Thursday, May 19, 2011

Strawberry Pickin' with Pais

Maggie's best friend is Paisley, who she's known since she was about seven months old.  They are the perfect complement to each other and really get excited whenever they know they're getting together (which, unfortunately, is less often since Pais moved about forty-five minutes away last year).  So, it was no surprise that they were jumping up and down to find out they were going to go strawberry picking today!  Here are some photos:

 Even Baby Olivia got in on the action!
 They were so pretty!
Not full yet ...
 The girls found this grasshopper, among other things!
 Silly girls!
 After we picked all of our berries (2 whole gallons!), we hung out in the shade and sipped some strawberry punch!
 Our goodies!
 Three peas in a pod!  :)
 Stopping for a cold treat ...
 So many berries!
 Then, we made jam!  (The girls loved the squishing part!)
 Our jam!
It was the best day we had in a while and Maggie talked about it all the drive home!  (I'm sure she'll continue to talk about it for days to come.)  Thanks, Sus, for such a great day!  We love you, Pais! 

'There is no distance too far between best friends, for friendship gives wings to the heart.'  (Unknown)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Color our World

WHEW!  Today was BUSY!  After a sunrise breakfast (part of our curriculum, keep scrolling), we got ready and went to Auburn's Raptor Rehabilitation Center for Preschool Outings (SO much fun), then came home and did enough homeschooling for two days!  And to top it off, now I need to clean and stage my house for tomorrow's open house!  Busy is good, though.  Some photos:

Enjoying her 'Sunrise Breakfast' on the deck as part of our study of the sun ...
 At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Auburn for Preschool Outings ...
 Baby opossums!  (They were quite cute, but growling at us and showing their teeth!)
A barn owl (male)!
 A great horned owl!  Beautiful.
 A barred owl!
 Maggie, so close to a hawk!  (She had strict instructions to keep her fingers at her sides!)
 A red-tailed hawk!
A screech owl!
 A vulture, spreading his wings in the sun to help kill bacteria, as she is explaining to us ...
 Maggie, checking out the vulture.
 A bald eagle!
 A falcon ...
A diversity project using a green and red apple.  First, we discussed how their skins are different colors.
 Then, we cut both apples open to discover that they look the same on the inside ... just like people do.
 While we ate our apples, we watched our video for the day, Davey and Goliath: 'Blind Man's Bluff', about accepting racial differences.
 For our next social experiment, we colored two pictures -- one with one crayon, and the other with multiple crayons.  After they were complete, I asked her which one she liked best, and she picked the multi-colored one.  I then explained to her that just like the multi-colored picture, our world is full of different colors, which makes it an interesting world to live in.  If we were all one color, it would be quite boring. 

'We could learn a lot from crayons. ... all are different colors, but they all exist very nicely in the same box.'
-- Unknown

 Here, Maggie's decorating a black sheet of construction paper with star stickers so that we can make our own constellations.  (And, yes!  Before you ask, it is a scientific fact that stars can be red, yellow, white, or blue!  Another fact:  Blue stars are the hottest while red are the coolest!)
 After all the stickers were placed, she connected the stars with chalk lines for her constellations.  (The first constellations were named more than 2,000 years ago!) 
 Working on our 'Star Facts' book ...
(There are at least as many stars in the universe as there are grains of sand on Earth!)
 The materials for our 'telescope' ...
 Once we wrapped the toilet paper tube in foil, she decorated it with more star stickers.
 Ready for tonight's sunset and star gazing!  (Did you know it takes about eight minutes for light from the sun to reach the Earth?  It's true!)
 The materials for our star painting ...
 We poured white paint over the sponge so that it would be easier for her to coat her star cookie cutter before placing on her black paper.
 A 'stellar' math game I made ... :)
 We mixed up the pairs and she used her counting skills to match them again!

Today, we:
1. We joined the Preschool Outings group for a visit to Auburn University's Raptor Rehabilitation Center, where we saw a presentation on raptors.  (It was so cool!)
1. Letter practice: We practiced writing big letter 'O' and little letter 'o' in our Alphabet and Counting workbook, page 35.  We also read the 'O' tongue twister so she could hear the 'O' sound and discussed the difference between the long 'O' sound and the short 'O' sound.
Planets and Space (The Sun and Other Stars):
1. We read The Sun by Justin McCory Martin.
2. We read Under the Sun by Ellen Kandoian.
3. We read Sun Up, Sun Down by Gail Gibbons.
4. We read The Sun's Family of Planets by Allan Fowler.
5. We read Stars and Constellations by Elizabeth Bennett.
6. We listened to the following songs on the Here Comes Science CD that we borrowed from the library:
     1) 'Why Does the Sun Shine?' (Track 9);
     2) 'Why Does the Sun Really Shine?' (Track 10); and
     3) 'What is a Shooting Star?' (Track 7).
7. We read the riddles from Spacey Riddles by Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg on pages 7, 16, 19, 20, 23, 28, 30, 31, and 36.
8. We completed the 'Sunrise, Sunset' activity out of our Toddler's Busy Play Book, page 113, where we experienced a sunrise breakfast outside. Then, later, we will watch the sun set and discuss the differences observed (more pictures to follow).
9. Tonight, we will complete the 'Stargazing' activity out of our Toddler's Busy Play Book, page 134, where we will use the simple telescopes we made out of decorated toilet paper tubes and peer at the stars tonight through them.
10. We used the Crayola star chipboard album and star-shaped papers we had, and made a star fact book, using star stickers to decorate it.
11. We used a star cookie cutter and white paint poured over a flat sponge to print white stars on a piece of black construction paper.
12. We attached several silver star stickers to black paper. Then, we used chalk to draw lines to connect the stars to create our own constellations.
13. With different sizes of stars cut out of white and yellow paper, we arranged them from smallest to largest and from largest to smallest. On some other pairs of stars cut from paper, we wrote numerals on one from each pair and on the other star, drew a corresponding number of dots. We then mixed up the stars and found the match-ups.
Peace and Diversity (Racial Differences):
1. We read Your Skin and Mine by Paul Showers.
2. We read Skin Again by Bell Hooks.
3. We read All the Colors We Are: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color by Katie Kissinger.
4. We read Black, White, Just Right! by Marguerite W. Davol.
5. We read Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff.
6. We read Am I a Color Too? by Heidi Cole & Nancy Vogl.
7. We read The Colors of the Rainbow by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos.
8. We read Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds.
9. We watched the Davey and Goliath: 'Blind Man's Bluff' DVD episode, about accepting racial differences.
10. We completed an activity with one red apple and one green, first describing how the two apples are the same and how they are different.  We then cut the two apples in half and discussed that even though the skin color of each apple is different, the two apples are both the same on the inside, just like people.
11. Color Experiment: I gave her two sheets of drawing paper, then allowed her to pick out one crayon from her box.  She then draw a picture on one sheet of the paper with only the single crayon.  Once done, she drew another picture on the second sheet of paper, using as many different colors as she wanted.  When finished, I asked her the following questions: Which picture do you like best? Why? (Of course, she chose the one with the more colors.)  We then discussed how boring the world would be if we were all alike -- like the picture drawn with only one crayon.  (I got this idea from Trudi Pinnick Wolfe, a counselor at Central Elementary School in Beech Grove, IN.  Thanks for such a great idea!)

Tomorrow, during our open house, we'll be visiting our buddy, Paisley, in LaGrange, and picking our own strawberries at a nearby farm!  We also have plans to do a bit of homeschooling on the planets and cultural diversity.  See you soon!