Monday: Social Studies
Next, we built a city with blocks, much like the city of Geoppolis used in Burton's illustrations. I printed off a compass and we played a simple game to reinforce the concept of direction: I called out which direction to move "Katy" (OK, so it was a Bob the Builder toy), and Ben had to use the compass to help Katy plow out that side of town.
I will admit that we tried to build the town using toothpicks and marshmallows before resorting to blocks, but strangely the marshmallows kept disappearing so we eventually gave up and ate them all. Still, very fun activity and well worth the time (and calories).
|(Doing school in our jammies with awesome bedhed.)|
Tuesday: Language Arts
We talked about personification today, and I sent the kids scouring through magazines and our sticker collection for examples of personification. Considering the fact that they had to first have a concept of what is "living vs. not living," rather than "fictional" (trust me, this doesn't seem so much like semantics when you're explaining the difference to a five year old who wants to put a picture of a dragon talking on his collage because they aren't real) we did quite well.
|We let the TV comic addition slide because the reasoning was quite good: "TVs aren't living and still it's talking! That's personification!" Well, close enough for me! :)|
OK, truth. We did absolutely nothing for school on Wednesday. See The Importance of Nothing post if you'd like more info on that.
We kept math simple this week and focused mainly on counting. We counted telephone poles, horses, buildings (that took a while!) and lots of other things with the younger children.
We introduced the concept of inches in feet, as well. I got out my homemade felt board and cut up some simple props to introduce the concept of 12 inches being equal to one foot.
|I made the foot lengths double the width of a ruler (so that I could stack up the inch parts on it with blue showing). I made the yellow blocks one inch squares.|
|Since the snow in Katy gets to be five feet deep, I cut six "foot" lengths (one extra to stack the one inch blocks on).|
|The kids practiced putting twelve inch blocks onto the felt board to equal one foot length.|
|We recorded our results on our clipboard.|
|We measured out 10 inches onto our graph because that was how much snow Virginia Burton gave Geoppolis. Next, we added 4 inches because that's how much snow we have at our house. Geoppolis had more! :)|
|Next, we measured out five feet, marking each foot just as Burton does in the book. "One foot, two feet, three feet..."|
|Just to put it all in perspective, we measured how tall we were in relation to the snowfall amounts. The kids were pretty amazed at how tall five feet of snow really was!|
|The blue Post-Its on the chart are Ben's height and mine.|
Since we worked on counting and measuring in math, we continued the theme into our science work today. We decided to find out how much water is really in snow, and here's how we did it:
|We took a mason jar outside and collected some snow.|
|Then we marked the jar with the level of snow, using a dry erase marker. We measured how many inches we had.|
|We had to go to bed before our glass was completely melted (maybe that's a commentary on how cold we keep our house??), but by morning here's how the jar looked. Totally melted!|
|The dry erase marker had been rubbed off with all of the measuring that we had done, but using our chart I was able to recreate the important lines. It would seem that it takes just a little water to make a lot of snow!|
Other activities we did this week which relate to our row:
Because I don't use separate curricula for all my age groups (I have an infant, a toddler, and a preschool/kindergartner) I use differentiated activities throughout the week to appeal to my younger kids within the context of the FIAR book (which is designed for kids 5-8). (If you have only younger children you may want to check out Before Five In a Row, which is designed for children ages 2-4.) Sometimes this means adapting the planned activities from the lesson book, and sometimes it means creating completely different experiences for my littlest ones. Below are our whole-family approaches to this book.
We were fortunate enough to have a snow storm at the beginning of the week, so we did some dramatic play outside with "Katy-like" props.
|This is a rowing activity for all ages!|
|Here's "Katy," plowing the roads!|
|Here are a couple of the smaller snow plows getting stuck.|
|Here comes "Katy" to rescue the stuck snow plows.|
|When she tired of building with marshmallows and toothpicks, Ava worked on coloring some street sign printables. This was appropriate because Burton's illustrations include many road signs. We used this set in our work this week.|
|Even little Ellie won't be left out- she colors on, well, everything.|
|Ava colors a few more street signs.|
|Then she cuts them out (this is great fine motor skill work). We match the signs we can with the book and put the rest in the van to match out on the roads as we drive around town for a little "real world application."|
Our last activity was very sciency, but also very artsy: we made Borax crystal snowflakes. Ava couldn't handle the hot glass by herself (her brother was all too happy to take over this task), but she had a grand time bending her pipe cleaners and playing with the final product.
|Make a "snowflake" from pipe cleaners.|
|Add Borax to boiling water in a mason jar.|
|Stir. (Awesome dinosaur oven mitt courtesy of Uncle Phil.)|
|Suspend snowflake from a string tied to a pencil in the solution.|
|To the adult eye this may not look like a snowflake (note to self: don't use colored pipe cleaners for this activity!), but to a couple of young kids in my house this is the coolest thing that has ever happened in the history of the world. Seriously.|