Kindergarten Home School Week 14: Tuesday

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It’s Travis’s last Tuesday of Kindergarten! When there’s ice cream involved at 9.30 in the morning, you know you’re shifting into summer mode…

9-9.30: Math. Travis counted fish in his workbook using the tens place and ones place, and he rocked this lesson. We made it hands-on with a round of our sight word fish game after. Travis was so proud of how quickly he reads most words now.

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Even when there was interference from a cute fish in the pond!

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9.30-10: Social/emotional learning. Travis’s next workbook page involved following directions, using the example of making an ice cream sandwich. What kind of mom would I be if I didn’t surprise him with a real ice cream sandwich thereafter? We even added sprinkles.

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Needless to say, I had two happy kids, and I guess this counted as snacktime, too!

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10-10.30: STEM. A leaky water bottle experiment had major wow factor, and got us outside for “recess” at the same time.

10.30-11: Art. We made a gift for the upcoming Father’s Day!

11-11.30: ELA. Travis first watched a read-aloud of Zoom Zoom Zoom, I’m Off to the Moon. He then colored in a rocket template and he picked his destination to write down: Mars. Home School 73 j

He finished up with 20 proud minutes on Lexia.

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11.30-1.30: Lunch/free play. Little sister had a gym class!

1.30-2.30: Outside. We searched for animal homes in a gorgeous walk through the woods.

See you for the final Wednesday tomorrow!

Decorate A Cereal Bowl for Dad

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Here’s a fantastic gift for dads this Father’s Day, care of Hands On As We Grow, that requires no fancy materials but will easily get daily use: decorate bowls with permanent marker so that every time Dad digs into his morning cereal (or afternoon soup, or evening ice cream, or anything in between!), he’s reminded of the kids.

The project requires Sharpies, which are not food safe, so be sure your children are only decorating the outside and bottom of the bowl. I knew the project would be perfectly safe for my kindergartner, but I supervised Veronika closely since the bowls were breakable and the marker was permanent!

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Luckily she loved scribbling all over the sides and bottom of one bowl, and didn’t do any drawing on her skin, as she’s prone to do.

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Travis, meanwhile, wrote “Dad” and drew a picture, and was so proud of his work. Finally, I wrote Happy Father’s Day on a third bowl.

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Place the bowls in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. (Note: Be sure to check that the bowls you’re using are oven-proof, and check the company’s website for any heating details).

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Let the bowls cool, then wrap and save for the big day!

Lemony Rice & Asparagus Salad

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From lemon to dill to asparagus, this rice salad is bursting with the flavors of spring.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  1. Combine the water and rice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer the rice to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the tough ends from the asparagus and cut into bite-sized pieces. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Add the asparagus and dill to the rice.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Pour over the rice mixture and stir to combine.

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Leaky Water Bottle

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This easy STEM experiment has major wow factor, even for grown-ups!

In an empty water bottle, poke three small holes with a needle, one atop the other. Many water bottles these days are made of incredibly thick plastic: you’ll want to look for good old-fashioned thin plastic bottles if you’re going to pierce through with the needle easily.

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We added a little blue food coloring to the empty bottle just for fun, although the experiment will work just fine with clear water.

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Begin pouring water in (a watering can is helpful to use), and of course water will begin trickling out of your three holes slowly. Once your bottle is full, twist on the cap.

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The water stops leaking out!

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After your child’s initial moment of wow, you can explain what’s going on: the bottle contains both air and water, but for more water to be pushed out, more air has to come in. Once the cap is on, the water molecules bunch together and create enough surface tensions against the tiny holes from the needle. If the holes were any larger, of course, this wouldn’t work so well! Then, once the cap is off, more air comes in and pushes the water right out again.

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With that explanation out of the way, now Travis wanted to twist the cap on and twist the cap off over and over… Through three refills of the bottle!

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There might have been a giggle factor to this project, too, since yes the bottle looks a bit like it’s going to the bathroom when the stream of water arcs out.

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As you can see, both my kids were rapt! A fantastic STEM experiment outside on a hot day.

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Tiny Tambourine

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Veronika’s online gym class always starts with shaking along instruments to the welcome song. I thought it would be fun to make at-home tambourines to shake along today!

You can use mini aluminum tart pans for this craft, but I decided to use mini paper plates instead so that Veronika could decorate them first. This girl loves using her markers!

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Once we had covered the plates in scribbles and shapes, I placed two plates together. I chose too different options for inside. Dried rice went into the first (which made a softer sound, more like a maraca)…

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…and pennies went into the second for a more jangly tambourine sound.

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Use a stapler to staple all around the edges. I recommend making sure your staples are right up against each other so none of the filling slips through the cracks.

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Time to shake along and start class!

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Veronika looked so proud of her homemade instrument.

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Animal Home Detective

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For his final nature walk of kindergarten, Travis got to play detective! A detective looking for animal homes, that is.

The assignment was not to look for animals themselves, but for their homes. I encouraged Travis to think of options we might see both high and low, big and small. That meant we peeked in the treetops for bird nests, and down by the roots for places a squirrel or rabbit might call home.

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Travis loves finding holes and wondering whether they belonged to a snake or a chipmunk.

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And don’t forget about insects! We found lots of web homes, ant hill homes, and more. Travis was particularly interested today in the vines and leaves, wondering what bugs might call those “home”.

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We paused at one point when we found the perfect rock to sit on and have a snack and draw some of what we’d seen. Travis drew one of the spiderwebs.

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This project is a great way to get kids thinking about why different species have different types of homes, and what each one needs in its particular shelter.

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What animal homes do you spot in your area? Please share in the comments!