Sunday, March 25, 2007
Above are some of the pictures from our Boonshoft Museum of Discover field trip on Monday, March 19th. We took a ton of photos, so posting them here in a new entry as a collage is a lot easier and quicker, instead of posting them to the original Boonshoft post.
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Today we went to the Nature Center and had fun looking around. The girls practiced their archaeology skills and uncovered bones, fossils, and tools. The girls looked at different things under a microscope. They showed Dad all their favorite animals (stuffed). We saw the snake the girls held, the bee hive, turtles and fish. We went on a walk in the woods in search of salamander larva, and other creatures. We inspected a fallen tree for signs of life. We saw a bird's nest, and a cardinal. We saw a May Fly larvae swimming in the flooded field. We saw some animal tracks that we deduced were from a dog. And Mark also noticed a small snake camouflaged by the dead leaves on the ground! It was a fun trip, and we had a nice walk through the woods with sun and warm temps.
Next, We stopped off at the Bluebird Festival at the Armory. We saw some wild cats in cages outside. There was the Bobcat, Siberian Lynx, Caracal, and the African Servil. Inside the Armory we saw several craft items and bird nest boxes and feeders. There were a lot of nature books for sale, jewelry, and other nature inspired items. We viewed some educational booths on the local watershed, and creek and river life. We came home with a ton of information on Ohio wildlife. We received free booklets on Ohio Amphibians, Reptiles, Butterflies, and Fish. We also received some informational pamphlets on various topics, such as Lyme's Disease, White-tailed Deer, the Bluebird, etc.
It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed it!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
She studied the US government on http://bensguide.gpo.gov with Ben Franklin as host.
Olivia read the butterfly book she made and put the life cycle cards in the correct sequence.
She also watched a PBS show called Big Big World, and then did some activities on their web site.
Georgia and Olivia watched a Spanish video called Rock 'n Learn Spanish. They learned greetings, numbers to 100, and several other phrases. They had fun repeating the words and phrases and did well. We didn't get to finish it because it was time to go to Georgia's eye appointment. She's getting new glasses.
While we were at the eye doctor's, Olivia and I read a book about words that start from each letter of the alphabet. Olivia did really well matching the pictures to the letter with which they start.
When we got back, the girls watched Maya and Miguel on PBS. This show has Spanish in it as well. Then they watched Fetch which has children trying to figure out different clues, invent different objects, and other interesting activities that use reasoning and logic.
The girls each had a turn playing Petz, then Mark and I played a board game called Wits End with the girls helping us.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Today, Georgia worked on some division practice with word problems.
She also reviewed plural nouns and completed some worksheets. On the Internet she studied on Zoom School USA and learned about the United States. She learned about the White House and what it is used for, some early Presidents, animals in the US, the flag, early explorers, symbols of the US, etc. I showed her the symbols and presidents on coins and paper money. Mark brought home the new George Washington dollar coin and we inspected that as well. Mark and I also sang the Star Spangled Banner and explained its meaning, custom, and origination.
Georgia also studied butterflies. She reviewed their life cycle, anatomy, diet, habitat, classification, and early ancestors preserved in fossil. She also learned about the Monarch butterfly's anatomy, how to tell male and female apart, life cycle, diet, protection from predators...they are poisonous. She also learned about the butterfly that looks similar to the Monarch and because of this enjoys protection from predators because the predators think they are the poisonous Monarch. She learned about the Monarch's habitat, range, migration, life span, and classification. She learned that the Order Lepidoptera means "scaly wings" in Greek, and that the butterfly and moth are the only insects to have scaly wings.
Afterwards, Georgia completed a diagram filling in the names of the stages of the life cycle. She also completed a math color by number of a butterfly scene. She had to complete the addition problems to find out the number.
Olivia worked on the computer program Reader Rabbit Thinking Adventures for 4-5 year olds today. Last time she tried it it was still too advanced for her. Today she was doing great! She worked on completing and making patterns, sorting and classification, and following directions.
Next, Olivia learned the word "he" and searched and highlighted it in the book "He Ran". She then read me the book. She later read it to Mark before bed.
