September 15, 2014

Days of learning - elementary

Ok, so pretty much the day after posting all those pictures of our school room, I started seeing all it's imperfections and problems and got the urge to move it around. I am always moving the house around, my family are very understanding! I ended up moving the entire school room down to the kitchen and getting a lounge back. After our first week down there we are all really liking it, it is great to have access to the sink for practical life and science activities and there is more floor and table space. It took me about 14 hours to move everything but it was time well spent.

Binx used the hierarchical material this week, comparing sizes, labelling, discovering the families of numbers (simple, thousand, million) and how that relates to where we put the commas in numbers. She was very impressed with the size difference between the 1 cube and the 1,000,000 cube, so was I really, it's quite impressive to see it in such a hands on way. 

On Wednesday, after 2 days using the hierarchical material, binx started using the large bead frame, practicing building large numbers and then reading large numbers that I built. We then did some addition to practice the exchanging of beads. This work was mostly just to get used to the frame and feel comfortable with 'reading' it.

We did some work looking at the composition of the earth. We looked at the different layers in terms of what to call them (barysphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere), and related it to the density experiment where you put the syrup, water and oil in a jar and you get the separate layers. This is because everything settles according to its weight so in the earth the barysphere is heaviest, then the lithosphere etc. As you can see from the picture below, we also looked at the relative thicknesses of each layer. Binx was pretty interested in the hydrosphere (water!) so we did an experiment to show how much fresh water there is in the world. You get a great big bowl of water which represents all the water in the world and you take about 4 tbsp and freeze it to show all the fresh water in the world which is frozen and then 2 tbsp which shows all the fresh water in the world that all living things have to share. All the rest of the water in the bowl is salt water. Pretty mind blowing actually. 

We have been learning to play Chinese chess. My parents brought this set back from Vietnam last year but we haven't played it until now. It is similar to western chess but with some important differences and some great pieces (we have elephants and chariots instead of bishops and rooks!). 

I was busy with Rogue at one point and when I came back, Binx had made herself a den with a blanket over two chairs and was inside exploring an electronics set. 

We explored polygons and learnt some new quadrilateral names like the rhombus and parallelogram. Note: everyone should try to have a two year old present while learning the word parallelogram, lots of fun! 

We finished up the week with a review on the states of matter, solid, liquid and gas. This was mostly review work but we added in a few extras like changing a solid with heat, (melting wax), and making holes in the side of a tin to show how a liquid pushes sideways as well as down but a solid only pushes down.

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