Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Parent and child time

My husband and I always try to have some one on one time with each child.  I wish we could do this monthly as I believe each child needs our undivided attention but we are lucky if we can squeeze in this special time quarterly.  But it is better than nothing!   I took my daughter to a painting class.
We were to work together to paint two canvasses which when set side by side made a nice picture

I love her beautiful smile:)

The instructor was fun and very patient with the kids!

We each worked separately on our canvasses

except when things needed to appear on both canvasses such as the rainbow or clouds

taking a break and letting our paint dry 

Being silly 

Some of the kids were a bit heavy with the paint and needed to use a blow dryer to get their paint to dry!

putting on the finishing touches!

Our masterpiece!

We had a lovely afternoon out and even better Firedrake says she wants to do it again soon!
While I was out with our daughter my Husband took our son out for the day at the Science Center which is his favorite thing to do!  My husband doesn't take as many pictures of activities as I do and I can't seem to access from his phone so no pictures of the guys having their fun day!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Economy class--JA Bizztown

Since September the kids have been taking a class at a local coop called JA Bizztown economy class. They have been learning about businesses,how the economy works, and introducing money management and job skills to the kids.  I was very impressed with this program so if there is one near you check it out!!

The kids have been working thru this workbook that was provided by the teacher.  I understand there is also  another version for older teens as well as a older version of Bizztown
The kids were issued a checkbook, voter registration card and a debit card to use while at JA Bizztown.  Kids were responsible for keeping track how much money they spent and how much they earned.  There were a few kids who found out rather quickly that they had run out of money!

The facility is amazing!

There were 18 business in the facility and each child was given a job to do to help run the business for the day.  

MarioFan was assigned the job Savings Officer at the bank

While Firedrake was a engineer at the Ameren facility

Once we arrived the kids had a town meeting to go over the rules, and the jobs and how the day would proceed.  I admit it was all a bit overwhelming but once things got started it was surprising how well run the business were and how well all the kids did their jobs!
Other facilities available for the kids to work were Build A Bear, City hall, radio station, tv station, Children's hospital, MasterCard, St. Louis Rams, Warehouse, smokehouse market and many more!

after the town meeting the kids went to their jobs and had about 20 minutes to orient themselves to their job before the town opened.  MarioFan reading his job description manual!

I was able to catch a quick glance of Firedrake at her job!

All the children were so intent on learning their job!  There were many volunteers to help with questions and to make sure things went smoothly for all the participates.  After the day was over I was exhausted!

The radio station even had a play list that the kids could call in song request throughout the day.  MarioFan asked for Ghostbusters and Hey There Delilah:)  He wanted to ask for more but he was so busy he ran out of time!

MarioFan hard at work entering names and opening savings account 

Each child earned a 2 paychecks for their work which they could spend at the other business on their 2 scheduled breaks! 

They had a voting booth

MarioFan using a debit card for the first time to purchase a toy at Masstercard

I caught a quick glance at a training session Firedrake was doing for her job learning about coal/energy production!
Another one of her jobs was to change filters at each job location

Kids were given a mid morning break in rotation and a afternoon break for lunch. The kids could buy cookies, popcorn or a small soda or water bottle with their Bizztrown money!

Catching some other kids doing their jobs!

Paying and playing a game at the St Louis Rams business 

I loved that JA Bizztown included philanthropy endeavors.  Here MarioFan is using his own money to buy a Build a Bear to donate to Children's hospital!

One of MarioFan's job was to give an online TV interview about how to recognize counterfeit money!

A script was provided for him and he had to read it of a television prompter.  He did an amazing job.  Firedrake also had to do a TV interview but I missed it:(

The TV shows and interviews were show throughout the building on TV.

At the closing of the day another town hall was done where each business provided a report to let the citizen know if there business had made any money.  Today all business reported a profit!

MarioFan gave a short speech on the importance of having a saving account.  

This was such a fabulous learning experience for the kids, my only complaint is I wish the kids could have stayed a bit longer or it could be several days long so they could try out different job.  This can be solved by having the kids participate next year which they want to do!

For the rest of the year the kids will go back to the coop to develop a business plan of their own and implement within the coop and see if they can make a little money which will be donated to the local food bank!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Studying the Heart and the Circulatory System

We are continuing with our Human body study and have been learning about the Heart and the circulatory system.  I have included a few resources that we found to enhance our learning of this topic

We are using the book Science Explorer -- our human body as our main resource but have use you tube videos and other resources to pull together this unit study 
Kids taking each other's blood pressure

Building a model heart...I found this at the science museum we visited a while ago

and learning the parts of the heart

looking at slides to identify red and white blood cells

examining our human skeleton to understand the  way the heart and circulatory system works and how the blood travels to and from the heart

dissecting a sheep's heart

kids were a little squeamish at first but then really got into sticking their fingers into the arteries and heart chambers

using our science tools to locate the arteries and veins and which chambers of the heart they entered

we watched several you tube videos to get a better understanding of what we were seeing 

Even the dog enjoyed it:) 

I found a game on Pay Teachers.com that was labeled high school science on the heart and circulatory system.  I purchased it and it allowed me to type up some of my own questions and answers relating to the circulatory system.  However I was very pleased that the kids were able to answer many of the questions provided already.  

This is another game I found for free on the internet.  You can access the game here!

It is a great game to emphasize how the blood system works carrying O2, CO2, waste, protein/sugar to all the parts of the body.  The rules are simple so it is a fairly fast game to play.  The hardest part is assembling and cutting out all the pieces.

That is our unit study on the heart and circulatory system.  We are now moving on to the Respiratory system!