When you love what you have, you have everything you need.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Days of Acorns

The past two days, Aubrey has been doing learning activities with acorns.  We started by going outside and collecting a bucket full of acorns.  We talked about oak trees, squirrels, and, of course, acorns.  Every time we would find just an acorn cap, Aubrey would exclaim "Silly squirrels got to this acorn first!"  

Her first activity was sorting "Cap or No Cap" in her math journal.  After she sorted the actual acorns, she counted how many of each and wrote the number on the top of that journal page.  Then she glued the appropriate number of "Cap" or "No Cap" acorn pictures into the journal.
 She then picked out 5 capped acorns and 5 no-cap acorns.  In her science journal, she made her "hypothesis" about which ones would sink and which would float.  She thought that the ones with caps would float and the ones without caps would sink.  She then dropped them in the water one by one and recorded the results in her journal.  I showed her how to make a four square graph (labeled "Cap/Sink, Cap/Float, No Cap/Sink, No Cap/Float).  She drew a circle to represent each acorn.  Only one acorn sank, it didn't have a cap.  We discussed why that one sank and she thought it was because it was a bit heavier than the rest.
 In order to save the acorns, we took some precautions, just in case there were some kind of bugs hiding inside.  We peeled and cut the caps off of all the acorns and baked them for 15 minutes in 200 degree oven. After they cooled off, Aubrey was thrilled to paint them.  Using a brush didn't work very well.  I ended up putting them in baggies with some paint, and she shook and rubbed the paint on.  We then emptied them onto some wax paper on a cookie sheet to dry.
 Acorn Subtraction:  Aubrey rolled an 8 sided die and put that number of acorns into the top left square.  She then rolled the 6 sided die and moved that number of acorns to the squirrel square.  Then moved the remaining acorns down to see how many she had left.  We then talked through the subtraction equation.
"You had ______ acorns.  The squirrel took ______.  How many do you have left?"
"So  _____-______=______"

Aubrey also made a "Fall Book."  She colored all the pictures in a book I had made and printed on the computer.  We do some kind of short book each week.  Each one repeats the same words throughout the book and have sight words that we have been working on.  She enjoys coloring the pictures and being able to read the words by her self.  This book was a modified version of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" only instead of animals, I used fall themed items, such as, a leaf, squirrel, pumpkin, and scarecrow.

I have also planned the following to do:
*Acorn Addition-in a similar format as the acorn subtraction
*Building ramps and rolling the acorns down
*Using our homemade mini-catapult to launch acorns

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