Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekly wrapup- Jan 31-Feb 4

This week our math block ended with a focus on liquid measurements. I remember this being such a tough subject for me to master, and honestly I still didn't really *know* the info by heart, but Jakob and I worked together and figured it out and taught each other our tricks on how to remember the various amounts of gallon, pints, quarts, and cups.

Working with conversions between the measurements showed us that we really needed to work on 2 digit multiplication. We have mastered things like 22x4 but when we were met with problems such as 16x90 it clearly was time. Jakob took the info really well and has been a multiplying champ ever since. We ended the week with some basic division skills but I hesitated on showing him the number sentence for fear we were covering too many different thing in one week. He's got it though he just doesn't know it yet ;-) I'm loving this is just happening on its own!!
To go along with our measurement work this week we measured and made butter. Only took three different methods but we got it made! I tried to make it a family event and make shake butter and speed it up with a marble.
The marble cracked the jar.
Then I put it in the mixer for about 5 minutes... just got whipped cream.
Finally we put it in batches in my mini chopper and VOILA! Butter! We used coffee filters to strain out the buttermilk to be used later that week in pancakes (YUMMY!). This was because I don't own a cheesecloth. And can never remember to get one until I need to strain something.... right then. It was messy but we made do.
Another day we made cheese. CHEESE! Is that not the coolest thing ever? And I didn't have to order any fancy mix to make it. Mainly cook whole milk then curdle it with vinegar and add herbs.

Ours needed a little salt in my opinion, but it served well for our snack of cheese and crackers. Jakob was in charge of the whole production even down to choosing the herbs and spices to go in the cheese. He seemed a bit lost when he looked at my spice cubby, so I introduced him to my fail-proof scientific method of cooking....Sniff it!!

That's right we sniffed and smelled all different spices and he came up with a few that he thought smelled the best together. And the moral of the lesson is when they smell good together they generally taste good together! And that ladies and gentlemen is the extent of my knowledge about spices. (you may applaud now)
After the coffee filter butter experiment I knew I needed a much bigger and less messy way of draining the cheese. No I didn't go out and get a cheesecloth. I cut up a clean flat sheet and clothes pinned it to the bowl. Hey it worked!! AND it was free! Yippee!

Hazel had her own fun this week with painting up some toilet paper tubes and turning them into candles with a little help from Momma. Once dried we spent much of the afternoon jumping over them reciting Jack Be Nimble... It was our way to celebrate Candlemas for the whole week.

After our walk one day we tried our hand at creating salt icicles on paper. This was a cute little craft inspired by this blog I read often. There is something so mesmerizing about watching glue drip down the paper....

Music this week was fun and Jakob is still progressing well. Now that we know a few notes we are working on recognizing them in sheet music and understanding what different notes counts look like when written. Loads of fun and probably the only thing I actually remember from taking piano so many moons ago.

Reading wise Jakob has finished the Captain Underpants series and has moved on to BOTH the Magic Tree House Series and The Magic School Bus Chapter Books. So far both series are relatively short in length for him so he is knocking out about a book a day. A BOOK A DAY!!! His confidence in his reading is growing more and more and he offers to read out loud almost everything.

I started something new this week towards the end where I have the kids come to the table first thing in the morning to draw with our block crayons. There has been this frustrating gap in the mornings between when they get dressed and ready and when I get breakfast on the table. This usually ends with me pulling them away from some toy or playtime they have involved themselves in and either breakfast going uneaten or now we can't concentrate on the rest of the morning routine because all thoughts are now tuned into what we were doing before. Having them come to the table and just color and explore with the crayons seems to be a nice quick activity to keep them occupied until breakfast is served.

And that's the week in a nutshell!

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