Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Story About Ping

The Story About Ping was our Five in a Row book this week. I think this is the third time we've rowed it. The last time we did it Caleigh was in kindergarten so I thought the girls would enjoy it again. When I was picking up books to go along with it at the library, Colin noticed them and asked what they were for. I told him the girls were going to do The Story About Ping while we studied China in history. He immediately said, "I love that book. Can I do it too?"

We, of course, talked about China and found it on our map. We also found the Yangtze River, where Ping lives. We read lots of books about China. Some of the favorites were Look What Came From China, Two of Everything, Tikki Tikki Tembo, The Five Chinese Brothers, and Children Just Like Me.

We couldn't talk about China and not discuss panda bears. We read all about them and made these fun, easy cupcakes using mini Oreos.

Since Ping is a duck, we had to study those too. We did an experiment to show how the oil on a duck keeps them from getting wet. We brushed oil on one of the ducks. Then they put drops of water on both and compared them. They liked turning the one with oil so that the water rolled off it.

Oil on left one; right one dry

Water on one with oil

In the story, there is a boy with a barrel so we talked about why he would wear the barrel. The kids filled out their predictions on this chart. Then we experimented with different objects to see if they would float or sink.

These frogs would sink so we tried putting them in an empty water bottle and found they would float in the bottle. We kept putting them in to see how many it would take to sink the bottle.

We read The Warlord's Puzzle and then the kids worked on some tangrams of their own.

Chad brought home takeout Chinese for the kids to try and they all worked on their chopstick skills.

Molly decided stabbing it worked better.

We also picked up fortune cookies and these sticks on our grocery shopping trip this week.

We learned about the Chinese New Year and made these lanterns.

Notebook Pages

These are Caleigh's

Colin's drawings of a duck and panda

Molly's drawings

Friday, October 29, 2010

Our Week: China, Ping, and the Sun

We finished the chapter on the sun this week. We read about solar flares, sunspots, how we get color, and solar eclipses.

Eclipse demonstration
Looking at the sun through pinhole viewing box

We read Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven and used the recipe in the book to make our own sun bread. The kids thought playing with the dough and making it into shapes was lots of fun.

before baking

Finished sun

Oranges and sandwich triangles made ino sun shape for lunch.

History and Five in a Row Unit Study
China was our topic for history. The SOTW chapter was about the Sui and Tang dynasties, the building of the Grand Canal, and the invention of gunpowder.
Since we were learning about China anyway, we chose The Story About Ping for this week's FIAR book. We had lots of fun with this book. We studied China, pandas, ducks, and buoyancy. I posted more details about our activities in this post.

The Three Rs
In math, Caleigh is reviewing adding 4 digit numbers, Colin has started learning about averages, and Molly is working with money.
Both Colin and Caleigh still aren't too happy with their grammar programs, but the lessons are usually quick so they get through them pretty easily after just a little whining.
Colin is moving quickly through spelling lists he's already done and getting close to the new ones. Caleigh has made it to section H. She had her first diagnostic test, which showed a mastery level for all the sections she's done so far and a grade level of 2.9 so I'm really happy with how well she's doing since this is her first year with SWR and she hasn't learned all the multi-letter phonograms yet.
Molly has made so much progress with her reading in the last few weeks. She's so excited about reading and sounds out words that she sees all over the place.

Everything Else
Colin had First Lego League and roller hockey practice this week. I can't believe how close we're getting to the mock tournament for FLL and then regionals will be right after it. Chad took Colin to a Carolina Hurricanes game and they're planning to go to another one tomorrow. Colin spends all his free time reading books about hockey, watching games on TV, and practicing hockey.

Colin ready to go to the Hurricanes game

My sister and dad came for a visit yesterday and the kids are having lots of fun with them. They're also looking forward to Halloween fun and trick or treating this weekend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn Treasures: Apples

We had a day all about apples and Johnny Appleseed.

