Friday, April 26, 2013

Miscellaneous Activities! :-)

Hard to believe we are wrapping up our K12 curriculum!  I have no concerns about most of the students finishing by the end of May.  Actually, my 4th grader will probably be finished in the middle of May.  Amazing, considering we had a late start...but he doubled up and worked really hard!  So that means he, and most of the other students, will get to do more "fun" Ms. Amber planned school work until school is out.  :-)  I'm looking forward to do some planning on my own!

This is definitely a Misc. Post.  :-)  Just random things we've been doing this past week or so.

Rush Hour
EVERYONE has been playing this!  Even my preschooler loves putting the cars on the board according to the card and then "drives" them.  Doesn't really play the game but great for him anyway!  My goal recently is to purchase strategy games when I can.  I think they are great for kids and I realized we didn't have that many.  So in the last month we have acquired Blokus, Tetris Link and Rush Hour.  Othello is another one we have around the house that's great for encouraging strategic thinking.  Any other suggestions for me?

1st grade Language Arts
A simple way to add a little substance to a lesson.  I found the flower pattern at  1st grader wrote his words from the introduction lesson onto the petals of the corresponding flowers.

Spring is definitely on its way! 
Yeah, it's a typical MI spring...beautiful one day and freezing the next.  And yes, we've had snow and ice mixed in with that rain...but the kids are really starting to spend more time outside.  That's great all around!

Art3: South America-Ponchos!   
Simple representation of a poncho.  We cut the v for the next first and she made printed patterns around the whole paper.  Then we folded.  Definitely a project she enjoyed the process of.
And speaking of printing... 
A 2nd grade lesson was to make these prints in response to a lesson in African Architecture and Cloth.  They were talking about Adinkra Cloth.

And 'tis the season!  Multiple children have plants or plant cycles happening in science.  

 We have a few of these bags on our sliding glass door! 
An oldie but a goodie!  New tips I came across this time.  K12 suggested we soak the beans in 1 C. water and 1 Tbs. of bleach to help keep the beans from molding.  (That doesn't stop the paper towel from molding though!)  This year we stapled across the bottom of the bag as you can see.  This gave the children a place to set the beans and kept the beans from falling to the bottom of the bag.  I also did not tell the children which way to place the bean so we've had some great conversations about germination/roots and gravity!  Also, we had some beans sprout within 24 hours.  I'm sure it was because we soaked them.

 Another oldie but goodie.
I mentioned something about doing a carnation like this and the 2nd grader said, "We did celery like that last year!"  So they were all excited when I said we could do it again.  Their "I wonder" question was "Will the celery turn purple at the top?"  Well, it did turn dark at the top.  We couldn't decide if it was brown or purple  (because of the green celery and the primary + a secondary color idea). The celery was getting pretty unappetizing after the 2nd day so we tossed it.  They were suitably impressed about how quickly started changing colors.  Within minutes!

I had a 4th grade student reviewing adverbs and a 1st grade student being introduced.  The 2nd and 3rd graders have ran across them also.  So, we decided to start our morning off with a game of Bingo.  :-)  The boards I created were actually covered with verbs.  Then when we put a marker on a word we came up with as many adverbs as we could that could go along with it.  A nice intro/review.

 We FINALLY got our piano tuned!  
This man was awesome with the kiddos!  You can only see 3 kids' bodies but there's a preschooler over there on the other side you can't see and this was only after lunch.  Before lunch all six kids were surrounding him.  He patiently answered all their questions and even asked a few himself to get conversation started.  What a neat experience for the kids!

 Bead Snakes
I have three students with poor fine motor skills.  I like to slip as much fine motor in as I can get.  This is one of the activities we had going.

Fractions and Decimals
Hard to see but what she did was to write the fraction using numerator over 100.  Then we simplified the fractions down slowly but surely.  She was struggling with this concept of simplified and equivalent fractions. Then we added the decimals.  She seemed to have "got it" by the time we were done.  The very first time  we did this she created a house.  Neat idea but that included half squares.  Oops!  That doesn't work for what we wanted to do.  Then the 2nd time she made a "quilt block" and every color had the exact same number of blocks colored in.  LOL  That didn't work either.  So this time she just did a random pattern.  That worked!  :-)

1st grade writing!

Art 3
What a neat project!  First she created an animal (jaguar) on (and out of) a manila folder.  Then she did some crayon rubbings and then she did some prints.  She made a BUNCH!  :-)  We will be doing this again for sure!
Black crayon worked best!

Math: Measurement
You can get this guy free at

In Science3, the children were learning about moon landforms. We decided to experiment with making the moon on a paper plate.  I mixed up a batch of glue and shaving cream to make puffy paint and away they went.  All the kids enjoyed exploring with this.

End product:  The children who were not making moons--their end products were more like moons.  :-D  The older two-well, they had a nice smooth moon.  :-)  So we learned that we don't want as much of the mixture if we want to see all the landforms.  Live and learn!

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