Thursday, November 14, 2013

Foil Floaters Experiments

"Mom, do we have aluminum foil?" 

Questions. Thinking aloud. Bending foil. Hypothesizing. 

Several questions and answer later, we were building floaters.

All different sizes and thicknesses, some with two sheets of foil.

Imagine the variety of floaters! Each as different as the mind which created them.

Questions kept coming.

"How many marbles will my floater hold?"

"What if the base of your floater was wider?"

"What if I used three layers of foil?"

Possibilities endless.

Clock ticks by 1 hour.

Learning. Thinking. Testing.

A great day for science!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Power of Experiential Learning- Medieval Life

In co-op we joust (with plastic weapons and pool noodle horses) and role-play classes of Medieval society.

One learner requests a vocabulary and spelling list of the words learned. Gladly!

A week later we attend the Renaissance Fair not far from our home. Great family trip of discovery. Thankful for the timing!

At the fair we talk to people in period dress, shoot bow and arrow, learn new skills.

A fun unit. History lived, history learned.

Inspired by the activities at the fair, determined to "own" a bow and arrow,  PVC pipe and weed wacker cording were found, crafted into a bow. Blunt-end dowel rods served as arrows. I marvel at the ingenuity. Thankful for the Saturday they have to create together. Time is a precious commodity.

Old pizza boxes (repurposed from the pretend store in the garage) painted as targets. More creativity. More learning.

Targets dry, eventually, due to thick coats of paint. Hung on the backyard playset. Safety rules considered.

Ping! Ping!

"I got a 100!"

"I am a pretty good shot!" One learner boasts.

"This is the most fun sport ever!" A little learner announces.

"Seems like we are Medieval!" Another little learner proclaims.

I smile thankful for the moms who, with their efforts and enthusiasm at co-op, started us on this two-week study.

From the other end of the house, I hear a little learner wonder, "Do you think mom will let us get out the tepee?"

Moving right along in history.

Flashlight Fun (and learning)

Flashlights light paths, investigate places unseen, illuminate learning.

Flashlights were one of my favorite "tools" growing up. My dad used it to fix things. My mom used it to find things. Modeling, I experimented, looking here and there, in nooks and crannies, places I couldn't see. Places I wondered about.

And my oh my, the findings I found. Dead bugs, pieces of leaves, screws, dust bunnies.

Then there were the broken flashlights. Bottoms missing. Bulbs unscrewed. Experimenting with how batteries were placed to make it light.

"Does this work?"

Little learners love flashlights. Flashlights illuminate learning.

Shadows to discover. Reflections to make. Things to fix.

Broken flashlights become experiments in fixing things, teaching electrical circuits.

Fixing what is broken.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           "What's in there?" 
What was dark, broken, hidden, is now lit, ready to illumine and discover.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Toilet Paper Tubes and Thinking Skills

A few handfuls of tubes. 

"Mom, can I use the masking tape?"


Trial and error.

Marble makes it to the cup!



A few more days. A few more tubes. 

Make changes.

Try again.

Grows in length. 

"We need a longer door!"

"We need more tubes!"

Ten days of thinking, determination, collaboration.