Tiny Talk Tuesday

Of course, I’ve never joined up with this one so I don’t have the blog button yet……..  But, this was just too cute not to put up.
Batman the cat
The conversation as reported to me from Jeff:

Batman: “Daddy, my mommy and daddy itchies got together and had baby itchies.  The mommy itchies had 16 babies and they want more.”
Then his brother heard this, and thought it was an effective way to get scratches.
Superman: “Well, my mommy and daddy itchies had 100 babies!”

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Math monday: Green Eggs and Ham

learning laboratory at mama smiles

Interesting fact I learned as I researched Massachusetts, not only does it have a state children’s book, it also has a state children’s author: Dr. Seuss.

 

I had found an interesting book about Dr. Seuss, but it was way too long to hold everyone’s interest.  When I read it to my kids I, we divided it into two nights reading.  But, for everyone getting together I wanted some kind of activity, and everything I could think of was either too involved or too simple for the entire group.

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After some thinking, I remembered that “Green Eggs and Ham” had been written as a challenge to write a book using only 50 words.  So, I picked 10 random words from the book and we graphed 20 pages of it.

 

 

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What intrigued me was watching the two teams (boys against girls) defend their answers.  There was one instance for each team where someone had the wrong number.  It was great for my kids to see everyone defend and come up with their answers.

 

All in all, a great exercise for everyone.

 

I’ll try and get the printable I made up, it’s just a simple table, but right now Scribd is being annoying.

Science Sunday: Prepare to be grossed out…..

Science Sunday

 

This is the cry I heard as I innocently sat at my computer last week, “Mom!  There’s a dead bird in our back yard and Mac’s chewing on it.”

 

Now, I hadn’t fully woken up yet, and was still blinking at the computer screen.  But, I was galvanized into action, and immediately said, “Put the dog inside, and follow me.”

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Yes, I said that.  I grabbed my camera, and a handful of bamboo skewers because I sure as heck wasn’t going to let them pick up the dead bird or touch it.  But, think of what we could observe!

 

 

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Equipped with our handy dandy bamboo skewers we proceeded to gently examine the bird.  I tried to treat it with as much respect as possible, so we didn’t really poke it, just used the skewers to move feathers and point to things.

 

 

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First we noticed that his toes pointed different ways.  After much discussion we decided this was to help him grab onto branches and balance better.  It’s rather like how our thumb points a different way from the rest of our fingers.

 

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Then we talked about how the bird was missing feathers, and what could have caused that.  I personally think the bird was old, and just couldn’t survive much longer.  The kids of course blamed various different animals for killing the poor bird.

 

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Then we looked at his other side and noticed his feathers were different colors there and talked about how that is a form of camouflage because someone looking up when he was flying would have a harder time seeing him against the bright sky.

 

We also noticed there was a bit of blood around his eyes.  Which really was quite disturbing.  Then I took away the poor bird and disposed of him properly before any other animals tried to eat him more.  Poor guy.

 

And before I could stop them the kids ran around and collected a rather large number of feathers they found all over our yard.  I gathered those up into a bag that “I’m keeping somewhere special” and sent them in to wash their hands 5 times with soap and hot water.

 

Because yes, it was gross.  And yes, there was a definite oogey factor, but I also knew they were going to be talking about it and wondering about it anyways.  Might as well get a science lesson out of it.

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Afterwards I set them to drawing something they observed about the bird.  They were quite sure they wanted to bring in the feathers to the Nature Center so they could trade those in and get “an animal skull.”  Yeah…….  We’ll see.

 

We did not however get a science lesson from the partially pulverized dead snake we found in the yard.  That went straight into the trash.  I was more weirded out by that one because I had started off thinking it was a discarded skin, only to discover it wasn’t.  EWWWWW!

Oh and, if you only check the linky on Sunday, I highly recommend going back later in the week and seeing the posts added in later on.  There’s always some fun ones added in as the week goes on.

Picks of the week

 

Sigh, it feels like I rarely link up here anymore, and it’s not for lack of reading, it just feels like all of our books end up being part of geography units.  Sigh, and double sigh………

Amazon.com Widgets

 

My favorites:

 

The Very Ugly Dinosaur- I had planned on doing an activity with this book, but someone, say about 4 feet high, has absconded with my book.  That’s my best theory.  Either way it’s a cute retelling of the Ugly Duckling.

Pennies for Elephants- super cute true story about the children of Boston working to get 3 elephants for the zoo

 

Non favorite:

Shivers in the Fridge- it was just weird.   It might work for someone else, but it was odd for me.

 

My brain is not working right now, so maybe it’ll suddenly kick start on and I’ll have a memory of the other books we read.  We’ll see……..  I’d ask where my brain cells went, but I know where they went.  They’re between 3 and 4 feet high, and they suck brain cells.  That’s how they get smarter.

Make Way for Ducklings

I was trying to come up with a great activity to do with “Make Way for Ducklings,” it’s the ‘Official State Picture book’ of Massachusetts, thanks to a third grade class lobbying for its inclusion.  I was really struggling with what to do that was age appropriate for little kids and older kids.  Then I found this idea. 

 

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I don’t have a lot of pictures of this activity because they did it while I was reading the story.  Okay, I have one, taken afterwards.  I went to this page and printed off one of their map pages.  As I named the places in the story they found it and drew how they got there.

 

This was great because it was a struggle for my kids to figure it out, and a great review for the older kids.  My kids really loved it!

 

 

Here’s some additional links I found:

Homeschool Share unit on Make Way for Ducklings

pictures of the statues

Boston and the early Revolution

Photobucket 

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We’ve started into Massachusetts.  I thought for a state with so much history and that was such a center for the start of the American Revolution it’d be great to start off with some history.

 

We talked through some of the events that happened there and why they were so upset, and while we talked about it they put together this map (from Time Travelers American Revolution).  It helped the kids get a bit of an idea what was happening and where.

 

 

We ran out of time that first week, so we continued the next week.  I talked about the Boston Massacre and how Paul Revere made a  Boston Massacre wood engraving that enraged many people.  I talked about how in some ways it was propaganda because he changed some of the details to make it look more one-sided than it really was (see link below). 

Description of details and finer points about Paul Revere’s engraving.

 

Afterwards they each got to make their own “wood carving”

 

Supplies: foam from a take out container or a clean meat tray  (HEB was kind enough to give me 6 clean unused trays to cut up); a bamboo skewer or toothpick (something sharp, you could use a pencil), tempera paint, paintbrush (preferably foam)

 

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Draw your design into the foam.  It takes a bit of work to find just the right way.  My kids mainly poked holes to make a pattern, but the older kids mastered actually drawing with it.

When you’re satisfied with your design paint a THIN layer of paint over it.  Emphasis on thin.

 

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So, they got to make an attempt at woodcarving and discovered it’s harder than it looks.

Amazon.com Widgets

While the paint dried we read “Paul Revere’s Ride,” a poem that I love for it’s cadence.  I remember at one point seeing a copy with the illustrations done in the style of woodcarving (it may have been woodcarvings), but I couldn’t find that one.

 

And just for fun here’s some fun videos I found on You Tube.  After seeing the first one my kids want me to make a Lego movie of their stories……..