Friday, January 25, 2008

Show & Tell {Co-op Week One}

This will have to be a mostly "tell" since I didn't get a chance to take pictures at co-op yesterday.  What a bad mom I am, not taking pictures of my littles on their "first day of classes" LOL  In my defense, I taught the first period, so once we got there I was pretty focused on getting my copies and being ready for the class.  I did take my camera along but was too busy doing other stuff to use it.  Oh well.


Our co-op is a highlight of our school year.  This year we have nursery and preschool, as always, and classes for kids aged 5 through about 12 years old.  Kennady is in the 5 and 6 year-old class, and the three subjects they will work on are Science (Astronomy), Art and Spanish.  Kennady really enjoyed her first day and couldn't choose which of the three classes was her favorite.  She was eager to show me the Spanish she had learned, wanted to look at constellations last night with the starfinder they made in class (but it was too cloudy), and informed me that she had learned in Art that people do not have round heads but more like and egg-shape.  Landon, typically, was less forthcoming with details of what he enjoyed or what he learned, but he had a good day as well.  Since I was teaching or helping in two of his classes, I could see most of his reactions first-hand.  His classes are Science (Weather, taught by yours truly), Art and Spanish as well.  I help out in the Spanish class, and I probably learned more Spanish yesterday than in all my previous experience.  LOL  My Spanish language comes from watching Sesame Street and Villa Allegre as a child (anybody else remember Villa Allegre on PBS?? Or am I totally dating myself there...) and overhearing Dora the Explorer when Kennady went through that phase. 


Weather Unit - Lesson One

1.  We discussed a working definition of weather and of climate, and the difference between the two, and I gave the kids a quick idea of what we would be doing in the class in weeks to come - things like reading weather maps, and making instruments to help us record weather data.  Weather is what is going on in the atmosphere around us, at a given place and given time.  And climate is an average of what the weather has been like over a long period of time.

2.  We discussed the atmosphere and what it is.  Atmosphere is the air surrounding the earth.  (Have to tell a joke here, which comes from Tori to Phil to Donnie and now I am telling it.  I had dinner at a restaurant on the moon recently.  The food was great, but there was no atmosphere.  I know, groan.  LOL)  We looked at a printout of this:  Layers of the Atmosphere

3.  We defined air pressure and did a couple of demonstrations to show that air has weight, exerts pressure, and expands and contracts depending on temperature. 

  •  We poured a couple inches of hot water into an empty juice bottle and left it for a minute, then emptied the water and quickly put the lid back on tightly.  We put that in the freezer and left it for 15minutes.  When we looked at it again, the sides of the bottle were caved in.  What happened?  It took the kids a couple tries to figure it out - the air trapped inside the bottle was warm when we put it in the freezer.  When it cooled down, the molecules moved a bit closer together, contracting and causing the sides of the bottle to collapse because the bottle was sealed.

  • I had the kids in pairs and gave each a wooden paint stir-stick and two sheets of newspaper.  We put the stick at the edge of the table, with about half hanging over and laid the sheets of newspaper on top, smoothed flat.  First, slowly push down on the end of the stick - the newspaper lifts up easily.  What do think would happen if you hit the end of the stick hard and quickly?  Most of the kids guessed that the newspaper would rip.  When we tried it though, we found that the stick broke in half! Why??  Because of air pressure - when we pushed down gently, the stick worked as a lever and air was able to flow in under the newspaper so that the air pressure was equal above a below.  But when we struck the stick hard, the air was not able to flow underneath quickly enough to even the pressure.  The weight of the air pushing down on the paper was more than that underneath and the stick gave way.  I got this experiment - and a detailed scientific explanation in one of Donald B. DeYoung's wonderful books, Science and the Bible, Volume 3 if I remember correctly.  The kids were very impressed. 

4.  We had a diagram showing air cells and a simple diagram of how the Coriolis effect causes air in our atmosphere to move.  We discussed that and colored it to show warm and cold air movement.  We talked about how warm air rises because it is less dense than cold air.  (remember the collapsed bottle?)

5.  We cut a spiral shape out of a paper plate and the kids were told they could take them home and hang them over a heat register in their house and observe what happened and why.  We called these air serpents.  They should spin because of the warm air rising from the heat source. 


And that was the lesson.  Sorry for the lack of "Show"  LOL  I'm working with what I have today, and I don't have pictures.  Maybe I'll come back and add pictures to this post next week. 


Head over to CanadaGirl's blog for more Show & Tells - I can almost guarantee that the others will have lots of great pictures to make up for my lack today!


blessedwith2angels said...

The coop sounds like lots of fun and it sounds as if the kids really learned a lot. Thanks for sharing the experiment. I can't wait to try it with my son. As for the lack of pictures, I am forever taking my camera and leaving it in the car or forgetting to make pictures if it actually makes it inside.


jenn4him said...

First day of co-op is always fun! Have a blessed weekend.


SuzyScribbles said...

Aren't these co-ops a blessing? My kids and I learned our Spanish from Plazo Sesamo (totally Spanish Sesame Street). We also did the Learnables, Powerglide, and Destinos. Learnables was the best and easiest! We were also involved in ESL with the hispanic folks in our area (Eng. as a Second language). I taught English, and the reward was I learned enough Spanish to spend 2 weeks in costa rica a few years ago with a pastor and his family, and his dear wife spoke only spanish (as did the kids). She and I communicated just fine--one on one. However, the rest of the country spoke WAY too fast and I was lost most of the time in knowing what anybody was saying. :-(

BChsMamaof3 said...

What a great coop! I love your projects you shared :)



bakerswife said...

I enjoyed reading about your first day at co-op. Whew! You sure did alot. I know it helps your children to have you there with them too.

Mama Karen

bubbebobbie said...

I especially love the fact the Girls talk and share everything and boys don't. The Homeschooling families with just girls or just boys may not be aware of this.

Your co-op sounds like a lot of fun.

Because of Jesus, Bobbie

CrossView said...

Sounds like you did an awesome job! No doubt the kids went home jabbering about what they learned! =D

Canadagirl said...

Sounds like A LOT of fun there. I REALLY would love to SEE your pics when you add them. Just let me know. [0= Science is so much fun. I wish there was a co-op here but then the science wouldn't be from a creationist point of view. The Christian hs are in a minority here. ]0=

Thank you for sharing !

Blessings and ((hugs)) my SSiC

In Him<><


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