Thursday, April 30, 2009
As part of the International Year of Astronomy (2009 - the 400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope discoveries), you can buy a Galileoscope for just $15 plus shipping & handling.
To enable more people in more places to personally experience the wonders of the universe, we've developed a remarkably inexpensive, very-high-quality, easy-to-use refractor. With this new instrument, called the Galileoscope, children and adults can learn how telescopes work and repeat for themselves the spectacular observations made by Galileo beginning in 1609.
I love that this is actually a kit so we can learn more about the inner workings of a refractor telescope. And, you can donate a telescope (or telescopes), too. The kits are expected to arrive in mid-June and there are educational guides available. I can't wait to get ours!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
In the picture below, you can see the gazebo that has picnic tables under it - which are completely under water. There is also a picnic table closer to the front that is almost underwater. And the "log" lying in the foreground is usually up in the air a few feet and is used as a balance beam. Here's another picture of the gazebo where you can't see the picnic tables. The red toy in the middle of the photo is a slide for little kids. there is also a rocking toy next to it that is underwater.
Thankfully, we're doing just fine here. We think we got between 7 & 9 inches and the creeks in our area are flooded. We are praying for no more rain! We have a fair chance of more rain almost every day this week!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I went online to identify the caterpillar and found out it is a forest tent caterpillar. OK... tent caterpillars are one of the few insects that kind of gross me out. Could this really be a tent caterpillar??? Actually, he behaves a little different than most tent caterpillars and doesn't make a large tent, though he can still be quite destructive. (And, my mom wasn't happy to hear we'd put this caterpillar on her tree!) They are also called "armyworms" because sometimes, after they have completely defoliated a tree (yikes!), they will "march" single file looking for a suitable site.
Thankfully, we only found one and hopefully he doesn't have a lot of brothers & sisters around!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
And, we had to thin out our radishes and pulled this little radish up. I am really just amazed that God can create a seed with all of the knowledge necessary to turn dirt into something edible!!! No man or computer can do that, but God gave this little seed the knowledge. Amazing!
And, Alexandra found this teeny snail on the radish leaves. Isn't he cute???
Sunday, April 19, 2009
a large spider we found at the nature park
And, my first attempt at pysanky! It was a little harder than I thought, but I'll keep trying! I followed the tutorial at That Artist Woman.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
BUT.... they just expanded and redid most (all?) of the museum and it is INCREDIBLE!!! We went ahead and got a membership and hope to visit often. If you live in the area, or will visit someday, here is some of what you can see at the museum...
The Diner - there are menus, cool ovens & deep fryers, and plenty of tables where you can wait on your mom... or your friend.
The climbing area - it is 3 stories tall!!!
And, Invention Convention. This place was SOOOOOOO neat!!! You can make all kinds of things - from rockets to launch to flying "space ships." I could have stayed here for hours... oh, except for the crowd. :-)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
#5 - Cool "Fact Monster" worksheets I found this week. Each worksheet has 10 questions about various subjects that you use to look up online at the Fact Monster site. It's fun and educational!
#9 - Grammar workbook - Rod & Staff.
#10 - We have used these "Which Way USA?" workbooks off & on for years. We bought them for $1 each at Half Price books, I think.
#11 - One of the classes at our co-op is a science class and Alexandra is growing some seeds. The green booklet is where she is to record the growth of her plants (they haven't sprouted yet). And, there is also a seed packet of sunflowers. This is from The Great Sunflower Project. We just got our seeds and will plant them and then, this summer, observe them and count the bees several times. It is a research project based on the fact that bees have been dying off.
#12 - A math game. One of the classes I'm teaching is a math class for 1st & 2nd graders. A mom loaned me several games so this is one we needed to try out!
Sometimes, I place little notecards in the front of some of the boxes - like "go outside and play for 10 minutes before doing this box" or "you can have a snack while doing this box."
And, I need to make a list of what things we need to cover every day (math, Bible, read-aloud) and those I need to do several times a week, etc. I also want to make a list of fun things I can include, like the games, etc.
Hope this helps! And, let me know if you decide to try out these workboxes.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Since the class wasn't full, the moms got to get involved and I WAS THRILLED to complete the cube! I've never been able to do this before! (And, I didn't have any hints... we just started with simpler puzzles and I figured it out. I really felt as excited as a kid to figure this out!)
I also completed some other neat puzzles - I think this was called the chair.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
When I took these photos, I didn't have my shelves yet (and I don't know why the photos are sideways!!!). Anyway, you basically use 12 boxes per child and the boxes sit on a shelf. You put one item in each box and that is school for the day!
Some of the benefits I've found:
- I plan ahead - each box is filled the night before and so I make copies, etc.
- Alexandra and I enjoy seeing exactly how much work we have left to do
- I use some of the "fun" items that have been sitting in the closet
- We are probably finishing earlier as Alexandra wants to get to the "fun" 12th box (usually a game or a video)
- It helps me visually see how things are laid out and spread out the more active subjects from the quieter activities
I'm really excited about this system and am still learning how to use it most effectively. Blog, She Wrote links to some other blogs and how they are using the workboxes, too.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
I was saving this post until I could get a photo of a larval ladybug, but I still haven't got one. So, I decided to go ahead and post. On Saturday, we found the above ladybug - it was getting ready to pupate! It is secreting some kind of yellow goo and it was attached to the side of our pool. (I just read and this is actually called a pre-pupa since it is starting to change!) (Oh, and I hope you can see the spikes on this ladybug - very cool! Usually when I crop, I can't enlarge it on my computer-but you might give it a try!)
This is what the pupa looks like now. I haven't been able to find out how many days he will stay a pupa, but we're checking him several times a day. He is supposed to stay as a pupa for about 7 days, so we'll have to keep a good eye on him on Saturday! Usually, they won't have spots when they emerge, so if you find a spotless ladybug, you might have a newly emerged one! It takes about 24 hours for them to get their spots. (I haven't been able to get a great photo, because I'd really need to get IN the pool - and it is just too cold for me.)
We found this ladybug near our pupa today and at first I thought he "was" our ladybug.... but, he wasn't.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Over at their site, they have a free Greatest Inventors study (click on "Free Products" and you can download either the lapbook or unit study version) that you can download. We have it and I plan on doing it soon!