Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our first exploration day!!

Every 5th day of the My Father's World 1st grade curriculum is Exploration Day!  No reading lessons are done this day.  This day is designed to focus on doing fun things related to the current science topic.  It's also a day to explore with the pattern blocks and cuisinaire rods for the math work for the day.

The curriculum states to spend some time outside enjoying God's creation on this day.  Well - with us having 105 degree temps right now it's kind of hard to spend too much time outside :-( but I did come up with some fun activities and it was a very fun morning!

We opened up our our Things Outdoor book to the pages covered in the science lesson on Monday (pp 16-17 things close to the ground) and we pulled out or DK Encyclopedia of Animals and our Children's Encyclopedia.  We looked in those books and read about different topics such as moles, worms, ants, soil, etc...

In the Children's Encyclopedia on the topic of soil it had an experiment of putting some soil in a jar and mixing it with water and then watching as the particles settle to see what different kind of particles are in your soil.  I thought this would be a fun and quick experiment to do and would give us a few minutes outdoors :-)

So I got a shovel for the boys to do some digging...

Poor guys!  We have gone so long without rain that our yard is so very hard!!  They had the bright idea though of finding one of the many cracks in our yard as a good spot to dig.

We scooped some of the very dry soil into our jar...

while Alyssa stood at the bench and ate her cheerios LOL...

and then added the water and shook it really good (and had to a little bit longer because it was so dry).  We then watched the particles settle.

We had a few floating above the water while most settled to the bottom.

We then watched Peep and the Big Wide World: Peep Plants a Seed/The Root Problem while we made pictures of worms and dirt and stuff.

After the "Peep Plants A Seed" segment the video showed kids doing the experiment of putting beans on wet paper towels inside a ziploc bag to watch them sprout so we decided to do this experiment as well.  We will be keeping watch on our beans in the next week or so to see if any of them sprout.

Ok - for all those MFW users out there I have a question.  I did not purchase the deluxe edition of the MFW 1st grade because I already had some of the "extras" and didn't see us using some of the others so I was coming out a lot cheaper by buying the basic package and just purchasing separately other items of the deluxe package that I wanted to use.

One of the items that I did not buy was the Pattern Animals book that you use with your pattern blocks.  I figured I could just find pattern templates online that would work.  I never even actually looked at that book to even know what all it had in it.

I did find a site online that had some pattern templates.  Here is the link in case you are interested.

Anyways I had Seth do some of them today.  The thing is...he can already master all of them.  I even found what I thought was one of the toughest of all the templates, the lion, and he completed it with no problem.

So my question is this - does this Pattern Animals book have any that are more complicated to complete than these templates or is this just something that Seth has already mastered?  I am trying to figure out if it would be beneficial to buy that book.  Maybe I just need to find it in a bookstore and check it out.

Or, does anyone know of any other books that I can get that has templates to do with these pattern blocks.  The thing is he really really enjoyed doing these.  He loves puzzles in general... I would just like to see if I can get some that are a little bit more challenging for him :-)

Here he is completing the dog - VERY EASY for him!

And here is his lion!  He was so proud of himself.  But it really didn't pose that much of a challenge for him.

For our story time, keeping with the exploration theme of exploring things close to the ground, we read Diary of A Worm and The Grouchy Ladybug.

It was a fun morning!  These exploration days are going to be a lot of fun and are a good break from the day to day lessons!  :-)

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Hi there - Nice blog!! I just thought I'd respond to your question regarding the pattern animal book. While the book does have a lot of patterns to fill in with the blocks, it also has worksheets with it. The kiddo's have to answer questions. How many blocks did you use? How many of each shape. Which shaped did you use the most of? The least of? Our last one he had to fill in 3 animals using as many blocks as possible, then using the least amount of blocks. Then fill in the chart counting how many blocks were used on each animal each time he did it. We haven't gone any further, so not sure what else he'll have to do. I think it's worth it, as it makes him think and appear to be getting more challenging. But, if you are creative, you can come up with your own set of questions to add to the animals you're already doing! God bless you and your school year!
    Check out my blog as well if you have time: