Friday, October 8, 2010

Our Week: Byzantine Empire, Astronomy, & Butterflies

The Byzantine Empire was our subject for history. We read about Justinian and Theodora. One of the things we read about was how Justinian had to come up with a set of laws for everyone to follow. I asked the kids what laws they thought would be good. Caleigh: no fighting; Molly: don't leave the oven on; Colin: no more than an hour of school a day allowed.
We also learned about mosaics and decided to try some of our own. In this book we looked at about making mosaics, one of the examples used M&Ms on cookies. We made cakes instead so the kids would have a little more space to make their mosaics out of M&Ms.

She says this is supposed to be me. Yellow hair, green eyes, brown eyebrows, yellow nose, red lips, and the bottom is a neck she says.

On the bottom is a hockey player (red body, brown head) with a hockey stick.  The guy on the top (green body, yellow head) is the goalie.

In the middle is a rainbow. The blue is the sky. Yellow on the top right is the sun.

We also made mosaics with paper squares. Colin is still working on his and they all made butterflies so I'll include pictures in my butterfly unit study post.

Unit Studies
I guess this could actually go under science. We finally got our caterpillars a couple weeks ago so we spent some time this week learning more about butterflies. I'll make a separate post about it soon.

Last week our unit study was based on Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car. To go along with that we read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We read tons of books each day, but I always have trouble fitting chapter books in so we didn't finish it until today. We're watching the movie tonight and the kids had these cars for dinner.

To make the cars: I wrapped hotdogs in cresent rolls and baked them. Then I cut 2 slits in the top, one for the pickle steering wheel and the other for the string cheese driver. I put a little mustard on a toothpick to make the face. Then we used mini Oreos for the tires.


We started Exploring Creation With Astronomy this week. Some of the things we learned about: what is astronomy, gravity, Copernicus, Galileo, and the order of the planets.
We did some mini books that we will be adding to our notebook as soon as I figure out how much space I want to use for our astronomy study. This week's mini books were a comparison of the Ptolemy model and the Copernicus model of the solar system, description of gravity, and a mnemonic for remembering the order of the planets.

Molly getting ready to drop balls to demonstrate gravity.

Everything Else
We started meeting with a small group to allow the kids to have a chance to do oral presentations. We had our first meeting on Monday. The kids brought their favorite board game and told everyone why they liked it and how it's played. Then the kids took turns playing the games.

Colin had his weekly First Lego League meeting on Tuesday. The boys came up with an idea for their presentation and started working on the details. We also met at a park on Wednesday with the First Lego kids so they could just play. They're always asking for some time to just play with each other without working on the robot or their project.
On Thursday, Colin had his second roller hockey practice and he was just as excited as the first time.


Daisy said...

The mosaics are beautiful and look yummy. I love the car idea. That is fabulous!

And what a great idea to have group time where they can practice talking in front of each other. We had major issues with that this week, so I think I'll try this.

Great week!

Dusti said...

mr gumpys motor car is a great book.
mosaics are fun there is so much you can do with them. time at the park with friends is always a highlight for my kids too.

Moonbeam said...

What delicious mosaics and cars.
It looks like all had a wonderful week.

Tonia said...

Looks like a fun week! Love the car and mosaics - it's always fun to combine cooking and learning!

Debbie said...

Love the car idea!

Robyn said...

Very fun week! Love your picts! The car is great!