Monday, October 15, 2012

Weeks 5 to 7: Water Beads, Ice Experiments, Letter G, Musical Instrument Museum



Water Beads Exploration:  Lots of fun and learning happened during this "science" play. First of all, what are these things?? What are their properties? How do they move in space? How do they move differently in the water than when they land on the table? Flossie asked, "Why does more water go in the jar when I put the beads in?" How come I can fit a half cup of beads into one container and not another? Where does all the water go when you fill a container to the top with beads? How do they feel? Why can't we do this every day!!

Ice Cubes Experiment:  We had two tubs of water, one ice cold, and one very warm. First we made some guesses about what we thought might happen to the ice cubes when we put them in each tub. Flossie thought that if we put an ice cube in the hot tub, it would turn hot, and in the cold tub it would stay cold. Next we experimented with putting several ice cubes in each tub to see what would happen.  Flossie was surprised to find the ice cubes melting away in the hot tub, and staying the same in the icy cold tub! After we were done, we filled out an experiment sheet to record our results.

Colored Ice Cubes Experiment: The next week we had Freddie visiting during Fall Break and we repeated the experiment, but this time using cored ice cubes. Flossie's predictions were right on for what would happen to the ice cubes! She was less sure about what would happen to the colors. We would have to wait and see :) Even I was surprised this time! Although the ice cubes took longer to melt, the colors bled out in both tubs. I thought they would hold more in the cold tub. I guess they did. At least the process was slower, but they did start bleeding out right away. Once again after our experiment  we filled out our experiment sheets to record our results.

After our colored ice experiment we used some of the cubes that I had held back to paint with. It was pretty cool how they slid across the paper. They were slippery little things to get a hold of though!

Cutting pumpkin shapes for Halloween. I saw here an idea of putting stickers on the line you want them to cut and having them be sure to cut through each sticker to help them stay on the line. I've never tried it before, but it sounded like a good idea so I thought I'd give it a go. It worked pretty well I think! These two are already pretty good at cutting though :)

During these weeks we worked on letters G and J. We talked about both the soft and hard sounds of G and compared those words with words that start with J. VERY confusing for a 4 year old!! It won't sink in totally now. But it's a start. Flossie is beginning to understand that G has two sounds and what they are. That's all I wanted to do for now. We made some letter animals that she could hang up to help her remember the three sounds. 
J is for Jaguar

G is for Giraffe

G is for Goose

Other Preschool Activities

 Small motor water transfer                                Take it to Your Seat pattern center       



These have been challenging school weeks! We have managed to keep up, but just barely. Week 5 was Tech Week for Music Man. That mean rehearsal every night until about 11:00. I let the kids sleep in each day as long as they could so they would be able to handle school and then the next late night. We had to do some scrambling, letting go of some things,  and rearranging to get everything done that was important, but I think what they are gaining from their experience with theater is worth it. The next week was the opening weekend, so more of the same. Week 7 finally brought some relief, only to find that Monday was Columbus day and Dad was home, so . . . no school that day - family grocery shopping instead. Tuesday, both kids had a theater performance in the early morning for the Surprise Chamber of Commerce. We had to wake up at 5:30 am, and though we soldiered through our school day, we were all exhausted and had to take naps after lunch! Wednesday we had a breakfast with some friends in our homeschool group and then were off to a field trip to the Musical Instrument Museum where they were featuring instruments from Asia which fit right into our history studies! Thursday, doctors appointments and lunch with Gramps, and you get the gist. School was challenging, but we kept up as best we could with carschooling, our new prioritized schedules, and just fitting things in where we could. Thank goodness with homeschooling we can be flexible. And also, we're so lucky to be able to do all these extra fun things!!

Singular to Plural Nouns                                 Online Geography Quizzes

Geometric Art

Geography Reading - The Complete Book of Marvels

      Halloween Nouns                                        Ivan helping with Handwriting

Climbing trees at park day. Scared me to death because how was 
Winthrop going to sing and dance with a broken leg!!

      Getting his hair dyed red so he'd match with the Paroo family.

Opening weekend with "Marion" and "Harold"  and "Mama" (below)

 The early morning gig with Steve, the Musical Director, and Patty, aka "Marion - Thither"

The Musical Instrument Museum
During week 7, we went on a fabulous field trip to the Musical Instrument Museum. Coincidentally they were featuring instruments of Asia which is the area we are studying in History and Geography so :).  The kids were very pleased to be able to see lots of country names they recognized from their studies.  This museum was so cool! The little kids had fun for about the first hour. They enjoyed the hands-on room where they got to actually touch and play the instruments, and I think they liked using the headphones and hearing the music for about 15 minutes, and then they were pretty much done and bored. Of course the rest of us weren't done at all, so they had to be dragged along with us for a bit longer. We were there for several hours and I know we didn't see it all. We are looking forward to going back some day - without the littles this time. I would definitely recommend this museum for any age group, I would just plan to make it short and sweet for the younger crowd, and know up front that you will want to stay longer than they will!  Another cool thing we got to see was some examples of geometric art in some of the Islamic countries' instruments. It was fun to look for once we realized it was there. The gift shop was great - full of educational and appropriate stuff, unlike the Science museum which has mostly junk, although we unfortunately had no money this time around to buy anything! The only thing that bummed us out was the cafe. It was full of froofy food that was way over-priced. We had brought our lunch anyway, but they said we couldn't bring it in to eat it in the cafe (which other museums let you do) so we had to sit outside. Luckily it was a beautiful day, so no one minded too much. Over all we had a fun time and enjoyed exploring this new AZ treasure!

                                                           Geometric Art!!!




Edward Scissorhands

Our Drum Circle

My Favorite exhibit - That's "This Old Guitar!!"

One of the drums from the Seoul Olympics!

They actually hook these up to amps in Africa!

Geometric Art from Iran

3 Billy Goats Gruff puppets from Kyrgizstan

Scout says she wants this. Oh geez!

Jem spent a long while rockin' out here.

Freddie and Flossie were so excited to see this. There was also one from U of A. They did NOT want their pics in front of that one!

After taking several pics in the Hands-On room I realized you just wouldn't get the full experience, so I took a few videos so you could hear what I was hearing. Lots of "music" going on!

So, that's it for weeks 4 through 7. Pretty busy, full weeks. You see why getting school done was a challenge :)  But we had lots to do!  I'm looking forward to (hopefully) getting back to business in week 8! We're 2/3 of the way done with our first semester! 3 more weeks before we move on to Indian history. Uggh!!  We've got LOTS of reading to do!

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