Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

I am behind on sharing our adventures with all of you but I am determined to catch up. So here we go..

A few weeks ago our book of the week was How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. I decided when planning this week that I was going to keep it simple, only plan activities from the Five in a Row manual. I would not add any extra activities that I found on the Five in a Row message boards or plan a lapbook. Zoey and I are enjoying the lapbooks and extra activities but I thought we were ready for a week of simplicity. I was right.

We started off the week by finding all of the countries visited in the book to gather the ingredients for an apple pie. We found Italy, France (second time for France since we already found it in Madeline,) Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica, and also the state of Vermont. I had books for most of these places and as usual Zoey had no interest. That was until she saw me looking at them. We looked at all of the pictures and she wanted to know what they were all about. We also put story disks on the world map to mark all of the places the book took us. Our map is getting quite full. Especially since Sierra had to add to story disks to the map herself. That week Sierra was in love with the book Two Crazy Pigs and so I gave her two circles to color and she chose where to put them. Apparently the pigs in the book are from the Saudi Arabia and Russia. It is great that she wants to join in everything we do. It is also great that she takes a nap so Zoey and I can do things just the two of us. Or so Mommy can take a quick nap while catches up on a TV show.

Tuesday was a busy day. Before we read the story we went over some vocabulary words. I asked Zoey to listen for the words; ingredients, superb, locate, elegant, coax, persuade, native, and plantation. I told her the definitions for the words and we started reading the book. She was so excited every time she heard one of the words. She found almost all of them while we read. Going forward, she has used superb and elegant in her own speech. When we were done reading we looked through the book to find all the funny things we could find either in the pictures or in the words. The cow going skydiving was my favorite part. Zoey said her favorite part was everything. Sierra said, "going." I have no idea what she is referring to. The last thing we did was to pantomime the actions near the end of the story. We ground wheat into flour, milked the cow, churned butter, just to name a few.

Art day did not go as planned. I had planned to draw street scenes like in the book but Zoey wanted nothing to do with it. Oh well, no big deal. We did discuss the contrast in the colors used in the book but I think that went over her head. We did some subtraction with apples and then that led to playing games with the fruit manipulatives that we have.

On Friday we started off the day with a science experiment. We made salt water and we were supposed to leave it out for who knows how long to let the water evaporate and discover we only had salt left. Zoey did have fun sticking her finger in the water and writing on the sidewalk. We watched that water evaporate. Well we waited days and that water never went away so I poured it out. Later on Friday we went shopping to buy everything for the apple pie. I wanted to make it more fun so we pretended that we were going around the world while at the store to get all of our ingredients.  I started off by saying, "Oh no the market is closed." The book starts that way. Well, Sierra kept saying it too the whole time we were in the store "traveling the world." It was so funny. For days after that Sierra would say, "Oh no maket cosed" when we went to the store. Zoey completely and totally got into pretending to travel the world while at the store. She just said to me right now, "Remember when we went the store and pretended it was the world and then we came back home?" We didn't have time that day to make our pie so we did it on Monday. This was a good thing because my Mom was able to come over and help. We had a good time but I will say this. I am never making an apple pie again and THANK YOU to my Mom for helping. Ugh, pie crust!

The one thing that I did add into this week was salt sculptures. Mom got me some baby food jars and I had a container of salt I wanted used up. I gave Zoey sidewalk chalk and a bowl of salt and showed her how to color the salt. They came out really pretty. Zoey could wait to shake hers up. It took all I had in me to let her do it. Sierra woke up from nap and did one too. I wasn't sure if she would be able to do it or not but she did great.

