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


2nd Grade Week in Review September 12, 2011

Art: This week, Jedi continued his unit on where art can be found….this time we learned about the art on the walls of pyramids and the floors of palaces.  The pyramid unit worked very well because we also were talking about pyramids for history!  Since we don’t have pyramids, we had to use long paper.  Jedi learned that in Egypt, those commissioned to paint the murals first created a grid out of red paint in order to be able to properly proportion the work.  So first, Jedi and I made a red grid on his paper.  Then he painted a mural…he chose to create a mural that depicts hiking.

The second artform was paintings on the floors of palaces.  I don’t have a palace here, nor do I want him painting on my floor ( 😉 ), so we choose a darker colored piece of construction paper and some soft pastels.  These palace floor paintings were usually of flowers or water, so Jedi chose to draw the lake he went camping and swimming at this summer.

Creating a mural similar to the mural paintings on the inside of pyramids


A closeup of his mural. He did a mural on hiking.


Doing his "floor painting" using dark construction paper and soft pastels.


Math:  In math, Jedi learned about adding 8 to a number.  He also began to learn about graphing by graphing the daily temperature.  This was also an exercise in estimation since the graph only had the 10’s labeled…Jedi had to learn to estimate the numbers in between that weren’t written on the graph.

Working on is addition table


Learning graphing by graphing the daily temperature


History: This week, we finished our unit on Ancient Egypt.  Jedi learned how pyramids were made, and wanted to make one of his own.  Jedi used legos in order to create his own mini-pyramid.

Jedi making a pyramid out of legos


Science: We moved from cnidaria last week to worms this week.  The weather was absolutely awful for going out and having an earthworm hunt, so we had to use our composting red worms from our indoor vermicomposter for most of our work this week.  Jedi created his own worm environment in a jar to see how long it would take for the worms to create soil.  The first layer in our jar was sand, followed by dirt, followed by oatmeal, followed by some scraps of fruit & veggies, followed by more sand, another layer of dirt, and another layer of oatmeal.  On top of that, we put some compost from our bin that had worm castings, red worms, and some red worm eggs.  Jedi got to see some very very tiny newly born worms, and the shiny eggs.  As of this morning (4 days after creating the habitat), the red worms have completely transformed the top two layers into castings!

Setting up his composting jar.


Worms on top of the composting jar.


The finished jar.


English/Spelling: This week, we worked on the endings ‘ck’, ‘sk’, ‘k’, and double letters like ‘ss’.  Jedi also did daily journal writing.  We also started working on more non-fiction reading comprehension because that is an area Jedi is having some trouble in.  To go along with the 9/11 theme we were working on this week, I found a passage in our reading comprehension workbook that talked about the Statue of Liberty.

Jedi working on some non-fiction reading comprehension. This passage was on the Statue of Liberty.


Misc.: Also this week, all three kids started their homeschool co-op classes.  The kids go once a week to a co-op with a bunch of other area homeschooling families.  Jedi got to pick his classes from the list of available classes…he chose gym, Flat Stanley (a geography & literature class), Art Around The World (an art & geography class), and Picture Books (literature, art, and creative writing).  Bug and Monkey are doing a Geography & Culture class as well as a “mommy and me” music class.  Monkey is also doing a “seasonal fun preschool play” class.  All three were excited for their first day…especially since they all got to carry backpacks.  Apparently that’s a big deal when you’re homeschooled. LOL!

Bug, Jedi, & Monkey ready for the first day of homeschool co-op.