Week 27 – The Earth Moves

New unit this week!  We wrapped up our Westward Expansion unit last week [well, mostly; we're still reading "Little House on the Prairie"], and now we’re starting a science-y unit about the changing Earth, rocks, and geology.  This week we’re focusing on what geology is, the structure of the Earth, and we’re touching on earthquakes.

I found a book called “Geology Rocks” by Blobaum that is our main “text” though we aren’t going through it in order.  Before he read the first section about what geology is I had him fill in a KWL chart.  Then he watched a Khan Academy video about the Earth’s formation [and went on later to watch more videos on the topic] and wrote a “short story” of the Earth’s birth.  Later we explored the earth’s tectonic plates, learned about Pangea, and conducted an experiment with graham crackers to understand better how the plates move and create mountains, volcanoes, and earthquakes. [This was over the course of the week.]

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Creating earthquakes by rubbing the two “plates” together.

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We moistened the edges of the crackers and then pushed them together to create fold mountains.

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I /think/ these are C’s…


I was under the impression that there was a Magic School Bus episode about “Inside the Earth”, but I must have  misunderstood my notes because it’s just a book that we don’t currently have, so today instead we watched a different episode about erosion caused by water.  Then L created a PSA about earthquake safety; I called that health.

Our corresponding literature unit is “Holes” by Sachar.  I had L draw a map of Camp Green.  The main character’s name is a palindrome, so we worked with them a little bit.  We’ve learned about the climate of Texas, lizards, rattlesnakes, dessert survival, and sweating.  We’ve discussed life goals, what makes a person a leader, and race relations.  Today L wrote a summary of the book so far.

We’ve also been working on Spelling Power.  L wasn’t so sure about the testing/teaching procedure at first, but I kept telling him to just go with it, there’s a reason for it that isn’t immediately obvious, and so far the lists we’re working on are easy enough for him that he’s able to get a feel for how it works without feeling overwhelmed.  I made him a word work menu sorta like the one my friend over at BeyondGoldStars created, and he’s enjoying that too.

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I made the menu from an inexpensive photo album and 3X5 cards. It’s less than half full at this point.

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Here he did the “Configuration Words” activity after writing the word BIG.

We continued to work in Caesar’s English this week delving into some academic vocabulary containing the stems we learned last week.  I introduced the end of chapter “quiz” much to his consternation.  L really hates anything called a “quiz” or “test” even though I never grade things.  Does anyone else have a kid like that?  Any suggestions?

L seems to be doing well with his math chapter on multiplication.  The facts are slowly sticking into his brain, and he understands the current topic:  the distributive property and how it applies to the multiplication algorithm.  Perhaps better than me, I dunno.  I think Khan Academy IS having a positive influence somehow though I can’t directly link it.

L was sick on Wednesday so we missed PE, and I was sick on Thursday so we missed co-op.  :(

I’m starting to think ahead to next year.  I’m trying to think how homeschool kindergarten will look.  I started working on a “Word Work” menu for Calum.  Part of that was downloading and installing an app onto his iPad called FreeFall Spelling.  While I was at it, I cleaned up his apps:  adding, deleting, and rearranging.  I want his time on there to be entertaining but educational.  One of the apps he does really well with and shows some neat problem-solving and perseverance on is called Bubble Ball.  I may “splurge” $0.99 and get the full version of that.

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Here are the cards I’m reading for C’s “Word Work booklet”


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Friday night, T’s robotics team finally got their robot up and running, so we went to watch them practice driving it.


2 thoughts on “Week 27 – The Earth Moves

  1. I love the idea of using index cards in the little photo album! That’s a great way to do it, because it requires a lot less unnecessary time with set up, and you have more flexibility about changing it along the way. :)

  2. Yes, flexibility was a big consideration! Set-up is a little timely cuz I’m going to need to create pictures for each card since C doesn’t read much yet, but that’s why I’m starting now. :)

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