Tuesday, October 19, 2004

We've had such an amazing few days. There's been such a burst of learning going on! The other night, Emily asked me to write out some "math puzzles" as she calls them. She loves playing with numbers in the car, figuring out relations and patterns, and the other night, she wanted to do some with me on paper. So, we played around with what I call "magic tens" because I've told her that the way I make numbers easier to think about is by working with tens. Her father's the one to play with other base-number systems because he can spout them off much easier than I can! We played with the different combinations to make ten, then went on to double digit addition, writing them two different ways and talking about which was easier to conceptualize and why. For instance,

27 + 44 = 71



We were working with carrying numbers and tying that back to the tens that we'd just done.

After we'd done a couple of problems, she'd had enough and wanted to move onto drawing. We began drawing together, taking turns on the same paper and playing off what the other person had drawn. We ended up drawing the whole solar system, talking about each planet, because I had drawn the Earth. Then we drew a woodland fairy scene, with a mushroom, tree, owl, mouse and several fairies. We had so much fun drawing cooperative stories!

Dh built the first fire of the season in our woodstove Saturday morning, and over breakfast, he brought up one of his favorite poems, "Those Winter Sundays." I went over to the bookshelf, pulled it out and read it to the kids: you can read it by clicking on "online poems" here: Modern American Poetry. It's such a powerful poem! We talked about the imagery and the feeling he creates by using color to describe the cold; we talked about the father and how we felt about him and what the narrator might be feeling now about his father versus how he felt as a boy. It was such a neat discussion!

Sunday, Emily decided that she wanted to do some experimental kitchen concoctions, playing with pepper, salt and water. She discovered that pepper can make a person sneeze! She ended up making a salt water solution at one point, and dh told her to taste it. Blech! Dh asked her what it tasted like, and she said, "The Ocean!" We started talking about the salt content of the Ocean being close to that of the human body, yet the body can't survive by drinking salt water. I started quoting the line from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner": "Water, water every where/ and all the boards did shrink;/ Water, water every where/ Ne any drop to drink." We read the first three parts before the kids lost interest--more than I would have thought would hold their attention!

Sunday night, Emily, Julia and I ended up making origami at the kitchen table together. Julia and I made star boxes, and we all tried our hands at the crane. Emily remarked that it must be easier for people in the country that invented origami than it was for us, and I wondered outloud whether it were Japan or China. Before I could even begin to reason out why I thought it was Japan, Emily busts out with, "It's Japanese." When I asked her how she knew, she said because the cranes were all over Japan in her computer game Carmen Sandiego! Amazing!

No comments: