Monday, October 28, 2013

Earth Science: Geology, Unit 8

Fossils

I can't believe this is it for our study of rocks. Tomorrow, we begin weather!

Tessa studied fossils last year during Ancient History, Week 2 and completed a lab very similar to the one featured in ScienceWorks. Many of the unit's worksheets are redundant and not altogether enlightening, so I chose to condense the unit down to one day.


Monday

Earth Science: Geology, Unit 7

Earth's Resources

A little education goes a long way. In less than an hour, Tessa went from local litterbug (okay, not entirely true, but you know how careless little kids can be with their trash), to resident green freak.


Wednesday

Friday

You wouldn't know it from her "smile," but Tessa had a blast designing her own conversation poster. She chose to remind people to recycle cans, paper, plastic and glass.
You wouldn't know it from her "smile," but Tessa had a blast designing her own conversation poster. She chose to remind people to recycle cans, paper, plastic and glass.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Medieval Times, Lesson 10

Normans

Another short and sweet lesson.


Friday
We had plenty of time, so I added page 21 from Lesson 11.


Bedtime Read-Aloud

* HO = History Odyssey

Friday, October 25, 2013

Medieval Times, Lessons 8 & 9

Danes & the Holy Roman Empire

Not a real exciting week due to insufficient information for Tessa's age set. Nice to have some short days, though.


Wednesday - Danes

Thursday - Holy Roman Empire
  • Read The Usborne Medieval World by Jane Bingham (pages 19).
  • Completed HO map work for Lesson 9, Main Lesson.
  • Completed HO Q&A for Lesson 9, Main Lesson.

* HO = History Odyssey

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Earth Science: Geology, Unit 6

The Incredible Changing Earth

Tessa learned how erosion, volcanoes and earthquakes change and shape the Earth.


Tuesday

Wednesday

Following Monday

What lesson on volcanoes would be complete without the classic baking-soda-and-vinegar volcano lab? I think we'll shoot for something a little more dramatic our next time around.
What lesson on volcanoes would be complete without the classic baking-soda-and-vinegar volcano lab? I think we'll shoot for something a little more dramatic our next time around.

Following Tuesday

Sunday, October 20, 2013

...3 Cheers for Animals! - Session 1

It's Your Story - Tell It!: A Leadership Journey
Girl Scout Daisies

Tessa is a Girl Scout Daisy. Although this is her first year as a Girl Scout (regrettably, we missed sign-ups last year), she's a first-grader, so she's considered a second-year Daisy. At the end of the year, she'll bridge to Brownies. That means we only have one year to explore all of what Daisies has to offer.

Our troop is a mixed troop. That means there are girls from various levels of Girls Scouts in Tessa's troop. That makes planning challenging for the troop leader. Since our Daisies are focusing on earning petals for their Daisy Flower during meeting time this year, I volunteered to create and facilitate a virtual/home study Journey group. Our first Journey is 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals!: It's Your Story - Tell It!

(In all honesty, this may be the only Journey we get to embark upon as a group due to time constraints. Our troop meets twice a month. There are ten sessions in this Journey that will take us several months to complete.)

5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals!: It's Your Story - Tell It!

5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals! introduces Daisies to the stories of the flower friends: Daisy, Sunny, Tula, Gloria, Gerri, Rosie, Vi, Clover, Mari, Lupe and Zinni. Each flower friend corresponds to a value in the Girl Scout Law.

The girls in our Journey group complete most of their work at home. I provide packets at each troop meeting that contain pretty much all of the materials needed to complete the current session. The girls arrive a few minutes early to the meetings to add their parts to the Team Mural, Team Birdbath, etc.

In order to make the Journey more home-friendly, I am tweaking the sample lessons found in the ...3 Cheers for Animals!'s how-to guide. Upon completion of the Journey, the girls will have earned the special patch pictured below.

The "5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals!" Journey patch consists of three small embroidered patches that iron on top of a larger background patch.
The "5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals!" Journey patch consists of three small embroidered patches that iron on top of a larger background patch.

The following is an outline of what Tessa and I did for the first session of the ...3 Cheers for Animals! Journey. Feel free to download a copy of the handout I gave parents. It provides detailed instructions for what we did and why.


Session 1 - Starting Our Animal Adventure


Opening Ceremony:
Animals Around the World, page 29 from "How To Guide"
(Bald Eagle: United States)
Although Scholastic often features the Lets Learn Mini-Books: Our Nation eBook mentioned above during their Dollar Deals specials, it's unlikely too many people who aren't in the education field will have it on hand. Run a search for "bald eagle, symbol" on your local library's electronic catalog to find a suitable substitute.

