Sunday, January 31, 2010

Human Body: Wrap Up

This week was our last week on the Human Body. I was planning on moving on to the Ocean next but realized it was another large unit so after talking to Treyton we agreed snakes would be a better choice. :) It's a shorter unit and one that Treyton really wants to do.... but THEN.... Treyton and I started talking about Dinosaurs today and now Treyton thinks he wants to do a unit on Dinosaurs next.
I'm intrigued by the idea because Treyton got 2 DVDs recently about Dinosaurs and the Bible, so maybe, just maybe I will try this weekend to put a small (week or two long) unit together. We will see.

Anyhow, back to the Human Body - this week we worked on our 5 Senses, Growth and Exercise and Feelings.

5 Senses:
I kept this pretty simple because Treyton basically knows what I would want him too about his senses he just doesn't know they are called "senses" and that there are 5 of them. (even after spending a day or two on this, I'm still not sure he knows this)
We started out by reading "My Five Senses" and "Look, Listen, Taste, Touch and Smell"
Next we did a little experiment with balloons and our sense of touch. I found this over at One Hook Wonder for her Montessori Monday. I filled five balloons with five different things (oatmeal, noodles, rice, black beans and brown sugar) I then filled five bowls with the same things. Treyton felt the balloons and matched them up to the right bowls - he got them all right (though he did have to change one of his answers half-way through).
Assigning them all a "home" 
(Here are the kids eating the raw ingredients!) 
After that we completed our lapbook piece on the five senses, I had Treyton list off things that he could taste, touch, smell, hear and see and I wrote them on a graph. (I thought this was a neat idea but to be honest Treyton didn't get that much out of it).

Growth and Exercise
We did the ABC exercise cards that I printed off from Homeschool Share - our entire family LOVED this! We did it during the day while dad was at work, but then we did it again after dad got home.
I took all of the cards and laid them in a crazy pile face down- each kid took a turn picking a card - after which of course we would all do them.
I can not remember a time when I laughed so hard - Lexa can hardly do them but that didn't stop her from trying!! She was such a trooper trying them all out.
Leg Lifts 
Flexing (this cracked me up so bad!!) This is how Treyton flexes too!! 
Treyton doing the Inchworm Crawl 
Songs & Play
While we were "working out so hard" we decided to sing all of our active human body songs (hokey pokey, If you're Happy and You Know it, Father Abraham, etc.) We had tons of fun with this and it reminded me that I need to make a point of doing these type of activities more often. Alexa absolutely loved trying to following along with Treyton and I and Treyton did well to get out some energy!!
Father Abraham 
Lexa twirling for the Hokey Pokey! Needless to say this was all she did for most of the song :) 

I kept this pretty short and sweet too. Treyton and I talked about feelings and then we completed the lapbook activities I printed off from Carissa over at 1+1+1=1
(Sorry I didn't get any pictures)

Overall, I really enjoyed this unit and I'm amazed by how much Treyton actually got out of it - I know that we will have to do this again at an elementary age, and I'm okay with that. For right now, Treyton asks alot of questions about.... everything... but especially about our bodies, this unit was a great opportunity to answer some of those questions.

Truth be told, I don't think you're ever really done with a "human body" unit, at least not with kids, they always want to know something. God bless their inquisitive minds!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unit Study: Human Body

Okay, so we are officially finished with our Human Body Unit so I wanted to give you all a list of the things that we did and the resources we used throughout the unit. I seriously had so much fun doing this - I think for us we went one week to long (for mom - Treyton seemed fine) because I started to get less motivated towards the end of the unit, but you need to keep in mind my little guy is only 4 1/2. 

I created a book list here if you want to take a look at the books we used and what we thought of them. 

Following are the links to my post as we went through the unit as well as links to the lapbook pieces, printables, experiments and activities we used (that are on-line). We did most of the things below, though not all - and I know there were a few things that we did that are not on the list.... as you all know when you're going through your unit sometimes you improvise!