Olivia learned about the life cycle of the butterfly. She made a book about it that we read together. Afterwards she used four cards each with a picture of a stage in the life cycle, and she needed to put them in the correct sequence. She did!
We watched the movie Whale Rider about a girl from the Maori tribe in New Zealand. I picked it out because Georgia likes whales, and she had studied New Zealand. But I found it to be rather slow, but good if you could follow it. The girls needed a lot of explanations, but they seemed to enjoy it as they stayed for the whole thing.
Hope you all have a great weekend.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
In the class, everyone welcomed Olivia...she was timid at first but warmed up fairly quickly. The kids were handed a laminated picture of something that happens in Spring. Livy received a picture of grass. Each child went in the middle of the circle and shared their picture. When it was her turn, Livy ran right into the middle and said with a big smile on her face, "Grass!". We discussed the signs and changes of Spring.
Next, we dissected a bean seed that had been soaked in water to be more pliable. We removed the outer coat and looked at the two halves of the seed and located the sprout.
Afterwards, we went outside in search of the signs of Spring. We noticed the sun shining bright. (It was supposed to be rainy...we were lucky!) We saw some bees, grass growing, water collected on the ground. We walked through the woods following the path and saw buds on tree limbs, where new leaves were starting to form. We saw holes in trees from woodpeckers. We saw bugs and creepy crawlies under a log. We saw some onion grass, moss, and ivy starting to sprout up from the ground. And we saw some holes in the ground from burrowing animals.
When we went back in the Nature Center, Georgia joined us for some painting fun. The girls used flowers as stamps and brushes to paint a picture of Spring.
When class was over, the girls looked at the bee display and watched the bees busily at work. There is an opening in the side of the building for the bees to come and go. When they enter the hole, they are in a display case that sandwiches honeycombed beeswax. We are able to see what it is like inside a hive without having to get stung! It was interesting.
We also looked at the fish, frogs, turtles, and snakes they have. The naturalist took a snake out of its cage and the kids had fun touching and petting it. Georgia and Olivia each held it for a bit.
(I was able to take pictures of Livy in her class and woods walk, but wouldn't you know it....when the girls are holding a snake the darn memory card gives me an error message....I'm still trying to figure it out so that I can get the pictures from it.)
We also studied the life cycle of a frog, and played a frog identification game before leaving the nature center.
Once home, Georgia worked on some division in her math workbook. She also reviewed the Spring Spanish words she learned the day before. Then she learned about Greenland. She did a map study, and reviewed two websites that told about Greenland, the Vikings, and Denmark. (Greenland is a territory of Denmark)
Olivia made some words with Boggle Jr, practiced writing her name, worked on the PowerTouch, and learned the word "the". I took two simple books that were printed off the computer and gave her a yellow marker. She needed to highlight the word "the" whenever she saw it in the two books. She did really well recognizing the word. Afterwards we read the two stories together. I read one, and Olivia read the other!!!!
The girls each had a turn to play Petz, a computer game that teaches what it takes to be a good pet owner. They can adopt a cat or dog....and there are several breeds of each to choose from. They are in charge of feeding, bathing, exercising, and playing with their pets. They even have a spray bottle to discipline the pets when needed as well. They can win prizes if they teach their pets to do tricks, too. They have had a couple runaways....from not being taken care of. The problem with that was that they like to adopt a ton of pets!!!! Too many to take care of them all. But they have a lot of fun with the game.
They are sculpting with play dough now...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Georgia also took a Spanish test on numbers and colors, a North American test on Canada and Mexico, and an adjectives test.
She had her gymnastics class tonight and had fun with that. She was excited because they were doing handstands....something she loves practicing.
Olivia worked on PBSkids.org with making words, letter sounds, pronunciation, patterns, and measurement estimation. She worked on her number cups, this time they went up to ten. She used M&Ms for counting.