Get Creative!
Team Animal Mural, page 30 from "How To Guide"
  • Read "Explain to the girls..." to Tessa.
  • Traced hand onto brown card stock for the eagle portion of the Team Animal Mural.

The eagle portion of the Team Animal Mural will look similar to "Handprint Bald Eagle Craft" featured on All Kids Network when completed. Depending on how many girls complete this part of the Journey, we will double-up on the hand prints for the wings and may even swap out the drawn tail for a hand print one.
The eagle portion of the Team Animal Mural will look similar to "Handprint Bald Eagle Craft" featured on All Kids Network when completed. Depending on how many girls complete this part of the Journey, we will double-up on the hand prints for the wings and may even swap out the drawn tail for a hand print one.

Story Time:
"Welcome to This Amazing Animal Adventure," page 31 from "How To Guide"
  • Read "Welcome to This Amazing Animal Adventure" (page 5) from the girls' book.
  • Read last paragraph from page 31 to Tessa.

Get Creative!
Building a Team Birdbath, page 32-33 from "How To Guide"
  • Decorated a paper cup with one of Tessa's favorite animals.
  • Completed "Team Talk" draw and write prompt cards.
  • Completed "Animals Need Care and So Do You" (pages 78-79) from the girls' book.
The "How To Guide" provides directions for a paper mâché Team Birdbath. That wouldn't work for us, so I came up with the idea of the girls creating a paper cup and plate birdbath that when completed will look similar to the terracotta pot one below.

Using decorated paper cups and paper plates in lieu of paper mâché, the girls' Team Birdbath will look similar to this terracotta pot one.
Using decorated paper cups and paper plates in lieu of paper mâché, the girls' Team Birdbath will look similar to this one made with terracotta pots

The girls in our Journey group are decorating paper cups with art that represents their favorite animals. Tessa chose to decorate her cup with drawings of cats.
The girls in our Journey group are decorating paper cups with art that represents their favorite animals. Tessa chose to decorate her cup with drawings of cats.

Tessa's completed cup features a cat family. On one side is a mommy cat and her three babies, which are playing with a ball of yarn fashioned from a small green pom-pom. On the other side is the daddy cat. A toy mouse, food bowl, water bowl and litter box are sprinkled around the cup.
Tessa's completed cup features a cat family. On one side is a mommy cat and her three babies, which are playing with a ball of yarn fashioned from a small green pom-pom. On the other side is the daddy cat. A toy mouse, food bowl, water bowl and litter box are sprinkled around the cup.

Tessa and the other girls will place their completed "Team Talk" draw and write prompts in the Team Birdbath.
Tessa and the other girls will place their completed "Team Talk" draw and write prompts in the Team Birdbath.

Closing Ceremony:
Keeping the Girl Scout Promise, page 34 from "How To Guide"
This activity also serves as a good starting point for earning the Promise Center patch of the Daisy Flower. I saw this idea floating around several places on the internet. Unfortunately, all of the printables I found were low resolution and looked grainy upon printing. I redesigned a high-resolution version.

Tessa completed the Girl Scout Promise poster to help her memorize the promise. After going over it just a couple of times, she pretty well had it down. (Oh, the power of a young mind!) We posted it in the playroom to help her remember.
Tessa completed the Girl Scout Promise poster to help her memorize the promise. After going over it just a couple of times, she pretty well had it down. (Oh, the power of a young mind!) We posted it in the playroom to help her remember.

My sample of the Girl Scout Promise poster. I chose a Daisy blue for the background, but the colors may be customized to fit any girl's needs.
My sample of the Girl Scout Promise poster. I chose a Daisy blue for the background, but the colors may be customized to fit any girl's needs.

Growing Girls Scouting Helpers Logo
Looking for more Girl Scout Promise and ...3 Cheers for Animals! activities?

Check out my Garden Friends: Girl Scout Promise Practice Pages - Girl Scout Daises & Brownies and Girl Scout Law Ring Book - Pets Version - Girl Scout Daisies & Brownies printable scouting helper.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Medieval Times, Lesson 7

Vikings

It's always fun to study history's iconic civilizations. It doesn't get much more iconic than Vikings! Although we could have easily gone on for another week, I'm trying extra hard to stay on schedule this year, so I allowed only five days for our studies. I am squeezing in a little more Viking fun, though, with Viking-themed bedtime read-alouds. I have listed those at the bottom of this post.

I had really wanted to add the IMAX film Vikings: Journey to New Worlds to our lineup, but it wasn't in the cards. Our library didn't have it and the DVD is currently listed as "Very Long Wait" through Netflix...has been for months.


Tuesday

Thursday
I was drawn to this book for its many interesting photos, but the text really wasn't very fun to read aloud. I don't recommend it unless your child can skim it himself.


