Thursday, March 26, 2015

Moving Beyond the Page- Level 5-7 Concept 1, Unit 2-Weather

This week we started learning about weather! Since the weather is finally starting to get warmer, the timing is perfect! There were lots of fun activities to do in this unit.

The first activity was one that I found on Pinterest. It was a water cycle in a bag. You draw a sun, a cloud and the ocean on the bag. Put a little bit of water in the bottom. Tape it to the window. The heat of the sun will cause evaporation, which will eventually cause "Rain" in the bag. It took a few days, but it worked! Lily was very excited to see the rain in her bag.

 We got some more educational games, so we spent some time with those. We worked on even and odd numbers and learning to tell time.

We talked about temperature and thermometers. We measured the temperature of 3 different bowls of water. One was just tap water, one was water warmed in the microwave, and one was water with ice in it. We measured the temperature of each bowl and recorded it.


Our next project was to make a rain gauge. The timing was perfect-it rained that night! All we did was tape a ruler to a glass jar, then set it outside and wait for the rain. We discussed that this is one way to measure the amount of rain we get. We ended up with about 1 1/2 inches in our rain gauge.

We spent some time watching weather forecasts over the course of the week. We talked about meteorologists, and how they predict the weather. We talked about how we use those forecasts to help us make our plans for outdoor activities.

Another activity I found on Pinterest was a cloud viewer. I just Googled "cloud viewer."  It is like  a frame. The middle is cut out, and there are different kinds of clouds on the edges. This is  a great way to look at the clouds, and determine what kind of clouds you are looking at. :)

We made a "cloud" in a bottle. We talked about how warm, moist air is needed for clouds to form. We put some warm water in the bottle, and lit a match. I dropped the match in the bottle, and closed it quickly. When you squeeze the bottle and let it go, you see the "cloud."

We continued talking about habitats, and how the weather can affect different animals and their environments. Lily made a cactus and pygmy owl from the desert habitat in the book "Animal Habitats."

I forgot to take a picture of our tornado in a bottle. Lily had a blast swirling her bottle around and causing a funnel to appear. :)

That was our week. It was full of fun activities and talk of weather. Next week, we talk about the individual seasons. See you then!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Moving Beyond the Page Level 5-7: Unit 1-Week 3

This week we finished up our Animal Habitats unit. Lily has had so much fun with this unit. She loves  all things animals. :)

We began this week talking about measuring and tools. Lily was to go on a scavenger hunt for tools around the house-anything that we use to make our life easier.

After sorting the tools, we discussed what each tool is used for, and how it makes life easier for us, Lily picked a few to measure.

We talked about caring for our pets. Lily took a couple of stuffed animals and demonstrated how we can care for our pets. She actually is in charge of feeding our animals every night, so we talked about that, too.

 After we discussed pet care, we read The Salamander Room, by  Anne Mazer. We discussed what kind of environment the salamander would need, and whether or not the boy in the story could give the salamander the kind of habitat it had when it lived in the forest. Then we went outside and collected some materials to make a home for a salamander. A clay salamander. :)

We continued with RightStart math. Lily is really enjoying this so far. She likes the fact there are not a lot of worksheets in this math curriculum.

We played lots of educational games this week. Games that taught early physics, sentence structure and vocabulary words. Lily loves games, and we incorporate them into our schooling whenever possible.

We talked about how different animals have body parts that help them move. Lily acted out different animals and showed how their body  parts helped them move in different ways.

Our next activity was to make the different animal habitats. I put circles of yarn on the floor, and labeled them with a card. Lily sorted her little toy animals into different groups. Then, we blindfolded her, and I moved some of them around. She found them immediately, and put them back where they belonged.

Lily was supposed to pick an animal to learn more about. She chose the starfish, or sea star. We went to the library and got lots of books about them. Lily decided she wanted to paint a sea star. Or four.

For her final project, Lily chose an animal to learn more about. She was to do a research paper about it. She chose the shark. We got lots of books on sharks and Lily and I read some. She got Daddy in on the reading, too! Then she got to work on her paper.

That wraps up our animal habitats and environment unit. Next week, we start learning about weather!