Friday, April 1, 2011

Last week of March...

It was spring break this week for my two schoolagers (I have one in third grade and one in ninth grade... my two youngest out of five). Oh, how I love not having the strict schedule school brings and the break to just have fun with them without the school pressure. The week started out nice... colder temperatures but sun and dry and then we got a snowy surprise. And to think it is spring!?! I also took on a sibling to one of my daycare children the two days I had openings. It was so refreshing as my third grader and the second grade sibling were so helpful and entertaining to the daycare children. They attempted to play "school" with them... it is funny their perception of what to teach them... lets see... scrambled sentences, addition, filling in the blank... so I kind of helped them along. They did come up with some good ideas too! They talked about moon rocks (we have a rock in our rock collection my son calls a "moon rock") and then they had them waterpaint a moon rock.

As a group, with our little snow surprise yesterday, I decided to finally try snow painting. It is something I've been meaning to do, and meaning to do, but we just could never fit it in. I thought the two schoolagers would even like this... well, they enjoyed it more than the little ones. It was a big hit and kept them very busy for a long time. We did it just like I've seen on so many blogs... small eye droppers and colored water. We also brought out the "fancy" scissors... as I call them. I gave them construction paper and they used their boxes with the crayons, markers, glue sticks, etc. to create something. Here is a small sampling of what they did. We also went on with our normal learning time. Typically in a month I will only cover three letters... so this was a week in which we didn't do any letters. With spring break going on and the nice weather at the beginning of the week, I choose to just stay with the "Five Senses" this week.

The sense of sight

We talked about how we see and how our eye helps us see. Without getting to technical about how the eye works, we did view how the iris lets in light by getting bigger or smaller so we can see. We used mirrors and a flashlight. They watched their iris get big and small depending on where the flashlight was shining.

We played the game "What's Missing". I laid five objects on the table and we discussed them. I would have them put their heads down and take an object away and they would try to guess which object I took.

I blindfolded each of the children and while they were blindfolded they had to build with six blocks. Some didn't find it hard and others struggled. We talked about how things help us see... eye glasses, magnified glasses, and binoculars. We used the magnified glasses to look at little pictures and match them with the larger picture. I found this on someone's blog but can't remember where I got the game. And they just loved the binoculars they made out of toilet paper tubes. A fun way to end our sense of sight. Sense of hearing

We started off learning the opposites of loud and soft (quiet). I first turned the radio on very soft to where they could barely hear it. I asked how the music sounded? Then I turned the music on very loud. I asked again, how the music sounded? We then clapped, tapped our hands on the table, and beat a drum... first softly and then loudly. There favorite was singing songs (well known songs like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star") but with directions. When my finger was over my mouth (the quiet signal) they sang softly and when I stretched my arms out wide they sang loudly. It was funny to hear the songs being sung with some words softly and some words loudly throughout the song and the children really, really loved this! We then completed two activity sheets in which they categorized pictures as either a loud or soft sound. We made shakers that we could shake loudly or softly. We then talked about how we hear. We looked at each others ears and talked about how the sound gets into our ears. We looked at picture cards and put up cards of pictures that we can hear. We matched shaker containers to the picture we thought was in the container. We did two activity papers in which we found pictures that make sounds we can hear. And we made our very own set of listening ears... just only wished they worked because we'd wear them all the time!!! Sense of smell

We talked about how our nose helps us to smell. We talked about pleasant and unpleasant smells. We used our picture cards and grouped the items into groups of pleasant and unpleasant smells. We then did one activity sheet on pleasant and unpleasant smells and one on just things we can smell. It would have been fun to smell different things and do more hands-on activities, but I ran out of time that day. Hopefully we will get back to this later on and do more hands-on exploring.

Sense of taste

We worked on the sense of taste. This was the hardest for them because they thought the purpuse of a tongue was to lick... not taste. We made a mouth and talked about how the tongue tastes with it's taste buds, we looked at a friends tongue and we tasted three liquids (one lemon water, one salty water, and one sweet water) and identified the taste. We then completed two activity in which we decided if the food was a salty taste (circled) or sweet taste (colored) and we made a meal of foods we liked the taste of. The sense of touch

We talked about the sense of touch. We found things that had different textures that felt different when we touched. We found things that were bumpy, smooth, soft, hard, etc. It was interesting to see because some of the children weren't sure of some of the vocabulary terms. I think we will revisit this again. We then used Ned's head as a feely box. I put our playdough cookie cutters into Ned's head (they were shapes like squares, hearts, flowers, stars, rectangles and triangles). They were supposed to reach in a pull out a specific object (like say the flower). This was also very hard for them and we will revisit this with some easier objects so they get the understanding to really feel for the object instead of grabbing an object and pulling it out to see what it is. Lastly, we did two activity sheets... we colored things we could hold in our hands and the other we categorized things that we should touch and things we shouldn't touch. We also squeezed a math activity in... since we used our math counting jars as shakers I dumped all the objects from these tubs into a large tub. They had to sort the items and then count the items and put the right numbered lid onto the jar.

We also did a counting activity sheet. Hope you enjoyed our week!

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