Monday, March 15, 2010

Live Animal Cams

Because we can't seem to get enough of these live animal cams, I have another link to share with you today.

Phoebe Allens Live Hummingbird WebCam

And while I'm at it, I have more live web cam links.  Wild Earth TV offers a variety of channels so you can see many different animals around the world in their natural habitats.  Very cool!

Updated to add ~  Live Owl Nest Box Cam

The discovery of these links coincides nicely with our new science unit on animals.  If you know of any more, please leave a comment and let me know what it is.  I don't think we could have too many!  :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Franklin Institute Hawk Nest

Someone sent a link to the K5Science Yahoo Group letting us know about The Franklin Institute Hawk Nest.  The momma has an egg in her nest.  This should be as much fun as watching Lily the Black Bear


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Earth and Space Science Plans

Next year we will be studying Earth & Space.  Our primary curriculum is R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey, but we'll be adding in plenty of activities from other sources.  One wonderful thing about R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey is the Try Before You Buy feature.  Click here --> RSO Earth & Space Level 1 (.pdf) to go directly to the try before you buy to see it for yourself. 

I'm working on my plans right now and will post them as soon as I am able.  I was going to post them right in the blog post, but quickly realized that I need more space than the column allows!  I'm working on a Word document that I will upload to Scribd as soon as I get it completed. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ko's Journey

I just came across the coolest game!  If you read my last post about math you know I'm on a search for something to make our math lessons more exciting and enjoyable.  Unfortunately the game is for 5th to 8th grade students.  Maybe I could buy it for myself?!   

Put out by Imagine Education, Ko's Journey looks absolutely amazing and exciting, as well as highly educational. If anyone gets a chance to play it, please let me know how you like it!

Update ~ The game has been released!  I haven't bought it yet, but I'm still tempted.  Ordering and pricing can be found on this page and is $39/year for one student, or $59/year for 3 students. 

Earthquakes & Volcanoes

Although we'll be studying earth science next year, the recent quakes in Haiti and Chile have sparked conversations in our household that can't be ignored.  In my research (because living in the snow belt of NY I have zero experience with severe weather of any kind other than blizzards) I came across some really great resources that I wanted to share.  Not all of these will be appropriate for the early elementary years, so please preview.

Easy Fun School - Unit Study on Volcanoes and Earthquakes 
Earthquake ABC
Weather Wiz Kids - Earthquakes
Weather Wiz Kids - Volcanoes
Mrs. Thonus's Third Grade Stars - Volcanoes & Earthquakes
Teacher Planet - Earthquake Resource Page
The NASA Sci Files - Just How DO Those Plates Move? Experiment
USGS - Earthquakes for Kids
             (quizzes, coloring pages, animations....awesome site!)
USGS - Learning Links & Earthquake Activities
USGS - Latest Earthquakes in the World 
USGS - Latest Earthquakes in the USA
NOVA - Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius Classroom Activity
              (Website)  (Video not required)
NOVA - Volcano Above the Clouds (Kilimanjaro) Classroom Activity
              (Website)   (Video)
PBS - Savage Earth
Exploratorium - Fault Line: Seismic Science at the Epicenter
Juicy Geography - Shaker Maker Earthquake Simulator Project
Lesson Plans for Dragonwings by Laurence Yep
                    (set during 1906 San Francisco earthquake)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Making Math Fun

I think I've screwed up when it comes to math.  My oldest is not a math-loving-kid.  He is doing great with the MEP and Math Mammoth that we have been using, but he says he hates it.  He spends his days drawing, reading, and immersing himself in imaginative pretend play.  Numbers don't excite him.  So I'm back-pedaling and trying to come up with something to make him like math, or even love math.  I think story-based math is what I need.  I thought I might have found it with Noble Knights of Knowledge, but it appears that the company is no longer selling?  (ETA~I finally found a used copy of this and Nik loves it!)  I found a few lovely lessons called Gnomes and Numbers (and can't find the link now that I'm sitting here tying to post about it, of course!) They were on a Waldorf blog.  Hmmmmm.

Oh, I found it.......sort of!  The person who had the lessons on her blog is now selling her Waldorf curriculum.  It's A Little Garden Flower's A Journey Waldorf Math Book and I bought the e-book.  I can't wait for it to arrive in my inbox so I can try something new.  Nik loves stories, so maybe this approach will get him excited about math.

Does anyone have any other recommendations for story-based math, besides Living Math which we are already incorporating?

While I'm on the subject, I found a really cool site with some fun math things.  I particularly like this math worksheet (pdf) Name the Math Term.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Learning Centers

A post on The Well Trained Mind forums prompted me to take a couple of pictures of some of the learning centers that we have set up.

Geography Center 
 Maps, LeapFrog Explorer Smart Globe, a basket full of maps, and geography books, puzzle maps

Math Center
Right next to the geography center are our drawers full of math manipulatives and activities, 
math games, living math books, math puzzles, calendar, and meter stick.

Science Center

Science encyclopedias, books, planet model, human body poster, a basket full of field guides and parrot feathers, the top of the cabinet holds experiment kits, the top of the filing cabinet holds a rock kit and human body puzzle and shells, a plant to the left of the filing cabinet for them to observe and care for.  
The Martian Matter isn't supposed to be there on top of the animal encyclopedia! lol