Thursday, October 8, 2015

In the Orchard

When I saw that this months theme was In the Orchard I really didn't think much about it.  I kind of forgot that this time of year is orchard harvest time for some crops like apples.  Of course Mother Goose Time doesn't forget about such things and they always time things perfectly.

So here are a few of the activities we have done so far.  This first one wasn't actually in the Teacher Guide but we received the manipulatives in our box this month.  They are translucent pattern blocks which are of course perfect for a light table.  We don't have a light table and I know there are a lot of ways to make one, we just haven't yet.  I was setting up our table with a new deskmate for Peter and I had the contact paper out.  I thought, I wonder . . . Sure enough, I taped the contact paper with the sticky part out and these little pattern blocks stuck perfectly.  All of the boys have enjoyed sticking patterns up and seeing the light shine through.
Of course the sticky part will wear out and get other things stuck to it.  At that point I will take it down.  It will probably be about the same time they are board with it.  I can
stick it up again in a month or so and it will be brand new again.
The next day was all about seeds.  We sorted seeds using ice cube trays.  Which we don't get out often.  So of course Lachlan had to use them to make ice cubes next.
 Here is another wide shot of the table while we are working away.  Peter is making his apple craft while Lachlan sorts the seeds.
 Then it was Peter's turn to examine the seeds.  He looked at them closer under the Magiscope. 
 Using his tweezers for moving the seed from tray to scope.  Great fine motor activity. 
 Here Peter is adjusting the focus on the Magiscope by moving it up and down. 
 I had Peter document his observations.  He observed that the seed was orange.  So he drew an orange spot on his paper.
 This next lesson was a simple counting exercise.  We were supposed to cut open an apple and count the seeds, but we didn't have an apple.  I gave Peter the seeds we got as part of our manipualtives this month and had him put that many seeds in each square.  However, I had him use 2 different kinds or colors of seeds to make up each number. 
 When he was all done we were able to work through a little bit of math.  Like in the 3 square.  He had 2 of one color seed and 1 of another, 2+1=3. 
Here is the completed tray. 
 The school day was now over so we baked Daddy a cake and then waited in the front window for him to come home.  It was his birthday and we were ready to celebrate.  They got a little antsy with the waiting.  Traffic was keeping Daddy away longer than we wanted.
 And then this happened . . .
 That is a very confusing mix of boys.

When we got untangled we waited some more.
When he finally got home, we had some yummy cake and Mommy and Daddy got to go on a date.  Yay!

Day 3 was all about roots.  Honestly, I thought my boys would be quite board by this topic.  We have covered roots quite a few times.  But I guess mostly in regards to plants and not necessary trees.  It was the best learning moment ever, it really was.  I followed the directions given by MGT.  I had Lachlan go outside and find a branch.  He sat back down at the table and I told him to stand it up like a tree.  Now let go.  As the stick started to fall his eyes got super big, his mouth dropped and he gasped with excitement.  "The roots!  The roots hold the tree up!"

That was days ago and it still makes my heart so happy to think of that moment.  Lachlan had an a-ha moment.  He put it all together on his own with one little experiment. Much better than just hearing Mommy yammer away.  

Of course we had to try to get our stick to stand like a tree using tape and yarn.
 Lachlan worked so hard.  But he couldn't get it to stay.  I tried to help, but I was having no luck either.  I asked Lachlan what lesson we could learn from the challenge we were having.  We both decided that roots have a hard job and they make it look easy. 
Since we had made a tree, the only logical next step was to make a "Lachlan" to go in the tree.  This was Peter's idea.  Lachlan has been spending a lot of time in our backyard tree. 
 So Peter first drew a Lachlan on a piece of paper and then I cut him out.
 With a little tape "Lachlan" was climbing that tree in no time.
 Peter was pleased.
Next we did a little dancing.  We sang to the roots song on our CD we got this month called In the Orchard.  Peter had to keep his feet firmly planted like a tree with it's roots holding firm.

First he spread his feet like the roots spread out underground.  
 Then he put his feet together like the trunk of a tree.  Of course Adam could not miss out on the dancing.
 He danced for quite some time.  At one point he said just his hands would move like the leaves on the tree.
 That was all our fun in the first three days of exploring the orchard.  I love how the boys take each lesson and make them their own.  I read all the other blogs from the Blog Ambassadors and I am continually amazed at how each child and each educator interprets each lesson in their own unique way.

MGT really is such a great guide, sometimes I think of it more as a launch pad.  They give you all the fuel you need and the children's imagination and amazing mind take it from there. 

1 comment:

  1. I love "a-ha" moments. Little Guy picks things up so quietly. Like never knowing any of his letters, and then all of the sudden we look through an alphabet book and naming half of them unprompted. I think that simple experiment is such an easy illustration, but its the kind of thing I never think of. I am very much a learn by reading learner, so thinking outside the box isn't really my forte.