Following Wednesday

Following Thursday

Following Friday
I saw this Viking longhouse craft and instantly thought of Tessa who adores miniature houses and such. While a six-year-old can in no way create this project on her own, we enjoyed making it together. It was hands-on for both of us, so I wasn't able to snap many pictures. I cut out and colored (with marker) the walls and roof of the house the day before. I substituted wooden skewers for suggested balsa wood strips. I cut those down to size the day before as well. Hot glue would have made this project go a lot quicker and smoother, but I wanted Tessa to be able to help out as much as possible, so we assembled it with regular ole school glue. We couldn't get the bristle brush thatching to work out quite as directed, but we made do by using glue to attach it instead of tape.

Tessa dabbed on white tempera paint to give our longhouse a wattle and daub look. She also glued on the wooden skewers and much of the bristle brush thatching. I glued the house together and then we both tore pieces for the sandpaper grass.
Tessa dabbed on white tempera paint to give our longhouse a wattle and daub look. She also glued on the wooden skewers and much of the bristle brush thatching. I glued the house together and then we both tore pieces for the sandpaper grass. 

Tessa enjoyed dressing up our completed Viking longhouse with Playmobil accessories.
Tessa enjoyed dressing up our completed Viking longhouse with Playmobil accessories.

Speaking of Playmobil, keep an eye out for this Viking warrior from the Playmobil Series 5 mystery figures set. We haven't found him yet, but we're looking!
Speaking of Playmobil, keep an eye out for this Viking warrior from the Playmobil Series 5 mystery figures set. We haven't found him yet, but we're looking!


* HO = History Odyssey

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Earth Science: Geology, Unit 5

Rocks Form In Different Ways

Who knew studying rocks could be so much fun. This week, Tessa learned how different types of rock form with some tasty kitchen demonstrations.


Monday

When magma (melted rock) pushes up through the Earth's crust it cools into solid igneous rock. Tessa and I made candy lollipops to demonstrate the process.
When magma (melted rock) pushes up through the Earth's crust it cools into solid igneous rock. Tessa and I made candy lollipops to demonstrate the process.

Tessa enjoyed her igneous rock lollipops, which we flavored with bubblegum candy oil.
Tessa enjoyed her igneous rock lollipops, which we flavored with bubblegum candy oil.

Tuesday

Sedimentary rock is made from layers of mud, sand and seashells. Over time, pressure and heat cause the layers to stick together and form new rocks. Tessa assembled and then we baked this layer cookie to demonstrate to process.
Sedimentary rock is made from layers of mud, sand and seashells. Over time, pressure and heat cause the layers to stick together and form new rocks. Tessa assembled and then we baked this layer cookie to demonstrate to process.

Wednesday
Instead of following the recipe provided in ScienceWorks, we used a few pieces of refrigerated break-off cookie dough to demonstrate how metamorphic rock is formed, which was a much easier means to the same end.


Following Monday

Tessa layered school glue, sand and pebbles in a small plastic cup to create a conglomerate rock of her own.
Tessa layered school glue, sand and pebbles in a small plastic cup to create a conglomerate rock of her own.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October Fun Week

I'm trying something new this year. There are so many "fun" electives that I want to study with Tessa, but we don't have time to cover them on a daily or even weekly basis. After scrutinizing our schedule, I found that if we drop science and Spanish and cut back a little on history one week a month, we will have time to study some of these electives. I have dubbed this week "fun" week.

We studied the following during October Fun Week.


Literature

Rosie's Walk - Pat Hutchins

"Rosie's Walk" is chocked full of cause and effect. After matching cause and effect cards, Tessa chose her favorite to illustrate.
"Rosie's Walk" is chocked full of cause and effect. After matching cause and effect cards, Tessa chose her favorite to illustrate.

Tessa demonstrated her ability to recall the route Rosie took during her walk by matching hen-shaped cards. I was not surprised to find that her memory was much better than mine.
Tessa demonstrated her ability to recall the route Rosie took during her walk by matching hen-shaped cards. I was not surprised to find that her memory was much better than mine.

Hands-On Language Arts
  • Completed "Chips and Dip" (Punctuation, page 29), "Nifty Notebooks" (Nouns, page 50), "Caterpillar Parts" (Writing Sentences, page 28), "Spin a Vowel" (Short-Vowel Sounds, page 23) and "Flipping Flapjacks" (Rhyming, page 20) with Super Simple Independent Practice: Language Arts, Grade 1 by The Mailbox.

Tessa pulled paper potato chips from the "Chips" can, read the sentences and then placed them into the proper punctuation dip bowls.
Tessa pulled paper potato chips from the "Chips" can, read the sentences and then placed them into the proper punctuation dip bowls.

