Above and Below the Pond

We decided to head out to investigate at a local nature center today! It’s finally warm out and we’ve been reading about pond ecosystems above and below the water. So, what better way to spend the morning than seeing and exploring what we’ve been reading about!

These are some of the books we’ve been taking a look at:

0505151236We were able to see turtles, wild flowers, fish, skate bugs, owls and geese.0505150956

Luke wondered if this was a vanilla bean flower?!

Luke wondered if this was a vanilla bean flower?!

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Two character that were very entertaining!

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Tiny, delicate and beautifully amazing!

This bird drinks from flowers, can fly 500 miles without stopping and has flexible wings that allows them to hover and fly backwards- just to name a few amazing facts!

0428151023We read a few great books and watched a documentary on these amazing little creatures. We learned about their nesting habits, the flexibility of their wings, their heart rate and wing speed, where they live and their migration route. There are about 341 species of hummingbirds.

Twice a year most in the States migrate south and cross the Gulf of Mexico- flying about 500 miles!

Liam dew a map on migration

Liam drew a map on migration

We did an art project using tissue paper to enhance the delicateness of the hummingbirds.

04281511400428151139While watching the documentary, Luke began to mimic the behavior and built himself a nest!

0428150929~2The boys also did some journal work and math before lunch:

Luke picked the word “Growth” and” Birch” said “Oh, that’s perfect since we are learning about birds!” – He dictated the sentence to me and I wrote it in his journal, then he drew the art work.

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I love how poetic the Birch sentences are!

Liam’s word was “Notch” “Jest” He wrote out the definition and then drew up the sketch of a prank being done.

0428150943The other night I was reading Shark Vs. Train to Luke once again, and he really wanted to keep track of their score this time to see just who it is that wins! So, I told him about tally marks and he kept a running tally as I read the story.

0428151036So, today I wanted to reinforce this concept once more and practice counting to 30. He counted out 30 counters, then grouped them into sets of 5 and drew up tally cards for each group- we then counted by 5’s to 30!

0428151044Liam did some math review of multiplying 3 numbers, word problems and did some flashcards and then some Hummingbird math fact word expressions:

0429150922Ended the day with surf lessons!

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A week in photos-

A week of our favorites in photos; California, Maps and Globes, Phonics, Fractions, Decimals and American Sign Language and a couple of workshops!

This is a great app for phoincs/reading! It has a nice progression, very thorough! (free)

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phonics reading- McGuffey app- CVC          

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pick the letter that matches the sound you hear

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learning to divide fractions

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Living Books of the week- I recommend all of these! the Redwoods was my favorite!



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Atlas Scavenger Hunt from A-Z

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tracing a map house template

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paper houses- Luke’s is a map of Thompson so he can live near his Aunt🙂

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California Redwood- Wood burning project

04211514270421151427alife cycle of birds and learning about chicks at the library- Egg samples and size comparisons

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a Rhode Island Red chick

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reading a complete sentence!!

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building words with letter tiles, using CVC pattern

3-D shape collage

3-D shape collage

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Expensive shopping!😉

0420151238   Living Math- he set up  grocery store, priced everything then added them up on the cash register calculator!

A-Z Atlas Scavenger Hunt

A-Z Atlas Scavenger Hunt Completed

Journal Entries: Pick a random word from the dictionary (Reliable)- Liam writes out definition and a picture-( Nay) Luke copies the word and draws a picture. A great change from journal prompts! Great way to incorporate grammar, vocab, spelling and copywork! I’m planning to do this a lot more often!!!

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First to Fifty Fraction Game

First to Fifty Fraction Game

Storytelling Workshop

0423151100b0423151118The boys listened to stories, learned about history through songs and interacted in a couple of stories, then completed the handouts together once home.

We ended the week learning to sign the song “You are my sunshine” and completed reading all our library books! Next week we will continue with world geography mapping, hummingbirds and a bit more on California🙂

Lines and Polygons

What is a line? What are polygons? How are they related? – Those were some of today’s thoughts and investigations!

