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  • #2000
    admin

    Hello Upper Grammar Science Families!

    Let me start by saying how much I enjoyed teaching this class today. The students were engaging and respectful. It was a joy to have them in my class!

     

    Today we started Lesson 1 in our Astronomy book. We will complete lesson 1 next week. We talked about the stars, how ancient people used them to travel by, how they came up with constellations, and how God gave us the sun, moon, and stars to know the days, the months, and the seasons.

     

    Our copywork today was Isaiah 45:12. I talked about how God made the Earth and the universe. I played Mozart Minuet in G while they did their copywork. I plan on playing Mozart each week for the 1st block and then switching to another composer for each subsequent block.

     

    For our activity, we decorated a sundial. I was amazed at how beautiful they turned out. So many creative artists in this class!  A few minutes before noon one day this week, the students are to put it out in the sun and use the stick to help secure it to the ground. They can add a few pebbles around the stick to make sure the plate doesn’t blow away. They need to mark the correct time on the sundial, where the sun is casting a shadow on the stick (gnomon). At exactly noon, use a marker or pen to write the number 12 where the stick casts the shadow. Then at 1:00, write 1 where the shadow is. Then every hour on the hour, mark the next number where the shadow is. See if the time matches with the correct time. Have your student study where the sun is in the sky and the shadows in relation to it. Then next morning they can add more numbers to it until it is finished. Please take a picture of the completed sundial and send it to me. I’d love to share them all in class and we can discuss their findings.

    I shared this Bible verse and explained the story. We talked about how cool it would be to see the shadow go backwards on our sundials! 2 Kings 20:9-11 Then Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?”
    And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.”
    So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.

     

    With regards to their Notebooking Jounal, I leave it up to you how much you’d like your students to complete. My son hates to write and already has to do a lot of writing during Schole and of course with other schoolwork so I will let him skip the fascinating facts and personal reflections pages along with the “take it further” section. I do plan on having him do the copywork page since they are Bible verses and I love how they relate to the study of His universe. For the “what do you remember?” section, I will just have him answer me orally. I may do a review game based on those questions after a few weeks have passed. I’m hoping it will help them retain what they have learned, while having fun of course!

     

    For this week, the matchbook seems pretty neat and a nice visual way to remind them what they have learned. I will probably have my son make it and tell me what to write. That way he has it to go over and review.  Activity 1.1 we will go over next week in class. You can have your students start to think of their own mnemonic that they would like to share. The crossword on page 42 and any pages after that, I would wait till after week 2 to have them complete. We did not go over all of those terms yet. We will do activity 1.2 during the next class. We will paint some Styrofoam balls and put together a solar system.

     

    An activity that would be easy to do is the tinfoil activity. You just need a flashlight and a flat piece of foil. Half of it smooth and half wrinkled. Shine the flashlight closely on the smooth half of the foil. Observe the light you see reflected. Stand farther back and do it again. Observe. Repeat on the wrinkled foil. Observe the differences. I’d love for them to share what they observed during our next class. I’ve attached some info about the activity, explaining why stars look like they twinkle and planets do not.

     

    Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

    astronomy less1

    #2037
    admin

    Hello Upper Grammar Science Families!

    Today we started off by listening to the students share their results from the Tin Foil project and the Sun Dial project. I loved hearing all the fun they had with those! My favorite was hearing everyone’s mnemonic for the planets. So creative! I love them!!! I will share some from the class:

    My Vicious Ear Makes Juice So Unbelievingly Nasty

    My Various English Mishaps Just Seem Utterly Nutty

    My Very Exciting Movie Just Stopped Unexpectedly Now

    Mom, Vaunne Eating My Jam Sandwich Under Nanny

    Miss Violet Eats Marshmallows Jumping sideways Under Napkins

    We finished Lesson 1 in our Astronomy book. We talked about the 8 planets in our solar system and their order. We also talked about gravity and gravitational pull. I explained how they were all little scientists as babies, dropping toys or food over and over again to see what would happen!

    For our activity we put together a model solar system out of Styrofoam balls. We didn’t get a chance to paint them. During the lesson, we had a lot of students wanting to interject with fun facts they knew or things they did, so it took a little longer than anticipated. But they still got to see the size difference and order and we put it together.

    Their homework is to finish their notebook journal. I showed them what the matchbook should look like when it’s completed.

    I showed them a great video that really showed the size comparison of the sun and planets, as well as some stars. They loved it! I have enclosed a link to it on Youtube for those of you who missed it. It’s mind-blowing in my opinion!

    Let me know if you have any questions!

    Melanie

    #2057
    admin

    Greetings Upper Grammar Science families!

    In class today, we discussed the sun in Lesson 2. I had them “cover up” a tree with their finger as we looked out the window. I explained how the sun looks small because it is so far away. The kids took turns being the sun and having another student revolve and rotate around the sun. I revolved as the moon, which was a little tricky not bumping into the “Earth”! I think they had fun with it though and seemed to easily understand the concept. I showed them a peppercorn, representing the Earth (which I dropped, lost, and we all perished!) and a globe to represent the size of the sun. It’s crazy to think how 1 million Earths can fit into the sun!! I also talked about how they can damage their eyes if they look directly at the sun. Someone asked the question if it would damage our eyes to look at the sun during a sunset. I said that I thought it would be less damaging since the sun wasn’t as intense, but that I would look up the info. This is what I found: ”the intensity of the light is very important- looking at the sunset (much lower intensity, and less UV light), would be much less likely to damage the eyes than staring at the sun at noon” but it is still recommended to not look directly at the sun. “During a sunset, the Sun is lower in the sky than during most of the day – much lower. Therefore, light from the Sun travels through about 120 miles of dense atmosphere, compared to the roughly 2 miles it travels through from straight up.” Very interesting! Such a great question!

    HOMEWORK: from the textbook, do activity 2.2 Magnifying Butter. I can’t wait to hear their results! Complete Notebook Journal p50-62. I sent them all home with 2 brass fasteners that they will need to make the sun wheel. They only need one, but I had plenty so I figured I’d give them 2 in case they lost one.

    I hope they enjoyed the class. I certainly enjoyed the discussions!

    This is a link to something I showed them in class. It shows the planets revolving around the sun, along with their moons. Very interesting!

    http://janus.astro.umd.edu/SolarSystems/

    #2069
    admin

    Greetings Astronomy families! I had so much fun today as we finished up our lesson on the sun. We talked about light waves and how colors are absorbed and reflected. We talked about Solar Eclipses and even made our own viewing box. The kids were dying to try them out so luckily we had a few minutes left to do so. It took a little trial and error getting the sun lined up through the pinhole, but they were able to see the sun on the white paper inside the box. I told them to try it out at home and show their families.

    I keep forgetting to tell the students in class, but I plan on having them read their mnemonics for the planets at the symposium. I think the community will really enjoy them. If they didn’t do one yet, please have them prepare one to share. If they made more than one, have them choose their favorite to share. We will take about 3 minutes to just take turns reading our mnemonics for the audience.

    Homework:

    Finish the notebook journal for the sun. (p63-76)

    Have a great week!

    Love in Christ,

    Melanie

    #2082
    admin

    Hello Astronomy families! We had so much fun in class today. I love the excitement of the kids! We talked about Mercury today. We covered all of Lesson 3. It was a shorter chapter since we don’t know as much about Mercury as we do about other planets. Ask your students why!

    We went outside to make craters in our dusty Mercury. (dropped different sized rocks into flour mound). They enjoyed that even more than I thought they would! We compared the different size crater we made using small, medium, and large rocks. We dropped them from low and from high. I also threw one to give it more velocity. It was fun seeing the flour scatter and seeing how deep our craters got. They were great scientists, even compacting the flour to see the difference. We saw that the craters didn’t spread much at all when it was compacted. When they made it nice and loose, the rocks made the craters even bigger than the rocks. I’m sure they would love repeating this experiment at home. They didn’t want to stop! They loved sticking their hands in the flour! It was so funny.

    For their homework, they can complete all of lesson 3 in their notebook journal. Remember, it’s up to you which of those pages you want them to actually complete. There is a mini book and a crossword puzzle as well as copywork. Also, there is Activity 3.2 in the textbook with space in the notebook journal to write about it. It is making a model of mercury out of salt dough. I told them they are welcome to either take a picture and send it to me, or bring it to the next class if they want to show it off.

    I told them about their assignment for the symposium. They are to come prepared to share their mnemonic.

    Have a great week and see you at symposium!

    Love in Christ,

    Melanie

    #2097
    admin

    Hello Astronomy families! Today we talked about Venus. We made volcanoes with butter and flour. We saw how the butter hardened and got darker in color, much like lava. We had some interesting talks about volcanoes. I love their questions and comments! They are too funny.

    Homework is the notebook journal for lesson 4. It was short lesson so we covered it all. We will talk about Earth next week.

    Have a great week!

    Love in Christ,

    Melanie

    #2106
    admin

    Hello Astronomy families! Today we talked about the Earth! We covered most of the chapter except the layers of the earth. I will quickly go over those next meeting along with a little snack. A raisin will be the core, rice krispie treat will be wrapped around it as the mantle, and it will be dipped in chocolate as the crust. It will be gluten and dairy free and of course nut free. Let me know if there are any problems with this snack.

    We had a lot of fun playing with magnets at the end of class. We talked about Earth’s magnetic pole and how compasses point north. We put a needle that I magnetized by rubbing a magnet over it, onto water on a plate. Thanks to Jaxon who saved the day by mentioning I needed to be more gentle when placing the needle as to not break the surface tension! We got to watch the needle point north. Then we experimented with the different magnets I brought in, learning about their north and south poles. They were having so much fun, they didn’t want to stop when class was over!

    For homework, I assigned all of Lesson 5 in the Notebook journal. We have 2 weeks before we return. They can skip the Earth minibook section since we ran out of time to cover it. Or if you’d rather, they can read that section and do the minibook. I will quickly go over the parts of the Earth when I hand out the treats. Then I will start on the moon lesson.

    Enjoy the extra break week!

    Love in Christ,

    Melanie

    #2126
    admin

    Hello Astronomy families! I’m sure you heard all about our class today, thanks to our very messy fun! We made edible models of the Earth. The raisins represented the core, the rice krispy treat was the mantle, and the chocolate sauce was the crust. It was quite a challenge to get the sticky mantle around the core! Some had their cores break up and mix in with the mantle. Oh well, they got the gist of it! Then it was on to the moon. We ran out of time to talk about the spacecraft that visited, so I will go over that next class before moving on to Mars.

    I am loving this class more and more each week. They are so sweet and I love hearing what they have to share. I love their questions which help spur more discussion. They definitely keep me on my toes!

    Homework: Notebook journal for the Moon lesson. There is a calendar in there where they can draw the phases of the moon each night. That would be a great one to do. I’d love to hear in 2 weeks what their observations were. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    Love in Christ,
    Melanie

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