Week Twenty-Five


Exploring Fort Snelling State Park’s beach

Cold water, warm sand.  Checking for aquatic critters

The egret’s method of catching frogs and fish got our attention.  We hope to observe an egret feeding.  Deciding which animal groups egrets, wood ducks, fish, and frogs are in.

Finding stem galls and later reading about them at University of Minnesota site.

Looking for more galls.

Visitor Center for sensory display of antlers, pelts, and bones.

Continue sorting animals into categories (vertebrates, invertebrates) and then into types of vertebrates (fish, reptiles, etc) including those at Fort Snelling State Park.

Our seed museum on Monday.

On Wednesday.  Draw seeds from our seed museum and label parts.

Pea planted two weeks ago.

Release worms.  Compare sizes, recall basic body parts.

Jupiter by Christine Taylor-Butler.  The boys were most interested in Io (said ‘eye-oh’) one of Jupiter’s moon because it has many volcanoes.  Miles was surprised to hear that the Great Red Spot is a storm that began about 340 years ago.

Saturn by Christine Taylor-Butler.  The book reports that winds blow about 1,100 miles per hour, five times faster than a tornado on Earth.  As we read, everyone shook their tornado jars (and added some little objects to spin around).

Miles’ tornado.  Weather Wiz Kids for information and experiment.  Ours contain water, a teaspoon each of liquid soap and vinegar.  Then we used that mixture to rinse dried-up glitter glue containers. The glitter shows the movement of the water.  The dark-colored water looks the coolest with glitter particles swirling, but the blue-lidded twister gets a funnel cloud-looking formation when shaken. Twisters! by Lucille Recht Penner.

Three little tornadoes

Can we get this peeled, hard-boiled egg into the bottle?  Experiment about pressure (relating to tornadoes) from Weather Wiz Kids.  Discuss pressure and temperature changes during storms.

Here’s what happened. Watch the YouTube video.

Meteorology by Christine Taylor-Butler discusses the National Weather Service and NOAA weather radios, so we listened to ours.

Experiments from Super Cool Science Experiments:  Magnets by Christine Butler-Taylor.  Our magnet did not attract the dollar (the dollar actually Parker’s pocket), but the book said the iron in the ink will move the dollar toward a strong magnet.

Label reading:  Which cereal has more iron?  The experiment requires the  highest iron cereal we have.

Crushing the cereal and then adding a bit of water

Is the cereal mixed with water attracted to the magnet?  Not really, but  we probably need higher iron cereal and a stronger magnet.

Crushing a prenatal vitamin (lots of iron in those) and adding water to see if it is attracted to the magnet.  Same result as before.  Discuss iron in our blood and health.

Can the yeast inflate the balloon?  Experiment from Exploratorium.  Then we made some bread rolls for dinner.

After ten minutes.  Review why this happens.

Math and Logic

Parker’s play dough shape name-and-sort game.

Driveway chalk.  We also wrote some simple workbook page exercises on the sidewalk to do some fun outdoor math.

Deck of card games:  a week of war!

Miles pretended to be buying two Legos.  He added them,  then subtracted that amount from his checking balance (a made-up amount).  Good practice for writing numbers in words and printing in small spaces.  Quick discussion about checking accounts.

3-2-1-blast off! (or Harry Potter-esc ‘3-2-1- stupify!’):  Start with the number 21, take turns subtracting a 3, 2, or a 1 until we get to zero.

Work on Singapore math workbook.

Review geometric shapes with sheet from About.com Mathmetics.

Geometric pattern eggs

Egg on the right uses crayon resist method, similar to at The Chocolate Muffin Tree.

Counting coins then adding a different coin.  Writing the equation.

Language Arts

Ice cream store fun at library.

Read ‘Little Miss Muffet’ and practice printing letters and creating sentences about insects from First School.  Learned more about the poem from A Child’s Introduction to Poetry by Michael Driscoll.  For creative writing practice, the boys got to change the poem’s spider to an insect of their choice (with help from our insect picture cards) and rewrite the ending.  Miles poem was about ‘a weevil that was so evil that it frightened Miss Muffet away’.

Daily dictionary words of Miles’ choice.  Miles chooses a word from his Children’s dictionary and copies it.

Write description for ‘Lego Village’ creation (note the rooftop piano) using template, and make Lego catalog.  Revise for spelling, punctuation.

Miles named this one ‘Battering Ram Truck’ that still goes if upside down, and wrote a description to add to his catalog.

Template.  When complete, he will alphabetize and add page numbers.  This project brings together creative writing, measuring using a ruler, and estimating quantities.

Working on the descriptions

The cover

One of the pages

Child Care Land for ‘Five Little Kites’ poem and Umbrella math activity.  Miles made a small kite with a yarn tail.

Reading Little Roundy Hen by Joy Cowley (from old High Five magazine) and egg template from Grade ONEderful.

Social Studies

Bad pic, good map.  Work on map reading skills using Fort Snelling State Park map.  Miles made his own, using lay dough as a lake.  He made symbols and a key.

Map of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s travel from Fan Pop and continue reading from The Little House in the Big Woods.

Look for Italy on a map.  Music terms (we reviewed dynamics) were first written in Italian, so we learned a few more words from Google Translator.


Continue listing to Suzuki book one and two discs.  Miles and Parker both played wonderfully in group theory and performance classes.  Here is the audio-only for Miles’ performance of Broken Record Boogie YouTube link. There is a long pause before he begins playing.

Changing it up with some Buena Vista Social Club and pop music on Spotify.

Listened to various musical examples, noticing how the piece made us feel (based on the tempo and dynamics).  We heard Vivaldi, and Suzuki disc one and two song examples.


A fun visit with some friends

Japanese Samurai armor continues to be a favorite.  We learned that the shoes are made of bear fur.

Scavenger hunt checklists

Ruby checking out the Japanese tea room.

Colors of Japan by Holly Littlefield.  The boys practiced saying the Japanese words for different colors.  Some favorites were pink (pinku), tan (kikashoku iro), and white (shiro).  They were particularly interested in the pages about black (ninja warriors and ninjutsu), pink (samurai and cherry blossom), and orange (volcanoes).  The color green’s page showed a tea ceremony, which was similar to the room we saw this week at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

National Geographic’s A World of Colors by Marie Houblon.  Relate to dynamics in music, which was group performance class’ topic.  Review concepts of and symbols for crescendo, decrescendo, pp, p, mp mf, f, ff. Related them to emotions.  Relate to wind/weather (pp – a sunny day and barely a breeze, p -slight breeze and butterfly, mp – birds chirping,little more wind, mf – clouds up, misting, f – raining steadily, strong wind, ff – thundering, gusty (tornadoes).

Health and Wellness

Enjoying lots of play park visits, get-togethers with friends, and bike rides.

Staying Clean by Robin Nelson.  Good reminder about hand washing.

Every Day is Earth Day by Jane O’Connor.  Gets us thinking about things we can do at home to be ‘greener’.

Curriculum Night!

Everyone helps frost and decorate the cake.  Three layers were requested (one for each quarter!).

Miles and Parker proudly show Dad their work.  After looking at an old math sheet, Miles got a pen and went back to work on it, finding more ways to make ’60’ (60 x 1, 30 x 2, and so on).

Ruby proudly says ‘I did that!’ and ‘I did this!’.


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