Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Repeated Shape Chalk Pastel Drawing: A How To

I was looking for a quick and easy art project to do with my boys.  I knew they all typically enjoyed anything involving chalk pastels and I found a few repeated shape drawings on Pinterest so I convinced them to give it a try.

We pulled out our supplies and got to work.

We needed chalk pastels, black paper, one cotton ball each, and a cardboard cutout of the shape we wanted to use.

We then traced around our shape with the chalk pastel

With our shape still in place we used the cotton ball to smear the chalk a bit; moving from inside the shape outwards.

We kept repeating the same shape over and over again until our paper was filled.

It was a quick and simple project and we really like the way our finished drawings look.

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Virtual Refrigerator-- Chalk Pastel Shape Drawings

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

None of my boys really wanted to do art this week but I finally cajoled them into at least trying a quick and easy chalk drawing.

Once they saw how quick and easy it was they all settled down to work; picking their own shapes.

You can read more about how we made them here.

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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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Love to Learn-- Finally Some More Science!

I am having the hardest time sticking with our 100 Days of Science Challenge!  I don't know what it is lately but we just don't seem to have a whole lot of time left for science experiments and even when we manage to do a few of them I don't have time to write up blog posts about them. 

That said in the last two weeks we've completed 4, yes 4, science experiments!  I am determined to knock out this challenge by Christmas... wish us luck. 

This week I'm sharing what we have dubbed our "Sword in the Stone" experiment... even if our stone is a bottle of rice. 

It was a really fun way to learn even more about friction.

What have you been up to?  I'd love to hear from you either in the comments or by linking up your own blog post!  Please join us!

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100 Days of Science #14-- The Sword in the Stone!

We learned a lot about friction doing what we dubbed our Sword in the Stone science activity.   We experimented with taking a cooking skewer (or pencil) out of a bottle filled with rice.  

We gathered our supplies together:

an empty, disposable water bottle
dried rice (enough to fill the bottle)
a wooden skewer 
a pencil
a funnel

We began by just putting a bit of rice in the bottle and then pushed the wooden skewer all the way down into the bottom of the bottle.  

We easily pulled the skewer out since there was not enough friction to keep the skewer down.  We then added even more rice and tried again.

Once our bottle was filled to the top we tried one more time with the skewer but our wooden skewer was so thin that it easily came out yet again.

I decided to take a pencil and try the experiment over again... the pencil worked like a charm and the force of all the rice pushing in on the pencil allowed us to pick the bottle right up off the table without the pencil slipping or moving at all!

No matter how high we lifted it! 

Everyone tried and no one could get the" sword" of out of our "stone"

As we kept filling our bottle we did tap it on the table to make sure the rice settled in and we fit as much rice as we could in it.  As we had the rice settle in we increased the friction the rice would have on the pencil.

Others in this series:

2.  Field Trip to the Ecotarium 
3.  Learning About Air Molecules

Monday, January 29, 2018

Books My Boys Read in January

We had plans to take the first two weeks off from school and then we had a few unexpected snow days, a sleepover on a school night, and we always take Alec's birthday off in January too so I really expected the boys reading list to be quite small this month.

However, Alec went to Barnes and Noble twice to pick out his birthday gifts and came home with quite a stack of books each time (only some of which are pictured in the below photo).  Not all that surprising he managed to read quite a few of them and has found several new book series to read!

Here are the books we've been working on this month:

Stormbreaker-- Ian got half way through Hatchet and told me he really didn't like the book at all so I told him to return it to the library and try another book.  We picked Stormbreaker and hoped that it would be more action packed for him to enjoy.... When Alex discovers that his uncle is really a spy for Britain's Secret Agency he is recruited to find his uncle's killers.  Ian loves movies like Mission Impossible so I thought he'd like this too.

Mr.  Nick is a Lunatic-- Evan and I finished up this hilarious weird school book in which all of the teachers at Ella Mentary School go on strike because they need coffee in the teacher's lounge.  AJ and his friends have a hard time taking the substitute teachers and principals seriously after they learn that the art teacher is really a dentist and the creative writing teacher was really a yoga instructor.  Evan talked about it so much that Alec decided to read it too; in one sitting, of course.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Illustrated Edition-- Evan and I also worked on reading a few more chapters in the second book of the Harry Potter series when the chamber of secrets is opened up and Harry must figure out how to stop his fellow students from being petrified or else face the school closing forever.  We love the Harry Potter books and these illustrated editions have such amazing imagery in them.  We're moving pretty slowly through them as Evan prefers easier to read materials like the Weird School Books but he has set a goal to finish reading all three illustrated editions this year so I know we'll get there slowly but surely.

Heroes in Training; Dionysus and the Land of Beasts-- Alec loves these short easy to read chapter books about the Greek gods.  In this book the other Olympians go searching for Dionysus in the hopes that he is one of them and can help them defeat Cronus.

Beasts of Olympus: Dragon Healer -- Another easy to read chapter books series about the Greek gods that Alec just loves.  In this book Demon must heal Ares smelly dragon.


Wings of Fire Book One; The Graphic Novel-- Though my middle son already read the whole Wings of Fire series to date he just HAD to own and read the graphic novel too!  He loved the illustrations and the re-telling of one of his favorite books about the dragons of Pyrrhia.

The Secrets of Bearhaven; Mission to Moon Farm-- Alec just read book one in this series last month and enjoyed it so much he immediately asked me to request book 2.  In this squeal when Spencer uncovers a secret that all the bears are keeping from him he goes storming out of Bearhaven on his own to find his parents until his best bear friend his kidnapped.

Flashback Four: The Titanic Mission-- We read book one last month as a family and really enjoyed these historical fiction books. In this book the flashback four are sent back in time to capture the sinking of the Titanic but when one thing after another goes wrong it starts to look like they might never make it back home.


The End of Infinity-- In this final book of the series Jack is embarking on his last battle; will he be the greatest hero his world has ever known or it's greatest villain? 

The Hidden World of Changers; the Gathering Storm- One of the new books Alec picked out for his birthday and he read this chapter book in a day!  Four middle school students find that they can transform into mythical creatures and while they have never been friends before they must unite to fight off a powerful and evil warlock. 

The Hidden World of Changers book 2-- The Emerald Mask-- Alec was thrilled to receive book 2 as another gift and he greedily devoured that book too. In the second book the students are learning to control their powers; something that everyone else seems to be able to do except for Gabriella. 

Mrs. Meyer is on Fire-- Another fun and hilarious book about the antics at AJ's school.  This time Mrs. Meyer is here to teach them all about fire safety... but Mrs. Meyer may just love fire a little too much.

The Lost Rainforest--
With this book having been described as The Lion King meets Wings of Fire we just knew Alec would love it!  Caldera has always been divided by nightwalkers and daywalkers.  The nightwalkers fear the legend and myth of daywalkers until the night of the eclipse when one young panther finds that she can enter the daylight world.

Gladiator School Book 1; Blood Oath-- Set in Ancient Rome, when Lucius' father is accused of being a spy, his older brother decides to train as a gladiator.  Lucius vows to prove his father is innocent while his brother is fighting for the family's survival.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid; The Getaway-- In the latest book in the series Greg Heffley and his family are escaping to paradise to relax from the stress of the holidays but vacations never seem to go the way they plan and this adventure isn't any different.

What have you and your family been reading lately?

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What to Read Wednesday