Friday, October 26, 2012

Boiling blood, pumpkin Sudoku & ghosts!

      We got a very late start today since we were out late last night enjoying some town Halloween festivities.  I try even harder now to attend events where I know the boys can see their old classmates.  It was wonderful to see so many of their friends and watch them all hug and grin and play together!  Plus, now that we don't have to be up at a certain time to get ready for school they can sleep in a bit if they feel like it and apparently they all did.  I wasn't worried though, being a Friday, I don't have a whole lot planned for today.   They started out by watching The Most Extreme; and we learned all about the 10 loudest animals on the planet. 
          We made Blood Boil for science today (OK-- so we didn't really make blood boil; but we made a red lave lamp & the kids thought that was really neat!).  You'll need a plastic bottle, some water, oil, food coloring and alka- seltzer tablets.  Fill the bottle half- full with the oil, add water until you're within an inch of the top and enough food coloring to turn it red (about 10 drops).  Break an alka- seltzer tablet into pieces small enough to fit through the hole.  You'll start to see the colored water bubble to the top through the oil.  The boys noticed that the water & oil kept separating even after we shook it to try and combine them.  We added the oil first but the water always sunk to the bottom.  So we talked about density too. 

          For math the older boys worked on a Pumpkin Square Sudoku- like game I found on- line.  They each chose a gridded board (or 2) since the board ranged from 3x3 to 6x6 (I let them pick one easy one to start and then challenged them to try a harder one.)  The board looks like a giant Bingo board and they have a set of colored pumpkins the object is to make sure each row and column only has one pumpkin of each color.  Evan did a number maze today just to try something different.   It's almost like dot- to- dot meshed with a maze.  You have to follow numbers 1 - 15 to find your way out of the maze.    He finished it pretty quickly and then asked for a dot- to- dot!  So I challenged him to do one that went from 1- 56.  He needed quite a bit of help but I didn't mind coaching him. 

        For art we made paper plate ghosts.   A very simple, yet fun activity.  The plate is the body of the ghost.  I had the boys glue streamers off the bottom using glue sticks.  They then drew arms out of sturdy white paper and glued them on the sides of the plate.  They wanted to use googlie eyes again (I'm going to have to buy some more real soon as we're running out!), and they used my makeup to give the ghost rosy cheeks.  We drew a mouth out of black paper and glued that on as well.  They;re quite spook- tacular!

        We read Jumanji, a chapter in our Kitten book, and a book called Scary, Scary Halloween.  We hope to watch the movie Jumanji later after lunch or perhaps for movie night tonight.  I can't wait to have them compare the book and movie though.  They're so very different. 
         For lunch we made spiders out of cut hot dogs and spaghetti.  I hated to give them hot dogs again today but they really wanted to make mummies again and I'm trying real hard to make all our lunches a bit different and fun this week.  So I enticed them with spiders.  While they're still eating some hot dogs it's mostly spaghetti and they have the added bonus of having sauce so I know they're getting some sort of vegetables in there too.  We cut hot dogs into even chunks and threaded them onto spaghetti (it's really not that hard as long as the hot dogs are completely thawed.  Then drop them into boiling water for about 6 min. or until spaghetti is done.  We heated sauce in another pan and they happily dunked their spiders in it and ate them.
      We made some oatmeal cookies and put the Hershey spice kisses on top as an added treat today. Not to mention extra kitchen science and fraction/ math practice.  I had them read the recipe and show me which measuring utensils to use.  I want them to get used to recognizing fractions, which is something they really struggle with.  The older boys learned about fractions at school last year and had a good grasp but have never really put those skills to use and have forgotten much of what they learned.  We double recipes and halve them often too so I expect them to get quite adept at fractions the more they help out in the kitchen. 
          We played the game of Life once our cookies were done.  Only my older two boys enjoy playing but Evan chimed in from time to time and spun for me.  The older two have gotten really good at handling large sums of money and adding/ subtracting to pay or make change.  I'm convinced it's from all the games we play.  We make them read and try to figure out everything themselves, only helping if they're really stuck.  It's such a great way for them to learn because they're motivated to figure it out and win!

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