Monthly Archives: August 2009

Algae it is (but what is it?)

We’ve begun two weeks on algae.  Basically no body can agree into which kingdom these lovely bacteriaish/plantish/animalish creatures go.  One of my Montessori trainers lumped everything into two kingdoms – Plant and Animal.  By the end of the research, debates, and see-I-told-you-so’s, the kids decided thy like Mrs. Fleck’s broad categories – that was until I pointed out that most of what they were debating were whether these Protists were plants or animals.

Leave a comment

Filed under Biology, Science

Part 2 – JV

JV – 5th Grade

  • Monday
    • Life Cycle of Barnacles – research
    • Began watching and discussing  A Comedy of Errors – Shakespeare
    • Review of times tables – 2’s.
    • Fractional equivalencies – adding unlike denominators
    • Silent reading
    • Working on Super Dodecahedron
    • Research on Plant Cells
  • Tuesday
    • Review of times tables – 2’s and 3’s
    • Silent Reading
    • Drawing poster of plant cells -reading
    • Quizzing currents of the Ocean
    • Quizzing famous world land and water forms
    • Typing
    • Sculpy models of the life cycle of the barnacle
    • Completed watching and discussing  A Comedy of Errors – Shakespeare
  • Wednesday
    • Researching and summarizing vacuoles and nucleus of plant cells for cell project
    • Silent reading
    • Review of multiplication by 3’s
    • Went to retrieve glass models of zoo-plankton and phytoplankton from Blue Heron Glass.
    • Turned in proposal for Blue Heron to create art project space for semester art
    • Completed super dodecahedron (mini)
  • Thursday
    Geometric conversions on pegboard

    Geometric conversions on pegboard

    • Silent reading
    • Geometric pattering modeled after Froebel’s material box 9 but using the square root peg board for more precision.
    • More research and writing about cells. – Grammar and Spelling issues resolved.
    • Learning to paint with acrylics
    • Discussion of plant cells, reproduction
    • Began listening to “Guns, Germs, and Steal” – discussing Clovis peoples moving from hunter gathers to herders

      Coplex pegboard patterning - note squares being worked out - early gaming theory

      Coplex pegboard patterning - note squares being worked out - early gaming theory

    • Writing about life cycle of the barnacle
  • Friday
    • Current – grounding – wiring of plugs, batteries and strengths
    • Writing a paragraph on the inner workings of batteries – rough draft
    • Research into the creation of a “fume fan” for the bathroom.
    • Silent reading
    • Creation of needs list and acquisition of batteries, salvaged computer fan, metal box for housing, etc.
    • Stop-motion LEGO video begun.  (Completed on Sunday.)
    • Use of microscope to see mud puddle creatures – identifying: volvox colony, cyanobacteria, ciliated protozoa, flagellate protozoa, filamentous algae,  rotifer, and a fascinating gastrotrich.
    • Lecture on Adaptation of Fish Species at Grice Marine Labs
  • Saturday rollerderby
    • Visit to Charleston Aquarium – in depth discussion of Conchs v. Welks
    • Cultural visit to Roller Derby – discussion of Citadel, military mind, customs, etc.

1 Comment

Filed under Classroom

For the Week- in a Whirlwind – AV

Tedious is not the way I would define our week.  I was challenged this past week on my lack of store-bought (or web-bought) curricula.  Although when I am “following the child”, as Dr. Montessori called it, I am never more sure of the rightness of this for the AV and JV.  But in the cold light of a skeptical mom, one trembles, quivers, and behaves like jello.  I hemmed and hawed, stammered, and made some platitudinous statements. So anyway, this post is for the skeptics.

