Monthly Archives: January 2012

Skills and Topics – January 30 through February 3


Here’s what we’ll be up to for the next few days….lots of fun stuff in the works. 🙂

  • Math:  Grace will be learning about measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode).  She’ll also be doing some more graphing activities.  We’ll also be having a short assessment on all of these lovely graphing and averages concepts.  If all goes well, we’ll be moving on to algebra concepts after that.
  • Language Arts:  Grace will continue reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  We have lots of interesting activities to go along with the book over the next couple of weeks…I’m sure some of them will show up on the blog. 😉  We will finish up our unit on comparative writing and begin looking at descriptive writing.  Grace will be putting her final sample for comparative writing on the blog.  I don’t want to give too much away, but I will tell you that she needed D&D manuals to complete her research. 🙂  In reading, we will continue our focus on inference.  We have completed the spelling program we were working on, so we’ll be moving on to a new program…this program is very different from what we were doing, so I hope it is a bit more successful. 😉
  • Science:  We will continue our study of physical science with a look at atoms, molecules, phase changes, mixtures, and solutions.  (I love this stuff!)  We will also start reading Physics: Why Matter Matters! in addition to The Omnivore’s Dilemma (which Grace is really enjoying).
  • Social Studies:  We will finish up our unit on political divisions in North America and begin looking at the physical features of North America.
  • Mythology:  This week’s myth in our Mythology Pockets is The Race for Atalanta.  I’m especially looking forward to the “puppet show” and Grace learning how to draw a lion. 🙂
  • Field Trips:  We only have one official field trip on the agenda for the week.  We’ll be going to the Carolina Raptor Center and reviewing some of our concepts about ecosystems.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful in the middle of the week, so we may have to sneak a science hike/letterboxing in there too. 😀

Well, as usual, we certainly have plenty to keep us busy.  Check back later today for The Week in Pictures.

Have a wonderful week!


How to Weave on a Simple Loom


Since one of the activities in my mythology pockets is to weave on a loom, I’ve started weaving.  It’s a really fun way to keep your brain busy.  The best part is that weaving is just as fun as playing video games!  Okay, so maybe not that fun, but it’s still cool.  If you want to learn about weaving in two simple steps, read the blog below.

How to Start Weaving

Things You Need

  • Loom
  • Needle
  • Comb
  • Thread and Yarn


What to do

  1. Take your loom and make a knot in the bottom left hole.  After that, tightly thread your white thread across a hook on the top.  Then, thread it through the hook directly below. Repeat this process until your base is as wide as you wish. Tie a knot in the top right corner when finished.
  2. Take your colored thread and thread it through the needle.  Then, weave through the white thread, starting in the middle, and using an over-under pattern.  When you reach the end of the row, use the comb to press the thread down.  Start where you left off, making sure you don’t pull the thread too tightly or too loosely.  Use an opposite under-over pattern and repeat.

Well, that’s all I know so far, but I’ll learn and post more as I go along.  Happy weaving!



Where Your French Fries Come From


Chances are you don’t really think about what’s in your food.  You may look at the ingredients label once in a while, but do you investigate?  Most people don’t.

I’m reading a book called The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.  It’s about what’s really in our food.  So far I’ve only read two chapters, but I’ve really learned a lot.

The most horrifying thing I’ve read so far is about potatoes. Specifically, french fries. Like most crops, these potatoes are grown in large amounts.  But, unlike other crops, they are grown in a clock formation.  There are big circles of potatoes, like the base of a clock with a “hand.”  The hand is really a big spinning machine that sprays pesticides and water on the potatoes to keep them “healthy.”  One of the pesticides is a chemical called Monitor.  After they spray that, no one’s allowed in the field for five days.  That’s how toxic the potatoes are. That’s not the only chemical used.  Another one is sprayed that would kill a bug if they took a bite of the potato.  Once this is done, the potatoes are stored in a giant shed for six months before they can be turned into french fries.  That’s the kind of stuff I learn in science class.  If you want to know what you eat, read The Omnivore’s Dilemma.


The Escape: Part 4


The long-awaited fourth installment of “The Escape” is here! 🙂  (Scroll to the bottom for links to Parts 1 though 3.)

The building was old with a big sign on the front that read “Willy’s Records.” The paper I had noted that this was the right place. I took a deep breath and gripped my guitar as I knocked on the big wooden door. A boy about my age opened it and asked me why I was there.

The man who owns this place wanted to speak with me about joining a band.”

