Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ethan is 6!

Monday was Ethan's 6th birthday. It was quite the day. Jeremiah wanted to take him to see the Star Wars 3D movie, but he threw his back out scraping the only snow we have had all winter long off the car, so we all went to the chiropractor instead.

He got an awesome light saber and some matchbox cars and I made him a Chewbacca doll (action figure?) I saw on Pinterest.

We did a little school. We are learning about birds this week, and we dissected (synthetic) owl pellets and found a starling skeleton. I remember doing this in school with the real things. Pretty fun.

He spent the rest of the day practicing using the Force on everyone. Charlotte was more than happy to be the Droid and was very dramatic about it too. He barely touched her with it, but she played Being Destroyed very convincingly.

This one has nothing to do with E's birthday but I just couldnt resist.

Today we just lounged around enjoying Jeremiah's time off. I feel bad that he hurt his back, but it sure was nice to get to spend the extra time with him.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Teaching Observation

The other day we found a garter snake in the backyard. Actually I think it found us, because it was watching Charlotte play under the Redbud tree. It was less than 2 feet away from her and she never noticed it.

When I saw it, I thought 3 things:

1. Who left that rubber snake out here?
2. I don't remember the kids having a rubber snake like that.
3. I should pick it up and scare the kids with it! hehe that would be so funny.

Then it flicked its tongue.

We watched it for awhile, then it slithered into the tree.

I really must be weird because I love snakes and frogs and turtles and cool bugs and things.

The snake was our inspiration for Nature Journals.

Its been a big hit with the kids, especially since we've been outside every day this week.

Kids are so inquisitive anyway its easy to find things to observe. Its a great way to get them to settle down and concentrate, and asking questions about what they see really opens up some great dialogue. I write their responses down in their own words.

I love what things they pick up on.

"They are both my favorites. They feel kind of like sandpaper- the yellow one does. The blue part feels like rock."

And he was totally right- the blue moss was rougher and bumpier and the yellow moss was finer and grittier.

Not everything is really scientific though-

He found a rock that he liked and had me write that he liked it because it it was heavy and had sparkly stuff in it and it had dinosaur claw scratches.

I try to lead them to interesting things, but I really like when they make their own observations too. I like hearing their thoughts and opinions about things that I would have otherwise passed right by.

We found an old tree at church this week that was pretty cool.

I know there is trash down there, just pretend its not, ok?

Barn Swallow nest

We studied walnuts and a squirrel's nest today while the squirrel was working in it and dropping leaves everywhere. Maybe Spring Cleaning? I thought it was up in the second branch, but after looking for awhile, Ethan determined it was actually the third branch because the two were intertwined.

I guess I need to learn to slow down and observe better too.

This time last year we were having a blizzard...