Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Superhero Science

I just love when I have planned something for school that the boys are genuinely excited to try.

Today they were so excited they could hardly wait for school to start.  While I was cleaning the house they were brainstorming ways they would help free Batman, Robin and Aquaman from Mr. Freeze's ice blocks-- our fun hands on science lesson for the day.

I obviously planned ahead and prepared this lesson yesterday so the boys knew what we were doing.  I had them pick out the superhero they wanted and then used three plastic containers that were all the same size to freeze their guys in.  I told them the superheros had been frozen by Mr. Freeze and they were going to need to be rescued.  They had all night to think about their strategy.

A little anticipation never hurts!  

When we were finally ready to start school, Ian wanted to use his hammer and chisels he got with his gem excavating kit.  Alec thought since sunlight and warm air melt ice that my hair dryer would probably work well.  Evan wanted to use salt.  We talked about warm water, time spent in the warm house and any other ideas they could think of.

Most of the boys tried a variety of different ways but Evan pretty much stuck with warm water and salt and he was so proud of himself when he freed Robin before his brothers!  It was such a fun, hands on science experiment.  They tried flipping the ice over and excavating from the other side.  They tried letting the salt or the hot water just sit in place on their ice blocks.  They tried pulling the guys out when they had body parts freed.  In the end they all used LOTS of hot water and salt (though my hair dryer did get quite a workout!).

Alec starts right in with the hair dryer

Ian tries to chisel Batman free

Evan pouring hot water onto Robin

Alec and Ian switch tools and try another way to free their men

We can see a foot!

Batman's cape and foot are working their way free

Robin is almost completely freed! 

Evan got his guy freed first! 

 We followed up our science experiment with our math lessons.  

The older boys worked on their math minutes; both ending up with 17 out of 21 right.  They're so close!  They then played a fun Pizza Bump game using division facts.  It was loud and they bickered and I wished I had just printed out some worksheets for them today.

While they played that Evan worked on a subtract and color sheet.  I had him work on writing the actual answers today to get some number practice in.  He has such phenomenal number sense but he really struggles to write his numbers.

I have been super impressed with all my boys and their math skills lately as we're playing Monopoly at night.  Alec has been our banker and makes change for all our transactions.  He's multiplying whenever anyone lands on water works or electric company.  Evan has been reading the number amounts of rent due even when the numbers are in the 100's.  He has also been able to figure out that when he has to pay $26 in rent he needs a 20, a 5 and a 1!  He's adding up the dice for each turn and moving/ counting himself around the board.

 I was doubly impressed today with Evan, when working on his subtraction paper he hardly had to think or use counters for most of the subtraction problems!

Division bump game

Subtract and color

All done!


After math I had the older boys go read silently for 15 minutes.  They chose to read in their rooms and Alec likes to read out loud to his stuffed animals.

While they were reading on their own Evan and I read another mini book together.  Today's book was called What Smells Good?  He read through it pretty well his first time through.

Evan and I then played a sight word game I pulled out our superhero figures to use as game pieces and pulled out the big die.  He had lots of fun playing and did a great job reading all of the words he landed on.
Sight word game

Together we all started reading Kipling's The Jungle Book.  It takes place in India and I knew this was one story the boys would really enjoy listening to.  The first two pages of the book talked about the author's life in India and how he came up with all the names in the stories.  We studied the map, saw what his childhood home looked like and talked about why his home is in Pakistan now.  We read a little less than half of the story and then broke for some lunch. (Combining reading and geography).

We ended up watching the Disney movie, The Jungle Book while eating lunch and compared it to what we had listened to in the story so far.  They had all watched this movie before but loved that they got to watch it as part of school.  It is a rather cute movie and I had forgotten about some of the sillier moments that really made my boys laugh. 

All in all it was a wonderfully fun homeschooling day.  I just love when I can combine their interests (like superheros) with more traditional school subjects like science or reading because then they are more motivated and cooperative.

It's idyllic days like this that make me so thankful we get to spend so much time learning together. 

   Linking Up With:
Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling


Christian Montessori Network

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