Completed Lapbook:

Beginning the Unit

Discussion: some parts of our body are inside where we can’t see

  • Label the parts of the body we know (I cannot find where I got this print off anywhere.... seriously, I have no idea sorry) I think I found my printout here (somewhere)
  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made 
  • Draw an outline of your child’s body
  • Try to paint with your feet – different parts of our bodies are meant to do different things – how easy or hard is it to have another part of your body do a different parts job?
  • Music Time: Sing the ‘Hokey Pokey', 'Head and shoulders, knees and toes', Father Abraham'
  • Games: Play Simon Says (this is great after your read Eric Carle's "Head to Toe" 
Resources (for entire unit) 

How are our bones so strong? “From Head to Toe”
Rubbery Bones “Play and Find Out About the Human Body” 
Bendable “Play and Find out about the Human Body”


Lapbook Activities:
  • Good foods vs. bad foods
    • I made a chart one side says good food the other side said bad food - I then printed off clipart and had Treyton cut the pieces up and glue them on either the "good" side or "bad" side.
  • What happens to our food when we eat? Where does it go?
    • Treyton drew a picture that we included in our lapbook (I loved this one!) 

Activities and Experiments:
Heart and Lungs

  • The heart is the most important muscle we have, it pumps blood throughout our body - it works all the time, even when we are sleeping
  • Lungs breath in good air and out bad air

  • Listen to our hearts
  • Make our own blood “The Human Body” 
  • Lung Experiment - how much air do your lungs hold? (Found in: "The Amazing Human Body" also found a similar experiment at Science Kids)
  • Lung Video on YouTube

Brain (Thinking and Feeling)

  • Draw faces with different facial expressions and feelings
    • Happy, sad, excited, angry, etc.
  • Reaction Time Experiment “Head to Toe Science” 
    • Drop a ruler (or any object) and have a person try to catch it before it hits the ground. How close/far away do you have to be for the person to catch it? That's how long it takes that persons brain to react. 
  • Lapbook - I downloaded several pieces from 1+1+1=1 feelings lapbook - I downloaded most of the activity ones added them to the lapbook and Treyton and I did them together.

Five Senses

  • Senses Experiment found at Science Kids  
  • Fill balloons with different items (rice, sand, popcorn seeds, oatmeal, beans) put the same objects in bowls – have your child use their sense of touch to try and identify the items in the balloon and match them to the items in the bowl – after they guess open up the balloons to find out if they were right. (Found at One Hook Wonder Blog)
Growing Up
Discussion: God made everyone special, we are all different sizes and colors (bigger doesn't mean older). It's important for us to take care of our bodies - making sure we eat right, exercise and keep ourselves clean so that we stay healthy and grow up strong.

  • Measuring Up
  • Exercise A-Z These are so much fun - they are alphabet cards that you cut out that have exercises for every letter of the alphabet (example: G= Grab the Stars, J=Jumping Jacks, S=Sit Ups) my kids had a blast with this!
  • Getting Older Worksheet
Conclusion, Review and Extras
Germ Hand Washing Activity Almost Unschoolers & Educating Crumpet (also found at A to Z)


Human Body Unit: Book List

This week we finished up our Human Body Unit - we had so much fun with this unit!
We used TONS of books for our Unit Study but these are the ones that really stood out to me as we went through it.
I hope you all can find it useful!

From Head to Toe” Eric Carle
It was a fun read, but not really a part of our human body study


Hear your heart” by Paul Showers
I actually bought this book because I liked it so much but then when we started learning about the heart I forgot we had it – I’ve read it to him since then but it didn’t have the same affect (for me)

Your Insides” by Joanna Cole
We used this book mostly for the pictures but it is written at a level Treyton could understand – I would recommend this one

My Five Senses” by aliki
Heard a lot of good things about this book so we got it from the library it was great for Treyton and Alexa. It was written simply but we only wanted to cover the senses at a very introductory level so it was perfect for what we wanted. The illustrations are simple, which is generally a turn-off for Treyton but he handled it okay because it was such an easy/quick page turning book.

