Thursday, November 23, 2017

G is for Gutman; Dan Gutman

I was originally going to write about the Genius files books series when I remembered that they were written by Dan Gutman and my boys LOVE all of his books.  The author writes with the purpose of hooking in kids who don't like to read and it sure worked for my two reluctant readers .

They fell in love with his humorous style of writing and his wacky schemes.

We first started reading the Genius Files series when 12 year old genius twins Coke and Pepsi set off with their parents for a cross country trip to their Aunt's wedding.  Stopping at all the weird but true tourist destinations (like the mustard museum) Coke and Pepsi are constantly trying to dodge evil villains who want to eliminate all the geniuses from the United States.  The 5 books in the series have fun names like Mission Unstoppable, Never Say GeniusYou Only Die Twice, From Texas With Love, & License to Thrill and they deliver.

My boys then started reading through the My Weird School Daze books.  We laughed at how crazy AJ's teachers and school personnel from the Ella Mentry School were. Falling in love with his classmates, catchphrases, and antics in each story. 

From there they also read all the My Weirder School books.  When AJ's school starts to get just a bit weirder with a new history teacher who builds a time machine and the martial arts teacher that does everything in slow motion.

And now we're working our way through the My Weirdest School books as they become available.  Even though my older two boys can read these books in just a day or two they LOVE them.

There are lots of fun holiday themed Weird School series books too-- Halloween, Easter, Christmas and Valentin'es day themed editions.


The author has started making non- fiction fast facts books that we just had to read too.  We've only read one of them so far but I figured a book called Fast Facts Space, Humans, and Farts would be something most any boy would enjoy.  They also have geography, Explorers Presidents and Toilets, and sports.

We've read the Homework Machine too in which 4 unlikely school kids become friends when they create a machine that does their homework for them.

We've just requested book one of his newest series: The Flashback Four where four kids are chosen to travel through time and photograph important historical events.  I love when we can learn about history while laughing along to a silly story.

He has a few other series that we have yet to try out:  The Kid Who Ran for President series and the Baseball Card Adventures.  Knowing his other books I bet we'd love these too (though none of my boys are big fans of baseball).

Kid Who Ran for President (2 Book Series) by  Dan Gutman

Have you read any of his books?

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What to Read Wednesday

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Virtual Refrigerator-- Rubber Stamp and Glitter Ornaments

Thanks for stopping by and joining us again this week as we host another virtual refrigerator arts and crafts link up. 

I participated in a blogging ornament craft exchange this past month and it was so much fun to get all my crafting supplies out and create.

I made some rubber stamped glitter ornaments; a craft I hadn't tried in YEARS.

I was so thrilled with how they came out I just had to share!

You can click on this link to see how I made my ornaments and learn about ALL the ornaments that were crafted for this huge ornament exchange.

Now without further ado I invite you to grab a "magnet" and link up your arts and crafts or how- to posts below and visit some other bloggers to see what they shared on their refrigerators.

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An InLinkz Link-up

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Love to Learn Linky-- The Week I Share TWO Science Activities

My boys and I have been having so much fun with science lately!

Our DVD/VCR player finally bit the dust and I let the boys completely dismantle it one afternoon.  We had so much fun seeing how all the pieces came together and the millions of parts inside that worked together just so we could watch movies.

We also put together a quick and simple science experiment one day that demonstrates how wind blowing between buildings in a city can cause tall skyscrapers to bend and flux.

You can read all about our DVD/VCR findings here and learn how to set up your own wind experiment here.

But enough about us and what we've been up to!  This is a linky party and I want to hear about what you've been up to.

While you're here, I hope you'll join us!

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Welcome to the Love to Learn Blog Hop

A collection of educational activities to instill a life long love of learning in our children.

Enjoy learning through play, nature, crafts, and many other educational activities.

Love to Learn blog hop | link up | linky | blogging | homeschooling | education | kids activities | kids craft ideas

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100 Days of Science #9-- Wind Tunnel

We tried another fun science experiment that shows how wind can create a tunnel through two tall skyscrapers and cause them to want to pull towards one another.

We talked about how architects would need to keep this phenomenon in mind when drawing up plans for city buildings.

For this experiment we needed:

2 balloons
some water
some string
a pole
two matching chairs
empty paper towel tube (optional)

We put a bit of water in our balloons and blew them up.  Then we suspended the balloons from our pole (we used a broomstick) and made sure they were spaced just a few inches apart.

We only added enough water to keep the balloons somewhat weighted down and steady (you can see in this photo that it didn't take much water).

Once we were happy with our balloons we tried blowing air through the middle of them, sometimes using a paper towel tube. 

I honestly thought this experiment was going to be a failure. Both Evan and I could not get the balloons to move at all when we blew next to them.  Then Alec came over and gave a great big blow and we watched the balloons pull so close together they actually touched a time or two!

I had to take a moment to laugh like crazy over the faces Alec was making as he was blowing!  They were cracking us all up but I was so happy to see the experiment working!!

Here's how it works:  the wind going through the balloons is at a higher speed and when gases move at higher speeds that they loose pressure.  BUT the air on all other sides of the balloon have the same air pressure they always had and since the outside forces have greater air pressure they push inward when the air is moving quickly through the gap in the balloons and that forces the balloons together.  

It was pretty neat to learn that architects have to take this wind tunnel effect into account when designing skyscrapers because changes in air pressure can put added stress on city buildings.  

Others in this series:

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Monday, November 20, 2017

100 Days of Science #8-- Un Make It! Monday

We had a broken VCR/DVD player that we knew we could not fix so I offered to let the boys completely dismantle it and the accompanying remote that came with it.

They had the best time taking everything apart, inspecting all the little pieces and figuring out HOW it must have worked.

comparing various circuit boards 

The DVD player 

My husband often dismantles things to fix it and we try to include the boys as often as possible.  It's a great way to learn how things work together and what the various parts do.

Others in this series:

1.  Bernoulli's Principle
2.  Field Trip to the Ecotarium 
3.  Learning About Air Molecules