Friday, January 8, 2010

This Week at the Super Awesome School

We had a fun, productive week here at the Super Awesome School!

Laura as a young woman

Our Laura Ingalls Wilder collage and timeline is shaping up. Super and Dude don't want me to post it until it's done, but here's a sneak preview. We watched a YouTube video called "Alone in the Wilderness" and then the kids wrote a description of how they might feel if they were there. (I know, it's Alaska, not Wisconsin. But it's not easy to find the Big Woods in Wisconsin anymore!) Both kids were very interested in how the log cabin was constructed. It reminded them of a certain toy they used to play with when they were younger!

Dad helped the kids with their Mesopotamian timelines, and then they read Gilgamesh The King by Ludmila Zeman. Since they were already familiar with the story of Gilgamesh, they found this version lacking in detail (but beautifully illustrated.) To begin their Egypt unit, Dad had them watch the Discovery Channel's "Engineering an Empire," and then they read Ghosts of the Nile by Cheryl Harness. They are really excited about next week, because they will get to "make stuff," as Dude puts it.

Super's version: I love the little deer running by!

Dude loves to draw flies buzzing around Enkidu.

We did two cool science experiments this week. We combined seltzer tablets (solid) with water (liquid) to make carbon dioxide (gas); then we tried to catch the carbon dioxide in balloons. We experimented with different amounts of water and Alka-Seltzer and tried to fill up the balloons as much as we could.


...and after!

Later, we used a different solid and liquid (baking soda and vinegar) and tried to funnel the gas toward a candle and put it out. It was hard to put the candle out but we discovered that it was much easier to blow out a match. Then the kids wrote about the experiments in their science journals. Phrases like "totally exploded" and "went kaboom" were used, but it was really more like "ran all over the table" and "made a mess."

For our French lesson this week, the kids made mini-books called Les Animaux de la Foret. (How I love!)

Editing our rough draft

My favorite writing resource, Mastering the Mechanics, recommends doing lots of modeled writing for kids. So...I wrote some boring sentences on the whiteboard and after the kids proofread them for spelling and punctuation, we worked together to make the story more interesting. Once they caught on, they wrote their own paragraphs about our trip to Yellowstone. I was really proud of what they came up with.

Big numbers don't scare us!

Our math review went well, and since they finished it early, they got a break from math today. Next week we're going to continue with fractions, but we'll do lots of multiplication fact practice as well. I'm really pleased with Math on the Level so far, and my favorite quote of the week comes from Dude, who said, "I LOVE 5-a-days!"

Just 'cuz, we read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Wikipedia. We postponed our museum field trip because a playdate sounded more fun. We'll be hanging out at the library tomorrow, and on Sunday, we'll attempt to make a vinegar pie. (I have been assured that it's a lot better than it sounds!) Hope you had a great week, too!

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