Sunday, September 9, 2012

Branches of Science and a Paper Plate Globe

This post was made after two days of work, as we had some catch-up to do this week from learning to balance between our school work and our extracurricular activities.  We're still getting in the groove of this new year, but I think things will shape out nicely.  We are staying busy, but getting a lot of work done.  It's still hard to believe we are in Kindergarten!  Here's what we did:

After our Bible study on the story of Cain and Abel, we played a folder game from  It was fun, and the cards tested her on how well she knew the story, so I was tickled with the activity. 
(Here's the inside of our folder game.)
For playing pieces, Maggie chose these little rubber duckies!  Cute!  
I think I will be looking for more of these folder games for our other Bible stories!  :)
For our math review (before we start our Singapore curriculum on Tuesday), we read Monster Math by Grace Maccarone ...
... and got out our foam counting blocks that we picked up at the Dollar Tree (50 blocks for $1).  These are two packs' worth, so we were expecting to count 100.
 Big surprise, though ... we counted 101!  We got an extra block in one of our packs!  And I was proud of how Mags easily counted each one and grouped them into tens by herself!  We're ready for that textbook!  :)
For Science, we have been discussing what science is, what scientists do, and for this study, I wanted to focus on the different branches of science.  (I wanted her to understand how vast a subject science is.)  I was thinking of a way to get her to understand this concept visually and then I thought, "Duh.  Branches.  Branches of a tree!"  So, I came up with the idea of making a trunk with branches out of paper, and adding leaves for the different sciences.  Here is the empty tree I hung on our wall.
And here are the leaves.  For each, I wrote on a different science but then added a picture to illustrate each so she could make better sense of it.  
After we read about the different branches of sciences, we discussed each, then added them to our tree under three main sections, "Physical Science," "Life Science (Biology)," and "Earth Science."
 It turned out to be a great way for her to make sense of it all.
We did take a break on Friday for her pottery class with Teacher Tom!  :)
For our Geography/Social Studies class, we are still placing her in the world, this time, by continent.  For our study of continents we read The Seven Continents by Wil Mara ...
... and My Continent by Heather Adamson.
Here, Maggie is putting together a continents puzzle with Daddy.
After the puzzle was completed, we discussed each continent, noting it's geography, goods, native animals, etc.
Finally, for another activity on the continents, I saw the felt map at, and it gave me the idea to do a similar activity, a bit cheaper.  Instead of felt on a felt board, which would have been costly, we used paper on blue paper plates to illustrate the Western and Eastern hemispheres, like you see below.  
After we labeled each continent on a world map that I printed from online, I had Mags color the same, being sure to make each continent a different color.  (She used a white pencil for Antarctica "because of the snow.")
 Then, we glued the continents from each hemisphere onto one of two plates.
 Once we had both sides finished, we glued the paper plates together, back to back, to show how the two sides of the world look from space.
And to preface my final idea for this post, I am embarrassed to tell you that our television has become too hot a commodity for my sweet little girl.  She turns it on in the morning while I get ready, make breakfast, and start laundry, and unfortunately, I've noticed that turning it off to start school work is like pulling teeth ... NOT EASY!  She complains, whines, gets upset, and has less fun than I would hope after all that planning!  I HAVE NOT BEEN HAPPY WITH HER ATTITUDE THIS WEEK!  So, I came up with the idea of "TV Money."  Here's how it works.  At the start of the day, we don't turn on the television.  She will collect 30 cents (plastic money that I have for learning), each cent counting for one minute of TV time, meaning she starts out with 30 minutes of TV time that she can use after her school work is done.  If she has a good attitude or works especially hard during our work, she can earn money, or minutes.  If she gives me a hard time or has a bad attitude, she will lose minutes.  It's that easy!
 Here is our "TV Money" jar.  She gets her 30 cents in the morning and turns it in when she's ready to watch.  (She can even bank the money and watch more TV on one day, which I seriously doubt she will do!)  :)
 To go with her "TV Money," I went ahead and hung this poster I was saving for later in the year when we cover money in Math.  We will exchange for larger coins and bills if she earns more minutes throughout the day.  It's a great way to get a start on her learning money values.
 And here is the setup, under her reward charts!  Let's hope it is the perfect incentive to change her attitude!  (We tried it tonight, and so far, so good!)  
 See you again tomorrow!


  1. Thanks, Annie! I'm hoping you will use some of these ideas for Baby Abigail in time! :)