Book Study – Revisiting Mix It Up

We started Enrichment Rocks! with the book Mix It Up and, to see how much we’ve grown over the year, we are finishing with it too!

miu

What we did:

  • We read the interactive book, Mix It Up
  • We did various color activities that were similar to several activities that we did through the year including:
    • Watching food color drops rain down and diffuse in the water (the water cycle)
    • Coloring with stencils and shapes
    • Making symmetry with paint
  • We mixed colors to customize our own frosting and spread it on sugar cookies (which we ate!)

color wheel

What we learned:

  • The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue – they make the secondary colors which are purple, orange, and green.
  • The more we experiment, the more colors we can make.
  • Color is one of the details in the world that makes it more interesting.
  • Playing with food can be fun!

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Play with color at home – mix paint, use food coloring, and go on color scavenger hunts.
  • Talk about how shape, colors, and patterns are part of your environment. See how many shapes, colors, and patterns your child can find.
  • Make a color book of your own and let your child make up names for all the colors he or she invents.
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Book Study – The Princess and The Giant

In our last few sessions of Enrichment Rocks!, we are reading some of our favorite books.

Princess and giant

What We Did Today:

  • We read the Princess and the Giant and compared it to Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • We talked about the ways the Princess tried to get the Giant to sleep.
  • We brainstormed ways we get to sleep.
  • We made a bedtime book.

What We Learned:

  • Stories can build on other familiar stories.
  • It is important to get a good night’s sleep.
  • A good bedtime routine is helpful and often this includes a story before bedtime.
  • Learning to read is a wonderful new skill.

How To Keep Exploring:

  • With your child, make a list of things that are part of your bedtime routine and think about how it works for you.
  • Learn information and suggestions for bedtime routines that will help your child become more independent:
  • Set aside time every two or three weeks and find good bedtime stories to read.
  • Consider audio books instead of video time before bed – research shows it helps everyone fall asleep faster.

Tea Party and Mother’s Day Flowers

To get ready for Mother’s Day, we practiced our best manners with the help of Ruby.

Tea for Ruby

What we did:

  • We read “Tea for Ruby” and reviewed polite manners.
  • We made talked about the things we love about our moms and made Mother’s Day Flowers with all our favorite traits on each petal.
  • We practiced our manners at our own tea party.

What we learned:

  • Using good manners makes everything more fun.
  • We love our moms!
  • We have many great adjectives to describe our moms.

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Use family meals as an opportunity to practice and teach manners.
  • Talk about how good manners can help your children succeed and how manners may differ slightly in different environments.
  • Read books about manners and talk about why each is important.

Simple Machines

Building on what we learned about kinetic and potential energy, we played with simple machines today.

What we did:

  • Reviewed definitions and examples of kinetic and potential energy.
  • Used wheels and axels to make lego cars.
  • Made our own levers to catapult puffs into the air.
  • Created and used pulleys with wooden spoons, cups and string.

What we learned:

  • Simple machines make potential energy turn into kinetic energy.
  • Wheels and axels, pulleys, and levers make work easier.
  • There are simple machines all around us.

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Go on a  scavenger hunt in your houser community looking for simple machines and how they are used.
  • Make your own simple machines using household items.
  • Visit a construction site and talk about how simple machines work together to get big jobs done.

Kinetic and Potential Energy

We had a lot of fun learning about the difference between potential and kinetic energy. We did some fun science experiments to test out our thinking.

What We Did:

  • Played freeze dance to some fun songs learning that we are kinetic energy when we are moving and we are potential energy when we are frozen and still!
  • We built our own ramps out of blocks and raced cars down the ramps
  • Set up dominos in different ways watching them all fall when we knocked the first one down

 

What We Learned:

  • Potential Energy is energy that is stored and Kinetic energy is energy in motion
  • When our car is at the top of the ramp, it has potential energy and when it goes down it is showing kinetic energy

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Ask your kids what the difference between potential and kinetic energy are
  • Figure out fun and creative ways you can demonstrate potential and kinetic energy!

Water Pressure

We had a lot of fun learning about water pressure by doing different science experiments!

