Saturday, October 3, 2009

FIAR Co-op: Higgins Bend Song and Dance

Today has been a very, very full day.  It was our "Sports Saturday".  Roger was working a half day today, so the kids and I got up this morning to get Joshua to his game (30 min away) by 9:30.  His team played great and won their game.  It was a beautiful sunny morning too.

We went home and had lunch and little down time.  Next at 2 we left for Rebecca's soccer game in the next town.  She played well and scored a goal for her team.  Home again for a short time - to pack up a picnic and get things ready for Christopher's game.  It was an away game over an hour away.  We left at 5pm.  Had a picnic dinner when we arrived and then waited.  By this time it is dark - and cold! 

Christopher's team was missing a lot of players and as a result, many of them played both offense and defense.  They played hard but were unable to win the game.  I'm proud of their effort though!  We got hom very late - about 10:30.  Everyone is beat and headed to bed already.  I'm going to join them soon.  First though, I wanted to share some pictures of our first fun co-op!

We are part of a new co-op using FIAR volume 4.  I did this years ago with Rebecca and thought it would be a fun thing to do with my boys this year.  We have 7 families in our group and I think this is going to be a really fun year!

Here is a picture of our group.

For our first book, we chose Higgins Bend Song and Dance.  This a delightful tale of a fisherman trying to catch a big one and the antics that go along with it.  For the co-op, my partner and I decided to focus on two lessons - worms and water.  We started with a short devotion and prayer and then read the book.

First, my sweet friend Adele taught about worms.  She had fact cards for them to read about worms.  They learned about the parts of a worm. 

Then we started a worm experiment (one of our science experiment bags from the swap).   The children added dirt to a cup and then worms.  Some were very wiggly and active. 

Water was added to keep the worm  happy. 

The children used magnifying glasses to observe the worms. 

Lastly, they add leaves for the worm to eat and they recorded their observations.

The second part of our morning was spent doing some experiments with water focusing on it's weight and density.

Our first experiment involved a balloon filled with cold water (blue) and one filled with warm water (red).  I asked the children what they thought would happen when we put it into the large tub of water.  Lots of answers - though popped seemed to be the most common one.

What we found out is that the cold water sank and the warm water floated.  This is because the cold water molecules are closer together, making it more dense and thus heavy.  Have you ever noticed this when you were swimming in the ocean (or maybe a lake)?  You felt the water at your feet was colder than the water around your chest?  It's because the colder water sinks to the bottom. 

Next experiment involved clay.  Each child was given some clay to make into a ball.  I asked the children again what they thought would happen.  Again, lots of answers.  What we found was that it sank. 

Next, they took the same clay, flattened it into a larger piece and then turned up the sides like a bowl or a boat.  Now what happened?  It floats.  This is because there is a larger surface for the water to "push" back on and causes it to float.  The ball had less surface for the water to push on and was also more dense/heavy than the water.

The last experiment involved cans of soda.  I again asked what they thought would happened.  Popped is a common - or perhaps desired - answer again.  We first tried putting in a can of coke.  What happens?

It sinks.

Next we had a can of diet Dr. Pepper.  Same size.  Same volume.  What happens to this one?

It floats.  Surprised?   I was!  I thought this was really cool.  We talked about why this happens.  What is the difference between the cans?  They are the same size.  One is "diet".  I had them look at the nutrition label.  Joshua read the first one as I knew he would know what to look for.  It was the carbs - something he has had practice at doing for a few months now.  In the coke can, there were 39 grams of carbs.  This is the sugar.  In the diet drink there were 0 grams of carbs.

The difference in it floating and not floating is the addition of this weight.  Pretty cool, huh?  We tried it again with two more different drinks.  Again the diet drink floats and the regular does not.

The moms remained curious about this, so we got out Joshua's nutritional scale to see if the weight was different.  It was.  The diet drink weighed 5/8 of an ounce less than the regular.   If you want to read more about this experiment, visit this link

While I was helping to teach, Rebecca played with Eliana and her friend Julianna.  She has some pictures which I'll try to add tomorrow.  Daniel also played - though I had thought he might join in with the co-op.  He had the opportunity to have some fun one-on-one nature studies with my dear friend Lynn and he took her up on them.  He really loves one-on-one attention!  He spent time with someone who knows and appreciates nature greatly too!

All in all, we had a beautiful day and we played with dirt, worms and water.  Add in friends and what could be more fun!  I look forward to our next meeting in 2 weeks.