English Club : Water (Making a raft and having a race)

Our last class for the Thursday group this term. Unfortunately we only had two members – being the end of the school term, kids have started early holidays and have school trips, etc – but we had fun anyway, exploring our last element, water.

Starting with an ice-cream…

 We scooted down to the river, and I read them A.A.Milne’s excerpt from ‘The House At Pooh Corner’, about the game ‘pooh sticks’, and how to play it.


And then of course, we played it..


Having watched the flow of the river take our sticks under the bridge, we went on to make mini rafts…


..which we then floated on the river, and raced them down the river, using the flow of the water….


And Maya just couldn’t help but dance in the river afterwards! πŸ˜„


 

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English Club : Our last element ;Water (What does it do?)

It was absolutely deluging with rain outside, so unfortunately we couldn’t experience water at the lake or the river, as I had originally intended.

So, instead, we experimented with water inside. We first talked about how much water we had on earth, how it was the most important thing on earth and why,  how it tasted, smelled and what it looked like.

We then went to talk about how it reacted, first comparing water to our sand marble runs we made last week. What would water do? It would run down. Why? Because of gravity. What did we need to combine the sand in to a stronger shape? We needed water. Water reacts with materials, changing it’s form.

Then we tried two experiments, both to do with the above facts. The first was seeing how water ran downwards, by the scrunching of paper, and using pipettes and coloured water to drop on the paper, see the rivers it makes, and open it up to see the ‘art work’. The fun part was using two different types of paper – normal printing paper, and watercolour paper, to see which held the water the longest. The watercolour paper was by far the strongest!


We then tested how water could change materials, by using cornflour, and making oobleck. Such a successful experiment with the Monday group, I wanted to try it with this group too. And they loved it! πŸ˜„


This group, being slightly younger, found it much harder to add the exact amount of water for the right consistency – thus truly experiencing how water changes form!

Some of the students were away this week on holiday and at concerts, so we had a small group. πŸ˜„

English Club : Worm Farm Sketches & Sand Runs!

We had a mixed activity english class on Thursday. I wanted to kids to observe, sketch and write a little in English about the worm farm, using certain words…


We had observed that the worms had been busy making tunnels, and moving the earth in to the sand, and vice versa.

As we are presently looking at the element of ‘earth’, and have been looking at what the earth is made up of  (having looked and explored clay, and now soil) we now moved on to sand…..

We went down to the lake, and started to attempt to make marble runs from sand…


Alfie even joined us for a bit!


The kids worked hard, but this was a really tricky task! And sadly we didn’t manage to quite get those marbles rolling down our runs! 


This enabled us to talk a little about the earth’s pull, of gravity.

Of course, being by the lake, on a warm day, we couldn’t help but paddle!


Which brings us nicely in to our last element, of water! πŸ˜„

English Club : OobleckΒ 

So it was a beautifully hot and sunny day, and at 25C , I just knew that the boys wouldn’t feel like doing a ‘real’ lesson inside. I also knew that they really wanted to continue with the Oobleck experiment……

So, after an ice-lolly and a long chat in the garden (in English of course, because after all, that’s what it is all about!), we read a book about the rock cycle, including about our final rock type – metamorphic (what it is, and how it is made)…..


We looked at some examples of metamorphic rock in a book, and a real example of marble….


…and then we went on to the real fun…mixing water, cornflour and food colouring, to make ‘Oobleck’….


As I said previously, it’s wonderful to see these teen boys get to chance to explore, and enjoy, this relaxing sensory ‘play’… πŸ˜„

English Club : Sandstone & Chalk

Having talked last week about sedimentary rocks, and how they’re made, this week, I told the kids about two specific  kinds of sedimentary rocks – sandstone and chalk.

We looked at some real sandstone…


I explained about how these rocks form huge formations (such as Bruce Canyon) and cliffs (such as the cliffs of Dover), and showed them photographs of these.

We then went on to make, firstly sandstone (using sand, water and cornflour), and our own sculptures….


…and then we went on to make our own chalk, using cornflour, water and food colouring. The kids loved doing this, and we hope to try out our chalks next week… 


It’s nice for these older boys to have a chance to ‘play’ with these craft recipes. It seems to be very therapeutic for them… πŸ˜„

English Club : Clay

The younger english club group (10 – 12 year olds) have now moved on from ‘fire’ to ‘earth’, in their topic of ‘The elements’.