Livy participated in the Spring discussion. Livy and I also looked at pictures of each season and talked about the differences of each. She did a worksheet with different patterned eggs. She needed to follow the directions and color the eggs of a certain design a particular color. Afterwards, she counted how many eggs there were of each design and wrote the down the number on the line indicated. She wrote her numbers really good for being the first time.
Livy also worked on an alphabet puzzle. We talked about what words start with each letter and we made the sound that the letter makes.
In the evening we all read a book about bones and touched the bones that were being highlighted on each page.
You may have noticed that there have not been any pictures in the recent postings. This is because we have switched cameras and I am still becoming familiar with the new camera. I will update the postings that are without pictures and add them. When I do, the title of the updated post will have an asterisk (*) at the end of it so that you know pictures have been added to the post.
Friday, March 16, 2007
She also did a quiz on North America, and finished her map worksheet as well. She read about the Canadian flag and colored one.
Livy worked on match games for shapes and colors, and also worked on a Canadian Animals book. Livy can locate Canada on a map of the world.
Olivia also worked on spelling words in Boggle Jr.
We went to the city park and checked out the changing of the season. The ponds were still iced over despite the rising temperatures. We had a nice walk and encountered a lot of Canadian geese and ducks. The birds were walking on the ice and swimming on the edges of the ponds where the ice had receded. We got to see some take off and land, as well. The girls liked poking the ice with sticks and making holes. But it was cold, so we stayed for only an hour.
We also went shopping and bought some new spring and summer clothes for the girls.
That evening, Georgia started reading Ramona the Brave.
On Tuesday, Georgia worked on plural nouns some more. She also completed a North American label activity in which she had to label the oceans and countries of N. America, including the Caribbean Islands and Central America.
Olivia read some books with me and was remembering some sight words in the books. The words she remembered I would point to and have her read. We also did the number cups activity, and she worked on the PowerTouch and PBSkids.org.
In the afternoon, we went to North Park where the girls played on the playground for two hours. There were other kids their ages and they quickly made friends and had a blast playing together. It was such a gorgeous day with temps in the mid seventies!
Georgia played her zoo game, and had gymnastics in the evening. She has now mastered the bridge position! And her balance is improving greatly.
On Wednesday, Georgia began studying Mexico! She read through some library books and visited four different sites on Mexico.
She learned the Mexico's history, geography, biodiversity, language, music, instruments, dress, flag, etc. We listened to regional Mexican music on XM satellite radio while she studied. We also wore sombreros, danced, and played the maracas! Livy had fun, too. She can locate Mexico on the map of the world now, too.
Georgia also read a printout on the history and symbolism of the Mexican flag, which involves an old Aztec legend. She also colored a Mexican flag in its official colors.
Georgia took a quiz on Mexico on paper, and two quizzes on the web sites she visited.
We also reviewed adjectives, thinking of an adjective for each letter of the alphabet. We couldn't think of one for 'x' though.
Olivia worked on a book she made titled African Animals. Then I quizzed her on animals and she had to answer with whether they came from Canada or Africa. She loved it.
The girls found a coupe pill bugs and caught them. They are fascinated by them. So I printed out an information sheet on them and we learned a bit about them. It was interesting to learn that they are not insects, but isopods, and in the subphylum Crustacea...so they are related to crabs, lobsters, and shrimp! We will be doing an experiment with pill bugs when it is nicer out and we can find some more. (don't worry, no harm will be done to the pill bug in the experiment...it'll be an experiment to find out which type of soil they like best)
On Wednesday, we also read a page on migrations and watched the documentary titled "Amazing Journeys". It included migrations of the monarch, gray whale, red crab, birds, and humans.
That evening, Georgia finished reading Ramona's World, the eighth and last book in the Ramona series.
On Thursday, Georgia was inspired by her studies of Mexico to learn Spanish. She already knew numbers from one to ten. She also learned eleven color names, the alphabet, pronunciation, and simple greetings. (hello, how are you, my name is, etc) We also read the three Spanish books she printed out while studying Mexico.
Continuing on with the Spanish, the girls wanted to watch a movie in Spanish. Most DVDs now have language options in which you can watch the movie in Spanish or french instead of English. So we watched Brother Bear 2 in Spanish!
