Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

2nd grade week in review September 19, 2011

Art:  Both of Jedi’s art lessons this week involved clay.  In the first lesson, he used clay to make a seal…a raised object on a textured slab of clay.  Jedi made a giraffe.  In the second lesson, Jedi learned about art on pottery.  In order to do this, first he made a clay pot, and then he painted some figures on it in black paint.

Jedi's clay seal--he put a giraffe as his seal.

 

Working on his pinch pot. Once it dried, he painted small figures on it.

 

Math: In math, we continued our work on the addition table, this time working on doubles (2 + 2, 4 + 4, etc.) and near doubles (2 + 3, 4 + 5, etc.).  We also worked on odd & even numbers.

Working on his addition table

 

Working on "odd" and "even". The tiles helped him to see what happens when you add an odd number to an odd number, an even number to an even number, and an odd number to an even number.

 

Life Science: This week, we finished our unit on worms.  We used one of our composing words and conducted experiments with him to see if worms like light or dark (by covering half of a pan with foil and leaving half open to see what side he preferred), sweetness (by putting some ice cream on the pan and seeing how the worm responded), chemicals (by putting some vinegar near the worm), hot or cold (by putting a warm towel and a cool towel under him and seeing which one he preferred), and smooth or rough (by putting a piece of sandpaper on the tray).  For each test, except for the vinegar, the worm had half of his body on the control and half on the experimental part.  We then observed which direction the worm went–towards the control or towards the experiment.  We found out the worm liked dark, cool, rough, and sweet.  And did NOT like vinegar.

Jedi's worm for the test

 

Testing if the worm likes light or dark

 

Using sandpaper to test if the worm likes smooth or rough

 

Geography: In order to test how animals survive in arctic climates, we filled a bowl of ice water.  Jedi placed one hand in the ice water to see how it felt (he didn’t keep it in very long!)  With his other hand, we put a plastic bag on his hand, and then filled another plastic bag with shortening.  We then put that 2nd bag over his bagged hand and molded the fat layer around his hand.  Then, he stuck his hand in the ice water and didn’t feel any of the cold!

Jedi's hand in a bag of shortening. He then dipped his wrapped hand and his unwrapped hand into the ice water to see what each felt like.

 

History: This week, we began our work on ancient India & the Indus Valley.  The big thing that Jedi learned was that villagers in Ancient Egypt could use the sea and rivers to trade with the villagers in Ancient India.  We also learned about Mohenjo-Daro and the fact that the city perished with no known reason.

English: Jedi continued his daily journaling.  He also worked on words ending in ‘ng’ and ‘nk’.

Chemistry: We began learning about the periodic table this week in chemistry.  Jedi used marshmallows to make the first 10 elements on the periodic table–pink marshmallows were protons, large white ones were neutrons, and small white ones were electrons.

Using small white marshmallows, large white marshmallows, and large pink marshmallows to form the protons, neutrons, and electrons of the first 10 elements in the periodic table.

 

Close-up of a few of the elements

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Tet Trung Thu September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12th, was the Vietnamese holiday Tet Trung Thu, which is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival.  Because Monkey is Vietnamese, we try to honor as many of the Vietnamese holidays as possible.  We also try to take that opportunity to teach her a little more about her birth culture.  Here’s how our family celebrated Tet Trung Thu this year….

 

Because of gluten, dairy, nut, and egg allergies, we can't order our mooncakes, and I have to adapt recipes to fit. But, here is my attempt at mooncakes this year. 🙂

 

The inside....it's tofutti cream cheese and then a cocoa powder & date paste. We ate them by the light of the harvest moon.

 

The kids making their papier mache masks (children in Vietnam wear special masks on Tet Trung Thu)

 

The masks waiting to dry

 

After the papier mache dried, the kids painted their masks with tempura paint.

 

The final products!

 

Making and decorating lanterns

 

Jedi doing a little woodworking and making a small wooden dragon

 

Jedi & Monkey with their dragons

 

Getting ready to have our own little parade around the neighborhood by moonlight

 

Bug, complete with some maracas (not sure why they grabbed those, but they were fun to have along!) and a princess costume (which is completely and utterly Bug at her finest...always in a princess dress.)

 

The beautiful harvest moon

 

Processing around the cul-de-sac

 

My cute little girls...

 

Montessori Monday June 27, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 4 months old

 

Since this past week was the start of summer, we changed the Spring Tree to a Summer Tree.

Bug putting leaves on the tree as well.

The finished tree

Monkey practicing writing the names of animals.

Using the knobbed cylinders--this was her first time using all four at once.

Monkey was working on being able to retell a story. She is really into the princess stories right now, so she worked on a felt board of Sleeping Beauty.

Monkey is making patterns with the pattern beads.

We were talking about spiders this week, so the girls made spider web paintings. We coated a marble with white paint and then rolled it around on black paper.

Here, she was putting together the alphabet dragon. She recognized every letter and put them in order without help!

Pin punching the China puzzle piece

Making Chinese fans out of popsicle sticks and construction paper.

Monkey's final product!

 

Montessori Monday June 20, 2011

 

Monkey is 4 years 4 months old

Monkey was really excited to get back into the school room this week.  She also seemed to gravitate towards the craft works (which, I suppose most kids would! 😉 ).  It does seem more difficult to get her to try any of the sensorial…she loves practical life, art, and writing, but really seems to avoid sensorial.  I wonder if her history of sensory processing disorder plays a roll in that?

We did a lot with ladybugs and bees this week. Here is monkey using tempura paint to make ladybug rocks.

 

I found this counting exercise at kidssoup.com. On each page is a ladybug and a number, and I had Monkey draw the number of dots on the ladybug as the number represented. To help with self correction, I drew the correct number of dots below the ladybug.

 

Lifecycle of a butterfly tray

 

Using the dot markers to decorate a butterfly

 

Ladybug puzzle

 

Life cycle of a butterfly cards

 

Making father's day cards out of collage materials

 

Pinching clothes pins onto a basket

 

Using the numerals & counters

 

Monkey with the feather she found outside

 

Playing with wax sticks (we were learning about bees, and the two main products from bees--wax & honey. That morning, they had honey on their toast too! 😉 )

 

Making a honeycomb

 

Toddler Tuesday April 19, 2011

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 1:16 pm
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Bitty Bug is 2 years 3 months old

Here are a couple pictures of Bug working in the school room this week!

Bitty Bug is still loving the craft time. She worked very hard meticulously placing feathers on her cardinal!

She also loved working in the sensory bin. She was arranging flowers in the small flower pots for quite some time!

While this work was intended to be a tonging work, Bug decided that she wanted to work on opening & closing the eggs, and matching the halves together by colors. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised...she has been on a huge color kick lately!

Here, Bug is attempting to thread the large buttons onto the shoelaces. This was still very hard for her to do, but she did actually get the string through the button holes!

Bug was really proud of herself when she finally learned to snip paper with scissors. She concentrated very hard on this work, and was so careful to keep her fingers out of the way. She was really impressed with the power she had to change the paper from a straight piece of paper, to a paper full of little cuts.