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Friday, March 8, 2013

Fourth Grade Week 32

I know I posted last week that Caleb had come up with HIS plan for how he wanted school to look.  However, after more reading and thinking, I looked at how much time we had left for fourth grade (about 9 weeks).  So, I decided that we’d just get into a deschool/unschool mode for these last 9 weeks and see how it works and what happens.  You never know how something will work if you don’t try…so we’re trying something new.  At the end of the 9 weeks, we’ll reassess and determine where to go from there. 
We both came up with three guidelines that will be followed beginning at 9am each school day:
1.  Electronic use must be educational (computer, iPad, DS, etc)
2.  Legos after 1pm (these are educational, but this is all he’d do if allowed)
3.  Video games after 2pm
Other than the above three guidelines, Caleb is free to do as he chooses for the morning hours.  For the next nine weeks, I’ll post the books that are read/used, the DVDs or movies watched, games played, and projects or activities.  Here’s how this week went for us…
Books – Usborne Romans by Anthony Marks & Graham Tingay
Travel Through America by Elaine Jackson
Travel Through India by Elaine Jackson 
Travel Through the Caribbean by Lynn Huggins-Cooper  Travel Through Brazil by Joe Fullman 
Travel Through the British Isles by Lynn Huggins-Cooper
National Geographic Kids – Everything Rocks & Minerals by Steve Tomecek 
Bones by Steve Jenkins 
National Geographic Encyclopedia of Animals by Karen McGhee and George McKay, Ph.D
Caleb used the ‘Travel Through’ books to find inspiration for things he could build with Legos.  He drew a picture of some sites (Taj Majah) and then worked on Lego building.
DVDs and Movies – ’The Bible’ on History Channel
’Feeding Time’ on Netflix
Lego Club DVD (this came in his Lego Club magazine a while back)
Man vs. Wild on Netflix
Beakman’s World on Netflix
Veggie Tales:  Duke and the Great Pie War on Netflix
Games Played – Dominoes – we multiplied both sides together and then determined if the product was even or odd.  Caleb then sorted the products into even and odd.
Discovery Toys Wiz Kids
Timez Attack on computer
Stack the States on iPad
Brain Age on Nintendo DSI
Treehouse Game – Even and Odd – This was an idea I found on Pinterest.  We used a deck of cards to determine if numbers were even or odd.  Then, I had him add two cards together and determine if the sum was even or odd.  I then had him multiply two cards together to determine if the product was even or odd.  Finally, he added three cards together to see if the sum was even or odd.  We played together, and the first person to reach the treehouse won.
Scrambled States of America
Projects and Activities – Magnet Kit – Caleb used this to determine what metals were magnetic.  He also made magnets by rubbing mettal objects onto the magnets.  He then watched a You Tube video on magnets.
Rock Kit – Caleb sorted and cleaned out his rock kit (this was passed down from my brothers and nephew).  He used Google to identify some that had name cards and put them in the proper spot.  He also measured some of his rocks.
Paper Bag Puppet – Caleb made several paper bag puppets.  Micah joined in the fun as well.

Caleb’s two puppets on the left and Micah’s on the rightIMG_0186
Salt Experiment – Caleb found an experiment in the ‘Rocks & Minerals’ book mentioned above.  He put 5tsp of table salt in one clear cup and 5tsp of Epsom salt in another clear cup.  He will watch them over the next week as the water evaporates and then observe the crystals with a magnifying glass.
Email – I set Caleb up with an email account, and he is LOVING it.  He’s only allowed to email friends and family, but this is a great way for him to practice spelling, punctuation, typing, and basic letter writing skills. 
Tangrams and Pattern Blocks – Caleb used these to build shapes.  He also practiced his photography skills by taking pictures of what he created.
These are all Caleb’s creations, and he took all of the pictures
Micah joined in with the Discovery Toys Pattern BlocksIMG_0184IMG_0185
Science Brain Quest Questions – He spent a few minutes reading the questions and answering them.
Geography Brain Quest Questions – same as above
Marbles – He found some marbles in his above mentioned rock collection, and he sorted them.  He then discussed marbles with his daddy.  I found a You Tube video on how to play marbles, and then he played a few games with his brother.  He’s excited about being able to play marbles with his daddy this weekend.
Shaving Cream Painting – I saw this idea on Pinterest, and I thought it would be fun to try with the boys.  We did the activity, and then I had them cut it out into an egg shape.  They had a lot of fun, and I’m sure we’ll do it again soon.
Micah’s is on the left and Caleb on the rightIMG_0168IMG_0170
Overall, I think it was a successful week.  Caleb said he really enjoyed the week because he was in control of his choices.  I think he’s a lot like me in that he likes being in control.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not always good, either.  So, we’ll continue this experiment and see how things are going at the end of May. 


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