Oh, yeah. You must be Livia. Come on in.” The floor squeaked as I walked across the room. The boy, who told me his name was Archer, showed me around. Archer and I were talking about our favorite movie when there was a loud knocking on the door. We opened it to see two people who told us they were also members.

Hi, I’m Cora, and this is Verna. We were told to come here and play in a band.”

The two girls looked so much alike that I almost couldn’t tell who was talking. They both had straight black hair and brown eyes. The taller one, Cora, only came up to my shoulders. They both squeezed in between us, wanting to see what was inside. Verna dropped a little black box as she walked past, so I picked it up, thinking to return it later.

After a while, we decided that Willy wasn’t coming today, so we sat around for a while and talked. I saw Archer drawing in a notebook , and I couldn’t help peeking. He had drawn a falcon frozen in mid-air. After a while I noticed that on every page, the falcon wings were in a different position. When he finished, he flipped all of the pages, making it look like the bird was flying.

That’s really cool,” I whispered. He smiled and nodded shyly.

Verna’s phone rang, and she mumbled that it was from her dad. She was talking about the war, so I had to listen.

Yes, I know that. Of course I want to serve the government. I will do my best to terminate the suspects. Goodbye.”

I backed away and looked at the ceiling, expecting to see small cameras all around the room. I wanted to see the small round ones with the blue, blinking light on the top. Instead, these were big with a red light that never flashed. That could only mean one thing. We were being watched because we had shown some sort of rebel activity. In a short while, the police would come and “terminate the rebellious activity.” In other words, come and kill us. I figured now would be a good time to open that box, and when I did, I knew what it was instantly. It was a dart. A poisonous dart. As in, if anyone was to be hit by it, they would die. Maybe the police were already here….

Bah, bah…BAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!


The Escape: Part 1

The Escape: Part 2

The Escape: Part 3

War Horse Book Review


I just finished reading War Horse, a great book by Michael Morpurgo, and my second favorite book of all time!

Joey is a farm horse who lives in England with his master, Albert, and his owner, Albert’s father.  Albert was Joey’s trainer and his best friend.  He trained him to do farm work as a plow horse.  Joey lived a great life until Albert’s father sold him to the army.  He is forced to work on the battlefield, wondering when the war will ever come to an end.  And when it does, will he ever see Albert again?
This is a great book, and I think that most of my friends would like it; they love books about animals!

My favorite character in the book would be Joey; he works through so much, and he still believes that he’ll find Albert again.

Happy reading!

-Grace ❤

The Week in Pictures

The Week in Pictures

Two apologies for you….sorry these pics are a bit late (they’re actually from last week) and sorry there aren’t very many.  I apparently failed at my post of official school photographer last week. 😉  Never fear!  I’m back to my picture-taking ways this week, so this lack of photographic evidence will not be a trend.

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Levine Museum of the New South (BEST PLACE EVER!)


Today Emily and I went to the Levine Museum of the New South.  It was a lot cooler than I thought it would be!  First, we saw some things about cotton fields and how the farmers lived and harvested/processed their cotton.  We saw a farmer’s house and we got to touch three different types of cotton.  Then we saw a lot of shops they would have had in the 1940s.  To sum it up into a few words, we saw a movie while sitting in a school bus, sat at a lunch counter, went to a movie theater, and that was just the beginning!  It’s not enough to just tell you about it; you need to see it for yourselves! Have fun!


Skills and Topics – January 23 through January 27


I know it’s going to come as a shock, but Grace and I have tons of educational fun planned for next week. 😉  Here’s what we’ll be up to:

  • Math:  We will continue our fascinating study of graphs and data collection with a look at histograms and circle graphs.  We’ll also continue with review activities and problem solving.
  • Social Studies:  We finished our little unit on the location of North America (relative, absolute, hemispheres, etc.) and will be moving on to political divisions of North America (countries, borders, populations,…).
  • Language Arts:  Grace will be working on the planning and rough draft her final essay in the comparative writing unit.  We’ll also continue our inference in reading unit, spelling activities, and sentence structure lessons.  Grace will finish reading War Horse early in the week and begin reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry in the second half of the week.
  • Science:  This week’s science lessons are all about matter and their properties…. buoyancy and density fun. 🙂
  • Mythology:  The myth of the week for our mythology pockets is Arachne and the Weaving Contest…we’ll be doing some of our weaving as one of the activities. 🙂
  • Field Trips:  We’ll be catching another show at a local planetarium (different show than last week…this one is about molecules).  We also have another trip planned that may change depending on the weather….we’ll either be going to a local Raptor Center (if the weather’s nice) or to the civil rights exhibit that we had to miss last week.

That should keep us pretty busy. 😀

Have a great week!