Friday, February 20, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up...Snakes, Owls, Etc

Our week started off with a field trip to see a lot of these:

We had plenty of kitchen time...this time mixing up our favorite peanut butter cookies!

While at the snake presentation, we had the opportunity to pick up an owl pellet.  Apparently, real owl pellets are helpful to the ecosystem, so we had to settle for a fake one (Eli does not know it was fake).

While reading the instructions, we found out that owls swallow their prey whole, then regurgitate the feathers, bones, indigestible parts into a pellet.  So do hawks, eagles, and many other predatory birds. To me, owl pellets sounded a little bit like a cat with a hairball, but this topic is already icky enough, so I'll stop there.  Eli's pellet was supposed to contain the skeleton (or plastic replica skeleton) of a vole.

It even came with this (supposedly) handy bone sorting chart:

Interestingly enough, the "pellet replica" looks like someone's dryer lint mixed with feathers and plastic bones.  Patrick and I could not figure out why there might be feathers in a pellet containing a vole "skeleton".

Our mini-scientist begins to dissect the pellet with tweezers
Note the gloves...the package reassured me that this was, indeed, a replica...but I wasn't taking chances. My internal "ick" factor couldn't handle watching unless he was wearing them!

Appa helping with the dissection process
Our "guaranteed vole" ended up being bird...!
My question did the fake owl eat a fake bird instead of a fake vole...??  Still, Eli really, really enjoyed the activity and learned a lot about owls and skeletons.

Because of the cold this week, we really didn't make it outside much for playtime.  The only time we saw Ms. E this week was to hand out birthday invitations....I seriously can't believe it's coming so soon!  We did, however, have a lot of iPad time...

I don't generally encourage TV/electronics, but lately, it's been leading to interesting things Eli reading entire books on his own. He finished "Are You My Mother?" and is now halfway through reading "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." He is still excitedly reading 1-2 pages a night, and has now begun to sit and listen to chapter books (both on CD and read aloud chapter-by-chapter). I am currently reading him a chapter of "Sideways Stories from Wayside School" by Louis Sachar aloud each night, and we just finished listening to "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume on CD.

I've also moved on from our rather sad (and short!) subscription to EPGY (now Redbird).  We gone back to using Montessori materials and apps for math, allowing Eli to progress at his own rate. This week, he progressed to doing this:

He's just beginning to really understand the idea of place value, and the last problem was an extension of the work he'd been doing. He got really, really excited when he realized that units and tens can be added separately...and he asked for a problem with "really big numbers". Obviously, answering one question like this doesn't show mastery...but it is definitely a demonstration of progress.

We even managed to work on art most days this week. This week, we were looking at how to make a landscape painting. I brought home 4 beautiful landscape paintings when Patrick and I were in Korea a few years ago, and thought it was a nice tie-in to some of our Korea studies this month.  After watching some videos and looking at some fun websites, we gave it a try. We learned several techniques, and experimented quite a bit with mixing colors and layering colors. This is Eli's finished landscape:

We were supposed to go on a second field trip to a celebration of Lunar New Year, but because of the weather, we won't be able to go :(.  However, we did make sure to fit in some gymnastics this week. Thankfully, the gymnastics building was very warm....because it was below 20 degrees outside!  Because of the cold (and because of a concurrent school vacation) most of the kids didn't come to practice, so Eli got a ton of one-on-one instruction. I have a lot of cute pics/videos from his lesson, since I pretty much had an unobstructed view!  I'm saving most of them for an upcoming post, but really wanted to share a couple.
Jumping on the trampoline

Bear-crawling on the parallel bars's 50 States Friday....time to study Connecticut!

Weekly Wrap-Up

1 comment:

  1. What a great week. I love the picture of your son dissecting the pellet. We did that last year.
    Blessings, Dawn