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Jan 29, 2013

Superbowl Countdown Week Packets!

Superbowl Packets for Oodles of Fun Learning this Week!
Hi folks! To shake things up a little bit this week be are beginning a new theme: Football. Every subject themed around football. Why football? For me, football is not that big a deal but the Superbowl is this Sunday and having two boys I thought it would a fun way to integrate two things they like sports and school. Therefore we are using two football packets created by some awesome and very talented first grade teachers!

First a unit I found created by Katie King. She's actually had a give-away but I didn't win. Never-mind that you can buy this unit with over 40 pages of work in the subject of math for $5 bucks! Check it out! We're also using another unit-pack with activity centers and printables created by Kelley's Fantastic Football Packet
See how awesome and creative the cover page is? But wait there's more!

Each day your student will be up to their ears in fun learning games that keep their attention and as all teachers know keeping their attention is hard but crucial ;)
 This unit pack includes:
  • Half Time Snack (counting coins)
  • Line 'Em Up! (non-standard measurement practice)
  • Keeping An Eye of the Clock (Time to the Half Hour)
  • Rah Rah Skip Counting (2s, 5s, 10s)
  • Place Value Match-Up! (Place Value and Greater Than/Less Than)
AND Printables
  • 5 Speed Drills
  • Place Value
  • Greater Than/Less Than
  • Even/Odd
  • Subtraction
  • Skip Counting 2s, 5s, 10s

And if that's not enough there are even more GREAT units you can easily printout for your students all in support of teachers. Check them out.

Enjoy a fun week with a different kind-of unit topic.

Jan 22, 2013

Water Cycle: Oceans

  • Exploring how the oceans became salty.
  • Discovering the components of salt water.
  • elements
  • erosion
  • evaporation
  • oceans
  • salt 
(I highly recommend using a children's dictionary to go over vocabulary words so they clearly understand each word)

Jan 20, 2013

Water Cycle: Oceans

Dissolving Salt in Water
  • Dissolving salt in water.
  • Observing how salt crystals form.
  • evaporation
  • salt
  • salt 
  • Epsom salt
  • trays
  • warm water
  • pan
  • rope-like string (mop string) 
  • measuring beakers
  • two jars or beakers. 
Students experiment with salt crystals.

Water Cycle: Oceans; Making Salt Water

  • Comparing fresh and salt water.
  • Discovering bodies of fresh and salt water.
  • fresh water
  • ocean water
Students use a worksheet to compare fresh water with salt water.

Jan 17, 2013

let's eat SNACK ATTACK!

20 Delicious Snacks for even your pickiest eaters!

"Mommy I'm hungry, can I have a snack?" Here's my list of great afternoon (or mid-morning) snacks that are simple, quick, and yes yummy. Please make sure to check first to see if they are age-appropriate. AND yes most can be modified to Gluten-Free. Substitute crackers and graham crackers for GF crackers, flour tortillas for corn tortillas, and butter for coconut oil from Trader Joe's (or costco if you have a membership). Feel free to sit with your kiddos at the table and read a Bible story to them about food, too. Like when Jesus fed 5,000 with fish and bread :)

Magic Wands
Little Dippers: Cut an apple into wedges. Stick a toothpick in each piece, dip in nut butter, and roll in crushed peanuts or sliced almonds.

Top This: Spread a dollop of blueberry yogurt on a graham cracker and top with banana slices, dried cranberries, and mini-chocolate chips.

Twist it Up: Mix 1/2 cup melted butter with 1/2 cup sugar and 2tsp. cinnamon. Toss to coat one 16oz. bag of mini-pretzels and an 8-oz. bag of nuts. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.*make ahead and divide into snack bags.

Jan 16, 2013

The Water Cycle: Discovering How Water is Used by Humans

  • Exploring components of water.
  • Discovering how water is used by humans.
  • hydrogen
  • oxygen
  • water
Students use a worksheet to learn about ways to  clean water.
Before you begin a little review might need to take place to refresh the vocab words and the water cycle.

Jan 15, 2013

The Water Cycle: Experiencing Surface Tension

  • Discovering properties of water. 
  • Experiencing surface tension.
  • flow
  • fluid
  • surface tension
  • water
Students experiment with water to discover properties.
BACKGROUND: Water remains a liquid over a very wide temperature range, namely, a range of 0°C to 100?C,  between freezing and vaporization.   This spans the temperatures of most parts of the Earth where life can occur.

Water has a very high specific heat, which means that it can absorb or lose much heat before its temperature changes. It takes a lot of energy to start evaporation because water has a high latent heat of vaporization.  For this reason, water evaporates slowly from ponds and lakes, where many life forms are dependent on it.

Water is less dense in its solid state than in its liquid state, so that ice floats instead  of sinking.  This property permits life to develop in polar regions and subpolar regions where ice floats and allows life to continue living below the surface.  If ice were heavier than water, it would sink, and more ice would form on top of it.  As a result, all life in the waters would be trapped in the ice in the many areas of the world where it gets cold enough to freeze water.
Water's surface tension (the ability of a substance to stick to itself) makes it an excellent substance to float heavy objects upon.  Water not only sticks to itself, but also to other surfaces, and this allows it to move against gravity, which is very important to plants when transporting water form the soil to their leaves.  This upward motion is known as capillarity or capillary movement.
PROCEDURE: This exercise consists of two parts.  First, the students will discover how  water flows and secondly, the students will discover how many drops of water they can put on a penny.
  1. In the first exercise give each child two cups.  Have them measure 1 cup of water into one cup.
    Let them hold both cups and ask them the following questions:
    Which cup contains a fluid?
    Which cup contains melted ice?
    Which cup contains air?
    What is the fluid?
  2. Next ask the students to pour the liquid.  Ask them to describe the liquid.  The water is flowing; it is a fluid called water.
  3. In the second exercise give each student an eyedropper and penny.  First discuss surface tension by using the following illustrations. Surface tension is what allows  a water strider (insect) on water not to sink and explains why heavier items in water, float.  In this exercise the students will experience surface tension by seeing how many drops of water  they can put on a penny with an eyedropper.  Ask students to predict how many drops can fit on a penny.   You are going to have to illustrate and demonstrate very carefully how to use an eyedropper.
  4. Using an eyedropper, gently let water drops fall into the center of the penny.  Count how many you can put on before the water runs off.  (It will be between 20 and 34.)  Let the children try this.  Their numbers will be lower than yours, and will change depending on whether they are letting the drops fall into the center of the penny or on the edge.
  5. You may want to extend this lab by seeing how many drops they can place on a nickel.  Go over their results.  You may also want to repeat the experiment with alcohol.  It has a much lower surface tension and will not be able to hold as much liquid.
  6. The key concept here is to have the students experience surface tension and to be able to observe surface tension when they leave the classroom.  
After we finished graphing the amount of drops the penny could hold we tried the experiment on a nickel and quarter. But before we tested out the experiment I had my boys guess how many drops each would hold and record their guess in their science lab journals. Each was surprised by how many drops the quarter and nickels held but also thought it was fun to see the end results. 

This is really simple lab to show surface tension and can be found at Under elementary/water cycle/first grade/experiencing surface tension. Make science a fun part of homeschooling!


Jan 14, 2013

The Water Cycle: The Properties of Water

When the word 'SCIENCE' is mentioned in my house all the little ears perk up just as if I said the word 'cookies.' For our third unit (weeks 18-21) of First Grade Science we will be studying the Water Cycle. Its a four week unit consisting in studies of The Properties of Water (week1), Making Salt Water (week 2) Movement of Air (week 3), Reading A Thermometer (week 4). Each week is broken into three parts: a pre-lab, lab, post-lab.
Today's post is just about week 1: The Properties of Water Pre-Lab

  • Investigating the water cycle 
  • Exploring water's three states of matter
  • evaporation
  • gas
  • liquid
  • precipitation
  • solid
  • water cycle   
The hydrologic or water cycle is a major driving force on Earth. Water is important to our everyday lives. First grades see water all around them, but many do not realize its importance. Ask students if we can survive without food or water longer. They are usually amazed that humans can survive without food much longer than water. Humans can only last about three days without water. At that time our kidneys will no longer function, and we will not be able to get rid of the wastes that accumulate in our bodies. Our bodies require fresh clean water to survive. Polluted or salty water will not help our bodies-God made us this way!

Water circulates in the atmosphere through the water cycle. The water on Earth evaporates (or becomes gas) into a cloud. When the conditions are right, the cloud releases water or precipitation.

1. Discuss the different components of the water cycle by having students sing-along to Drippy the Hippie  
Ok I know, I know this is really chessy, but who cares if your kids learn something and it does not 
disagree from Biblical teaching, even if it's granola ;)

2. Make copies of the worksheets for your students. Color the worksheet and cut out the pieces. 
 3. Have students use the pieces they cut out to make the water cycle. Then go over the components of the water cycle with the students slowly. Evaporation from water forms clouds and then precipitates.

Review by asking a few questions:
  • What is evaporation?
  • Is evaporation a gas? 
  • Name a form of precipitation? hail, snow, rain, or sleet
  • Can we drink water from water puddles in the street? Why not?
  • Is water that falls from the sky clean?   
  • Explain the water cycle to me.
All of this and more units can be found at msnucleus.org

Follow along for tomorrow's post on the lab on Water Cycle!

Jan 9, 2013

January Food Calendar

Sorry folks, I know I've been slacking lately on the posts. But I finally remembered to post my January menu. Its been a little lazy around here since the holidays but feel free to use my calendar should you wish. It's a very simple quick and easy meal list because I'm all about feeding my kids w/o tons of worry.

Here's a link to my January Food Calendar

Keeping up with life, slowly.

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