An Usborne Flap Book See Inside Your Body
Treyton absolutely LOVES this book. We actually checked this book out from the library before just because Treyton likes the “flaps” It’s at a level that is way over his head but we are able to use it at our level. Treyton flips the flaps and asks me questions. Sometimes I know the answers, sometimes I don’t ;) If I don’t I just wing it
Me and My Amazing Body” by Joan Sweeney
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I enjoyed it slightly more than Treyton – as usual Treyton actually prefers the “technical” pictures of the human body (he prefers the same with his animal books, real pictures vs. illustrations) but this entire series is great for introducing concepts at a pre-K/Kindergarten level. Love ‘em.

Body IQ
This is one of Treyton’s favorite books – again I think it’s because it has the skeleton and game in it but it’s very colorful and well illustrated – things that attract him – easy to read, slightly over his level but easy to adjust.

The Magic School Bus Goes inside the human body
Treyton’s FAVORITE human body book, without question. I wrote about it before, it covered a little more than what I wanted to cover but was easy to adjust to Treyton’s level and what we were learning. Treyton could not get over the bus shrinking and then being eaten, but at the same time, that was what attracted him to it as well. At first the book confused him because he couldn’t tell what was “pretend” and what was real, but after studying the different parts of the human body he began to figure it out a little better.
The Usborne Flip-Flap Body Book
This is an excellent book – it is broken down into three parts, digestion, senses and reproduction (babies). Treyton learned almost everything he learned about digestion from this book and he even asked to read it during casual storytimes. It always helps when the book has little flaps because Treyton gets a kick out of that.

Under Your Skin: Your Amazing Body” Mick Manning
Decent book – again, the flaps are great for Treyton – we didn’t use this book as much as I thought we would – not because it wasn’t good but because Treyton preferred some of the other books a little more. Looking at it now though it looks like it would have been a great addition if we would have used it more.

Look, Listen, Taste, Touch and Smell” by Pamela Nettleton

Breath In, Breath Out” by Pamela Nettleton
Thump, Thump: Learning about your heart” Pamela Nettleton
Gurgle and Growls: Learning about your Stomach” Pamela Nettleton
Think, Think, Think: Learning about your brain” Pamela Nettleton
I found this series in the middle of our studies and wished I would have found them sooner. Written at Treyton’s level and covering only one topic per book I liked being able to just grab a book and read it.
The pictures are simply but well illustrated keeping it again, at Treyton’s level.

We had several experiment books on the human body my favorites were:

Play and Find out about the Human Body” by Janice VanCleave’s

Very easy things you could do mostly with items around our house that explained some fun things about the human body. I got this one in the middle of our studies and wished I would have gotten it sooner. This is one I’ve considered purchasing just because you could do it any time just for something fun to do and it explains questions that kids have all the time. (like – why is my hair curly or straight? Why can I see my breath when it’s cold, etc.)

First Science Experiments: The Amazing Human Body” by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone
My favorite of the experiment books – another one I am thinking about buying – answers basic questions kids ask all the time. My only complaint is that I wish there were more in this book.

Geography Post Card Exchange Update

Thanks to everyone who has helped Treyton, Alexa and I out on our postcard exchange - as of today we have gotten postcards from:
North Carolina

And 10 more "on their way" for different states and countries!! So exciting.
Again, if you're interested in exchanging postcards with us, just shoot us an e-mail with your information and we would be happy to send you ours.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Nature & More

This week, for one of the first times I incorporated a theme that we were learning about (snow and winter) into almost every subject of our school.

I found a whole bunch of snow printables at prek-kinders (a new site I stumbled on that I absolutely love and I'm sure I will be using it ALOT)!

I printed off some snowman stamp sheets - there are 8 snowmen on a page, I wrote a letter on each snowman, then (while doing laundry) I would make a letter sound and Treyton would stamp (with a do-a-dot) the appropriate letter. Treyton absolutely loved this and has asked to do it a couple times since then.