Georgia started reading the first book in the Henry series by Beverly Cleary titled Henry Higgins. She finished it, too.
Today we started with practicing multiplication equations and word problems. Georgia also practiced her Spanish that she learned the previous day, and is now practicing gymnastics in the living room. She made up a new move called the Tornado in which she spins around after doing a flip.
Olivia worked on PowerTouch and PBSkids.org. She is also doing some flips and rolls in the living room with Georgia.
Monday, Georgia has an eye doctor appointment, and then we are headed down to Dayton to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. We are now members and can visit for free! The membership also includes the SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
When I got there I took off my coat and said my name. Then, I looked at eighteen pictures and tried to tell if it was a woodpecker or some other kind of bird. Then, a computer was set up to make kinda like a movie. Me and the rest of the class watched it. It was about woodpeckers. There was the kind of woodpeckers, a map of where they lived, pictures of them and their food, and a little bit about them.
Then, we got our coats on, got binaculars around our necks, and went outside and walked around the woods seeing different nests and birds flying. We got to feel the inside of woodpecker nests. It was soft and kinda like tuna looking. We heard different birds. We saw deer tracks in the snow. We followed the tracks accross the snow until they stopped. Yesterday they saw seven or eight deer running accross the mud and grass.
We went inside, took off our coats, and sat down with a drink and animal crackers to snack on. Then, three kids were working together in one group. I was in a group with Elizabeth, and another girl. We made some "No Suet Suet Bird Food". I put tons of peanut butter...too much for one person to eat. There was bird seed in it, and raisons, etc. We each got one third of it to bring home and feed to birds some time.
There was a second time we went outside. I didn't remember my coat this time. I forgot. I was one of some kids who forgot. But it was nice outside. This time we got to see birds in trees and saw a chickadee. This time we heard woodpeckers tapping.
One thing I learned was that some woodpeckers have a long tongue that connects their beak to their skull and gets stuck in some gooey stuff connected to the skull. That is because they tap a lot on trees so they have their beak and skull seperated so their banging on trees won't hit their skull, which is a good adaptation for woodpeckers banging on trees.
One kind of wood pecker does not have long tongues to connect the beak and skull. It doesn't bang on trees much. It has most of their food on the ground instead of banging on trees to get ants and other bugs out of their holes.
We each got one page that shows seven woodpeckers:
- Downy Woodpecker
- Red Headed Woodpecker
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Northern Flicker Woodpecker
- Red Belly Woodpecker
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Woodpecker
The Sapsucker woodpecker pecks tiny holes in rows on a maple tree. They keep making holes until sap starts coming out. It keeps snakes and other predators away from their nests so their babies will be safe. A bunch of their predators don't like sap to eat. Their predators don't like sap stuck on them either.
The Hairy woodpecker is different from the Downy woodpecker because it is hairy, has a smaller area of red feathers on its head (the crest), they live in thicker trees than the Downy woodpecker. The Hairy woodpecker is bigger.
The Northern Flicker woodpecker has gray on its head, no crest, with a black stripe on its neck, a white body that's spotted with black spots, legs that are orange, brown and gray on its tail. They eat different kinds of seeds that some people put in little cages that have big enough holes for their beak to fit in a little bit.
Pileated woodpecker has big holes that are close to the ground. The Hundred-Acre Woods, think how big it is, then just answer the question...do pileateds need that much space? (answer down further) The pileated woodpecker has a cartoon named Woody Woodpecker. Here's a picture of Woody Woodpecker below.
The answer: YES! Because they need a lot of room.
I liked the class. I would want to do it again. April's class is "Boxes for Birds." I'm going to do it so that the birds that come to eat the bird food will have a box to live in.
Georgia does a lot of independent learning. She loves reading from our nonfiction collection.
Another activity she enjoys is playing with the Fisher Price PowerTouch. We have different books with cartridges on different subjects. It is activated by touching the pages of the book.
