Otter’s latest…

Here are some pics of things Otter has worked on lately.

His WinterPromise Viking shield notebook page:

Viking sheild

He also continued working on the viking lapbook we started a couple weeks ago. We are a bit behind in it, but that’s the nice thing about homeschool – it doesn’t really matter!

He pointed out to me that the I in the middle booklet wasn’t originally capitalized. He “fixed” it and said, “Mom, maybe you ought to tell WinterPromise they made a mistake.” I informed him that WP didn’t make the lapbooks but that they are extra elements I scheduled in. He exclaimed, “What?? You mean all the fun stuff isn’t really WinterPromise??”

I had to remind him of all the great books and other activities we’ve been doing lately that ARE WinterPromise.

Viking lapbook

This week we are reading these books during our “adventure reading time”:

Stowaway

 

Stowaway

The Strange Intruder

The Strange Intruder

Otter doesn’t really like Stowaway because the story is in a “journal” style with daily/weekly entries. Here is an example from p. 58:

” Saturday 4th …Mr. Banks is unwell, and Mr. Perry says it’s the scurvy, the disease Captain most fears. I helped Surgeon Monkhouse prepare for Mr. Banks a drink the doctor calls a rob, made from the juice of lemons and oranges.”

I’m going to continue with it as it gives a good account of what it was like on Captain Cook’s ship voyaging around the world in the 1700’s. The story is fiction, but it’s based on actual journal entries and is about real people, including the main character, an 11 year old boy. I don’t blame Otter for not liking it though. Despite winning awards and getting good reviews, it is a bit slow and sometimes slightly tedious.

He likes the other book, The Strange Intruder much better probably because the writing style is a bit more action oriented. WP scheduled it as a reader, but I’m actually reading it out loud.
We got totally sidetracked and looked up the Faeroe Islands (where the story takes place) on Google Earth and then ended up watching a 20 minute video on YouTube. What a neat place! The Faeroe islands were settled by the Vikings a thousand years ago and look like a place out of a fairy tale with sod roofed houses, etc. I like being able to take rabbit trails!

We had an experiment to do in our Awesome Ocean Science book last week. We took two tuna cans, made a mark on them with waterproof marker in the same location and placed them in two same sized bowls. Then we put ice on top of one can (simulating a glacier) and put ice directly into the water around the other can (simulating ice bergs). After this, we filled the bowls with water up to the marks on the cans. Otter had to guess which water level would rise the most after all the ice had melted. You can’t really tell by the picture, but we started out with about an equal amount of ice in the two bowls.

experiment

Otter was surprised to see the bowl with the ice on the TOP of the tuna can caused the water to rise the most. Thus he learned that melting glaciers would cause more of a sea level rise than melting ice bergs.

In math Otter is working on multiplying 3 digit numbers.

Teaching Textbooks

He enjoys the fact that Teaching Textbooks is on the computer. I enjoy the fact that it’s all pretty much self contained. Besides the occasional clarification by me on something that isn’t absolutely clear to him, he pretty much “gets” each and every lesson with little or no help. The only problem he’s having with his current lesson is that he keeps forgetting to multiply the third number on the bottom.

Awesome Ocean Science

Awesome Ocean Science Today we did some experiments from the book Awesome Ocean Science. The first experiment demonstrated how fresh water floats on top of salt water. We learned that when rivers dump their water into the ocean, it takes awhile before the water mixes. This brackish water is perfect for plants like saltgrass and other organisms.

To demonstrate how salt water is more dense than fresh water, we did two different activities. For the first experiment we had one glass of fresh water and one glass of colored salt water. (Excuse the terrible hard water deposits on our glasses!!)

Salt water experiment

Using a dropper, we gently placed some of the salt water into the glass with the fresh water. It immediately settled to the bottom of the glass! You can see the distinct layers in the glass to the right.

Salt water experiment 2

For the other experiment we placed a chunk of carrot into a glass of fresh water. The carrot quickly sank to the bottom. Otter then started adding in quarter teaspoons of salt to the water to see what would happen.

Density experiment

As the salt content increased, the carrot began to rise! At the end of our experiment the carrot was bobbing at the top of the water and staying there. That reminded us of our time in Utah at the Great Salt Lake. It was almost impossible to sink when we went swimming there!

Density experiment 2

Otter also finished up his papier-mâché octopus from several weeks back. I think it’s kinda cute!

paper mache octopus

2nd Week Using Adventures in Sea & Sky

This is our 2nd week into WinterPromise’s program: Adventures in Sea & Sky. I think Otter’s favorite read-aloud right now is Treasure Island. I’m not sure how much of it he really understands because of all the dialect and maritime vocabulary, but every time I finish reading for the day he begs for more. I love that!
I also love how he’s really being engaged by all of the activities – not only the ones WP scheduled but all of the extras I’ve gathered up too. Sea & Sky is a terrific theme to expand on. There are all sorts of science extras you can add, along with plenty of crafts and movies.

This week Otter continued work on his mollusks lapbook (you can see more pics in some previous posts). Next week he’ll be starting one on whales. I can’t speak highly enough about lapbooks. They add a hands-on component that really helps learning STICK. They are fun to “review” too. Here are a few pictures of some of the new items he added:

Slug diet booklet

Slug diet

Lift the flaps to see what slugs eat!

what slugs eat

Learning about slugs vs. snails:

Lift the flap slug

Shutterfold with a map inside and questions to answer on each flap

Octopus shutterfold

Multiplying by 8’s – Lift the flaps to see the answers:

Multiplying by 8's

Accordion fold for octopus facts

Octopus Facts

Anyone else’s kid mix printing with cursive? roll eyes

Outrageous octopus facts

We also worked from the book 1-2-3 Draw Ocean Life. This week’s drawing was a sea cucumber. As before, I drew mine on the computer, while Otter followed along on paper. He is really enjoying this book. Each step is pretty simple to follow. We’re also looking up the items we’re drawing online for photos, videos, and more information.

Mom’s sea cucumber

Sea Cucumber

Otter’s sea cucumber

Otter's Sea Cucumber drawing