Monday, April 28, 2014

My Daddy said...

Sometimes, words are memorable because of when they were said, sometimes because they were said often.   For these phrases from my Daddy, it was a little of each.

Do what you do do well (girl).
Usually on a Saturday night to the tune of an old country song.

Be kind, for every one you meet is carrying a burden. When I had gotten up on my adolescent high horse.  I was an adult before I really understood the wisdom of these words.

Well, don't you look pretty in that dress? On Sunday mornings when my mother had dressed me in my Sunday best.

We used to say, "We might be poor, but there's no excuse for being dirty." Now, we aren't poor.  That's still no excuse for being dirty.  On Saturday morning when I needed to clean my room.

You can do anything as well as the boys do, except fight. When my teenage self began to feel insecure.

Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. When, as a young adult, I felt I was wondering in circles.

Through his words and actions, my daddy taught me to be a person of excellence, to be happy with my feminity, and the importance of loving well.

Thank-you Daddy, and Happy Birthday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Science Along the Way: Chemical Reactions at Easter

Can you recognize this picture?

Yes! This is a tablet from our Easter egg dying kit, dissolving in vinegar earlier this week.

While we were enjoying the show, I realized that this was a fantastic example of a chemical reaction. There was a color change and gas production, both hallmarks of a chemical change.

We could see it, hear it and touch it.  Using multiple senses is always a bonus!

 Easter was last week.  You can consider this my "being a real mom" confession.  My kids still got excited! 

What piece of nature has excited you and yours this week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Library Treasure: In the Garden with Dr. Carver

This activity can be used to address the following Next Generation Science Standards 
K-ESS2-1.Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time
K-ESS2-2.Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

In the Garden with Dr. Carver is a book that that will benefit any child, or adult for that matter.

In this piece of historical fiction, aka "pretend biography" as my children described it, a fictional girl named Sally interacts with the Dr. George Washington Carver as he travels the Alabama country side teaching agriculture.

Susan Grigsby portrays Dr. Carver so vividly that the reader gets excited about gardening and inventing with items from the dump.  She gives us all an opportunity to be impacted by the character of this great man.

After we read the book the first time, my son spent an hour watching and sketching the wild life in our front yard.  He asked me if he can teach gardening like Dr. Carver.

I am thrilled that he has deepened his interest in nature and inventing, and that he has found a hero in Dr. George Washington Carver.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sound Waves

One of my goals is to play music during the inbetween times of our day.  One day this week, I noticedy my son playing with the sound, using his hand to block it.

Since sound waves are physical waves, meaning they travel from molecule to molecule, they can be blocked by placing a something in front of them.  Some of the wave's energy was absorbed by my son's hand instead of continuing through the air.  We perceive the decreas in energy as the sound becoming quieter .

When the waves ran into his hand, they bent.  We perceive bent waves as a distortion in sound which changes the pitch.

How do you like to play with sound?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fry's First Fifty Sight Words by Part of Speech

I have been working on a little project.  I wanted to make phrases of the first fifty Fry Sight words.  I did find a great list of phrases from the first one hundred, but our kindergarten goal is only the first fifty.  My purpose is to make readable phrases to review words that my child already knows, not introduce new words.

First, I categorized the words by part of speech, then I wrote some phrases.  My children already enjoy making nonsense words from their sight words, and I plan to let them make some more.

Please help yourself to these free printables.

I am going to use these lists to make a version of these Spinners from Still Playing School.  How will you be reviewing sight words this summer?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Science Along the Way: Drain Solution

It seems that we find a lot of science in the bath tub--and it has happened again.  The mechanism in our drain broke.

"Don't worry," said the Pony Artist, "I have a solution."  

This is post has moved.  Check out our simple drain solution over at Thriving STEM.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Pony Artist's Ice Melting Experiment

"Mommy, pouring water on ice melts it."

What do you think? True or false?

The Pony Artist had spent some time working with snow on winter days here in the Southern US. The temperature was always well above thirty-two Farenheit (0 C). We decided this was a good opportunity for a science experiment . The Pony Artist did a great job of designing a procedure to test her hypothesis.

She knew immediately that our set up included an ice cube,with water added. I reminded her that we also needed an ice cube alone in a second container to be sure that the water was what made the ice melt.

I suggested that we actually make two of each set up and conduct it twice, once on the counter and once on the refrigerator. Looking back, I short circuited the  learning process slightly. It would have been better to do the experiment her way, let her see that the ice melted both ways, then perform the next experiment.

We measured the mass of each container in case we had confusion about where ice had gone later.

In the end, that was not necessary, but it was good counting and measuring practice.  

The Pony Artist checked her a set up periodically.  Eventually, she ended up with this.

She concluded that ice melts when it is warm and (liquid) water freezes when it is cold. 

Not bad for a pre-schooler! My husband's co-worker observed an adult trying to melt ice on his wind shield by throwing water on it.  

If you are interested in trying this experiment,  you can click here to download a free printable via my TPT page.

What question should the Pony Artist answer next?

Sharing at the Mom's Library 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Project Recycle Create! March Wrap up and new April Linky

During March the group from Recycle Create! has been working with card board tubes.  Here are a few projects from the Link-up that I could see my kids enjoying independently, and one I did see!

The Pony Artist saw the picture of this octopus from There's Just One Mommy and immediately asked for a tube so that she could make one.She proceeded to do the whole project with hardly any help.

This log cabin from Toddling in the Fast Lane caught my eye.  It is a unique use of the tubes, and seems like a craft that allows the kids to exercise plenty of creativity. 

I also noticed this rocket by the Little Artist.  Definitely a project that can be 100 percent kid done!

April's theme is Egg Cartons.  Our project main project isn't ready to share, but the Linky is up and Running, so feel free to take a look at the projects that are ready, and post one of your own!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hand Soap Magnification Glass

We were cleaning up after painting (and Mommy was feeling a little frantic) when T-Rex pointed out that the hand soap makes a magnifying glass.

The light rays bend as they move through the soap, spreading out as they move through the soap, and making his fingers appear wider.

Also, did you notice how the curves edge of the soap container makes his finger look crooked?

What have you noticed this week?

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our own "Dumb Soldiers": Robert Louis Stevenson project

This activity can be used to address the following Next Generation Science Standards 
K-ESS2-1.Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time
K-ESS2-2.Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

April is poetry month, and we are doing a few simple poetry projects.  Poetry has always been one of my favorite subjects.

Last week, we read A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson.

We started by reading "The Dumb Soldier", a poem about a toy soldier left purposely in the yard so that he could report on the goings on there.   I pointed out how Stevenson chose words that paint a beautiful picture.  We went over a few terms that I expected to be tricky, like "dumb".  We talked about what was meant by "sea" of grass, and whether the soldier could actually see.

T-Rex and the Pony Artist created their own soldiers from our store of clean trash and a few other craft supplies. Before they started, we discussed what types of material would do well outside in the rain.

Here are the finished soldiers!

They found stations for their soldiers in the yard where they felt they would be safe.

All week we enjoyed more selections from A Child's Garden of Verses. T-Rex  and Pony Artist enjoyed their own yard and the spring weather.  On Friday, they were eager to bring in their soldiers and write their own tales.

Thank-you to Christy of Christy's House of Chaos for inspiring our poetry studies.  She wrote a fascinating post on Christina Rossetti  includes some great extension activities. You can check it out at

Happy April Fools!  In honor of the holiday, I purposely included some misinformation in this post. Can you guess what it is?