Monday, July 19, 2010

Kinda Thinking & Planning for the Fall....

Well, today, you get two posts for Monday...

Have been working on planning for the fall and have been toying with how we are going to do things this year and also because tomorrow, I have another blog post ready (am going to announce some award winners, so please be sure to check back tomorrow)...
We have play dates scheduled for Wednesday and Friday, and have to get some errands done on Thursday, so if I didn't give you a two for one day today, I would have had to have held off and posted this post over the weekend...

Well, if you read this and have any input / ideas / suggestions, would just love to hear from you!
Well, to get things kick started for the fall, I asked the boys to tell me what they would like to learn about, as well as any questions, ideas, or themes they would like to explore...
they are used to doing this, as it is something we have done since the very beginning...I actively involve them in the process of what we could / should study...sometimes, we do the good ole' standby, KW L...

What I Know, What I Want to Know, and then, What I Learned...

For the purposes of trying to flesh out what we could do starting in the fall, I had them focus primarily on what they Want to know...

Big Bro:
Have been working on putting things together for Big Bro..he wants to learn about the following:
"Chemistry...I like to do experiments with liquids."

"The Presidents...about the ones who were in when we have had wars and what they decided to do about them."

"The future...about robots and if we will use them and how things will work with more machines"

"Inventions...about all of them, actually...but we need to come up with one that works to clean up the oil spill. I want to come up with one..."

"Machines...from little ones to big ones...what is the smallest machine that can do the biggest job"?

"Native Americans...their homes, their weapons, and where they lived and how they got there...and what life is like on a reservation now versus way back, when they first went to one...and what life was like before reservations."

"Animal homes...how they build them and which ones are predators and which ones are prey."
"The Rainforest...who lives there...what grows there...how long ago did they start making poison darts from poison dart frogs..."

"Italian, Chinese, French, and Spanish...how to say some things in these languages and more about the countries and why other countries have people who also speak these languages."

Little Bro:
Little Bro wants to learn about all kinds of things, too...luckily, some of his interests cross over with Big Bro's interests...

"Frogs"

"Snow cones"

"Polar Bears"

"Penguins"

"How you make toys"

"Stuff in the sea"

"Shells"

"Dogs and the ones that help people"

"What's inside your brain"

"How you make glass and Legos"

"What's inside a wheel and how it works"

"How you make chocolate"

"How you get hot and sweaty from the sun"

"How you make a rainbow"

"How do you find gold"?

"What is inside a turtle"?

"Who lives in a barn"?"

"How does poop work...how does food know to turn into poop...how does it know to go through your body and end up that way..."

"How does your body know which tube things should go in...how does the air go in the right place and what you eat or drink go in the right place and how does your body use the food and the drinks and how does your body use air"?

Now, the poop thing threw me at first, but then, the more he talked, the more I realized that he wants to really learn more about the digestive system...
We will cover the systems of the body and will start with digestion when we do systems.

He is also curious about blood, and this is because he has Von Willebrand's.
Little Bro will have to undergo some additional blood tests soon, so we will discuss how blood flows through the body and a little more about the details of his blood disorder.

Have been working on putting things together to kind of tie in with all of their interests, where possible, as well as what our region has to offer, as far as field trips and other sorts of experiential learning opportunities that would tie in with these concepts...

Am most likely going to do:

Fall / Harvest / Farm
 

Body Systems

Polar Animals - will do both poles, but am going to separate them out, as doing them together makes it confusing for kids...

Will discuss Inuit / Eskimo, dog sledding while we do the Arctic Circle...will tie in French and Inuit language for Big Bro for this...

Rainforest - will tie in chocolate and frogs to this...will tie in Spanish, mostly for Big Bro, with this...will also tie in the future of the Rainforest...we had started this earlier this summer, but have not really done it in depth, as we have had lots of company and have taken off some time to have a more laid back sort of summer schedule...

Sea Life - will tie in beach glass, the future of the Gulf, machines to clean up the oil spill, how sea animals are being treated for Big Bro when we do sea life....

Will tie in snow cones and how toys are made with inventions and simple machines...

Will tie in working dogs ( Sheep Dogs, Border Collies) with Farm

Space - Neither one mentioned space when we were discussing this coming school year, which was almost a shocker, as they both LOVE learning about space...but I will ask them at some point in the future if they don't mention it anytime soon...am sure that we will be doing something about space, but just not sure when or what we will be doing for sure...

That is how far I have gotten...
Am sure that they will have other interests as the year goes on, but this is what they gave me for starters...the key is for me now to flesh out the "Essential Questions" that tie in with what they Want to know so that it ties in well with what they Need to know...for this, I use some materials by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, the creators of the concept of Understanding by Design...here is a pdf that highlights their work.

The exciting news is that friends of ours are also interested in doing some hands-on learning projects with us...
We are going to get together to plan and to try to loosely map out some field trips and other enrichment opportunities...

Friends who live here and are part of our co-op, as well as dear family friends who live in Canada...with them, we will share via Skype, email, phone calls, and photos...so it should be neat to be able to share in different ways...

Am getting geared up to make some hands on materials to tie in with these concepts.
We are going to focus on utilizing a bigger light table this year, too, as the boys liked the very tiny and portable one we had, but a bigger one will give us much more of an opportunity...

Both boys love making shadow puppets.
Both love working with translucent and transparent objects. Both also love working with color, light, and texture, so we will be bringing these into our day to day even more this year.

We used an atilierista (artist / art teacher) this past year, not consistently but for some of the major themes. We will do the same again this year.

Miss Laurie is going to do a end of the summer camp for us, and plans to explore the books and the artwork of Eric Carle, so I anticipate that we will be doing many hands on projects involving collage...can't wait, as I love Eric Carle's books and his artwork!

Laurie is a talented artist in her own right, but thought that doing a themed camp would really pull children into the art...so that is the plan.

Both Big Bro and Little Bro love Eric Carle, so it is going to be fun learning for all!

Well, hope that you all had a happy Monday!

Again, if anyone has some suggestions to go with any of these concepts  / essential questions / themes, would love to hear from you!

2 comments:

Pebblekeeper said...

Love the lists of topics. I wanna come by for Snow Cone Day. :) We have done this with the boys each year, and it surprises me how many questions they have in their head.

For Native Americans - I worked for a tribe on the Oregon Coast and use the tribal system of 3 tribes as I am a Tlingit out of Alaska.
My advice is to find the closest tribal headquarters office near you. Call or Stop By and ask for the Cultural Coordinator. As for a sit down, or some brochures. As them if they were able to have a blank slate with a child - to teach their history and current culture and opportunities - what would they say? The Coquille Indian Tribe sent me a few history books created by their tribal elders, brochures, pamphlets - and charged me $18.00 for shipping and processing. The books were worth more than that. :) They want to tell their true history. :)

Can't wait to watch y'all this year!

littlewondersdays said...

Following you back! You have a great blog. It looks like our boys have a lot of similar interests!

They have great ideas for this fall! We did a study on chocolate and the rainforest too. It's very interesting. Here is the link to our post:

http://littlewondersdays.blogspot.com/2010/04/rainforest-conservation-and-golden.html

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