I also printed off the Snowman Letter Sounds Game (all 26 of them) and have had Treyton pick out 3-5 letters a day to work on - there are 9 pictures on each snowman, under a letter, he stamps (with a do-a-dot) the pictures that begin with that letter. This is excellent review for Treyton, as we will be moving on to Explode the Code, book 1, next week!!
For additional review we took some alphabet cards we had in our activity box  Treyton put the alphabet in order and then went through and added the pictures that started with each letter underneath.
Treyton finished up book C "Go for the Code" this week. We went VERY slowly through the letter X (like 2-3 pages a week compared to 12 before) because Treyton really struggled with hearing the sound at the "end" of a word. We were going round-and-round about it until I realized how important it is for Treyton to see and touch (he is a visual/kinesthetic learner) he does NOT learn just by hearing!

Once I got the scrabble tiles in his hands, he used the word whammer a bunch of times I knew it wasn't that he didn't have the ability, it was more a matter that he couldn't do it the way I was trying to have him do it. SOOOO I began to brainstorm and the next time we worked on ending sounds I drew a short line - I then had Treyton use his pencil or finger to start at the beginning of the line and run his finger to the end of the line as he was saying a word and he could identify the sound, no problem, but to just say the word he could not pick out the end sound.

Today, when we were working on the ending sounds (without the line by now), he said to me "this is easy!!" You have no idea what those words meant to me. Two weeks ago Treyton was saying "I don't like hard school, I just want easy school, just fun school" I kept trying to explain to him that sometimes things are hard for a little while, but once we understand it it gets easy, just like learning his letters was hard at first but now it is easy.
After he told me that it was easy I took that time to explain to him that I knew he could do it, and that if he kept trying even when things were hard that they would get easier. He totally understood and was excited that he accomplished something!! It was a great homeschool moment (after many not so great ones in the last couple weeks). 

Number Writing 
This week for math I introduced writing the number 9, I wanted to try a different approach this week because learning with the worksheets were not going so well (after all the corrections and review we have had to do, this was obvious. The worksheets are great for Treyton for practice but I have learned that he needs to start out learning to write something on his own (without tracing) and then for neatness practice and improvement the tracing really helps.
So I found a snowman grid on pre-kinders site - they recommended a cute little game which I altered a bit:
We took two dice, Treyton would roll them - he then counted them and would write the number on a snowman. This was a blizzard of fun!! Treyton loved rolling the dice and the "non seriousness" of school and Lexie was even able to play along some too. It was a win-win for everyone. We even got to practice numbers he hasn't written before (9, 10 and 12 all happened to come up out of 10 rolls - 9 actually came up 3 times... AWESOME!)

Matching Snowflakes & Counting by 2s

I printed off a snowflake matching game from Confessions of a Homeschooler - we started trying to do the matching game but to be honest there were just too many snowflakes - it was too hard for me so I told Treyton we would just match them up - he wanted to do that game - but seriously - it was too hard for me!
After we matched them all up I took 8 of the snowflakes out (4 pair). Treyton and I talked about counting by one - we counted up to 8.

Next I told Treyton "We can also count by twos, we will get the same answer, but it's just a different way to count" - I then had Treyton touch two snowflakes at a time as we counted 2, 4, 6, 8. We did it a couple of times and then we counted by ones again, to show that we got the same answer. Then I had Treyton count by twos on his own... he did better than I thought he said "2, 4, 5, (I said "6"), 6, 7 (I said "8") 8"
I asked him to do it one more time - this time he said "2, 4, 6, 7 (I said "8") 8"
He wanted to add in more, I would only let him go up to 10 (he wanted more), but after 12 Treyton still makes some mistakes in counting, if he's not paying attention, so I only wanted to work up as high as I knew that he would understand.