AV’s Week – 6th grade

  • Monday:
    • Water bear project – in depth research continues, rough draft completed; editing of draft; spelling and grammar evaluated; final typed into computer; graphics located
    • Silent reading
    • Began watching and discussing A Comedy of Errors – Shaespeare
    • Discussed proposal for Blue Heron Glass as art for semester with teacher and other participants
  • Tuesday:
    • Algebra
    • Typing
    • Silent reading
    • Sculpy model of Water bear (managing baking it in oven, too)
    • Research into Halo-plankton – creation of example in Sculpy
    • Latin
    • Completed watching and discussing A Comedy of Errors – Shaespeare
    • Worked on super dodecahedron
    • Took the day off from writing as yesterday was all writing
  • Wednesday:
    • Went to retrieve glass models of zooplankton and phytoplankton from Blue Heron Glass. (note: clear on black fires – clear)
    • Turned in proposal for Blue Heron to create art project space for semester art
    • Algebra
    • Silent reading
    • Research on Zoo-plankton
    • Geography quizzing
    • Completed super dodecahedronAV and JV super dodecahedron
  • Thursday:
    • Algebra
    • Silent reading
    • Discussion of plant cells, reproduction
    • Began listening to “Guns, Germs, and Steal” – discussing Clovis peoples moving from hunter gathers to herders
    • Learning to paint with acrylics
  • Friday: – singularly the most engrossing for all the children
    • Algebra
    • Paragraph summary on research into IBM’s photograph of a molecule.
    • Current – grounding – wiring of plugs, batteries and strenghts
    • Stop-motion LEGO video begun
    • Use of microscope to see mud puddle creatures.
    • Lecture on Adaptation of Fish Species at Grice Marine Labs
  • Saturday
    • Visit to Charleston Aquarium – in depth discussion of Conchs v. Welks
    • Cultural visit to Roller Derby – discussion of Citadel, military mind, customs

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom

The Amazing Water Bear – by AV

Waterbear

Water bear

Water bears, also known as tardigracles, are microscopic animals that were first found and named by a German pastor/Zoologist Johann August Ephraim Goere in 1773. It became an official animal in 1777 after it was seen again by Lazzaro Spallanzani a biologist/ physiologist.

The name water bears the name comes from two things. One is very obvious – the water part – because they live in moist places like moss. The other is because their legs have no joints. It forces them to walk like fat bears.

This tiny animal can survive in super extreme conditions such as 6000 atmospheres or the vacuum of space. Water bears can go into cryptobiosis, a hibernation-like state that is probably closer to your body killing you until where you are is hospitable enough for life.  But the water bear is able to turn this reaction on and off.

Sea bear

Water bear

The nervous system of the water bear is completely different from our own because of their nerve clumps that are a the top of each leg.  These clumps are responsible for movement and feeling.  The water bear takes in oxygen through the plasma membrane and spreads it through its cells.

Although these small animals are so fascinating, they are virtually unknown. Even though they live all over the world, a wide variety can be found in your back yard.

1 Comment

Filed under AV, Biology, Science, Writing

Turning into strawberries

AV and JV spent the day learning how to throw casting nets.  The godparents and the god-grandparents spent the afternoon being very patient.  Johnny took us out on the boat to use some of the bait fish we had caught so we could try out fishing.  No, we have never fished before.  Yes, we used sunscreen;  No, it was not completely effective.  We look a bit pink like strawberries, but not red like cherries.  this is a plus.

It was a wonderful restorative day.

Leave a comment

Filed under AV, Going outs (Field Trips), JV, Oceans and their creatures, Science

Vocation

The vocation to marriage is a call to a life of holiness and service within the couple’s own relationship and in their family. As a particular way of following the Lord, this vocation also challenges a couple to live their marriage in a way that expresses God’s truth and love in the world.”

Vocation seems to be a vast word that sounds so very adult.  Yet I’ve been contemplating its meaning.  It seems to be the best word to fill in the blank as I contemplate the purpose of wife and mother.

What does that look like?  I don’t like to dust, and I expect my family to get their own food sometimes.

Why is the ideal the ideal?

Does God care if I don’t get the dishes done immediately after we eat?  Should I?

My home feels more peaceful, less chaotic.  But not less dusty.  Is that the measure?  Not the dust part but the peacefulness part.

Thomas Merton wrote:  Each one of us has some kind of vocation. We are all called by God to share in His life and in His Kingdom. Each one of us is called to a special place in the Kingdom. If we find that place we will be happy. If we do not find it, we can never be completely happy. For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s Here!!!!!!! Homeschool with a Microscope!

Our microscope has arrived!

We are enthralled!  Actually Daniel made me hold off posting photos because he found it undignified to show it sitting on the floor.  I did say we were excited.

1 Comment

Filed under Biology, Science