Thursday, 26 February 2015

Four States of Matter - part 2

We revisited our work from yesterday using the pom pom cards I'd made, then moved on to how these changes happen. After discussing that heating and cooling can cause the states of matter to change we set right to with melting some sweets in the oven (except for the marshmallow which we did over a candle flame) Please note the sweets come out very hot so use cocktail sticks to explore them in their liquid state then let them cool and turn solid again.


  
 




Rose got very excited at this point as she had frozen some orange juice earlier in the week - she rushed to the freezer and proudly showed her sisters how it changed when frozen.


We also played with ice cream soda floats - just because it loosely fit into the lesson plan so provided a good excuse.



They breathed on a cold glass to look at condensation and looked at evaporation from our boiling kettle.

The girls played a game I had made with the pom pom cards



which was a great form of revision.




and used the same cards to map out the whole cycle


then they finished by making more posters.



Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Four States of Matter - part 1

We've been working on the four states of matter.

I started with the Montessori presentation (but tweaked it slightly to include Plasma)



Don't panic - I know grapes aren't plasma but it will all make sense shortly (and it got the kids really curious)

We discussed each state in depth;

Solid - Particles close together in a fixed position. Has a definite volume and shape. Looked at different types of solids.



Liquid - Has a definite volume but no definite shape. Particles are close together but free to move. 




Looked at how it takes on the shape of the container it's poured in to. As always their favourite is when there is no container to pour it into.




Gas - Doesn't have a definite shape or volume. Particles are far apart and have complete freedom to move.


Looked at how gas fills up the whole container.




Plasma - Very similar to gas but made up of groups of positively and negatively charged particles. Discussed how it is abundant in nature (stars, sun, lightning, northern lights etc).



Then the grapes came into play using Supercharged Science's grape plasma experiment. to create our own plasma.

Next we discussed the arrangement of particles and used pom pom's to get the kids to demonstrate.


 

Then moved onto compressability - using a syringe we placed a pebble in and they tried to squish it, then filled it part way with water, covered the end and tried to squish it and finally filled it part way with gas, covered the end and when squished it halved in volume.



   

We discussed the attractive force between molecules in each state and got the girls to make posters.




Saturday, 21 February 2015

Coding and Codes workshop

Our local Home Ed group ran a coding activity at the kids request (during our politics activity they voted in a number of activities for the next few months)

There was a logical coding game where they had to follow a series of instructions and see if the ended up on the right square on the grid,


a codes table where they wrote secret messages in milk and lemon (once dry they are invisible until heated), learnt about mirror writing (Da Vinci's code - he wrote all his notebooks in mirror writing.) The easiest way is to write in feltpen on a piece of paper and turn it over for them to copy.

They also made cypher wheels



and hidden 'scratch off' messages.



There was a Lego educational centre where they had to build and program a special Lego robot and see if it obeyed its programming.




In the afternoon they did a big version of the coding game using the kids as the game pieces and learnt about semaphore (we missed these as we had to leave early)

They also had a laptop running with scratch a free coding game for kids.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Love Bug

Lilly got excited by valentines day and created a 'Love Bug'.



The translation is - heart imprinted teeth and sharp claws to hold onto it's victims.



The love bug is like a mosquito, it drinks blood but instead of carrying deadly diseases when it bites you, a toxin in it's salvia makes you fall in love!




symptoms
Girls - fluttering eyelashes, blushing and leg popping.
Boys - flexing muscles, flirting (more than usual) and showing off their strength.




It crawls into your bed to wait
And then when you come home late
So tired you don't even notice it
And all of a sudden you've been bit
The next thing you know
Your movements are slow
And you find yourself falling in love
You feel like a dove
Flying up high in the sky
You're in Love

Maybe next year we'll make some bugs : )




Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The secret truths about homeschooling

When you start homeschooling there are certain truths that no one warns you about - these are the hard lessons I've learnt.

1) Glue sticks and sellotape become more valuable than contraband - I have to hide my stash in my underwear drawer because it's the only place the kids won't look.

2)Sick days no longer exist - even when I'm in bed suffering with a vomiting bug the kids still clamber on asking for 'lesson books' to be read to them.

3) Documentaries become your best friend when you are ill - pop them on and pass out on the sofa with a smile on your face knowing that the kids are least learning something.

4) Everyone you meet when you are out with your kids during school time will have an opinion about home education - they may think its good or they may think its bad but they WILL share their opinion.

5) Your printer simultaneously becomes your best friend and the most hated appliance in your home (especially when it runs out of blue ink in the middle of a black and white print run)

6) If it doesn't involve glitter or play-doh (yes, even when they are 12) you may as well give up now.

7) Birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents become less about a new perfume or shoes and more about that guillotine you've had your eye on or specialist art supplies that weren't in your budget. 

8) Your memory goes to pot, don't get me wrong - random facts like capital cities and melting points of chemicals will still be there but remembering to book or attend a dental appointment - not gonna happen.

9) Kids will pounce on any mistake you make in lessons - they will take great pleasure in telling you exactly why that fact or information is wrong (and what book you should have read before doing the lesson so you could get it right).

I've probably forgotten loads (see point 8) so feel free to share any I've missed.

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