Saturday, January 25, 2014

12 Books in 2014 Update!

I posted recently about committing to reading 12 nonfiction books in 2014 (you can read about it here).  I'm happy to say I finished the first one!

I read Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off "Auto" and Photograph Your Life Like a Pro by Rachel Devine, and I realy enjoyed it!  Although it is not the first photography book I have read, I still feel like I learned a lot.  For a lot of the things (aperture, ISO, etc) I feel like repetition helps me remember all of the rules.  For other aspects of photography, I like getting the viewpoints of different authors.  It seems like everyone does things just a little bit differently and I like the variety!
Hopefully I can continue checking other books off my list.  We'll see how it goes.  I was more motivated to read this book than I have been for others...

My Twelve Books for 2014
In no particular order:
1.  The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller
2.  Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky
3.  Design Make Play by Margaret Honey 
4.  Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov
5.  The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Champan
6.  Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack
7.  Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People by Robert S. Root-Bernstein
8.  Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
9.  Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley
10.  A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
11.  Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin
12.  Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off "Auto" and Photograph Your Life Like a Pro by Rachel Devine

Friday, January 24, 2014

K for Kinetic Energy

See what we did for other letters in the Alphabet in Simple Science.

K for Kinetic Energy
Science Notebook Page (Click the picture to print).
I defined Kintetic energy as the energy something has when it is moving.  Since energy is kind of an abstract concept, we read some books and watched The Magic School Bus Get Energized.  We talked about how there are lots of different kinds of energy.  We eat food to give our bodies energy.  Moving things have energy.  To throw or kick something we have to use or give it energy.  It takes energy to heat things up.  I did not go into specifics like thermal energy, gravitational potential energy, etc.  Honestly, I don't care if he remembers that kinetic is the energy of moving things as opposed to the other types.  I was just introducing the concepts in general.  I really want to stress that my goal exposure to concepts, not mastery!  He is three and I just want science to be fun for him!


We practiced the idea of kinetic by moving across the room.  I asked Xander to come to me using just a little energy and then again using a LOT of energy.  He did a great job walking for the former and running for the latter.

Straws and Balls Energy Activity
Drinking straws
Ping Pong Balls
For this one I enlisted my brother to help (Xander has a wonderful uncle!)!  First I had both of them use the straws to move the balls with just a little bit of energy.  Then I had them move the balls with a lot of energy!  We talked about how fast they moved and how far they went.  Once Xander had some practice with both, I had my brother blow on the ball, but not tell us how hard he was blowing (how much energy he was adding).  Xander had to watch the ball and determine whether it had a lot of energy or a little energy.  He LOVED this activity!

Ball and Blocks Kinetic Energy Activity
Blocks (we used wooden blocks)
This activity was much more related to kinetic energy.  First we discussed what kinetic energy is (the energy something has when it is moving).  I also mentioned that energy lets things do work.  Then I asked him whether something moving very fast has a lot or a little energy.  Then I set up the blocks in a row.  I rolled the ball at them very slowly.  I asked Xander to make some observations about what happened.

The blocks moved, but not very much.  So I asked him if the ball had a lot or a little energy when it was moving.

We repeated the activity where I rolled the ball really quickly.  Once again, I asked Xander to make some observations about what happened.  I asked him whether the ball had a lot or a little energy and how he knew.  Then I let Xander repeat the activity himself as many times as he wanted!

Check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board for more ideas!

Tot SchoolA Mom With a Lesson Plan

Monday, January 20, 2014

Letter K Week

Letter Formation/Pre-Writing
Tracing the letters with his write and wipe cards and Letter Tracing Pages from 1+1+1=1
Letter Tracing Pages (From 1+1+1=1)
Writing with Mommy and then trying to write on his own.  He really struggled with the diagonals.  That's why we're practicing though!
Making K's out of foam crafting blocks.  You can download the templates here.
Q-Tip Painting (from 1+1+1=1)

 Do a Dot Markers on the Dot Letters from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Working on some pattern block letters from Confessions of a Homeschooler
 Using his Build a Letter Templates and HWWT pieces. First he built the letters on the templates, then he built them by themselves. Ks were tricky for him! He had trouble with the angles.
 Letter Maze
Using Do a Dot Markers to get the baby kangaroo to its mommy.
(Printable here)
Play Dough Letters
Using the K alphabet stamping play dough mat.  And then using some play dough tools to make designs.
This week we did 6 Beginner Spelling Cards (harp, card, barn, park, yarn, and farm).  Even though there were more than normal, he did really well.   Then I had him spell "yard."  Initially he forgot the "a" but then he corrected it.
Cut and Paste Phonics Hunt
Thinking Skills
Working on a 9 piece puzzle.
Working on a crab with his Imaginets.
Using tally sticks to practice showing various numbers.
Making patters on his math app.  (This is one of my favorite apps he has on his grandpa's iPad.  It is Math 3-5 by EuroTalk).
Using his Watercolor Wands to paint some Ks.
We're still doing our Alphabet in Simple Science, and this week was K for Kinetic Energy.  Check back Friday for the full post!
He watched Magic School Bus Get Energized in Spanish, and some Kidstart Spanish.

This Week's Work

Tot SchoolA Mom With a Lesson Plan
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