Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Today at the Super Awesome School

What can you make with two circles and a rectangle? A cylinder! Today we got out the geometric solids kit and talked about faces, edges, and vertices. We watched a Brainpop movie, took the quiz, and made construction paper cylinders. We looked around the house for examples of geometric shapes and found too many to list.

Then it was time for language arts. OK, kids, what is a prefix?

"It's a beginning that you attach to a word."
"It's something before the word that gives the word more meaning."

Name some prefixes that we talked about today: anti- , pre- , under- , over-, mis- , re- , dis-, micro- , pre- , and un- .

Our sentences using prefixes:

We shouldn't overfeed that squirrel. (We really were watching a squirrel--he visits our birdfeeder most mornings.) He certainly doesn't look underfed.
He ran across the railing.
We don't like to buy things that are overpriced.
Sometimes you have to reread things to understand them.
You shouldn't be dishonest.
If the dishes are really dirty, you have to prewash them.
Mom wants to declutter our house!
There's EVIL afoot! (A Spongebob reference, in case you didn't recognize it.)

We really enjoyed Louis Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes by Beverly Birch and Christian Birmingham. It's very well-written and wonderfully illustrated. Who knew that experiments with yeast, air and dust could be so suspenseful? I especially liked the scenes with Pasteur and his assistants gathering their specimens while wearing top-hats and tailcoats!

The kids were inspired to paint some creepy-looking viruses and bacteria while we discussed vaccines and pastuerization. Supersim pointed out that "antibodies" has a prefix!

History was all about Sumerian writing. Dad showed the kids a cool video and then they tried their hands at cuneiform. It was harder than we expected! At first the kids got frustrated because they weren't happy with the way their clay tablets looked, but Dad reminded them that Sumerian students had to go to school for twelve years to learn how to write!

I think we all did pretty well, given the fact that we studied cuneiform for one whole hour instead of twelve years.

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