Monthly Archives: September 2011

My Mice

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Sorry for the low picture quality....they're in motion and behind glass. 😉

I got mice!  No, not like that, pet mice!  Since I finished The Hunger Games, I named them after the characters in the book.  I have a white one and a brown one.  The white one is Katniss and the brown one is Rue, and they’re both girls.  Emily, Daddy, and I got them a cage, but they could poke their heads out of the bars, and we have a dog, so instead of the mice finding food around the house, they would be the food.  So, we got them an aquarium instead.  We got them an exercise wheel, two little mouse huts, a water bottle, a food bowl, a little hollow ball that is filled with bedding, and some treats.  I think that they like the new aquarium we got them more than the cramped little display cage they had at the pet store.

Katniss is a little bit smarter than Rue, but Rue is very strong.  She loves the exercise wheel, and will play on it all day, and nearly never has to stop to eat or drink.  She likes to hide in the little ball when she feels a little shy, or if she just wants some private time.  Her favorite food is mouse kibble. 

Katniss is very clever and loves to take over huts.  One time she chased Rue out of a hut, and now, unless she is in her ball, Rue will not let Katniss on the wheel!  Katniss is sneaky, and will run slowly on the wheel until Rue falls asleep, and will run all night long!  She loves to sniff around and her favorite food is seeds. I love my mice!  ❤

-Grace

 

Hunger Games Book Review

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Today I finished The Hunger Games.  It is a great book about…well…if you read my last blog about The Hunger Game, you know.  So, on my last blog about the book, we left off on Katniss leaving district twelve.  I don’t want to spoil the book anymore than I did with the first two chapters, so I will just say a little. 

Katniss made a huge impression on the crowd; she is the girl on fire!  But when she gets in the arena, things change.  The boy from District Twelve, Peeta, said he loved her, but Katniss has different feelings, feelings like, just friends.  Could that feeling change in time?  Could Katniss really make a little friend (Rue) in the arena?  Could she really win?  Read The Hunger Games to find out!

My favorite character was Rue, a friend of Katniss.  She was smart, and fast, and she knew how to survive in the woods.  She was twelve years old, and lived in District Eleven.  She had brown hair, brown skin, and brown eyes.  I think that she was the most awesome character in the book.

I do think that all of my friends would like this book.  It is exciting and adventurous!  It’s also a slow read (it takes time to read through it) – all of my friends love slow reads.  Happy reading!  ❤

-Grace

Science Fair

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I am going to enter a science fair, so today Emily and I went to the library to find some info on how mice behave.  I am going to be doing a project on how, or if, mice are distracted from a known target.  Today was one of the many research days that we will have to find information on mice behavior.   I (Emily and I really) will make a rig for it to walk on.  We’ll train it to go for the target at the end of the rig, and we will add on distracters.  We will see if the mouse will stop to look at the distracter, or if he will keep going. 

Today we went to the library to see if we could find some information.  We did find some books on mice, and only one was for people who were three!  So that’s a plus.  Can anyone tell me why a book called The Joy of Cheese Making was in the section on mice?  It was even meant to go in that section, same number!  Is it because mice like cheese or something?  I don’t know.  Isn’t science interesting?

 Happy reading!  (If you don’t know why I said “happy reading”, read my last blog.)

-Grace

School Outside

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Today I had school outside.  We walked up a trail at a park ‘till we saw a table we liked so we could have our school there.   It was a cool day out, and we finished sooner than normal.  We talked about astronomy and “moving west” and all the normal stuff.  We saw a deer though.  It was just sitting there, on the edge of the lake, not doing anything.  We also saw some ducks.  One was laughing at us.  It went “wah wah wah wah!” and was really loud.  I never really liked ducks anyway, so no hard feelings.  It was really fun, going to the park to have school.  It was a nice place.  I had fun even though I was just sitting at a bench doing what I always do.  It’s like going on vacation with your always-working Aunt Rudy – you get to have some fun, but you still have to get some work done. 

