Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ducks Don't Get Wet

During our review week we looked back at several FIAR books we had previously studied.  One day we focused on The Story about Ping...a wonderful book that allows you to take many directions for learning.  You can study ducks, China, pandas, buoyancy, and much more.  You can see our other activities for The Story about Ping by clicking here

As we looked back over an old favorite, we also learned more about ducks.  We read Ducks Don't Get Wet and began to understand how ducks stay dry.

Our science center for the day was an experiment to compare two covered in oil and one without oil.  

A ducks natural process of staying oily is called preening.  To mimic this, we covered one construction paper duck with vegetable oil and we left the other duck alone.   

Then Old Crow sprayed water on both ducks.  And you can guess what happened. ;)  The plain duck soaked up the water and began to tear.  The water sprayed on the oiled duck just rolled right off.  Just like real ducks with oiled feathers.

Now the next time we head to lake, we'll have to be sure to watch the ducks.  :)


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Traveling Homeschool

Today we took a rode trip.  After everyone was buckled in, I packed a basket full of books for the boys to keep between them.  We decided to have a "traveling book mobile" 
and bring our school with us. :)  For an hour, they read and talked to each other about their books (and they forgot all about asking to watch the tv).

Memphis Belle even wanted to get in on the action.  


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fun with words and sounds

Each day as part of our reading time Old Crow works with both sight words and phonics.  I try to change and rotate the activities so that he will have something new and exciting every day.  Below is a compilation of some of his favorite activities (a big thank you to Pinterest and my "retired" teacher-sister for giving me tons of supplies).

Using magnetic letter tiles to spell sight words

Writing the sight words on the dry erase board

Using vowel letter tiles to complete the word card and then matching it to the object

Sorting objects into groups by the vowel sound

Highlighting sight words in a book, magazine, or newspaper

Choosing a consonant letter tile and adding it to the word family card; then he decides whether the word is real or non-sense and writes the word in the appropriate column

Driving his race car to match the sight word I call out

Reading aloud with fluency :)


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stopping by Woods

Recently we had the chance to read Robert Frost's famous poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.  It gave us the opportunity to study poetry and also many other fun learning themes: snow, animals in winter, and animal tracks.  Here is how our week went while we rowed Stopping by Woods.  

I read aloud Stopping by Woods and explained to Old Crow that this type of writing is called a poem.  Then of course he says, "What is a poem?"  So Monday we focused on one characteristic of many poems...rhyming.  We looked for rhyming words throughout this story and we also read other poems (Dr. Seuss), looking specifically for rhyming words.  He also practiced matching rhyming words during his independent time. 

We also discussed what snow is and read about it in our Abeka science book.  Since it is 70 degrees in February, it is unlikely we will see snow anytime soon.  So we created our own "snowflake" by using Borax.     You can click here to get detailed directions. Basically you mix Borax with boiling water and after 1-2 hours "ice crystals" will begin to form on your submerged snowflake made of pipe cleaners.

We read Stopping by Woods again and today we focused on another characteristic of poetry--alliteration.  We looked for alliteration in our poem and we also made silly tongue twisters of our own. :)

We reviewed our 5 senses and applied each to winter and snow.  We watched a wonderful video of a snowy landscape while listening to the narration of Stopping by Woods.  We were able to use our senses as we listened to snow falling, shoes crunching on the snow, and harness bells ringing.  
Click here for the Youtube video.

Then Old Crow created his own senses snow poem.  

Winter looks like ice.
Winter smells like smoke.
Winter tastes like snowflake.
Winter feels like Jesus.
Winter sounds like wind.

Today we read Stopping by Woods and focused on a third characteristic of poetry--repetition.  Old Crow read the line "and miles to go before I sleep" as it was repeated.  We also read other poems and looked for lines that were repeated.

Stopping by Woods has beautiful illustrations that show animals in the woods.  We read Animals in Winter and discussed what different animals do during winter.  Some migrate, some hibernate, some store food, and others stay and hunt food.
For those animals that stay and hunt food, we decided to make birdseed cakes so the birds wouldn't starve in our snow-covered countryside. ;)

We mixed together flour, water, caro syrup, and birdseed.  Then we filled the muffin tin with the mixture, placed a straw in the center of each "muffin" in order to have a hole for stringing later, and waited 6 hours.  We strung yarn through the hole and hung them outside.  Click here for detailed steps.  

The birds and squirrels definitely love us now. ;)


On our last day of this week, we read Stopping by Woods and looked for the three characteristics of poetry we had previously discussed.  We also saw in the book that the horse and man often left footprints in the snow.  This gave us the opportunity to learn about animal tracks.

We read Big Tracks, Little Tracks and learned how to be a detective searching for clues the animals leave.  This was perfect for Old Crow!

I printed animal track cards and he became a "detective" while matching the footprint to the animal.  It rained  on this day, and Old Crow couldn't wait to be able to go outside and search for those animal prints.  All we needed to do was let Bonnie (our golden retriever) out in the rain and then we could have had all the muddy footprints we needed. ;)

Well that concludes our week long study of Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. 
And I still have "miles to go before I sleep."

Thanks for joining us!