Friday, January 30, 2015

The End of a Busy Week...

Week 5, Part 3 January 26, 2015

The end of a busy week of schooling for me, usually means dining out, or dining in, which is my preference, sitting down to read, read, read, and laminate, laminate, laminate. Or, instead of laminating, lately my weekends have me going up and down the stairs a million times. There are only 16, but goodness, I walk them a bunch. Last Sunday, my butt hurt after spending three hours going around gathering things from all the far corners of our house. (My house isn't that big actually. But sore butts are one of the perils of having your classroom on the second floor.) 

Can I just say, I think one of the reasons I don't like my raw photos and think they just look way too dark is because of this new house. I love this new house. BUT, the ceilings are really high in the classroom. Our last classroom in VA, we had 8' ceilings and then had a low ceiling where the ventilation hung. This low ceiling combined with a stronger flash equaled better, brighter pictures with more contrast. Here, we have brown/tan walls, which I love, but they absorb light, and our ceilings are, I haven't a clue, 10' where vaulted? Now, I have a weaker flash, higher brown ceilings, and dark pictures. Okay, I've figured out the only thing I can do to change this situation...I need a different flash.

Anyway, since I already posted our bigger classroom update earlier, this post will be short. Ahh. (Because of the volume of photos this week, I didn't post everything and they weren't in the order in which they were taken. For example, I think we did this geography work, Tuesday or Wednesday.)

This was the Earth as a Sphere and its Result lesson from the KotU Geography album. We reviewed the rotation of the earth and the possibility that if it didn't rotate that one side of the earth would become flaming hot and the other would be colder than ice because it is earth's rotation that allows the sun's energy to heat the earth on all sides and make life able to thrive. 

Then we examined what happens when the sun's rays hit the earth. Since the earth is a sphere, the rays do not all hit the earth's surface at a right angle. (We went over what a right angle was since we haven't gotten this far in the geometry album.) If the earth were flat sided, like in the photo below, the sun's rays would all hit the earth at a right angle. But, since the earth is a sphere, some rays hit the earth perpendicularly and others at an angle that is oblique.

Above, is one of the charts I made that illustrates how the sun rays that hit the earth at a perpendicular angle are stronger than those that hit the earth at an oblique angle. (In this chart, the black lines are the layers of the atmosphere and the oblique rays spend more time traveling through those layers of the atmosphere and therefore loose more of their energy in the process.) The areas of the earth where the rays of sun that hit the earth at a more oblique angle experience colder temperatures than the areas where the sun's rays are perpendicular to the earth's surface.

Next up, we'll examine the tilt of the earth's axis. (You can see more of the complete presentation here in last year's post.)

(Thank you MBT for that portfolio book recommendation. These books are so nice!) Our geography folios (I have two volumes) and our biology folio sit on the north side shelves of the classroom behind D's practical life shelves and the flags.
T and S both did a little bit of writing at the end of the week. Or I should say, they both did a lot of writing. S drew a bunch of "pages" on white paper, and then we cut them to paste them onto uniform pink pieces of paper. After she finishes all of her illustrations, and mounts each one on pink paper, I'll laminate the lot, cut them out and then we'll take them to the office store to be spiral bound. 
This was T's writing project. Here he is writing the Lego Movie Story. From memory. He taped more and more pieces of blue banded paper, end to end, to make a super long scroll. An interesting project for sure. I can see that both T and S need some help in the spelling department.
S somehow slipped into fraction addition. Here she was drawing fractions again and labeling them. I asked to show her something which was 1/2 + 1/2 = 2/2. (She was tracing halves at the time.) She looked at me and smiled and then took over. She hasn't wanted to use any cards yet. (This "introduction" was how I had imagined all the more perfect presentations to be: simple, sweet and right on target.) I wonder if she will be my child who doesn't need activity/card sets.

She is still getting a little mixed up with the numerator and the denominator, but I think her brain likes to switch things. B's and D's are always reversed. You can see her 3's are reversed, her 6's and 9's are reversed, and so are her J's and other such symbols that really go only right or left. In her head she seems to understand quite well the addition she is doing, it is just the writing part we need to work on. 

A tiny bit later, I noticed that she had corrected her equation above.
And finally, we took out the decimal fraction board. T was elated. He made a crown for the unit who is the king of the decimal fraction board. Everything revolves around the unit. In his kingdom (I called him a him because T is a him, I'll probably call it a her when I present this to S) there are all the hierarchies. T placed each bead and cube near their corresponding hierarchies on the board.
Then we began forming quantities with the cubes and naming them. T caught on right away to the building the quantities. If the card says there are 0.00005 he put five orange cubes in the hundred thousandths column. 

The naming of the quantities was the difficult part. We started off with easier quantities than the one pictured above. So, 0.97 is said, ninety seven hundredths. We name the quantity normally and then add the hierarchy in which the last numeral resides. In this case, the 7 ends up in the hundredths column so we say that there are X number of hundredths.
In the photo above, we'd say that there are 179,251 millionths. 
T did a fair job saying these correctly. At first he was a little tripped up because he was looking at the colors when naming the quantity. He'd see that first 1 is blue, and so he'd think oh, tens, but if we read the quantity from left to right, the first blue 1 is really a hundred, not a ten.
Then we added numbers greater than 1 whole into the mix. This is six AND six hundred twenty nine thousand, five hundred and thirty one millionths. Wow, that was long. No wonder we just use numerals.

After this, we'll work on figuring out which is larger, 6.78935, or 6.78. 
And this was D's end-of-the-week face as he was doing something he felt was sneaky. We call this his muppet-mouth.

Have a great weekend everyone!!


  1. No wonder you were so happy about the decimal checkerboard post ;)

    I love that muppet-face!

  2. Ok so apparently our sons our brain twins! Did I tell you that MJ made a scroll this past week? I didn't think I did. He got the idea from a book he's been reading and he taped about 20 pieces of copy paper together and rolled them up. I had to help him do this. Then we put rubber bands around them to keep it rolled :). They so need to get together again!