Sorry the blog is so short.  I couldn’t think of much to type.  I will  be doing a science project soon, so I’ll have something to blog about in the future.  All I will say about it is that it involves a mouse.  And as I will say at the end of every one of my blogs, happy reading!  ❤ 

-Grace

Notes from the grown up:  No harm will come to the mouse…I promise!

Skills and Topics – September 26 through September 30

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Wow!  We have another full week ahead….so much to learn! 🙂

  • Language Arts:  We will continue reading and discussing The Hunger Games (Grace is really enjoying this one!).  We will also continue practicing with “how to” writing and the importance of sequencing in reading and writing.
  • Math:  We have changed course a bit.  Grace was having trouble with multiplication and division skills, so we are inserting some practice in those areas before moving on to measurement. 
  • Social Studies:  We will be looking at westward expansion in American History.  I’m excited that we’ll be starting our work with History Pockets in this area.  I hope Grace enjoys working with these!  I look forward to sharing pictures of her work. 🙂
  • Science:  This is going to be a real doozy for the next few weeks.  In addition to continuing to learn about energy resources, we are also embarking on a rather extensive project for a local science fair.  I won’t spoil the surprise of what the experiment will be, but we will be working on really understanding the steps of the scientific method and beginning work on the research that needs to be completed before the experiment begins.  We will also be attempting to make recycled paper as part of our resource conservation chapter.
  • Mythology:  We will finish reading Beasts and Monsters and begin reading The Greek Gods.
  • Astronomy:  We will be reading a book titled Space which addresses several different areas of astronomy.  We will also be watching a documentary or two about the planets.

We’re hoping to be able to school outside at least a couple of days this week since the weather is so beautiful!  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t have as much rain as we did last week.  Have a fabulous week, everyone!

-Emily

The Incredible Spotted Egg

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Today I read a myth called “The Incredible Spotted Egg.”  It is about two Native Americans that were called Younger and Elder.  One day Younger and Elder were lost in the prairie.  They had a little bit of water, but it was only enough to last them a few miles, and they were getting hungry.  They walked for what seemed like all day, and finally stopped to look at a spotted egg.  Younger was very excited to have some food and picked it up. Elder, who was also a bit smarter, warned him to put the egg down because they didn’t know what it was.  Younger didn’t listen.  He knew one thing about the egg: it was green with red spots.  He got a fire going and started to cook the egg.  He cracked the egg open and started to spoon the egg out.  He tried to give some to Elder, but Elder refused.  Younger said that Elder “didn’t know what he was missing.”  Really, the egg wasn’t very good.  The yolk was rubbery, and the white wasn’t even white.  It was pink, like salmon.  The yolk was also a strange color: it was green.  Still, Younger spooned and spooned, not wanting to stop.  After a while, Younger started to turn green with red spots.  “I don’t feel ssssso good.”  Younger said.  “And I want ssssome sssssweet, sssssweet water.”  “I told you not to eat that egg.”  Elder said.  Soon they came up on a river.  “Water!” cried Younger, who jumped in, and said that he wanted to sleep in the river.  Elder lay down on the ground and went to sleep.  Elder, who hadn’t eaten anything since they left the tribe, was very hungry when he woke up.  But, he was glad to see a pile of fish on the ground before him.  He raised his head to meet the eyes of a sea serpent.  “Thank you, Younger!  I was very hungry. How are you?” he asked the monster.  “Good,” the serpent said, “It issssn’t sssso bad being a ssssea sssserpent.  I do want ssssomething in return for  that fisssh, though.  I want food.  Oh!  And tobacco.  I still want to sssssmoke!”   Have you ever seen Native Americans throwing food or tobacco in the water?  That’s why.  They want to feed the serpent.  Funny how a sea serpent lives in a river, huh?  I read this story in a book called Beasts and Monsters written by Anthony Horowitz.  Happy reading! ❤

-Grace

The Hunger Games (Spoiler Alert for first two chapters!)

