We got to go to our local children’s science center this week. To be honest, I wasn’t actually thinking in advance about how well their “Space” section fit in with what we were covering in CC, but it sure worked out perfectly! It was very cool to see the relative size of the planets on a larger scale and see lots of facts about them, the sun and the stars. It was just an excellent tie-in to the science grammar we’re covering in CC . . . reinforcing and adding to those memory pegs!
Our cup overrunneth with ways to expand on this week’s Science Grammar! I’ll keep my suggestions to a minimum since there really is SO much stuff out there on the planets.
We were lucky enough a year or so ago to stumble upon a solar system mobile kit at a thrift store for about $3. It’s a lot like the one below (and yet, old enough that it included Pluto as a planet). My husband and son had SO much fun painting it and putting it together. It hung in his room until it got knocked down, but it’s still on display hanging down in the kids’ basement “play area” (or the dungeon, as I sometimes like to refer to it). The glow-in-the-dark paint in our thrift store kit had pretty much dried up. It was the only thing in the kit not in brand new condition. But the “glow” is a MUST with one of these, so whether you buy one, or just create one yourself (I doubt that it would be that hard to do . . . I just am much more likely to put it together from a kit!), be sure and get one with glow-in-the-dark paint, or plan to pick up a bottle separately!
About that same time, we checked this book out from the library and my son LOVED it. We renewed it as many times as we were allowed (meaning we had it for over 2 months!) and have checked it out once or twice since then.
This video is a good overview of the Solar System, probably best for younger children (8 and under):
This video is very simple and just shows the rotation of the planets around the Sun, but it’s very interesting to see the different speed at which each moves:
Most of us are probably using a song in our CC communities to help our kids remember the names of the planets, but there are several versions out there on youtube:
And then here is one more book:
I realized that there are a lot of Solar System puzzles out there, and I was thinking we would add one to our collection around here. The one below looks like exactly what I’d like – planet names, relative size, and in the proper
order, but I don’t love this price. If you happen to see one that’s a better price, let me know!
This week, I created a Skip Counting Maze for the 15s. You can download it by clicking on the image to the right.
Also, posting the skip counting numbers on the stairs was a GREAT success and I’ve been trying to figure out somewhere else that I can post the 15’s this week, just to shake things up a bit. We’ll go back to the stairs for either the Squares or the Cubes in a future week, but for this week I’m actually going to tape down the 15s in my kitchen in a hopscotch pattern. My kids LOVE hopscotch. I’ve tried using hopscotch in my CC class in the past, but it usually either 1) takes to long to let everyone have a turn or 2) the kids get a little too crazy with it. I think here at home we might be able to control it a little better (and if we don’t, it won’t make our “class” run too long!).
There is a wonderful video that shows Versailles at the following link. There’s also a good biography to read. If you let the video play on through, there are actually 6 videos about Louis XIV (each separated from the next by and ad). Or, you can click the link on the right under the video that says “watch more videos” and pick and choose which of the 6 you’d like to watch. WARNING: The second video, “Louis XIV-Marriage” contains some discussion that may not be appropriate for children. You’ll definitely want to preview it first.
There are also good videos at that same website about Peter the Great and Henry VIII, but since the Age of Absolute Monarchs is largely known for how the monarchs abused their power, were promiscuous and used violence as a means to an end, you will definitely want to preview these first! If you have young children, they probably work better as a 2 minute history refresher for you as a parent, rather than as something you’ll want to watch with them. Your call. I’m thinking in my house we’ll wait until we get to the Challenge level to get into some of these details.
It’s HARD to find books and videos to expand on this particular history sentence for younger kids! Here are a couple that do actually look good for Elementary age kiddos:
Tin Whistle (Music Theory)
Last week, I gave you a few Apps for reviewing the notes. This week, I’d like to give you a cute online game for doing that. I think I got better at note recognition by playing this one!
Also, I LOVED the idea of the relay game from this pin on my Tin Whistle Pinterest Board so much, that I made up my own (you can download it by clicking the image on the right). We haven’t played it in class yet, but hopefully we will sometime this next week, and in the meantime, we’ll be playing it at home. It’s a wonderful reinforcement of both the Tin Whistle section of CC and of what my children have been learning in their piano class, as well. Actually, that reminds me of a game my children’s piano teacher has been playing with them that dovetails with Tin Whistle beautifully: “Beethoven, May I?” She has the children line up on one side of the room. Either she plays Beethoven and one of them does. Beethoven stands across the room from the players. Each player mush ask Beethoven if they may move a quarter note (1 step), a half note (2 steps), a whole note (4 steps), an eighth note (1/2 a step), or some combination of those. The goal is to be the first to reach Beethoven. We’ve played this at home in our kitchen where we have square tiles and it works wonderfully! Each square is a quarter note, so we all know exactly how far to step. My children have LOVED it! The especially love when I play as a contestant and one of them gets to be Beethoven and rig the game so that only the kids win. It gives me a chance to try and beat them with more complicated combinations of notes, which just gives them more opportunities to think about the note value (and what an excellent math lesson, too!). Kudos to their piano teacher for a great game. I highly recommend it!
And now, I’ll leave you with one last picture from our trip to the science center. I have absolutely NO idea what these poses have to do with the arch they built, but I am pretty sure it will end up someday in an internet photo collection that causes people to laugh and wonder what kind of family these poor children were from.