Thursday, September 27, 2007

Muncie Children's Museum

Earlier this month we went to the Muncie Children's Museum in Muncie, Indiana. We were able to get in free with our Boonshoft membership due to the reciprocity agreement. Here's a link to their web site:
The girls started digging for fossils in the archaeology area.
They also had fun climbing a tree, going in a cave, and crawling in an ant tunnel.

They explored a barn with animals, a train, a post office, a grocery store, and learned about boating safety while fishing with magnetic poles.

They enjoyed a game of checkers.

And saw what it looked like to be inside a kaleidascope.

They each loved trying out the saddle.

They explored the inside of a semi....

And Olivia enjoyed being a teacher.
We also learned about hearing and participated in a demonstration of how the ear works, as well as the different taste buds.
We had a fun time and will have to visit again when we are back in the area.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Geocaching Shawnee Prairie Preserve

Cache "Number Four", just one more to go before we've completed the Shawnee Five.

Georgia found some fungus growing beside the path.

Found it! It was in a hollow log.

Mark's pants are a great example of how effective hitchhiker seeds spread!

August Topics

Topics studied in August include...

Letter writing: Georgia learned the common parts of a letter, and how to address an envelope. She also wrote a couple letters to friends and family.

Braiding: Georgia learned how to braid hair, practicing with yarn...and then on my hair.

Sound waves and their properties: The girls learned about sound waves and different qualities of sound from watching a Magic School Bus dvd. They learned the differences in high and low waves, how echoes are produced, as well as vibrations and how we hear.

Bats and Spiders: The girls also watched episodes from the Magic School bus on bats and spiders.

Cooking and Baking: Georgia cooked on the stove for the first time. She followed a recipe and made blueberry and banana pancakes. She measured, mixed, poured, and flipped, using care as not to get burned. She did great! The girls also made their own peach tarts from a Georgia (the state) recipe. They especially loved rolling out the dough.

Photography: Georgia practiced using a camera and learned the differences between 35 mm and digital cameras. She loves taking pictures. We are looking into getting her her own camera.

State Studies: This year, Georgia will be studying the states. She picked out a three-ring binder where she will keep her work. First she chose to study Georgia. She learned about its geography, history, natural resources, industries, and state emblems. She also learned the history of the peach, and vidalia onions. (we also sampled some in our cooking) She learned the anatomy and history of the peanut plant and how it grows. She read about the brown thrasher (the state bird), the cherokee rose (the state flower), and the bob white (the state game bird).

The second state she chose was Pennsylvania. Besides its geography, and resources, Georgia has learned about Benjamin Franklin, the Gettysburg Address, the Liberty Bell, lightening bugs (one of its state bugs), the white tailed deer (the state mammal), the Great Dane (the state dog), trilobites (the state fossil), as well as learning about Pittsburgh after taking a trip there.

She is now studying Texas.

Reading: the girls both love to read, and it is so nice to walk into a room and see them both reading away.

Georgia has read some library books on: wild horses, gazelles, spiders, hippos, tunas, salmon, orangutans, dragonflies, bacteria, fungi, and protists.

Spelling and Vocabulary: Georgia gets a list of new words on Monday and writes a sentence using each word. On Wednesday she has a quiz. If there are any wrong then she has a test on Friday. So far she has gotten them all right on her Wednesday quizzes. I was using words from a third grade list. I have now made them a little more challenging. Georgia loves to learn new words. She wants to receive new words everyday now. I'm working on it!

Post Office: the girls watched a tour of the inside of a post office, seeing the sorting machines and learning about what happens to mail once it is sent.

Horse Competitions: the girls both love to play horse computer games. They take care of the horse, cleaning, feeding, dressing. And they can compete in horse competitions in the game. They had a chance to watch some real horse competitions at the fair this year. They LOVED it.

Protists, Fungi, Bacteria, and Decomposers: Georgia is reading some books from the library on this topic. After reading about mold she wanted to do her own experiment. I'll write more when her results are in....but it has to do with which environment is best for bread mold. This fall there is also a fungi hunt led by a naturalist from the Nature Center. We will be attending and learning more about fungi.

Fossils and Archaeology: We have discussed the ways we get information about the past. We also learned about trilobites and have seen these fossils for ourselves.

Flooding causes and effects: After the recent flooding the took place in the midwest, Georgia was curious about flooding, how it happens, and what it does. She saw some pictures and videos of flooding. The girls also played with sand and water, trying to see for themselves what water can do.

Math: Olivia has been doing her number cups...up to number ten. She does good and I will be increasing the numbers soon. Georgia has been working in her math textbook, workbook, and practice book. She also likes to figure out fractions and percentages. For example, she will keep notes on her jumping in the horse game. She will figure out what percent of the jumps are successful.

Another thing the girls have been into is puzzles. They love putting together puzzles. We purchased a double-sided puzzle from National Geographic that is a map of the world. One side is a physical map, the other a political map. Georgia is getting really good at looking at a piece and figuring out where it goes based on the names of the cities or rivers on that piece.

They have also completed a puzzle on the United States.

And we had to buy another one for them to try. This one was 300 pieces and is a picture of a scene from the turn of the century.

Bead jewelry: the girls love to create. Bead jewelry is one of Georgia's favorites.