Friday, 22 December 2017

Weekly Wrap UP 12/22/17--Christmas Piano recitals

A few weeks ago my kids had their Christmas piano recital.  Both kids have been playing piano for about 6 years.  Of course as their mother I think they both play great:) My husband was not able to see their playing as he was out of town that weekend for work.

MarioFan song selection was 'I Heard the Bells on High" by Johnny marks

Firedrake played Silent Night composed by David Lanz who is one of her favorite modern composers at the moment.

IN addition the kids have been busy baking Christmas cookies

While I have been scrambling to make a few small Christmas gifts for our coop teachers

I will not be posting next week as it in a break week for me.  We aren't going anywhere but for the last several years I have decreed that we have no activities the week between Christmas and New Years.  This includes extracurricular activities the kids may have.  This is 100% stay at home and do nothing week.  The kids and I look forward to it and my husband even take a few days off so he can relax with us:)!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your families.  I will be back next year 2018! 

Friday, 15 December 2017

weekly Wrap UP 12/15/17--DNA and RNA

We have been learning about DNA and RNA and doing lots  of fun activities to better understand in addition to lots of reading and watching videos.

I found a site that helps create your name in DNA which you can look up here

His finished name and we added sugar and phosphate
to the DNA strand
 Then turned it into a double helix

Continuing with our decoding exercises
We watched several videos to further explain DNA and RNA and how it all works.
I have to tell you someone told me about a (new to me) Science videos series aim more at middle schoolers call Amoeba Sisters.  Some videos even come with free handouts!  Check out their site here!

We plan to spend another week working on this and our next lab is to create DNA with real fruit and maybe even from our own body:)  We will see what turns out.

In Art the boys are learning about Faith Ringold and completing  few art projects.  We use Meet the Masters as a base and then we add to it as we can.  We find we are spending about two weeks on each artist to learn about their life and to do two different art projects, one from meet the masters and one that I find on my own.

Some of the books we looked at to better understand this artist

Did you know Mike Venezia books now come in Video form!  The boys loved that!

Not only is Faith Ringgold an artist but she is also an author

Worked on the Meet the Master art work

Boys finished projects.
We did another project that I came up with on my own, although somewhere out there in computer land I am sure someone thought of this too, but if they did I couldn't find it;).

The boys found a quilt pattern of an animal that they like

Then using paper (we used scrap book paper, origami paper and construction paper) the boys cut out and recreated their quilt pattern.  I thought they did a great job.  This project gave the boys an idea of what goes into making a quilt pattern and how much time it would take.

For Literature we have been reading Alice in Wonderland and learning about Nonce and Portmanteau words using our Lightening Literature program.
We had fun looking up these types of words and doing a few fun activities to go with the lesson.

After our lessons we had a few extra minutes so the boys decided to teach us about video games and even gave us Moms a quiz.  Luckily we passed only missed one question between us:)

The boys drawing out the various levels of the game on the chalk board.  :)

another busy week is done:)

Friday, 8 December 2017

Weekly Wrap UP 12/08/17 -- Genetics and roadside geology

This week in science we have been concentrating on learning about Genetics. We first learned about Gregor Mendel.
This is a pretty good book that gives an overview of Mendel's life.

Next we learned about Probability and punnet's squares  We did several simple activities from our science books  

We did a very simple Punnet square using coins.
 Then we looked at Genotype and Phenotype in our science book.  I found several activities on the web to use to further explain and understand the difference.
I several activities on the web to help emphasize  this concept.

The first was to use skittles and easter eggs 

recording our results 

next we used the skittles to make our own Punnet square's 

MarioFan found this a hard concept to understand so we did several more activities to help cement his knowledge.

I found this on the web (I believe it was free) 

Using coins to determine which allele the baby will get from the Mother and Father monster.

Then drawing our Mother, Father and baby monsters based on our results.
I think MarioFan has a pretty good understanding of it now.  We are now exploring codomince allele's and doing a lot more reading on DNA and RNA.  

This week in art we are learning about George Seurat.   We completed two projects are learning about about this artist using books and the Meet the Master program.
Seurat was not a prolific artist..he only had 7 large scale projects and fewer than 50 smaller paintings.  Many impressionist were not happy he was part of their movement as they felt he didn't fit in with their more random view of art.  Seurat studied color theory and used what he learned in his art.

The boys used sandpaper to help create the many dots of a art project and work on learning how mixing coloring work and can add highlights or lowlights to a project.  

Finished work for the first project which is from Meet the Masters program.
The next project we did I found on my own after searching the web and we had the boys use paints and q-tips to create a picture.  I was surprised to discover the boys enjoyed this project.  I honestly thought they would hate it.  But it does have a relaxing quality about it:)

I always do a sample so I better understand the technique and can explain the process for the boys.

My friend thought it was a cool art project that she decided to join in the work as well:)

Boys finished art work.  I thought they both did a pretty good job on this technique and we all have a much better appreciation of how hard this style of painting is.
In Literature the boys are working on poetry with our Lightening literature program.

While the boys loved reading the poems and finding the rhyming words.  Their writing assignment was to write a limerick, a haiku and a 4 stanza poem using a rhyming pattern.  MarioFan found this quite challenging and needed lots of help.

Firedrake has been working with her Dad on geosciences and this week we took a small tour of our area for roadside geology lab work

We live near several road cuts that we were able to explore.  Most of the rocks in our area are sandstone, limestone or shale

Visually identifying the type of rocks

Using a rock hammer to scratch the rock to determine their hardness

Using an magnifying glass to examine the rocks and determine their makeup

Using Hydrochloric acid on the rock to see the reaction

MarioFan joined in and found some shale

and had fun turning sandstone into sand:)

A busy week in a nutshell:)

Friday, 1 December 2017

Weekly Wrap UP 12/01/17 Family visiting

For Christmas I made my parents 2 glass panels. They visited this past week for Thanksgiving so I was able to give them their presents early.  I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of them with the pieces:(.  They were happy with them and will send me pictures of the pieces hanging up in their home.
I made my Dad a glass panel with the Navy symbol in the middle.

My Mother is Scottish and this kilt is sort of like the clan plaid. 
I was able to find someone who could fuse glass to make the kilt and socks.  I was so thrilled with the results that I now want to do one with a red kilt plaid for myself.   Now I need to find another project to make:)

Last week we had a week off school and just did things with my parents visiting

MarioFan learned how to bake Nana's sweet potato pie which is he favorite for the holidays

He did an amazing job

Firedrake learned to bake Nana's apple pie, which is my Husband absolute favorite and he request my MoM make it every time she comes to visit.  I have yet to master this pie on my own.  

Here's hoping Firedrake has better luck recreating this delicious pie in the future for her Dad.
My Mother made our table center piece.  Didn't she do a great job!

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving meal and had a peaceful day at home.
 The next day was beautiful and we enjoyed leftovers outside as a picnic.  None of us are black Friday shoppers preferring to remain at home and enjoy each other's company

My Mother showed me a new painting style she has been learning.  I get my craftiness from my mother.  If she lived closer we would be taking classes together all the time.

You can find lots of you tube examples to learn about this art.  It is very modern:) but we had fun

We did our annual trip to the Botanical gardens to see the Christmas lights, this year my parents joined us.

again the weather was so nice that Firedrake, my husband and I all refused to wear a jacket that evening.

Getting ready for the Christmas spirit.
 My Parents had to return home this past weekend so we started working on getting the inside and outside of the house decorated for Christmas.  The weather this past week has been unbelievable and we have enjoyed the 60-70 degree weather!

I still have a few things to put out but we got a good start and now I can listen to Christmas music which I love.