We compared different varieties of apples. We had more varieties, but my son ate them before we got to this.

We cut the apple in half to see the star inside and counted the seeds.

Then we used the apple halves to paint apple prints.

The girls made these tissue paper apple trees. They drew a tree trunk and colored it in. Then the took squares of green tissue paper, crumbled them into balls, dipped them in glue, and stuck them to the tree. Once that's covered, they used smaller red tissue paper squares the same way to make apples.

While the girls were working on their apple trees, Colin made apple brownies.  I diced up the apples for him, but he did the rest. This was really good, much better than apple breads we've tried before. Even the two people in our family who don't usually like things like it had 2 pieces each.

Please excuse the sweaty, red-faced boy. He had just gotten home from hockey practice. It was still in the oven when he had to go.

The recipe suggested drizzling caramel ice cream topping on it. We didn't have any, but had apple cinnamon topping so some of us tried that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our Week: The Sun, Islam, and Autumn

I've been sick with a cold this whole week so everything hasn't gone as planned. When does it ever though? All things considered, we've had a good week.

We moved on to chapter 2 this week and started studying the sun. We talked about the sun's size, distance from the earth, revolving, and rotating.
We did a walk around the sun. The kids took turns being the sun, earth, and the moon. The earth revolved around the sun while the moon rotated around the earth. Then I had them each be the earth and spin as they went around the sun.

It was hard for the moon to get around the earth while it was moving to get around the sun, especially after I explained that the moon should always be facing the earth.

This quickly turned into giggling

and lots of silliness.

We also did an experiment to show how you can use a magnifying glass to focus heat from the sun to melt chocolate.

History this week was all about Islam. We learned about Muhammad, Mecca, the pillars of Islam, how Islam spread and became an empire, Ramadan, Baghdad, and Sinbad.

We made an oasis with brown sugar for the sand, M&Ms for water, and animal cracker camels. We used Legos to make our palm trees. Although the kids thought eating the brown sugar with a spoon would be a good idea, I didn't let them. They made do with a few M&Ms and animal crackers.

Unit Study
We started working on the Download N Go, Autumn Treasures. We spent time learning about seasons, signs of fall, how leaves change color, apples, pumpkins, migration, and hibernation. We did lots of fun crafts and some cooking. I posted the first two days here and will have the rest up soon.

Extra Stuff
Colin had his usual activities: First Lego League and roller hockey. He has baseball practice this afternoon and I'm trying to talk myself into going. This cold seems even worse today. I do have to get to the library today because I have some books on hold that expire. Since I have to get us all ready and go out, I guess I might as well go on to baseball.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Autumn Treasures: Seasons and Leaves

We're working on the Download N Go, Autumn Treasures, this week. I've used it to break our study into days, for book suggestions, and shown the kids some of the links.

Tuesday we spent time discussing and reading about seasons, why they happen, and how the Northern and Southern Hemispheres have seasons at different times of the year. We finished our day by going on a nature walk looking for signs of fall and collecting leaves.

Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of color yet.

This is about as good as we found on our walk.

On Wednesday, we focused on leaves, why they change color, what fall looks like in different areas, and when the peak time for color change is for different parts of the U.S.

Three of our books had pictures made from leaves so we had to try some of our own with leaves we collected the day before.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A trip to the farm

Over the weekend, we went to the pumpkin patch, well sort of. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't an actual pumpkin patch where we could pick a pumpkin from the vine instead of just a pile of pumpkins to choose from. Those seem to be hard to find here. There were lots of fun things to do and we all had a good time though.

Entering the corn maze

This is where we ended up when Molly was leading.

And here is where Caleigh took us.

Molly said she liked this maze better.

Girls milking the cow

Colin milking cow

He's always loved tractors

Sweet girls

Colin showing us how strong he is

Molly on the little one

Caleigh's turn
Colin and Caleigh

Chad and Molly

Caleigh and Colin on hayride

Molly on hayride

Colin in 'pumpkin patch'