I printed off a snowflake/snowman pattern sheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler - Treyton has always struggled with the pattern worksheets so I thought we would take the time to talk about patterns and "order" - I got our handy dandy white board out and we did several patterns on the board. Treyton did not have a problem at all. Once I gave him the printable he did pretty good, but still struggled a little bit. It's easier for him if he has more than two repeats of the pattern - three seems to work best. BUT he is getting it!

So obviously the snow theme stems from our nature studies - this week for nature we continued to read our snow/winter books. Our favorites are:

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder" by Mark Cassino this is an excellent book. It's just a little beyond Treyton so I leave out parts of it or re-word it as I go, but this book has taught Treyton (and me) the most about snow. He learned that a snowflake begins as a speck and he also learned that most snowflakes have 6 points (unless it's a twin and it will have 12 --- who knew?!?!)

Who Grows Up in the Snow by Melissa Carpenter this book is on the baby polar animals. Both of the kids really enjoyed this book, especially Lexie. We didn't go very much into polar animals but it was nice to at least read a book on them.

Today is Snowy (Pebble Plus) by Martha E. H. Rustad we love the pebble books, these books are perfect for preschoolers. Treyton is getting a little beyond them but we still really enjoy them. This book does not cover the specifics of snow as much as what snowy weather is like. It's accurate and easy reading!

PhotobucketFootrprints in the Snow: Counting by Twos by Michael Dahl this book was fun - I got it because I was going to introduce counting by twos, I didn't think it was a great "counting by twos book" as far as math goes, but to be fair it isn't a "math book". Lexie loved the animals and Treyton liked the repetitiveness of the pages. It was a cute book and a nice addition to our storytime.

PhotobucketMillions of Snowflakes by Mary McKenna Siddals this was a cute story book - not very technical for our studies but perfect for easy reading on the topic of snow. It did lead us into a good discussion about one snowflake vs. millions of snowflakes.

PhotobucketLet's Look at Winter (Pebble Plus) by Sarah L. Schuette another pebble book so the reading was easy but included pages on animals in the winter, trees, etc. - it went great with what we were learning in our Download n' Go Studies

As part of our nature study we brought in a bowl of snow - to see what would happen - I know this will shock you but it melted and turned to water!!

(The one with the salt has a popsicle stick in it) 
While doing this we also took another bowl of snow to which we added salt on the top of it - to see which bowl of snow would melt faster. This was to illustrate to Treyton not only the affect of salt on snow and ice but also he has asked alot of questions in the past about all the salt on the road and why they do that - this was a great illustration for that.

Field Trip
This last weekend was the Flake Fest in Wisconsin Dells (a local tourist spot for those of you who may not know) so we went to spend the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) to see it. It was pretty cool to see the snow sculptures and dog pulling contest (though Treyton didn't like that too much) but Treyton's favorite part was the ice maze.
This is me, my niece Shayla, Treyton and my friend's adorable daughter Melanie! 
Me and Spiderman in front of his choice of sculpture... some monster looking thing.

Winter Wonders by Amanda Bennett 
We did two more days in this book. One of the days focused on Polar Animals which our "Who Grows up in the Snow" book went perfectly.

We did two more geography pages this week - Tennessee and California.
The Postcard exchange is REALLY exciting for Treyton. He loves it! So far we have gotten Post Cards from California, Tennessee, Hawaii, Florida and Indiana. This is so great for Treyton - he loves mail so much, as well as the United States Geography so this really is a perfect encouragement for him. If any of you are interested and haven't done the exchange with us yet we would still love too!
Just send me an e-mail with your information and we will send you ours!!

This week I made the kids "Art Books" to do some of our arts and crafts in, I saw these on a few blogs and thought they were cute, I had these little books so I thought "why not?" We made snowman's out of cotton balls and paint - Treyton added snow flakes falling from the sky to his. I didn't get a picture of his finished picture but I did while the paint was drying. He has since drawn on buttons, hair, faces and arms to them. They're super cute and I had a lot of fun putting the books together, with the help of my cricut of course!! (I will post the covers sometime)