Kindergarten Home School Week 4: Tuesday

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Oh boy was today a struggle. Travis fought me every step of the way on home schooling, but I was so proud I kept calm and we made it through! Thank goodness it was a town-wide Tuesday half day.

9-10: ELA: Tuesday is Writers Workshop, so we sat down after circle time with the assignment to write about something he could do for Earth Day. Well, here’s what happened to his paper.

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Ok, deep breath for everybody. We skipped ahead to the day’s lesson on social/emotional learning. After watching an online read of Moody Cow Meditates, we made a mind jar like the one in the story. Fill a small jar with water, and add beads for your child’s emotions. I had Travis designate each color bead as a different emotion – starting with red for angry of course! We put them in and stirred, then watched his “thoughts” settle. I had him laughing a few times with this, but once the activity was over, it was right back to a mood.

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10-10.30: Ok, let’s reset with recess.

10.30-11: ELA cont. He still didn’t want to write, so I had him sit with Lexia. He alternated feeling great and confident (“I love Lexia!”) to temper tantrums (“I hate this!”). Yes, those two statements came three minutes apart. It probably didn’t help that I was cleaning up a painty mess from baby sister.

11-1: We took a long break for lunch, free play, and testing out lemon batteries just for kicks. Baby sister napped.

1-1.30: Writers Workshop redux. Grudgingly, with hugs and encouragement, he drew the Earth and wrote one sentence (actually, a fragment). I considered this a win.

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We’re done for the day! Off for a spring walk.

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Lemon Battery

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Travis has enjoyed learning about circuits lately, and today we tried to make our own battery! This is a bit of a spin on the old potato battery experiment you might remember from elementary school.

For the set up, first we washed a penny in warm soapy water to make sure it was clean.

Lemon Battery (1)

Cut two small slits in a lemon, about 3/4-inch wide and deep enough to reach the lemon juice under the pith. The juice is key!

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Fold a square of aluminum foil in half and then half again, so that it makes a sturdy strip. Insert the penny into one slit of the lemon and the foil into the other, making sure both touch the lemon juice.

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Now you can test your battery! The easiest way is to do a reading against the two nodes of a multimeter. Alternatively, try attaching alligator clips and wires to an LED light, and see if you’re able to power it up.

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We didn’t have fantastic success with our “battery”, which might have been because our aluminum strip was too long, or perhaps was due to a slightly faulty multimeter. If you do the project, please share your results in the comments!

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Carrot Footprints

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This cute little craft feels just right for springtime, particularly close to Easter as we’re thinking about bunnies! The resulting footprints make a sweet memento, too.

I sat Veronika down and painted the bottom of one foot orange with washable paint. She loved the way this felt, eagerly saying “foot” and imitating me with a second clean paintbrush.

Carrot Footprint (1)

Firmly press your child’s foot to paper. Wipe clean, then repeat with the other foot. I thought the orange paint might show up on orange construction paper as the background, but in retrospect I would have done this on white cardstock.

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As it was, I ended up cutting out the orange paper, drawing pen around the footprints to make them clearer, and then gluing them down to to white cardstock.

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For the fronds of the carrots, cut strips of green construction paper and tape them to the back so little fronds stick up.

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If you want the fronds to be sturdier, consider cutting up green paint chip samples! Still, these turned out to be quite adorable.

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Caribbean Baked Risotto

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There are so many flavors for kids to love in this easy one-pot dish, whether the coconut, the pineapple, or the sweet note of pumpkin. It bakes in the oven, taking all the guesswork out of risotto.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup medium-grain rice
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a casserole dish.
  2. Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour. Let cool slightly before serving.