Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mental Math and "Around the World"

First of all, Blogger notified me yesterday that I've reached my limit on photos! 1 GB! But, I was able to buy more space (20 GB) for $5 a year. I'm just waiting for it to get 'approved.'

I was searching for some Mental Math worksheets that I've used at a co-op before... and I found them here!  They have daily sheets for 1st through 8th grade. Here are some samples from 5th grade:

100 X 10 = ?
How many feet in a mile?
1/3 of 30 = ?
1/4 of 28 = ?
70 X 80 = ?

In our co-op, I will use these to play Around the World. To play around the world, you have 2 students stand up. You ask one of the questions, and whoever gets it wrong sits down. The winner moves and stands next to another student who then stands up. You ask another question and the 'loser' sits down while the 'winner' moves on. The winner must win against every other student in the class! I know my last co-op class enjoyed this game, and I hope this one does, too!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

National Museum of American History

We really enjoyed the National Museum of American History. One of my favorite exhibits was about Lincoln. Here is Lincoln's hat! Here's what the sign said: At six feet four inches tall, Lincoln towered over most of his contemporaries. He chose to stand out even more by wearing high top hats. He acquired this hat from J.Y. Davis, a Washington hat maker. Lincoln had the black silk mourning band added in rememberance of his son Willie. The last time he wore this top hat was to go to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865.

 Here's Alex's hand next to a cast of Lincoln's hand.

 Alex's online history class studied quite a bit about the conspiracy theory in the murder of Abraham Lincoln. These are the masks worn by the 8 people who were executed for Lincoln's murder.

 The original Teddy Bear which got its name from Theodore Roosevelt!

 Kermit the Frog!

The museum has some 'living' times were actors/actresses appear as people from history. This young lady was teaching us about the Greensboro Four Sit In. We, the audience, were new to the passive resistance movement and learning how to act and about what we might expect. It was an amazing lesson! We even learned a song that we could use at a sit-in or other protests.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Washington Monument

Part of our trip included research (sent by the Carolina Homeschool group leader, Dianna) on some of the monuments and memorials we would be seeing. This really helped make our visit special! So, I'm adding some of what we learned beside our photos.
The Washington Monument was designed by Robert Mills. His original plan called for a "large structure, built of columns and housing a number of statues, with a 600-foot obelisk rising from the center." They basically ended up building the obelisk.

Construction was started in 1848 and completed in 1884.

 Construction was suspended for about 18 years because the money 'ran out' and the Civil War.

 The walls are composed of marble and the color changes about one third of the way up. When construction resumed after the Civil War, the marble that they were able to get was a slightly different color.

The monument is 555 feet 5 1/8 inches tall. It is estimated to weigh 90,000 tons.

Along the stairs (which are no longer open to the public) you can view memorial stones contributed by various states, civic groups, private organizations, and others. On the way down the monument, the elevator slows at several places to allow a brief view of some of these amazing memorials. 

Marathon Miner

I loved hearing about the story of Chilean miner Edison Pena. He was one of the miners who was recently trapped for 69 days in a Chilean mine. During that time, he modified a pair of boots and ran up to 6 miles a day. "Pena believes that competing in the NYC marathon will be his gift to God; a tribute to a merciful God that spared him of a terrible fate deep within the mines."

As I'm preparing for my Half Marathon in less than 2 weeks, I find Pena to be a huge inspiration. I am continuing to pray that God helps me to train smartly and stay injury-free as I train. Thanks for all of your comments and prayers!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

In Training... for a Half Marathon!

Yes, I am in training for a Half Marathon. And, my HM is 'just around the corner!' I'll be running 13.1 miles on November 21st!

I just started running at the start of June. Since then, I have participated in three 5Ks and lost 19.5 pounds! My brother went with me to the Komen Race for the Cure in Dallas and took some photos. (I have a wonderful brother!)

This is my 'famous' "Believe and Achieve" shirt. I say it is 'famous' because I have it as my profile picture on my exercise/weight loss/goal setting site (SparkPeople!) and another person recognized me at a race of 40,000+ people because of the shirt!

This was taken right before the finish. I set a new personal record on this run. Actually, each time I've competed I've set PRs! Anyway, I can't believe it, but I actually RAN for 9.5 miles yesterday! And, I WILL run 13.1 runs in just two and a half weeks! I'd love some prayers that I stay healthy & injury free!

Oh, and since this is a homeschool blog... where do I find the time to train? (I've been asked that quite a bit from other homeschoolers.) Well, Alex has co-op on Tuesdays & Thursdays. I teach in the afternoons (1:15 both days), but I drop her off at 9 am. So, I have a long morning free. And, I train on Saturdays & Sundays. Even for long runs I'm usually home before dd or dh wake up! Same with biking! Also, I'm trying to fit Alex into my workouts more so we sometimes go to the gym together or go on a bike ride.

DC - The Newseum

The Newseum was an AMAZING museum! We only spent about 4 hours there and I would have gladly went back for another day. It is kind of expensive, but it was one of our favorite stops.

The 1st Amendment is engraved onto the outside of the building. The museum is about news and how news is reported so the 1st Amendment is very important. (I'm thinking about having Alex memorize this!)

Around the outside of the building our front pages from each of the 50 states. We were excited that our very own Houston Chronicle was being featured for Texas! And, the main article was about the air show. The Newseum receives front pages from around the WORLD every day! And, you can access these pages online! Today they received 819 front pages from 78 countries! You can also choose to look at just the top 10. I enjoyed today's political comic front page from "Philadelphia Daily News."

One of the main exhibitions was about Hurricane Katrina. Alex really enjoyed this, too, because she lived through it! No, I don't mean through the hurricane, but most 'history' happened before she was born! And, we live in Houston where so many of the survivors/victims of the hurricane were transported. She remembers this event and took her time looking through this exhibit.

This was a sign explaining the markings that were left on the houses. They even had some of the boards off of the houses that were actually marked.

The Newseum has an amazing view of the capitol building. The street in the picture is Pennsylvania Avenue. Some of the networks use this area to film things happening on Pennsylvania Ave.

There are 15 theaters at the Newseum. Most of the films are between 5-15 minutes. We only watched two entire films - this one called "The Power of the Image." It was amazing! And we watched another movie about September 11th.
The September 11th exhibit mainly consisted of the film, this piece of one of the towers (I think I read it was an antenna, but I could be wrong), and a giant wall filled with front page articles about 9/11.

Another area was all about the 1st amendment. It talks about the 5 freedoms of this amendment: assembly, speech, petition, religion and the press. Alex and I enjoyed a computer game which tested your knowledge of the 1st amendment.

The museum also has one of the guard towers from the Berlin Wall. It is 3 stories tall and stood near Checkpoint Charlie. There are also 8 pieces of the Berlin Wall - the largest collection in the U.S. (I believe I actually read it was the largest collection outside of Germany, but I might not be remembering correctly.)

There was also an Elvis exhibition that was really neat. Alex and I watched part of a movie on a huge screen and looked that the exhibit. Neither of us is that interested in Elvis, but it was still fascinating. And, another exhibit I missed that I wanted to see was the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery. So, I think I'll be asking for this book for Christmas!
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