Tessa sorted word cards into two piles...one for nouns and one for not nouns. Then, she wrote sentences, which she also illustrated, for the nouns in a notebook.
Tessa sorted word cards into two piles...one for nouns and one for not nouns. Then, she wrote sentences, which she also illustrated, for the nouns in a notebook.

Tessa loved flipping paper flapjacks. The flapjacks had pictures and words on them that she "flipped" over to draw and write complementing rhyming words on their backs.
Tessa loved flipping paper flapjacks. The flapjacks had pictures and words on them that she "flipped" over to draw and write complementing rhyming words on their backs.

Logic
Tessa completed Lollipop Logic two summers ago, which she absolutely adored. I promised we would study logic again one day. After a very long wait, one day is finally here.

Analogies for Beginners - Prufrock PressLogic Safari, Book 1 - Prufrock Press

Atelier Art

Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week happened to fall during our "fun" week, so we took a couple of days for Tessa to learn about fire safety. Visit our Fire Prevention Week - Oct. 6-12, 2013 post for details.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Atelier Art, Level 1 - Module B, Lesson 3

The Four Seasons

Last school year, I had planned on studying art twice a month. As it turned out, art became one of those subjects that didn't get done (often enough, anyway). This year, I have a more realistic plan...once a month, make time for it no matter what. That should give us just about enough time to finish up Atelier Art, Level 1.

"The Four Seasons" is a lesson on media. Tessa used red, yellow, blue, white and black tempera to finger paint mini scenes of the four seasons. She learned to mix colors to make orange, green and pink as well.

This lesson can be completed all at once or over several days or the year. Since we really don't have time to spread it out, we chose to complete it all at once. The first two seasons went really well, but Tessa began to lose focus by the third season. I pretty much had to direct her every step by the time we got to the last season. It wasn't that she wasn't enjoying the process of painting, more that she was rushing and not thinking through the steps. Having said that, I think we ended up with a really cute final product.

Tessa finger painted a fall scene with pumpkins and a ghost. She learned to mix red and yellow to make orange for the pumpkins, and blue and yellow to make green for the stems and grass.
Tessa finger painted a fall scene with pumpkins and a ghost. She learned to mix red and yellow to make orange for the pumpkins, and blue and yellow to make green for the stems and grass.

Tessa used a dull pencil loaded with paint to "draw" in the smaller details of her winter scene.
Tessa used a dull pencil loaded with paint to "draw" in the smaller details of her winter scene.

Tessa mixed red and white paint that she used to dot pink flower blossoms onto a spring tree.
Tessa mixed red and white paint that she used to dot pink flower blossoms onto a spring tree.

Tessa's completed "The Four Seasons" project. I used an inexpensive piece of black poster board cut down to size and a tape runner to mount her scenes.
Tessa's completed "The Four Seasons" project. I used an inexpensive piece of black poster board cut down to size and a tape runner to mount her scenes.

Fire Prevention Week - Oct. 6-12, 2013

The middle of last year I proclaimed I would do a better job celebrating the holidays during school time. I already missed Johnny Appleseed's birthday this year, so I made sure I didn't forget Fire Prevention Week. Okay, so not a true holiday, but I figured it was a good time to squeeze in a little traditional social studies.

I kept it fairly light since we didn't have a lot of extra time.

 


Monday

Tessa made a fire truck cookie from a graham cracker, red-tinted frosting, chocolate sandwich cookie and black decorating gel.
Tessa made a fire truck cookie from a graham cracker, red-tinted frosting, chocolate sandwich cookie and black decorating gel.

Tuesday

Wednesday
This day also fulfilled the third requirement for Tessa's Girl Scout Daisy Safety Award where she is to learn how to "Stop, Drop, and Roll."

Tessa practiced "Stop, Drop, and Roll" during Fire Prevention Week.
Tessa practiced "Stop, Drop, and Roll" during Fire Prevention Week.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Girl Scouts - Tessa's a Daisy!

Woohoo...Tessa's a Daisy! Bet you can't tell we're super excited to explore all of the wonderful opportunities Girls Scouts affords. Stay tuned...we'll be documenting Tessa's patch earning efforts right here on the Blue House School blog.

Donning her dandy new Daisy duds, Tessa set off for her second Girl Scouts meeting.
Donning her dandy new Daisy duds, Tessa set off for her second Girl Scouts meeting.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Medieval Times, Lesson 6

Arabs

Tessa continued on with her studies from last week. This time, she learned a bit of the daily life and tales of the Arab world.


Wednesday

Thursday

Friday
Dreamworks's version of Sinbad isn't particularly true to the original version (hardly at all, really), so afterward I had Tessa verbally compare and contrast this version with the audiobook version from yesterday.

* HO = History Odyssey