Friday, November 16, 2012

Hands on Math: week 1

Thanks to Pinterest I found the Math Coach's corner. Seriously, what did we do before Pinterest?
Ms. Donna is a K-5 instructional Math coach and posts a lot of her great ideas for getting kids to understand and enjoy Math. Inspired I decided to try and do a hands on Math project each day as well as our regular Math lesson. Miss K was not a fan of math last year and while Math in Focus has helped her attitude it could still use some help! I really want to show the Piwis how math is used in the real world.
We only did it on Monday and Tuesday this week because Miss K came down with Bronchitis. Poor thing wasn't up to much for the rest of the week.

The Math projects are part of 'Team Piwi' which is what we are calling the activities the Piwi's can do together.


Miss K needed to find a way to fairly sort 12 Jellybeans into three jars. She did this and then explained how she did it mentally by looking at them and seeing 3 groups of 4. We then wrote it down together and I explained it as an introduction to the concept of division.
While I worked with Mini Piwi on her version of this activity, Miss K, completed the fraction component of the lesson to review what we were talking about last week.

Mini Piwi sorted her Jelly beans by color and then we counted them. Sorry for some reason this picture rotates when I upload it!


Last week we began with Grade 2 Metric measurement in our Math in Focus Curriculum. To practice  Measuring skills we set up an experiment to test how far differently folded paper airplanes would fly. I love doing the measurement units because it Math AND science. It has inspired me to begin working on a Lapbook.
I had thought about doing it outside with water balloons but it was pretty chilly this week and Mini Piwi is still getting over her cold. We found different paper plane folding instructions and made several each.
Throwing the first plane from the starting line

Measuring the distance the plane fly and learning the importance of using the ruler the correct way up

Favorite Resource This Week

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers 

Thinking of Teaching

Yo Gabba Gabba and Jellybeans

Last week we made some Super Skates inspired by Yo Gabba Gabba's Super Spies episode.  This week we worked with some of the printables on Nick Jr and some more Tot school-like activities I made up for Mini Piwi. At some point I hope to get it all together into a pack for other YGG fans
to use.

We got a few pictures of the size sequence activity. Mini Piwi loved this because I had made Brobee 'big' like he is in another favourite episode (which coincidentally, is also on the Super spies DVD).

Mini Piwi was all about the stapler this week!

Getting really good with the scissors simply with practice and watching big sis do it

We started playing letter bingo last weekend and when I called out each letter I would say a word starting with the letter. Download a copy from here

At one point I said J for Jellybean and this apparently inspired the candy crazy Mini Piwi. From then on she was looking for J on all the bingo cards. This was why I quickly came up with several J for jellybean activities. Yo Gabba Gabba will be there another day.

Sorting Jellybeans into Jars by color

See the post here for the Foofa inspired hair garland we made from recycled egg cartons

We also got to review the Think fun Roll and Play game. I am still working on the review but it was pretty popular and is still coming out several times a day.
Team Piwi activities:
I am trying to find more activities the Piwi's can work on together. The challenge of course is having something that works at Pre K and Gr 2 level. Nature studies are a winner and this week one just about landed in my lap...
I have also added daily hands on Math activities into our plan. These have been based around what Big sis is learning in Math. I then find way that I can use it for Pre K. In the case of the Jelly bean sorting activity. This was adapted from an intro to division and fraction activity Miss K did with the Jars and Jelly beans. It worked well. Both Piwis worked side by side and I sat in the Middle and helped as needed. Each Piwi explained there chart show and tell style.

Using last weeks Measuring 'sticks' again -Mini Piwi loves these
Shared with

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DIY 'Ballerina' Foofa hair garland


Today Mini Piwi and I made a flowery hair garland inspired by the Flower Loving Foofa. I was inspired by all the great ideas at The crafty Crow.