I asked them – what do we find in our soil in the garden? The answers varied, from water, to dirt, to clay, to sand, and to insects.

So we started with clay. To feel it, play with it, describe it….


The kids loved this! πŸ˜„

Gender Differences : Ice Play

So Ted used to love singing songs from ‘Frozen’, and a little over a year ago he used to long for the plastic ‘Frozen’ magic wand in the toy shop – the one where you press a button, and the ‘Frozen’ melody plays, and the ball with Elsa the princess in it, turns around….πŸ‘‘

But I draw the line at paying nearly 300kr for a piece of plastic where you press a button. Even for his birthday. So however many times he rushed to it whenever we went there, I never once considered buying it.

And that was just over a year ago. And now he’s 5, and things have changed. His older brother Alfie (8) has delicately explained that “Frozen is for girls, and you are a boy”. Sad though it may seem, Ted has been ‘indoctrinated’ – just as Alfie was, when he learnt not to wear his pink t-shirt in the first day of school. πŸ™„πŸ˜

So now Ted rushes to the ‘Star Wars’ lego section in toy shops – because he knows “Star Wars is for boys. And I am a boy”…. 😜

However, Ted’s best friend is a girl, Alice. And Alice’s little sister Noelia, is also a good friend of Ted’s – and on Wednesday they came to play.

I had pre-prepared some ice blocks in shapes of towers, bricks and stars, and added gold, silver, blue and purple glitter to the ice beforehand. And when I took them out, I added Ted’s ‘Frozen’ characters, which he had last year…..

   
    
    
   
And what happened?

Indoctrinated or natural – who knows? But out came the lego men, and out came the pirate ship. The ice was promptly removed from one tray and firm round stones were placed there instead, and the pirate ship was plonked on top.

There.” I’ve made my point” he seemed to say. Hilarious! πŸ˜‚

Roman Pots!

After seeing some roman pots at the amphitheatre…

  
We bought some terracotta clay and, using an example we found in the house…

  
…decided to make our own.

We read that roman pots had been very simple (unlike the ancient greek pots which had a lot of decoration), and noticed that the ones in the museum mostly had tall ‘necks’ for pouring.

We knew this might be tricky, but tried our best…

   
 

Maya and I decided to do our pots first outside while the boys were swimming. We attempted to make ours with ‘necks’, but realised it was very difficult!

  
The above one is mine. Had I had more clay I would have attempted a longer neck, but didn’t want to make it too thin, so left it as that. I like it anyway. 😊

Maya was braver. Her first attempt was this…

  
…but wanted to make the neck longer, and as she too was afraid of making it too thin, she made an ‘extra’ neck, in to a kind of double layer….

  
Certainly the most ‘roman like’ ! 😊

Ted joined us ; enjoyed the experience of just mushing the clay, feeling it squash between his fingers and spreading it over the paper. He said, with glee, that he was “just making a mess!”

   
 

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Alfie decided to make his pot inside. A “breakfast bowl” he said…..

  
  
He was actually remarkably skilled and produced this beautiful bowl very quickly.

Leon, who doesn’t like ‘sticky’ things was convinced in to having a go, and also produced a beautiful bowl. It was much easier than he had expected – and he enjoyed it too!

  
I think they all look lovely together drying in the sun, like true roman pots!

  
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Getting Ready For The Sun!

The sun has taken a long time to come out this year, but I think it’s finally here!

Ted and I have been talking a lot about the sun – the shape, the colour, what the sun does and how it helps us, why we should protect ourselves from the sun and how, what season the sun comes out most in, and what we sometimes do in the summer! πŸ˜Šβ˜€οΈ

We’ve been painting the sun…

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…and playing with a sensory sun tray….

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We even decorated an old sun cap with felt pieces…

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….as well as, of course, enjoying the sun….

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Our nature shelf is ready for summer…..

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…and so are we!
It’s been a very busy week of saying goodbye for the summer to teachers and giving them presents, cleaning the house and planting our last flowers, fruits and vegetables in the garden, cleaning out the animals, and packing our cases, all ready for a (hopefully) wonderful, sunny holiday in Croatia! β˜€οΈβœˆοΈ