On Saturday, Georgia attended her class at the Shawnee Prairie Preserve Nature Center. The topic was Woodpeckers. I'll let her talk about it in a subsequent blog entry. While Georgia was at her class, Olivia and I explored various displays and activities at the nature center. We felt different animal furs, saw frogs, looked at different objects under a microscope (one was a snake skin), we did puzzles, studied bugs with a magnifying glass, looked through a box of fossils, viewed and touched a lot of stuffed animals...but her favorite activity was being a junior archaeologist. In a large wooden box filled with dirt, Olivia used a trowel and found some fossils and bones. Then she cleaned the dirt off with a brush. She loved it.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Georgia explored a website on Canada, reading about the early explorers, native animals, the flag, fossils, etc. She then explored the Time For Kids web site on Canada. (from Time magazine) There she read and saw photos of famous places in Canada, a history time line, and she took a quiz called the "Canada Challenge". The Time For Kids site had a passport to print out. After reading about a country on their web site you can print out a stamp to glue in your passport. Georgia is excited about reading on the other countries and collecting their stamps as well.
And of course, she visited the National Geographic site and printed some more animal sheets before getting off the Internet. I believe today it was the wallaby, gray and red kangaroos, mountain lion, and a slue of other ones.
Tonight, Georgia finished reading Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and started reading Ramona Forever. She's almost through the Ramona series.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Georgia read and printed more fact sheets on animals at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/. She also played her Zoo Tycoon game again.
We watched some of the gymnastics competition on television. Then the girls practiced their handstands for nearly an hour. Livy prefers the headstand, actually. Georgia would occasionally have a handstand last for a few seconds. She gets better each time she practices.
She watched a show on Animal Planet about wildebeests on Saturday night.
Olivia and I played a ton of board games...Wee Little Pigs, Goin' Fishin', Animal Crackers Memory, and I don't remember the rest.
Georgia did a couple longitude and latitude plotting worksheets. She had also played a longitude latitude computer game at http://www.kidsgeo.com/.
Georgia finished illustrating a book she made.
Georgia also labeled a diagram on a lunar eclipse after learning what it is and why it happens. We tried to see the total lunar eclipse on Saturday but it was too cloudy. We never saw the moon. We did look at a photo gallery of pictures taken of the eclipse from around the world on Sunday morning.
We also watched part of the Eukanuba Dog Show. The girls read some of the dog breed books from the library. We also looked at some papers I printed from the AKC on the dog groups.
Olivia made a counting book. She read it to me afterwards. She recognized and read the words "How many?" and "I see". I was pretty proud of my lil reader.
Georgia started reading Ramona Quimby, Age 8.
We went on a field trip on Sunday to the Nature Center for the "Sap to Syrup" event, which is discussed in the previous blog.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
The Native Americans used a method of making a hollow log, which would then be filled with collected sap.
Then they would put hot stones into the sap, raising the temperature and evaporating the water. We saw a demonstration of this. It was neat to see the fire-heated stone sizzle in the cold sap. We learned that they made maple syrup "cakes" instead of syrup as it was easier for storing and transporting. We got to try some maple sugar candy that would have been similar to their "cakes".
We also learned how maple syrup was made in colonial times. The sap was collected and put into a large cauldron. The cauldron would be hung over a fire. (Here's a mini version. We did get to see a big cauldron later on...but I didn't get a picture for some reason.)
We got to see inside a sugar house....well, it would be more like a sugar shack I guess. It was enclosed in a tent. We saw how maple syrup is made today. We also got to sample some maple syrup that was made the day before.
And sometimes, when the wind hit right, we were engolfed in the steam of the heating sap and the smoke of the fire.
Next we went into the log cabin, which was made to look as it would have in pioneering days. We purchased some maple sugar candy, maple cream candy, and a book about making maple syrup.
On the way back, Georgia wanted me to get a picture of her in front of a tree she thought was beautiful.
And here's another sign found along the way.
It was freezing and windy...but we had a wonderful time and learned not only how to make maple syrup, but some science and history as well.
When we got home we had a taste test between real maple syrup and pancake syrup. Mark and Georgia were able to distinguish which one was the real one!