Solved verbal problems using 2 digit numbers
~ made symmetrical patterns with two lines of symmetry
~ introduced the terms flipping vertically and flipping horizontally
~ started an extreme game of Corners.  Playing over several days until one of us reaches 1,000 points and becomes Grand Master.
~ add multiples of 10 to 2 digit numbers with sums over 100
~ construct arrays of cubes from a 2 dimensional picture, determine number of cubes in a picture.

Try as Ava might, someone always wants her attention.

Our first full week back, and we are taking next week off!  We have some very important (and very first) house guests coming next week.   I love homeschooling.

May 24, 2012

USGS Open House

The USGS in Menlo Park holds an open house every three years.  We were so very very fortunate that we were able to attend.  Being new to California we have loads of questions about earth quake preparedness, and our new natural environment, the open house provided us with the experts we needed! 

Each area had a stamping station to add to the trading cards passed out at the entrances.  They had stations set up for
~Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Water Science, Paleomagnetism, Rock and Mineral, Marine Geology, Biology, Maps and Mapping, and California Geological Survey.
 We've talked a lot about microscopes, but this was the first time we've actually been able to try one out.
A local prospectors club set up a gold mining activity.  My children LOVED this.  I see a gold mining camping trip in our future.
 Ava actually found some gold.  It's hard to see, but it's the bright yellow spots.

 This is a section of the very large map showing the Hayward Fault line (in yellow) our neighborhood is roughly where I put that little black and white flower thing. (above Ava's head) The Hayward Fault is described as "one of North America’s most dangerous earthquake faults."  Super.  I'm hoping that the big hill in between will keep us insulated.  Not every seismologist and geologist that I shared my theory with seemed to agree.  What do they know.
 The San Fransisco Zoo brought a adult female Bald Eagle.  She was so majestic.

 I had no idea that the stamps were going to be so popular.  This was probably their absolute favorite thing.

 We learned a lot.  We brought a lot of information home.  We had a really great day.

About Me

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East Bay, California, United States
I am a thirty something mother of three. Hoping to raise my little ones to love the the slower things in life.