All you need to make this is
  • a cardboard egg carton
  • Crayons, markers....(We like to use oil pastels on egg cartons -it goes on like paint but doesn't need to dry)
  • Tape or glue
  • Stapler

1. Separate the 'cups' but cutting or tearing them apart. Doing a mixture of both gives it a different look and gave Mini Piwi a chance to try out both skills

2. Color the inside of each cup with Oil pastels, markers, crayons...

3. Make cuts in each 'cup' and gently fold the 'petals' back. The petals don't have to be the same size.

4. Make the yellow centers for the flowers. You can color your own like we did or cut out circles from yellow paper/card. Mini Piwi chose to make leaves instead...

5. Use glue or double sided tape to stick the centers into the flowers. The scientific name escapes me...disk or floret?

6. Measure the circumference of your YGG fan's head and Lay out the flower pattern you would like,

7. Staple each flower to the next until you have the desired length. Check it and then staple the first one to the last so that you have a wreath.
Mini Piwi loved her new head decoration and spent the rest of the day being a 'Foofa ballerina'. She was most upset that she couldn't wear it in the bath.

You may also like the YGG super skates we made from cereal boxes

 Shared with

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Woolly Aphid Nature study

This week, I was once again reminded that I should spend more time looking at things through the eyes of an inquisitive child.

Piwi Dad called the kids out to see something on the patio on Sunday. What he had spotted was what looked like a tiny bit of dryer fluff 'walking' along the patio toward the garden. Miss K theorized it was an ant carrying some fuzz. I carefully picked it up and discovered that under the fuzz was definitely not an ant but an odd little grayish white bug with lots of legs. The Piwis were convinced it needed to be looked at closely so it was put into an old huggies wipes container with some leaves.
The new species guess was that it was like an insect version of the Decorator crab Miss K recalled from the Aquarium earlier this year. Off to google we went and a quick search of 'fluffy insects' made us realize that we were harboring the crop destroying Woolly Aphid or Mealy bug. This of course did not deter the Piwis who insisted on bringing it more leaves. I could see the irony...for the years I had heard my green thumbed Grandad talk about how bad aphids were on roses etc and now we were looking after their furry cousins. A quick search of the garden turned up an Orange tree covered in Mealy bugs and other pests...The Landlord has probably got a insect battle on their hands. We, on the other hand, had a mini ecosystem (literally) on our doorstep to spend the day observing.

The eggs on this leaf have yet to be determined. It is not likely a Mealy bug as it is not fluffy 
The observation turned into a Mealy bug research report....and a mini Lapbook
The Front cover of the Lapbook and Mini Piwi's little book she made about ladybugs.

I'm not sure how clear this is, but here Miss K has written some of what she learnt about Mealy Bugs...including 'Farmers and Gardeners think they are pests, I think they are cute and fuzzy. Ladybugs eat them'.

Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The letter E for Elephants and a surprise egg!

This week we continued with our Animal themed alphabet...

Sid the Science kid has a great episode on shadows which we watched together and then did the animal shadow shape match activity together.  The episode does a good job explaining why we don't see any details in a shadow, only the outline of a shape. It inspired me to make shadow puppets with the Piwi's too.

Tuesday was Free Afternoon at the zoo so we decided to take a trip to see how much the baby Elephants have grown....

Mini Piwi wanted to take this little one home but I told her his mummy would miss him

And I wouldn't want to argue with this mummy!! They were such a sweet family though

We were so luckky to be able to see these beautiful and intelligent animals up close! Of course there are disadvantages of being this close, not so fresh smelling at times.

Mini Piwi Tour guide

We had visited for the elephants but Miss K discovered a hatching chick in the Hatchery. We stood there watching this little guy push his way out of an egg for as long as we could but he still had a way to go...I think this was definately something the kids will remember.

We got to do a few more E themed activities. The ones I got pictures of were making more of 1+1+1=1 cute ABC flashcards and the gluing elephants into the letter E

Mini Piwi also helped Big Sis with her Measuring project

By the end of the week, poor thing had a cold and just wanted to cuddle and watch Yo Gabba Gabba. Thankfully, she is on the mend now and is back to being her usual dancing & smiling self.

This week we used these awesome links for our printables!
1+1+1=1 Letter E printables for toddlers
1+1+1=1 ABC mazes
No time for flash cards E theme
2 teaching mommies Zoo theme pack
first-school-ABC printable mini books

 Linking up to