A polygon is a figure that is closed with straight lines, regular or irregular shaped.  A line is a straight one-dimensional figure having no thickness and extending infinitely in both directions.

I asked the boys to find a polygon in the room. One answer was the rug we were sitting on, the walls, the windows and the best I thought was- the groove in the marble on the fireplace!

So why is this important and worth spending a morning on? Well, for starters it’s the beginnings of geometry and geometric terminology.  Polygons and lines are used in everyday life- mapping out land, engineers use them, painters use them, gardeners use them! They are applicable in almost everything that we do that requires the planning of materials for a structure or of a space.

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We read two great books about lines and then I handed them each a large piece of yarn for them to create their own images using a line.

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tracing his finger along- bonus for pre -writing skills!

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a bird shape

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it’s a man!

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making loops

Then we did a few activities in our Kaleidoscope math book. Using a mirror and the images of triangles, in the reflected images, regular polygons were seen! Polygons can have 3 sides up to 12 sides.

After viewing several of these – What would happen if our mirror included more than one central angle? A heptagon was now seen!

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We then took a break and read some poetry together and then I worked with Luke while Liam worked in him fraction workbook.

Sticking with lines; we did a tactile activity. I asked him to make lower case letters using the wiki sticks as we read an alphabet book.

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He then went on to make his own cross-bow with them afterwards- came out cool!

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Line and polygon art-

They used wave lines and then filled in the waves using as many lines as they could think of.

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Then Liam ended his morning with a coding lesson, learning about artist sequence. Look- it’s lines and polygons!😉

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Building and Engineering!

Imagination at work! That is what’s been going on here…. I have a busy 5 yr old engineer who has been constructing famous buildings with his blocks and constructing roller coasters and planning how to make an angry bird cart! I have an 11 yr old who is learning how to code apps! Busy boys- that’s what I like to see (along with playing outdoors of course)

The talk of New York city prompted the construction of buildings- I set up an exploration table in his room hoping to foster some independent learning last week, with the plan of changing it out and rotating materials as warranted.  Using the Montessori cards I found on pinterest- he went straight to work!

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Love the lego statue of liberty!

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honey bee and comb design

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And...here is the app. Liam learned to code today (Flappy Birds)- if you’d like to try and play it real quick! Great program – Code.org

Even simplified for kids as young as first grade to get started with a pre- reader level!

Wood Frog Class!

Now that all the snow has been gone for about a week and a half, the wood frogs nature class was finally a go!

These are some really neat frogs! They dwell in the northern most climates and can shut down their bodies for the winter months and then “bring themselves back to life” in the spring.

At our class today we all headed down to the vernal pool and though the frogs were quiet, we did get to see eggs and some spring growth happening. Liam had learned in the forestry class a few weeks ago that if you count a sprig of pines, you will then be able to name the type of pine tree it came from. Meaning 5 pine needles= a 5 letter word= WHITE- white pine.

counting pine needles

counting pine needles

spring growth- the shape of them caught our eye

spring growth- the shape of them caught our eye

Looking for frogs

Looking for frogs

Observing eggs! About 500 in this picture

Observing eggs! About 500 in this picture

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eggs floating on the surface of the pool

eggs floating on the surface of the pool

Hiking to the Harbor Seals!

We headed out to Rome Point this morning hoping once more to see some harbor seals. It was sunny and the tide was out, so our hopes were high….

The boys each worked on math and then we all listened to the audio book of Same Sun Here as we drove. We’re on disk 4 and Liam is loving this one! He said he’s sad it’s almost over, he’d love to listen to the story for a longer period of time.

Overview

In this extraordinary novel in letters, an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner’s son find strength and perspective by sharing their true selves across the miles.

Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences. With honesty and humor, Meena and River bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions.

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Once at the nature preserve we began our hike and finally got to watch the seals! (mostly through the binoculars) I counted about 40 of them! They were all on the rocks sunning themselves, unfortunately my camera doesn’t have the greatest zoom lens, but I can see them in the photos.

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