What We Did:

  • Discussed different types of weather and learned about the water cycle
  • Learned that water pressure if the force that makes water flow strong or weak
  • Looked at different pictures and decided if the water force was strong or weak
  • Made a Scuba Diver in a Bottle
  • Poked a hole in a two liter and observed the water pressure
  • Colored our own water cycle

What We Learned:

  • The steps and sequence of the water cycle
  • What water pressure is and how we can tell if it is weak or strong
  • Ways to make our own water pressure experiments

 

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Look up different water pressure experiments that you can do at home!
  • Ask your child the different steps in the water cycle

Conservation – Recycling

As we get ready for Earth Day on April 22nd, we began a unit on conservation. We will recycle some simple objects and do some science projects to understand our environment a little better. We are revisiting this topic after talking about it during our New Year’s unit to better understand why Earth Day and conservation is so important.

What we did:

  • We gathered the papers students brought into school. We noted that one was from a different country and guessed what country it was from (Isreal). We noted the difference in the letters and the directionality of reading (right to left, rather than left to right).
  • We shredded and soaked the papers to make pulp from the paper. We read “The World Is Waiting for You” while the paper shreds soaked.
  • We went outside and worked on three projects:
    1. Spreading our paper pulp on screens to make paper.
    2. Taking the paper off and breaking up leftover crayons, then putting them into muffin tins to turn them into new crayons.
    3. Painting with mud.

What we learned:

  • Simple objects can be recycled for reuse.
  • Objects in our environment can be used for our creativity.
  • There are many different countries, languages, and ways of reading and communicating around the world.

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Find simple objects around your community and think of ways to reuse them.
  • Gather items like paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, egg crates, and other items and bring them to RNS&K for the teachers to reuse in lessons.
  • Visit your local recycling center and see the diversity of things that are recycled.

Russia: The Fool and The Flying Ship

While our faberge eggs dried, we made some Russian Tea cookies and acted out a famous Russian folktale. We used the story to explore our best qualities and made a chain of our strengths.

What we did:

  • We made Russian tea cakes (without nuts) and talked about what “tea time” is and how it is celebrated.
  • We remembered what a folktale is.
  • We read and acted out the Fool and the Flying Ship.
  • We talked about the lessons from the story – everyone has strengths.
  • We made a chain of our strengths.

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What we learned:

  •  Part of Russian culture is celebrating “tea time”.
  • A folktale is a story that is passed down from generation to generation and helps us learn a lesson.
  • Each of us has great strengths we can share with our friends.
  • When we all use our strengths together, we are better.

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Share some family stories and folklore.
  • Try out some family recipes together and make your own “tea time”.
  • Go to the library and read some folktales from different cultures. Talk about the ways they are the same and different from each other.

Russia: Faberge Eggs

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We had so much fun talking and learning about what faberge eggs are and what they were used for. We looked at different picture of faberge eggs and the things that could be inside of them. Then, we created out own faberge eggs out of paper mache!

 

What We Did:

  • Looked at pictures of different faberge eggs and noticed that great detail on them
  • Talked about who made and received the faberge eggs
  • Looked inside of the faberge eggs
  • Made our own faberge eggs out of blown up balloons and paper mache. We dipped strips of newspaper into the paper mache paste and covered our balloon in layers of strips. We will be painting them!

What We Learned:

  • What faberge eggs are
  • The importance of faberge eggs in Russia
  • How to paper mache!

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Ask your child the story of faberge eggs and who gave and received them
  • Look  up different ways to make your own faberge eggs on pinterest!

Russia: Matryoshka Dolls

This session, we’re enjoying springtime in Russia by spending the next few days doing activities that help us learn about the gigantic country where many of our ancestors came from.

What We Did:

  • We looked at a map of Russia, talked about where it is in the world, and discussed how large it is.
  • We talked about pictures of children in traditional Russian clothing, saw a video with Russian folk music and dance, and talked about traditional Russian toys.
  • We painted our own Matryoshka (nesting) dolls.

What We Learned:

  • Russia is a large country on the other side of the globe.
  • Like our culture, music, dance, and play are important and fun.
  • Some of the things we do here may come from countries like Russia because some of our families were originally from there.
  • Children in Russia wear beautiful, colorful traditional clothes.

How to Keep Exploring:

  • Explore exhibits of Russian folk music, dance, and toys. See what is similar to what we have in our country.
  • Go to the library and find books about Russian culture – toys, music, dance, costumes, etc.
  • Try Russian food! Go to a restaurant and sample a typical Russian meal.