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Today I started to read a book called The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins.  It is a book about the future.  You probably think that this book takes place with people riding around in hover cars and flying through space to go to the store.  Well this “future” is nothing like that.  This future is more like the past than your idea of the future.  People have to do what they can for food, and that wasn’t very much.  It was illegal to hunt which made it even more difficult.  This story takes place over the ashes of North America, and it is split up into 12 sections called districts.  Well, it was 13 districts, but let’s just say that district, the Capitol didn’t like very much.  The main character is a girl named Katniss, and she lives in District 12.  She lives with her mother and little sister.  I won’t say, er, type, what happened to her dad.  Every person between 12 and 18 years old must compete in the Hunger Games.  This is a fight to the death.  Every year, one girl and one boy from each district are chosen to fight.   Katniss or her sister have never been called, but this time will be different.  Kantniss’s sister is called!  No way is Katniss going to let her sister fight, so she volunteers.  There goes Katniss walking off to her death.  Sadly, that was all I read, so I will blog about it again soon.  Happy reading! ❤

-Grace

Fever 1793

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Today I finished the book called Fever 1793.  It is a historical fiction novel about the yellow fever that hit Philadelphia in, yes, 1793.  This book was written by Laurie Halse Anderson. 

 The book is about Mattie Cook, a girl who works and lives at the Cook Coffeehouse.  One day, Polly, one of Mattie’s friends and coworkers, is late, as usual.  But this time later than normal.  Mattie’s mother goes to ask about her, and finds out that Polly is dead!  This is the beginning of the fever for Mattie, and it is not fun.  Mattie’s mother soon catches the fever, and sends Mattie away to keep her safe.  I don’t want to spoil the book, but I will say that Mattie and her grandfather, who was sent to protect Mattie, will change forever.

I do think that this book would fit nicely with my friends,  because they are always wanting to learn new things, and a person can get a lot out of this book.  Happy reading!  ❤

-Grace

A Sponge in Oil

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Today we did a science experiment with oil, water, and a sponge.  We filled one cup with warm (hot) water and one with oil.  We put a sponge in the oil and squeezed it three times.  Next, we took the sponge out and squeezed it (not too hard though).  We put the sponge in the water and waited for five minutes.  We looked at the cup to see that the oil from the sponge had come out into the water, and because water and oil don’t mix, the oil floats to the top.  This is what oil from underground is like.  The oil is in pockets of earth and has to be drilled out, like the oil in the sponge (in this case, squeezed out).  Isn’t science interesting?
 
-Grace
 

I like how our dining room table is getting that "mad scientist" feel to it. 🙂 -Emily

 

Skills and Topics – September 19 through September 23

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After our crazy-busy (and fabulous) week last week, the week ahead looks pretty uneventful.  No big field trips planned…maybe a hike or two and some school outside in the gorgeous weather coming up.  Here’s what we’ll be studying:

  • Language Arts:  Now that we have completed our unit on writing personal narratives, we will move on to instructional writing.  We will also be looking at sequence in stories, audience and purpose in writing, and various parts of speech.  We will be finishing up the novel, Fever 1793.
  • Math:  We will be reviewing all of the skills learned so far in working with decimals (with some fractions thrown in to keep Grace on her toes).  We will then be moving on to measurement….length, weight, volume….that sort of thing.
  • Science:  We are moving on to a different topic in science this week.  We will be looking at Earth’s resources (nonrenewable and renewable). 
  • Social Studies:  We will start off the week with a continued look at The Constitution.  Toward the end of the week we will be moving on to westward expansion.  We will also be reading An American Plague as a nonfiction companion to Fever 1793.
  • Astronomy:  Grace is still fascinated by this subject, so we will be reading Boy, Were We Wrong and The Milky Way.  If we get an evening that isn’t cloudy, we will be breaking out the telescope for a better look at the stars.
  • Mythology:  Grace can’t get enough of mythology!  We will finish reading The Odyssey and begin reading Beasts and Monsters (this book looks at mythological beasts from several cultures).
  • Cryptography:  This is a new interest of Grace’s.  She became intrigued when we read a chapter about codes and ciphers in Cool Math.  This week we will be reading Codes and Codebreaking and working with some simple ciphers.
  • Arabic:  We actually won’t be working with Arabic until after the upcoming week, but we haven’t forgotten it.  I’m working on getting some better resources than what we have available at this time.

As usual, we certainly have plenty to keep us busy.  🙂  I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

-Emily