Saturday, September 27, 2014

Harvest time sunset

Photo credit:
Mark Collins

Excavation Saturday

We received  these two excavating kits in the mail this past week, and Kim and Luke have been very eager to start working on them.  In fact, I told them they could open them on Saturday...well, I was awakened at 8 am with news that the kitchen table was all ready to start their projects.
Mark and Grace did kits like this years ago and loved them, so I knew they would be a hit with Kim and Luke. 
This was fun because after you excavate the dinosaur bones you get to put together a t-rex model.
 Kimberly wasn't left out, she received the Crystal Mining Kit.
This kit contained 9 hidded crystals to discover and a little pouch to keep them in.  There is also a guide to included so you can find out what kind of gems you have found.
These aren't tidy activity fact, I found this next to Kimberly on the bench.
It was a gorgeous day outside and smart daughter Becky wondered why I didn't have the kids do this on the picnic table...Duh!!!  That would have been too easy. 
It took several hours for both kids to uncover  all the secrets.   
A little bit of a t-rex ribcage. 
A great book to add to this activity is a Let's Read and Find Out Science...Archaeologists Dig For Clues.

Messy, messy!
Putting together his t-rex model.
Kim and Luke both loved these kits.  Kim wants a dinosaur kit for Christmas and Luke wants a pterodactyl.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Physics for Third Graders

We have finished out first quarter of 3rd grade, which means we have finished up the health section of science for the year and have moved on to "real science".
This year we are using Noeo Science Physics 1.
This is our type of schooling...good books, notebooking and experiments.  It's very hands on and the kids love it. (So do I)  We do tend to be pretty science geeky around here, so once we get started on a subject we generally go all out.
Today, after reading the first 2 pages of the book Forces and Motion, the kids did their note booking page,
This led to watching Bill Nye the Science Guy on Youtube...not just about forces and motion but we also watched gravity.  (we do get sucked into more and more and more in the science department.
We then found some experiments to do.  (I said we really get into it lasted about 2 hours-after only reading 2 pages from the first book)
The law of inertia, Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion, states that an object tends to stay at rest or in straight line motion if no outside force acts upon that object. It can also be described as the resistance of any object to change in its motion. Using inertia, we can drop a penny into a cup without touching it.
Next we removed a coin from the bottom of a pile of coins without disturbing the coins on top.
From Steve Spangler:
How Does It Work?
The key to safely removing a coin from from the bottom of a stack comes from friction and inertia. Inertia comes from Newton's first law of motion, stating that an object in motion (or at rest) tends to stay in motion (or at rest). This means that the balanced coins wants to stay in their stacked position, in the spot they are stacked. However, when you attempt to remove the bottom coin, you apply an outside force that causes the stack of coins to topple over.
This is where friction becomes a factor. There is friction between the bottom coin and stack above it. There is so much friction that the bottom coin brings the next coin with it, that coin drags the next coin, and so on.  To overcome the amount of friction, you swing the knife at the bottom of the stack. This process is fast-moving, but there is plenty of force to remove the bottom coin. The amount of force applied to the coin is enough that the friction isn’t allowed to tip the tower over. Instead, the tower drops, almost perfectly, into the spot that it was before.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Artwork for the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross

I remember seeing this artwork somewhere out in the internet world in the past, but I was reminded of it when Kimberly was smearing oil pastels yesterday while doing an art page.
On a sheet of heavy paper we drew and then cut out a cross.
We then got out of oil of our favorite art resources right now.
On the edges of the cut out cross, use the oil pastels to color the edges of the cross, alternating colors.  The thicker and darker you color the better.
Gracie working on her cross.
Luke's coloring is complete.
Next, place  the cross on a piece of heavy paper,
Hold the cross in place and smudge the oil pastel onto the heavy paper.

Continue until you have completed the whole outside of the cross.
Remove the paper cross and admire your work.
Our final results...they all turned out beautiful!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A homemade lava lamp--revisited

 We did this experiment about 4 years ago, and today we revisited it with Kim and Luke.
 We got this kit from Steve Spangler, but you can do it with just things around the house.
That's what we did 4 years ago.  You can see that post here.
 Put cooking oil into a thin container...a 16 ounce soda bottle could work for this. Fill it about 3/4 full of oil.  Add water to the container, filling until you are about an inch from the top. (if you fill it to the top, you will have a giant oily mess.
We can see the water is more dense than the oil.  The water fall to the bottom of the test tube.
 At this point we added Steve Spangler fizzing color tablets
You don't need these.  You can just add about ten drops of food coloring to the mixture. (You will need Alka-selter to make the reaction if you use this option.)
 Carbon dioxide is released from the fizzing color tablet or the Alka Seltzer.  The carbon dioxide caused the colored water to rise to the top of the test tube.  When the carbon dioxide reaches the surface, the bubbles pop, causing the colored water to return to the bottom of the test tube.
 A beautiful display of science fun.
 I got a kick out of this.  Kim discovered that she could hear the popping of the carbon dioxide.  She shared this discovery with Luke.

Placing the lids on the test tubes the reactions stopped.  (The gas could no longer escape the tube)
We now waiting for a bunch of kids to get home from soccer so we can show them our science lesson.

I encourage you to check out this video from our original experiment---4 years ago. It is so cute to listen to the kids as we did this!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mysterious Rising Water Experiment

 Another great experiment from Steve Spangler: The Rising Water Secret.
The kit contains everything needed for this experiment...but we have done it in the past using things from around the house.
 You just need things around the house:
1 cup water
food coloring
pie tin
glass jar--or beaker
Here Luke is coloring the water to make the experiment a little more colorful.
 Pour 1 cup of water into a pie tin.
 Put a candle in the middle of the pie plate in the water.
 Light the candle.
 Place the beaker (or small necked jar) over the candle.
 The candle heats the air in the beaker.
When the candle goes out, the air begins to cool, causing a difference in the air pressure, forcing air out of the jar and causing a vacuum making the water fill the jar.
Science is cool!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wampum Designs For Kids

We have been learning about Native Americans this year and these past two weeks we have been learning about our local Native American Nation...the Iroquois Nation.
I wanted to add some artwork into our studies so I decided to have the kids make wampum "belts".
Wampum were made from seashells.   They were typically made from the quahog (purple beads)  and the whelk (cream/white beads) shells. Wampum were used between tribes to send messages or to tell stories. (We mistakenly thought it was used for was not)
First I printed out graph paper for the kids to make some practice designs. 
I used graph paper with 3 lines per inch.

After picking their favorite design, I had them string pony beads onto white chenille stems. We used the traditional colors, white, purple and black.
The grid we used was 12 squares by 6 squares.  This was a good size for the finished product.
I then cut an 8 inch square piece of matte board.  I cut 6 slits in the edges of the board to bend the  6 chenille stems into place. This secured them nicely.
Kimberly's final product.
Luke's final product.
I found this great idea at Create Art With Me!