Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Too busy to type...

We have been so busy lately with school and life in general I have been too busy to type anything here. My last update was about Katy and the Big Snow. After than we started a unit study about Winter from the company Download N Go.  Even though we tried multiple times to get through this we only made it through day three.
Winter Wonders
Day 1: What is Winter?
Day 2: Science Secrets of Winter
Day 3: People and Places of Winter
The nice thing about unit studies is they are for multiple ages. Whatever we missed this time we will get the next time we study it. I think because we did so much winter themed books Zoey was just done with the subject by the time we started this. We had fun with the days we did do. Sierra loves joining in on these too since there are interesting videos clips to watch. Most are only a few minutes, which are just the right length. 
Next we moved on to the book, Stopping by Woods on a Snow Evening by Robert Frost. This was more of a study in poetry and artwork than winter. We learned about Alliteration, the repetitive consonant sound in the lines of poetry. We worked on memorizing parts of the poem too. This week was very relaxed as every activity was only discussion based.
Ready for something new our next book of the week was Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Burton. I didn't think Zoey was going to like this book very much but I was very wrong. She loved hearing the story over and over again and dove into the activities each day with gusto. Zoey decided to put the story disk on North Carolina since we keep seeing large construction equipment here. They are widening the road near the library so we see road construction equipment all the time. We liked finding old things in the book and discusses Mike Mulligan's flexibility on day one. On day two we learned about how you can come up with a variety of characters for a story you are writing, learned vocabulary words, discussed what a literary classic is and discussed personification again. This time we personified our van by giving it a name, Graycilla the Wondervan.  For Art we drew simple trees like in the book and experimented with different ways to show motion in a drawing. On Thursday we got out the geoboards. We first made a square, four corners neat and square, just like the basement Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Maryann, dug. We made more shapes and designs after that just to see what we could come up with.  Our science experiment on Friday did not go so well. We made a simple pinwheel, attached it to a pencil eraser with a pin and held it over a pan of boiling water. The steam rising was supposed to make it spin. Nope! At least we tried. Zoey didn't seem to care and I didn't think she really even remembered it after a few minutes. However, last week when we were in Target she saw a pinwheel. She said, "Hey Mommy, remember that thing we made and it didn't work!" I could only laugh. Children really do remember everything. We also had discussions about creative thinking and road engineering so the day wasn't a total bust.  All week long we read books about large equipment and now a month later Zoey still doesn't want to take those books back to the library.  This week was a huge success!

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909 by Alice Provensen took us off into our next adventure.  This book is based on Luis Bleriot's flight across the English Channel. It has added hummor and wonderful illustrations that made it a hit with Zoey and Sierra. The story disk went right over the english channel. We had to move Madeline and How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World's story disks a bit to fit it in which gave us a great chance to review what we learned about those books and France and England. Many things were discussed throughout the week, family relationships, making reparations, italics, ordinal numbers and so on. We also learned about Onomatopoeia (words that create the sound as you say them, for example, boom.) Zoey really liked saying this word and completely understood what it ment. One day when I couldn't remember how to pronounce it, she did!  By the middle of the week we were enjoying some beautiful weather so we took school outside which gave us the perfect place to do the art activity, perspective and viewpoint. We drew an apple upclose and far away, from the bottom and the top. We looked at examples in the book of different perspectives and Zoey got it! I loved it when I took the apple to the other end of the yard and she drew it so tiny. We did our reading and math outside too. It was a great day.

The last day of the week Mat and I flew to Dallas so we finished up things the following week. I am always amazed how simple things like making paper airplanes can thrill young children. The girls played with thier paper airplanes all week (the second week) and we read all of the go-allong books about airplanes and avation history that we got from the library. One day Zoey and Sierra were playing with the planes outside. Zoey set up her buckets in a row. She told me they were the White Cliffs of Dover.

A large bowl was the English Channel and she flattened out a grass spot and called that the city.

She then made multiple attempts to fly Blairot XI (what Zoey named her paper airplane) over the English Channel. Finally she had a success, just like in the book!

She did this all on her own. I thought it was awsome but maybe I am biased. You can see the white bowl she used as the English Channel in the foreground of this photo. LOL Things really can be simple for kids with imagination.

Aside from the book of the week we continued with phonics, math and other various stuff. Zoey is learning to read more and more every day and it is freaking me out just a little bit. Well I have one more book of the week to catch up on and now we are doing a unit study of Spring with the same company, Download n Go but reviews of those will have to wait as dinner must be started. Thanks for enjoying our journey with us! I can't believe you read the whole thing! Please note, I typed this very fast with multiple distractions and spell check is not working.


A few days ago Zoey had some ice in her drink. It was starting to melt and she was looking at it and told Mat and I she was doing an activity. She was waiting for the ice to melt and then she was drinking it. We both laughed (after she left the room.) I guess simple things really are the best huh?