The weather also was very nice this week. We had plenty of days to go outside and play. Zoey loves riding her new bike Poppy got for her and Sierra just loves to run and hop. The leaf color this week is the best this week and the girls continue to collect them. I even pulled the van over in a parking lot to pick some very bright red leaves. I hope you enjoyed this weeks review. Hopefully I will be caught up soon. Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Autumn Treasures

We took two weeks to enjoy this until study. We also used some of this time to finish up our lapbook about Lentil. Zoey wants me to film her talking about it and share it with everybody.  The bad thing about waiting this long to share what we did is I have forgotten most of what we did. The good part is I can tell you what Zoey really did learn because of what she talks about after we are done with the subject.  Anyways, let's get to the fun that we had.

We watched some short videos from YouTube that showed fall colors. Both girls loved this and were mesmerized by them. We went on a nature walk to gather leaves but it was sprinkling so we got our rain gear on. We walked all over the yard looking for different kinds of leaves so that we could identify them later.

We found on the calendar when the first day of Fall was and when the last day of Fall will be. Zoey tells me she is ready for winter because she wants it to snow. She would also like me to give her the exact date she can expect it to snow here. I'll work on that.

On day two we learned why leaves change colors and where they change colors. When I tried to show Zoey on the map where leaves changed colors she was not interested. Then weeks later I overheard her tell Mat how leaves don't change color everywhere. She added that they don't change color in Egypt.  I don't remember mentioning Egypt but I guess I did. I laugh that I learn something and remember it for a week, at best. Zoey or Sierra learn something and they never forget it. On this day we also learned about how nuts, acorns and other seeds are spread. We also have been doing leaf rubbings and leaf art. With some of the links provided in the study we are able to identify all of our leaves. Zoey recognizes the sycamore leaf everywhere we go now.

Next we learn about Johnny Appleseed. I found a great book at Zoey's level to read to her about him. This lead to learning about the different stages an apple tree goes through and lots of stuff about apples.

After this we learned about what animals do to get ready for the winter. We learned which animals migrate, which animals hibernate, and what other animals do. This worked out so nicely since there has been a squirrel burying nuts in our backyard. We talked about why they have to prepare for the winter. Zoey has talked about this so much since we studied this. One day while talking to my mom on the phone she was looking out into the back yard. She said, "I am just watching the birds. They are not hibernating." We also watched some short videos about the monarch butterfly and how they migrate to a small wooded area in Mexico.

On our last day we learned about pop corn and candy corn. This was so fun. We popped popcorn on the stove after watching a slow-motion video of popcorn popping. That was so neat. The girls sat on the counter opposite of the stove waiting for the kernel of corn they put in to pop. Then I filled up the pan and we listened to the popping. The girls laughed and laughed. We also watched a video of how candy corn is made. I was surprised how interested they were in that one. Weeks later we were sitting in the living room and Zoey starts banging into the couch and making an odd noise. She says she is making corn. I am confused for a bit then I ask her if she means candy corn. Yes that is it! She was so funny pretending to be a machine. We watched Toy Story 3 while we ate the popcorn and candy corn. What a great way to end our study. We had a great time and the girls are still collecting leaves, identifying them, and so much more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rule of two....bananas

A very long time ago, way before Zoey was born, Mat and I noticed something about bananas at our house. No matter how many we would buy we would always have two left over. Buy 10, 2 left over. Buy 5, 2 left over. Sometimes I would tell Mat, "Maybe we should just buy two bananas and throw them away. This seemed to continue well after Zoey and Sierra came into our lives until sometime in the last year. Now we always run out of bananas. If either of the girls wants one the other automatically wants one too. So we buy bananas all the time, making note of how they were less expensive in Florida. So what is my point to this story you ask? Well yesterday we had two very brown bananas. It made me think about the rule of twos with bananas. We have changed so much as a family, the biggest being my two little banana eaters. So instead of throwing the brown bananas away I invited my two little banana eaters to help me make banana bread. I told them how daddy loves banana bread and this would be a nice surprise for him. We love cooking together. It is hard to take turns but I have got to learn to share eventually, right? The banana bread was excellent. Sierra loved it. Zoey said it was so-so. I loved it. Mat was pleasantly surprised and loved it too. Thank you to my two little banana eating assistants.