Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spaceship Cake

We had fun making this space ship cake today. It goes perfectly with our space unit and lapbook. I found the pattern and idea for this at FamilyFun.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Meteor!! Space part 3

One of my favorite all-time books has to be Meteor!! by Patricia Polacco.
It its the story of what happens when a meteorite lands on a farm, and the many amusing consequences of the "celestial" occurance.
Of course, because of the topic, it fits very nicely into our space study.

I also have a new technique in listening to books on tape. I usually always get our books on tape from the library, and I have begun ordering the book on tape, along with another copy of the book so there isn't any disagreement about who will get to hold the book. I may have to start ordering two extra copies of the books because Luke is really enjoying read alouds.
We are also very lucky that Grandpa H. has a real, genuine meteorite from outer space.

There is wonderful story about this meteorite.

My Grandma G was born in 1909 and she told a story about how one night when she was a young girl she was looking out her bedroom window and saw a "shower of fire" fall down from the sky right behind the barn. Nothing more came of this at that time. I don't know if people thought she was dreaming or just making things up, but at the time nothing was found.

We jump ahead to 1964. My mom and dad were living in a trailer on the same farm Grandma grew up on. Dad began work on a garden behind the barn. He was making hills for planting cucumbers, tossing out rocks as he came to them. He tossed one away, but realizing it felt awfully heavy he retreived it and put it in his pocket. When he got home he washed it off and as the dirt fell away it was shiny and Dad new immediately what he had.

It is quite heavy, consisting of nickel and iron. Dad tried to saw into it with a hacksaw to see the inside but it actually wore the teeth off the hacksaw blade after only cutting into the meteorite a 16th of an inch.

We are so proud to be able to hold this meteorite that came to us from outer space.

Space lapbook and study part 2

We learned about life in space today, specifically, how astronauts eat and drink in space. Following our lesson, we felt the need to try our own "space eating".

We made vanilla pudding and then very carefully, ate it through a little hole in a ziploc bag. At first it was a quite tricky, but then Grace and Mark got the hang of it.
We also added two new elements to our space lapbook.
I found this flower fold element at Homeschool Helper Online. I will use this template for other lapbooks. It is very cute.
Inside the folds the we wrote down what we wouldn't want to be without if we had to spend some time in space. I like the fact that Mark wouldn't want to leave behind a Wii. The only trouble with this is, is that we don't even have one!
Gracie's first choice, of course, is her green blankie.

We have also been enjoying many books of fiction about space. I made a little booklet to add to our lapbook. Inside, I printed pictures of the covers of the books we have read to be a reminder of the fun books we have discovered.

Stayed tuned for more exciting space fun planned for this week!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

His season has begun!

Turn that glove around, Mark!
Open your eyes!
Close your mouth!

The first pitch of the season, and Mark hit a scorcher past the shortstop and into the outfield!!
Way to start the season, buddy!

Note to self....

If in the future, I decide to make Ladybug Rocks, and I want to include children that are 2 and 1 year old respectively, don't!
Unless I remember to take off all their clothes and get ready for a real big mess.

Friday, April 25, 2008

We have blasted off into outer space!

We have been looking upward, into the heavens, and learning about this glorious universe that God has created for us.
This unit is basically for my primary level kids. Mark-8 and Grace-6.
I have posted some of the things we are doing and have done, but I am also looking for you folks to offer any suggestions you might have to enhance our study.
We are all really enjoying this one!

We have been reading factual books to start our study off--learning the basic facts of astronomy. A few weeks ago I purchased this game and after just a little study into our space unit, I am very pleased that both little kids have fun, and success playing this game. It is the perfect learning level for my kindergarter and second grader. It also leads to more exploration as we play the game and learn new facts.

I bought this mobile kit. I haven't opened it yet, since I will use it for our "grand finale" project. Hopefully, it won't be too hard, and the kids themselves will be able to acheive nice results.
Here are a few of our "fact" books that we have been using. I have a couple more requested from my local library such as First Space Encyclopedia-a DK book. Of course, we have also been using a lot of resources from the internet, especially Enchanted Learning, from which I have found a lot of elements for our lapbook.
I have also been having fun searching for space related fiction picture books. If you know of any, please leave a comment. These are so fun. We have been learning to pick out fact from fiction, and been learning about how fun it is to use our imaginations. I want the kids to try and write a outer space story together next week.

And now, the beginnings of Our Space Lapbook.

Many of the elements that we have included in our lapbook came from the website, Space Lapbook on Squidoo. If the ideas didn't come directly from this site, they came from links that were included on this site.

We did make an accordian fold booklet about the phases of the moon. I copied pictures out of the book The Moon to use for this element.

One of the things that everyone enjoyed was finding out what they would weigh on other planets. I found this at Enchanted Learning's Zoom Astonomy ( a wonderful resource.)

The moon phases flip book has also been a big hit. I found it at this site.
I still have more ideas for this lapbook. One important element is the Homeschool share unit about the book Maria's Comet. I am still waiting for this book to arrive from the library.
I am also looking for suggestions as to what else to include in this study. I would love to hear some comments.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nature in the backyard

A great big, dead old maple tree sits out in the empty field behind our house. I thought that I would sit watching the kids play and also keep an eye on any birds that might be living in this wonderful tree.
First, I spotted this tell-tale hole, way up in one of the many branches of this tree.
Then, I was pleased to spy this little female downy woodpecker looking for an evening meal of bugs. We will certainly keep an eye on the hole to see if there will be any babies peeking out of it soon.
Way up in the top of the same tree, in the evening sun, I caught a quick glimpse of an Eastern Bluebird.
We don't see these here very often, but on occasion, one will pass through.

It was a very busy birding evening, especially for the fact that a pair of White Throated Sparrows
were at the feeders. I have never had these at the feeders before, maybe they are nesting nearby.

Kimberly Irene!!

Did you take out your ponytail???

April Shower of Photos

Just mommy and Luke take an early evening walk to the creek

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pope Benedict at Yankee Stadium

Just a few of Becky's 150 amazing photos of Pope Benedict's Mass at Yankee stadium.