Monday, October 20, 2014

Animal antics

  I hadn't planned on doing any bookwork with the boys today.  We were heading out in the morning to meet my mother, my sisters, and their kids at the zoo for some fun trick- or- treating through the zoo.  As soon as we ate breakfast I had them  get into their costumes and we went outside in our yard for the annual Halloween pictures I take of the boys in their costumes.  It's easier to take the photos now that they're older and they went by so quickly we had plenty of time left for some schoolwork!
   Alec and Ian both attempted their math minute again this morning and had another struggle with the 6's.  Alec got them all but we realized the timer wasn't working and we both knew it had been longer than a minute.  He was cheered that he knew them all and he thinks he found a "trick" to help himself learn them faster.  I told him we'll have to put that to the test next time.  The older boys then pulled out their math books and each picked a page to work on.  Alec worked on coloring, label and reducing fractions while Ian worked on real life story problems where he had to add, subtract, multiply and divide.  He also worked with decimal points (when they were money related) and elapsed time again.  He did all of his math computations in his head and came up with the right answers, even when I misinterpreted a question and thought he had it wrong.  Evan and I filled in a 100's grid that had some missing numbers.  We looked at all the different patterns and expanded our chart up to 123 just for the fun of it. 
   Evan and I also worked on a reading lesson in his book and re-read The Little Critter phonics book.  His reading was way off today and I didn't want to try and push him through another book hoping that he'd feel more successful and confident re-reading one instead.  Alec read I's a Frog, a very basic beginner book but he thought it was fun and funny and since he's waiting for his chapter books to come in through the library that was fine by me. 
   We piled into the car and headed to the zoo.  We arrived at 10:30 and met up with our family.  The kids had so much fun playing with their cousins and looking at the animals.  Lots of the animals were up close today and the boys had fun telling our family members about the various animals and previous trips we've made.  We heard lots of noisy animals today-- like the gibbons and the lemurs, stopped to watch a lot of entertaining monkeys, and saw a few new animals as well.  Alec asked to see the Coati at the Earth Discovery building and we all watched the baby zebra sleeping near his mom.  We sat through a creepy crawly show and learned about millipedes, whip scorpions, tarantula's, and the Brazilian Rainbow boa.  It was no surprise to any of us that Alec knew most of the basic information about these creepy crawlies but he really put the presenter on the spot a few times with his questions.  When he learned that millipedes are not part of the insect family, Alec wanted to know what species they were part of then and the guy told him he thought they were myriapoda but he wasn't positive and assured Alec he could come into the Earth building after the show to find out for sure while he looked it up for him.  We chose to wait until we got home and look it up ourselves.  Alec also wanted to know how to tell the difference between male and female millipedes and he wanted to know how long they can grow to; I guess it's time to get some books on millipedes!  Alec knew that tarantula's can "throw" the hairs on their body at predators, that the smaller scorpions are usually more venomous, that scorpions were part of the arachnid family, and that in the wild the boa would eat smaller mammals found on the rainforest floor.  We all agreed he'd make a great docent to the zoo when he gets older!  The older boys often pushed the strollers of the younger kids or held their hands while we were walking around.  We all tried to get them to talk, wave, and pointed out animals to them. 
All the bigger boys playing together

My niece and a little boys that my sister babysits

The kids are all watching the bunny dig a hole in the hay

watching the birds

All the cousins

These monkeys were so entertaining we stayed and watched them for
quite some time!

And these little guys were just darling!  They were trying to catch
a fly on the glass and kept coming right up to us.

Getting to meet the new coati

Learning about millipedes

Up close to the whip scorpion

Learning about the rose tarantula

The boa snake

The baby and mama zebra

The giraffes were nice and close

The hyena

petting deer in the deer forest

"I never pet a deer that long before!"

Two little monkeys!

Ian helping the little boy through the zoo

One last photo of my adorable niece!
     After the zoo we went to the library and Alec picked up the next three chapter books in the series Spirit Animals.  He couldn't even wait until we got back to the car to open the book and start reading so we had a longer walk to the car than normal as he read and walked.  He spent a good portion of his afternoon in his room reading too.  He was even more excited when he came across a reference to a cousin named "ALEC!"  It's nice to see him falling in love with another set of books

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