Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pattern Blocks on Friday

Today we got a bit of a late start so Catherine sat down with Key to Fractions at 10 am. For the first time she was adding fractions and as she worked away she got the right answers but I could see she wasn't quite understanding. I pulled out our bucket of pattern blocks and showed her some addition of fractions with those and then she got it.

After the fractions were done the pattern blocks stayed out. First she played with making fractions, then moved on to replicating the shapes she saw in her Key to Fractions book and then making pictures with the pattern blocks. After that I started drawing outlines for her to copy with the blocks (clown, horse, parrot) and played the part of the demanding patron ("Oh my dear, that's NOT what I wanted at all. Do it again. AGAIN!" Vamping up the act is essential for giggles) so that I could point out where her form didn't match mine or where there could be some improvement.

Then on to science. After asking for help with finding evolution information on a message board I frequent I was directed to Understanding Evolution. This is a fantastic site. Click on the graphic to the left that says "Attention Teachers" and you get lesson plans and guided presentations. The teachers section begins with a very clear explanation of science and it becomes obvious, very quickly, why creations is not a scientific idea. I haven't gotten to far. We simply went through the Nature of Science presentation (I took notes of the titles and bolded parts of each page so I could make a Wordpad printout). My daughter was a little put out to learn that science only explored the natural world and that meant dragons weren't something science could explore and support but generally seemed to enjoy it. I'm quite glad we're reading mythology at the same time because that is the arena for dragons and religion (yes, even mine) and so Catherine will hopefully get a good understanding of how mythology and science are two different tools meant for exploring very different things.

Next Catherine decided to play on Harry joined her about an hour later and Maddie came in a little after that. 2 siblings and a cousin played away on that site for probably a whole nother hour, giggling and laughing the whole time.

The rest of the day was pretty ordinary stuff for the kids. I got to run out after supper to pick up a bunch of National Geographics I found on Freecycle. I also stopped at the local bookstore where I found a Who's Who guide to Greek and Roman mythical characters and another book on classical myths that has a bit more detail of individual myth's then Edith Hamilton's book offers. When I got home, the kids were thrilled with all the magazines and the rest of the night, until bedtime, was sorting, piling and picking out doubles.

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