Whales Lapbook

This week’s “extras” science theme is whales. I downloaded a free lapbook from Homeschool Share. I love that site. Here are some pictures of what Otter made so far:

The file folder and lapbook cover graphic

Whale lapbook cover

Here is a little booklet that helped him learn some whale behavior related terms. We also watched online videos that showed the different types of behavior.

Whale antics

A whale classification petal book

Whale classification

A 5 page tabbed whale vocabulary booklet

Whale vocabulary tab book

In our Sea & Sky program he’s learning about a variety of other things this week like the ocean floor (continental shelf/slope, trenches, abyssal plains, etc.), some facts about early sailors in the book Sailors, Whalers, Fantastic Sea Voyages and a bit about the early sailing history of the Egyptians.

We watched a short video online about the formation of the volcanic island Surtsey and a couple others featuring the sailor’s hornpipe dance(s).

Besides all of our regular studies, Otter is also participating in a math pilot for a Houghton Mifflin California math textbook. Normally I wouldn’t be interested in trying out a program like this. It’s totally scripted for the classroom and well…it’s so….public school like. The last time I used a public school math textbook was when Emily was in 1st grade using Calvert. However, it’s free for me to use in exchange for participating in the pilot program. I figure it can’t hurt to try it out. It helps feed my curricula junkie habit wink and I’m weird anyway about math programs. For having grown up hating math, I love looking over different math programs and sampling them with my kids. I’ve also found that my kids have benefited from a variety of approaches.

I must admit I’m actually a bit surprised at how easy it is to use. I have access to an online teacher’s guide that’s really easy to use. The manual is scripted more or less and there are LOTS of worksheets and alternative practice pages and so on in PDF format you can access with a click of your mouse. You can view a page with the answers and you can also hide the answers.

The textbook includes games and makes use of math manipulatives. It also recommends various “math readers” – books with stories that connect to the concepts being taught. There are also different levels of printables available: extra support, on level, and challenge.

So far, I like it. I’ll write more after we’ve used it for a longer period of time. You can take a look at a free preview here.